JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – One of the most controversial political figures in Jacksonville is getting involved again in the local political scene.
Former U.S. Representative Corrine Brown is not running for office, but is working to inform voters about the upcoming city elections.
“Listen, you need to know that everywhere I go, people tell me they miss my voice,” Brown said. “They want me at the table.”
Brown says like her or not, people seem to listen to her. She is organizing an event at Bethel Church in Springfield for candidates running for office in Jacksonville. They will have a chance to meet and speak with voters and when its over, there will be a straw vote.
Corrine Brown has been out of prison for nearly three years, and it was almost a year ago when she pleaded guilty to tax evasion.
When the former Congresswoman was asked why she would want to get involved in local politics, even if it’s just informing the public, she said, “Because I was very disappointed with the turnout in the last election. And I just think it’s very important that people educate themselves, get involved in politics, or we could lose what we have.”
News4JAX asked Brown about all the negative campaign TV ads in the mayoral race. She said, “You know, my position has always been, tell what you’re going to, how you’re going to, to improve the community.”
Brown continued, “I just think that that’s what the candidates need to be doing. I want to know, I don’t have water and sewer, how you go get it. Fifty years has been committed. So I want to know, and people think that you only have one city council. That’s not true. It’s five at large, and you represent all of us.”
When Brown was in office, her political events sometimes came under fire. She often released her quick picks of candidates she endorsed. She tells News4JAX this event is way different, it’s nonpartisan and all candidates are invited to participate.
“And that’s what this hobnob is all about. To give them a chance to speak with the candidates that are going to represent them,” Brown said.
When asked how she plans to hold the candidates accountable, “We have done that. We have proven that we can elect people, but we’ve got to prove that we can make them accountable.”
The hobnob and straw poll event was scheduled for Saturday, at Bethel church, but Bishop Rudolph McKissick, Jr. on Wednesday night said the event is postponed. In a statement, he said he would like to make it a community-wide event partnering with other churches and agencies.