Meet the candidates: Blake Gordon runs for Ardmore City Commission Northeast Ward
Editor's note: Four candidates will be running for the Northeast Ward, and three will be running for Southwest. The Ardmoreite has sent each candidate a series of five questions. Each candidate had the same set of five questions and was asked to limit their answers to no more than 100 words per question. All questionnaires were sent at the same time, and each candidate had the same deadline to return their answers.
On Tuesday, April 6 registered voters in the City of Ardmore will go to the polls to select two new city commissioners: one for the city’s Northeast Ward, and one for the city’s Southwest Ward. The vote will be taken at large, so citizens will be able to vote for one candidate in each ward regardless of where they reside within the city.
Below are the answers from Blake Gordon who is running for the seat in Ardmore’s Northeast Ward. The remaining candidates profiles will run Tuesday through Friday until all seven candidates have been printed.
1. Tell the community a bit about yourself. (Where are you from/when did you come to Ardmore? What is your work/education experience? Etc.)
BG: A carpenter/woodworker by trade, I'm an easygoing person with an assortment of hobbies. From skateboarding and streaming, to music production and circuitry. I always have a project keeping me busy. I attribute my varied interests to my exposure to different cultures throughout my life. I was born in Mercy Hospital, a mile from where I type this, in 1995. Having spent many of my formative years here in Ardmore, I moved with my family to Georgia and later to Jacksonville, Florida. There I spent my adolescence. I returned to Ardmore in 2017, ready to share what I've learned.
2. What inspired you to run for the Ardmore City Commission?
BG: I've been interested in politics for years. Yet, it took me longer than I'd care to admit to connect the dots that it wasn't national elections that shaped our communities. It was local. Since then, I've come to involve myself with more and more community activist groups. Through these groups, I felt the buzz generated from this upcoming election and learned it could define Ardmore for decades. Intrigued, I researched the City Charter and realized I satisfied both criteria to be an eligible candidate in this election just two months prior to the registration deadline. It felt like fate.
3. What do you think is the biggest challenge facing Ardmore today?
BG: The biggest challenge facing Ardmore today is a severe lack of leisure, recreational, and communal areas. Or more specifically, lack of access to the few amenities we do have. One of my favorite places in Ardmore is Regional Park. It's a lovely, well-maintained park loaded with features. However, Regional has a problem. Its location. That is to say, its location renders it accessible only to those with cars. Which is unfortunate. That means a disproportionate amount of people in my Ward are unable to enjoy this beautiful park due to distance alone. Leading to the next question.
4. What new project or policy would you like to see come to Ardmore?
BG: My vision for Ardmore begins on Main Street with a revitalized Downtown. I want to see our mixed-use central business district extend across the infamous gap known colloquially as "the Tracks." I want to see a Downtown that's reachable, attractive, convenient, livable and economically vibrant. Luckily for me, I don't have to propose anything from scratch. The work has already been done and published and is known as the Ardmore Comprehensive Plan. It has all I could ask for: sidewalks + lighting, enhanced parks + trails, bicycle infrastructure, infill development to combat urban sprawl. Implementing this plan excites me tremendously.
5. What can you bring for the citizens of your ward that your opponents cannot?
BG: What I bring to this race that my opponents cannot is a fresh perspective and an unparalleled dedication to seeing the Ardmore Comprehensive Plan come to fruition. Through these qualities, I believe we can craft an Ardmore that serves everyone. The future of Ardmore begins with the future of the Eastside and the Plan lays out generous infrastructure upgrades for the Eastside. Together, an Ardmore uncoupled from the stresses of suburban living and built around close community connections fostered by strong infrastructure and an engaging culture is possible. And I'm in a unique position to deliver just that.