© 2021 Alachua County Emerging Leaders
Adrian Hayes-Santos was elected to the Gainesville City Commission in March 2016 and is seeking re-election for his second term. Adrian was born in Vancouver, Canada and moved to Gainesville shortly after, calling Gainesville home for the last thirty years.
Adrian earned an associate of arts degree from Santa Fe College, then a bachelor’s in finance with a minor in urban planning and a master’s in international business from UF.
In his first campaign, Adrian made expanding Internet accessibility for the area a top priority and recently helped the city agree to fund a feasibility study to explore expanding broadband infrastructure in Gainesville to help close the gap between those who have access to high-speed broadband and those who don’t. Having helped start multiple businesses and working for a startup in the past has highlighted the importance of boosting innovation for the city. .
Adrian is also a strong advocate for preserving Gainesville’s beautiful, natural, ecosystem voting to improve parks across Gainesville through the Wild Spaces Public Places funds and earning the Sierra Club’s “Osprey Award” last year, an award given to a single government official in Florida for extraordinary effort to promote policies that protect the environment. Adrian recently spearheaded the successful effort to ban plastic and styrofoam as part of an initiative to help make Gainesville zero waste and run 100% on renewable energy by 2045.
Adrian’s also voted to double city funding to support the arts, which have seen severe funding cuts at the state level.
He disagrees with what he considers divisive politics coming from Washington and fully supports equality for the LGBTQ community, voting to ban conversion therapy for minors.
Adrian wholeheartedly disagrees with the war on drugs, which he sees as a massive failure and waste of taxpayer dollars that has led to disproportionate incarceration of minorities. He supports a full decriminalization of cannabis in the city of Gainesville so law enforcement can focus on violent crime.
As a landlord, Adrian has experience in housing and has voted to support renter’s rights in the area.
When asked why he’s running, he states, “I love our city. I’m passionate about making Gainesville a better place to live, work, and play for everyone in our city”.
What role can the city commission play to create job opportunities to recruit and retain young professionals?
The best way for the city commission to support recruiting and retaining young professionals is to create a city that young professionals want to live in. Continuing to focus on improving the quality of life in our city will help bring new businesses to Gainesville and keep the ones we have here. Businesses move to places where they can attract talent, and young, talented people want to move to places that have a high quality of life.
ACEL supports efforts to increase the ease, safety, and number of alternative transportation options within Alachua County. If elected, how would you address the issue of transportation in the city?
I strongly support a connected and safe multimodal transportation system in our city, and our Vision Zero goal to reduce the number of road deaths to zero by 2025. I will push for a connected bike trail system and increased pedestrian areas. I also fully support a redesign of our current bus system to add routes that are frequent (5 to 10 min headways) and cross our whole city. By making transit easier and more reliable, we will see an increase in the number of people using our bus transit system.
ACEL supports any initiative that will increase the quality and affordability of housing in cultural centers of Alachua County. If elected, how would you address the issue of quality and affordable housing?
I have led the charge and helped create the renters’ rights ordinance initiative for the city. This would ensure that all rental housing in the city meets a minimum health and safety standard and is energy efficient to help lower utility bills.
We have a supply issue for housing in our downtown area. Specifically, there is not enough non-student housing being built in this area, which has led to increased prices. I believe that we should look for ways to incentivize more housing to be built in the downtown area that includes both market rate and affordable housing options.
Please briefly describe your top three policy priorities you will implement if elected.
Neighborhoods and parks
I will continue working to make our neighborhoods unique and vibrant, increasing funding for parks, and working to ensure the history and character of our neighborhoods remain intact.
Our natural environment is our most important asset, and I’ve been a leader in protecting it. I’ve led the initiative to make Gainesville a zero waste city and put hundreds of acres into environmental protection.
Expand high speed broadband
High-speed internet access is a necessity in the 21st century, yet Gainesville continues to lag behind. That’s why I’ve been the leading voice in pushing for a high-speed affordable municipal internet service that provides access to all residents and businesses.