Friday May 24th, 2024 9:24AM

Abigail Guzman discusses run for Gainesville City Council

By Hamilton Keener Anchor / Reporter

Local business owner Abigail Guzman said running for Gainesville City Council is a dream she has had for many years. 

She is now running for the vacant Ward 4 city council seat left open after the passing of George Wangemann

Guzman is a wife and mother of two kids, she also owns and operates Consuelo and Pristine Clean.

“I told my husband one day, I want to be on the city council. I don't know when, but I'm letting you know, that one day I would love to have that opportunity,” Guzman said. “When we were in the process of opening Consuelo I saw firsthand the City of Gainesville, staff and council, and how willing they were to help and go the extra mile and assured that any resource that was available to us was provided, I was absolutely impressed.”

Seeing the council work made her feel she could serve her fellow residents. 

“I really want to make a difference in our community and be that tool and resource for other people in the community. Gainesville has given us so much. It has been so kind and generous and this was the best way for me to continue serving my community,” Guzman said. 

Guzman worked as a litigation paralegal for 5 years at a local law firm.

“I was working at a local law firm here in Gainesville, I was there for a little over five years. So it was almost like the paralegal side in me and being in the city council meetings and seeing how structured everything was and how decisions are made. I was like, I love this, it just felt very familiar.”

Guzman stated what she would like to see done if elected to the council. 

“I would like to see Gainesville continue moving forward in the positive direction that it is moving. There are obvious challenges ahead like traffic flow that we need to focus on and working to continue to attract quality jobs and housing,” Guzman said. “However, I think the current Council and Staff are doing a great job, I greatly admire the intentional work they are doing and I hope to be able to be a part of that!”

In Ward 4, Guzman would like to focus on pedestrian safety and traffic on Atlanta Highway. 

“The most important thing is I want to make sure that the citizens in my ward feel that they have someone representing them I think that's key,” Guzman said “I think we can definitely look at ways to improve Atlanta Highway it needs to be accessible to both vehicles and pedestrians. Atlanta Highway is a very high-traffic area with a lot of businesses so I want to make sure that we can move traffic in an efficient and safe manner.”

Guzman further discussed her ward and Atlanta Highway. 

“There's a lot of Hispanic business there so we want to ensure that there's that longevity and that it's safe,” Guzman said. “But I think it's also important to ensure that all the entry quarters to the city reflect the vibrancy of Gainesville.” 

Guzman discussed the diversity she would bring to the council. 

“Being a Mexican American woman, I offer a unique perspective and a diverse voice,” Guzman said “To be the first Hispanic person, I think, not even man or female, I would be the first Hispanic, Latin person on city council. It's such an honor, just the thought, one running for that position, but to actually have a seat at that table, and for my children to see, it just makes me almost emotional, because it would be such an honor. For my children to say one day, my mother was the first to sit in that position. And for my daughter to know, we're breaking glass ceilings, we are making a change, and we're working hard. And that hard work pays off.”

Guzman is running against Minister and retired army veteran Devin Pandy. The race will be decided during the May 21 special election primary.

  • Associated Categories: Homepage, Local/State News, Election 2024
  • Associated Tags: gainesville, hall county, Gainesville City Council, ward 4
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