THE SPECKTATOR

Working '9 to 15'

My Out of the Box Party candidates for City Council

Actress Ashley Greene: from "precognitive vampire" to councilwoman? Stranger things have happened on the Jacksonville City Council.
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Kerry Speckman shares her unique perspective and observations on people, places and events on the First Coast and beyond. She's also the 2012 winner of Jacksonville Dancing With the Stars, so she's got that going for her.

A local grassroots organization hopes to increase the number of women on the Jacksonville City Council in 2015 when nine seats open because of term limits. PBS NewsHour co-anchor and managing editor Judy Woodruff introduced the initiative called “9 to 15” at WJCT Studios earlier this month.

According to an article on WJCT.org, Woodruff said many women don’t choose to run because no one asks them or encourages them to run. I immediately thought of Audrey Moran, Nancy Soderberg and Deborah Gianoulis as contenders, but, as I am wont to do, I also came up with some not-so-obvious candidates to run as part of the Outside the Box Party (don’t worry, folks, I will not be throwing my ballcap into the ring). 

1. Ashley Greene: Granted, she's a big Hollywood star now, but the actress best known for playing Alice Cullen is a Jacksonville native, and by 2015 may be ready to pull an Arnold Schwarzenegger and run for political office. Her experience battling with vampires and werewolves, albeit fictional ones, more than qualifies her to handle unruly council members.

2. @kristinbcb: As the first female member of the Bold City Brigade, she has proven she can go toe-to-toe with the guys and, as a rabid Jaguars supporter, she has tenacity, loyalty and vision. And based on her Twitter post, she's not afraid to drop an "F" bomb which would make the minutes far more interesting to read.

3. The Dancing Lady in 5 Points: Few know her name but anyone who travels through 5 Points at lunchtime knows her moves. Kind of like a sign spinner without a sign, she promotes Larry's Giant Subs by getting her groove on with enough enthusiasm and sheer joy, she could make the most curmudgeonly member (you know who you are) crack a smile. Not to mention, she knows a thing or two about hams and turkeys. 

4. Rep. Corrine Brown: Of course, she would never step down from her fat paycheck and geting to hang with President Obama on Air Force One, but given her history with the City Council, things could get hatted. I mean, heated.

5. Jennifer M.: Not just another pretty (and very tan) face, this Jacksonville Jaguars cheerleader is a personal banker. Not only could she help explain budgets and deficits, but she could give those snoozefest meetings a much need injection of spirit! And who wouldn't want Don Redman do the wave or see Robin Lumb in a kick line?

6. Lynzi Pacitti: The co-defensive coordinator/linebackers and secondary coach of the Jacksonville Dixie Blues women's tackle football team is all about teamwork, something the current council clearly doesn't understand. Plus, you never know when a member of the public (or a fellow councilperson) needs to be sacked.

7. Peppermint Patty: No credit? Bad credit? She don't care! With her no-nonsense attitude and convincing sales pitch, the star of March Motors' TV commercials can put you a 1994 Toyota Corolla with 246,109 miles on it before you get the keys out of your own car's ignition. Just imagine what she could convince councilmembers to do.

8. Santhea Brown: Mrs. Mayor Brown is like Jacksonville's version of Punxsutawney Phil, but instead of being paraded around on Groundhog Day, she only comes out for her husband's inaugurations(s). Seriously, have you ever seen her in public?. Perhaps if the mayor felt someone on the City Council was actually on his side, they might get along better. Then again, working with your wife, could make things much worse.

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