I’ve lived and worked in Denton for the better part of 15 years. I’m running for Denton City Council, District 1, because I see a seat at the table that is unique to any other candidate running or currently serving.

I am a Queer renter who has recently closed their downtown small business due to the pandemic. I know the hardships presented when owning a local small business, and the tough decisions we are sometimes forced to make. I know the struggles the LGBTQIA+ community experiences as we fight toward equality. I know how hard it is to find safe and affordable housing. I have also spoken about the need to allow different types of housing, in an effort to make available more safe and affordable housing. We need to see our city commit to standing up for the renters in our community, because they are the majority and shouldn’t feel unsafe in their homes.

I’ve shown up for my small-business community by staying in contact and helping wherever I can. Advocating for more funding and better leadership from local to federal government. I’ve served on the Denton Main Street Association, where we have pivoted to continue to provide businesses with necessary resources to stay in business. I’ve even made banana bread and delivered it to members in the community who have lost their jobs, and await their employer reopening their place of business.

I’ve answered the call and shown up to help my neighbors at Green Tree Estates. While the City Council was busy arguing over a basic human right, I showed up to help Denton Puente with their efforts. Our community cleared brush and poison oak, and dug trenches to help provide access to clean drinking water. I’ve shown up to protests and listened to the concerns of our Black community. I’ve advocated for a closer look at the police budget and spoken to the need to increase the budget for human services. Now more than ever, due to the pandemic, we need to help our neighbors with eviction prevention, utility payment assistance, food access and mental health resources by increasing the lifesaving funding that is currently available.

I’ve spoken very openly about how we need to create more quality, high-paying jobs in Denton. Creating partnership opportunities that work with entrepreneurs graduating from our colleges to stay in the town they love, get access to resources to start their businesses here and create jobs for our community. Reworking how we incentivize businesses to ensure they truly pay each and every employee is another place to start. Creating more opportunities that pay a livable wage is the only way we sustain the growth we are experiencing and will continue to see over the next decade.

Through it all, I continue to do the work each and every day. For me and for you. Why? Because I have a heart of service. The future of Denton is an equitable one. I believe I can help achieve that for our beautiful, growing community.

GEORGE FERRIE JR. is running for the Denton City Council, District 1, seat in the Nov. 3 general election. His opponent is Birdia Johnson.

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