SUBMITTED LETTERS TO THE EDITOR IN GAINESVILLE SUN
Christine Denny- President, Co-Founder of First Magnitude Brewing Company, District 4 Voter
I am writing to support Christian Newman for Gainesville City Commission District 4. Christian will work collaboratively with citizens and decision makers to support Gainesville in our effort to be a forward-thinking, equitable, and environmentally thoughtful town.
I have confidence in what Christian will bring to Gainesville because I had the privilege of working with him for over 15 years as a project manager and vice president at the company he founded, Pandion Systems. He did what he said he would and was trusted by our team and our clients. We grew because of his leadership and were recognized as a innovators within the environmental sciences field.
I am often asked what inspired me to create a company like First Magnitude Brewing Company and what inspires us to focus on doing good things for our community. Working with Christian gave me the understanding of the innovative, impactful things a small business can do. We have found success using many of the foundational principles Christian applied to his business. This gives me great confidence in his ability to take his experience and apply it to serving the people of Gainesville on our City Commission.
Erica Bloomberg-Johnson (Analyst), Cathy Clayton Boone (Pediatrician), Greg Grooms (Business Owner, District 4 Voter), Andrea Holbrook (Business Owner, District 4 Voter), Lauren Indelicato (Nurse), Jeff King (Water Engineer, District 4 Voter), Will Olinger (Business Owner), Tucker Ryals (Sales, District 4 Voter), Eric Wubbel (Accountant)
Leadership With Integrity- Christian Newman brings the integrity and common-sense leadership needed for Gainesville and our
City Commission. Our friend since childhood, we have firsthand knowledge of his practicality, honesty, and decency. We’ve known Christian from youth soccer in the 1970s, or from Ft. Clarke Middle School or Eastside High School in the 1980s. Christian is a true Gainesville “local” --- a public school graduate, twice a University of Florida graduate, an Eastside High school science teacher, an environmental biologist, and a small business owner in Gainesville. We trust Christian; Gainesville will too. Christian is
not a professional politician, and he will serve without ulterior motives. In recent years Christian has been an SBAC lunch buddy at Lake Forest, coached the Eastside High School girls soccer team, volunteered with Gainesville For All, and served on the City Plan Board. Christian serves for one reason: he cares about Gainesville. We wholeheartedly support Christian Newman’s candidacy for City Commission, District 4. Bring integrity and common-sense leadership to the Gainesville City Commission: vote for Christian Newman on August 23.
Kim Tanzer- Architect , Retired UF Professor, Gainesville Neighborhood Voices Inc., District 4 Voter
I support Christian Newman for City Commission District 4. Christian grew up in Gainesville, receiving several advanced degrees at UF (Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, and a Master of Business Administration). He taught with Teach for America in the Mississippi Delta and at Eastside High School. He has created and sold environmental and technology companies, and now works for a nonprofit energy research organization on endangered species research.
I have spoken with Newman several times and found him to be thoughtful, sincere, and humble. He asks questions. He is not an ideologue.
My focus in local politics has been on adopting well-researched, tested policies to address Gainesville’s specific housing and land use issues. I am convinced that only one candidate, Christian Newman, has the maturity, wisdom, open-mindedness, and combined scientific and financial background to help move Gainesville forward.
I endorse Christian Newman wholeheartedly.
Thomas Hawkins- UF Faculty, City Plan Board Members, former City Commissioner
Christian Newman leads people. I learned this when I played junior varsity soccer at Eastside High School. Christian was my coach. Even though I spent most of the season on the bench, Christian’s leadership made me a part of the team—in practice and in games.
I kept in touch with Christian through the years. I crossed paths with the environmental consulting firm he owned when I worked for an environmental not-for-profit. He used his passion for science and the natural world to earn his living and to create jobs.
Most recently I served on the City Plan Board with Christian. Because I am a lawyer and a planner, I sometimes have a wonkish view of land development regulation. That’s not true of Christian. With every zoning issue, he started by asking “What are we trying to accomplish here?” And he listened to everyone in the room—especially residents who took the time to attend our meetings.
I cannot think of a person more suited to public service than Christian Newman. He studies, he listens, and he is a natural leader. He has my support for City Commission District 4.
Sam Welker- Retired SBAC English and History Teacher, SBAC Administrator, EHS Soccer Coach, District 4 Voter
Gainesvillians demand much of their city leaders. They expect them to run a utility, understand minute details of a myriad topics, balance environmental interests with social justice issues, attend to the diverse interests and perspectives of over 134,000 residents, and above all keep Gainesville Gainesville as if any one person can accurately define Gainesville.
To lead Gainesville, commissioners should accept that they do not know everything, they cannot know everything, and they cannot please everyone, but they must listen to everyone. I prefer to vote for candidates who are listeners, who are willing to learn, and who prioritize people over things.
Christian Newman, a candidate for City Commission, District 4, is one of those candidates. I have had the pleasure and honor to work with Christian in several capacities over the past 38 years. Always kind, generous, and thoughtful, Christian is a team player who brings out the best in everyone. Aware that all actions have consequences, he studies diligently and deliberatively for solutions to problems. Joyful and optimistic, Christian turns every challenge into an opportunity for growth. Most important, Christian always thinks of others before himself. Please join me in voting for Christian Newman for City Commission, District 4.
Dean Mimms- Retired City of Gainesville Planner, District 4 Voter
Christian Newman, Candidate for Gainesville City Commission District 4, has what it takes to be an excellent commissioner. He is at a point in his very accomplished life at which he can bring his unique professional background and positive personal qualities to the role of City Commissioner. Raised in Gainesville, he both graduated from (and years later) taught and coached for several years at Eastside High School. He also taught school in the impoverished Mississippi delta of Arkansas. He has advanced degrees in Wildlife Ecology and in Business Administration. He started and ran (and sold after 13 years) a successful environmental consulting firm in Gainesville. He currently works for an international, renewable energy consulting firm. He possesses scientific and business acumen that will serve us all.
I worked with Christian when he was a City Plan Board member and I was Staff Liaison. His even temperament, consistent preparation, thoughtful questions, and respectful demeanor towards the public and his fellow Plan Board members at long and sometimes controversial hearings, bode well for the City Commissioner that he promises to be. Please join me in supporting him in District 4.
Alexis Hampton- UF Fiscal Assistant, District 4 Voter
Working with Christian Newman for eight years has provided me the opportunity to see his approach to tackling issues first hand. As a leader he takes in to account all aspects of a situation. He makes a point to be aware of anything that may have an impact and works with the necessary parties to ensure the best possible outcome. Christian has also coached my teenage daughter in soccer. During this time, he continued to show how supportive, compassionate, kind, hardworking, and sincere he truly is. He has proven over and over again his ability to provide an opportunity for all he has led to strengthen their skills. To gain participation for anything you have to be approachable and knowledgeable of the subject matter. Time and time again Christian has been just that. I believe he is just what our community needs.
Jamie McClave Baldwin- President, Infotech Consulting
I am writing to support Christian Newman for City Commissioner. Christian is the exact kind of leader and commissioner we need — smart, trustworthy, hard-working, research- and data-oriented, kind and compassionate.
I've known Christian for many many years — our kids have grown up together and I've worked with Christian during his years owning Pandion Systems. I trust him implicitly. He will be a good steward of our beloved city and help us overcome challenges and be future-facing, asking the right questions about what we want our city to be.
His experience as teacher with Teach for America and at Eastside High School, and as a coach, scientist, business owner and member of the City Plan Board uniquely qualify him for this office.
Join me in supporting Christian Newman for City Commission District 4.
Diana Brantley- Retired SBAC English Teacher and Administrator, District 4 Voter
The many roles that Christian Newman has filled in the Gainesville community admirably for him to fill more. His experience with many different groups gives him the perspective to make decisions wisely. Most of all his good heart will motivate him to do the best he can for all of us. Vote for Christian, please!
Jon Dain- UF Faculty, District 4 Voter
I very strongly support Christian Newman for City Commission District 4. Christian understands Gainesville’s environmental/energy challenges and opportunities because he is a professional scientist with a graduate degree in wildlife ecology.
Christian understands the Gainesville business environment because he started small businesses here and has a graduate degree in business administration. Christian understands the needs of Gainesville’s schools because he began his professional life as a teacher, first in rural Mississippi and then here at Eastside High School. Christian understands how local government works because he served on the City Planning Commission for four years.
Christian grew up in Gainesville. He has raised a family here. Most importantly, Christian Newman recognizes that he does not know everything — that effective governance requires engaging citizens in the decision-making that affects them.
Pertinent to this race, he is professionally trained in public engagement and practices what he preaches. Those who know him speak admiringly of his vision and determination, but also of his humility and willingness to listen, even to those he disagrees with. I wholeheartedly support Christian Newman because he has the practical, personal and professional experiences required to make the informed, reasoned, evidence-based decisions he is known for.
Della McMillan Wilson- Retired UF Professor, District 4 Voter
I have known Christian Newman directly as a neighbor and indirectly by reputation as a "boss" in the several successful environmental businesses he has started, managed and sold. He is a solid family man who likes to gut and refinish bathrooms on his own and make his own limoncello from the trees he grows in his backyard.
Christian has the business and management experience, leadership skills, and professional and personal networks that will allow him to develop bipartisan solutions to our city's problems and to chart a locally driven path to the future. Since he was born, bred and educated in Gainesville and currently lives adjacent to the University of Florida, he has an appreciation and understanding of our unique "culture" of distinct neighborhoods.
His unique blend of business smarts, good humor, experience and burnished ethical core suits him for the strategic dances we need moving forward.