Dustin Rivest



Speaker and Mentor

Born and raised in Tallahassee, I am tremendously proud to see us maintain all that we love about our rural community while growing to serve our residents. I’ve been able to grow up alongside and within this community. On my drives to Lincoln High School, I would pass the landfill that once littered our landscape, but now I see children enjoying the parks, playing sports and exercising in that exact same place.  I know firsthand the positive impact that a change like that had on our community, and as lifetime member of this district, I know there are still pressing issues to address.

I am running for County Commissioner of District 5 because I am a consensus builder and problem solver. I can bring together our community and work with my fellow commissioners for our benefit and to get things done. In a city with one of the highest crime rates in Florida, as well as the poorest zip code in the state, we need to elevate our awareness and bring smart solutions to the table. The time is now.

My career has led me to the forefront of the digital landscape that dominates our world. I am honored to help our community tap into the benefits of technology through innovative and meaningful solutions that will drive us forward. As your Commissioner, I will bring my skills as a collaborative innovator and respectful connector to help our community see more success in our families, job, and economy.

My Focus

Training our residents in retail, trade work and healthcare will help our struggling businesses and healthcare facilities fill their job openings. This is what will give people a pathway out of poverty.

Employing people will also help lower the crime rate. We need to connect with our Middle and High Schoolers at an earlier age…instead of just tell them, we must show them all the amazing opportunities that exist. Bringing our business partners to the table will help develop our students and tap their potential.  

With Lively Technical College and TCC dual enrollment programs, students can now come out of high school with a diploma AND a certificate that lands them a job immediately. My neighbor dual enrolled at Chiles High School and became a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) as a senior. He stepped off the stage and into a career that started him at nearly $16/hour at the age of 18.

Affordable Home Ownership will only get solved with Public/Private Partnerships that address the current housing crisis and plan for future needs. We need more communities with pre-built homes that are not trailers that will depreciate. Instead, we can focus on builder-grade smaller homes built around enjoying outdoor living. It’s imperative that we rapidly increase the supply of affordable housing in our community to tackle the exorbitant real estate prices. Starting to explore smart opportunities to develop new homes that are safe and affordable so we can invest money into homes that will increase in value. Developing more apartments that offer affordable housing is not the same as helping people become homeowners of affordable homes. We can work together to have a bright future instead of a non-existent inventory for affordable homes.

We do a great job promoting small businesses, so let’s take it a step further. How can we help local companies sell outside Leon County? Giving our local businesses access to quality e-commerce solutions for all will be a game changer. We have an Amazon Fulfillment Center in our backyard. This is a new resource to help our local businesses who manufacture or sell products understand how to capitalize on using Amazon. Our community has several service-based companies who have been successful at expanding their footprints to new territories. Let’s collaborate and learn from them so we can replicate those successes. Imagine if we doubled or even tripled the number of local businesses serving people outside of Leon County! One of my priorities is to leverage all my relationships with local chambers of commerce and the office of economic vitality to create new programs to help our small businesses with what they need. This will bring more revenue into our community, which will boost our local economy.

I want to see Tallahassee businesses accessible and online for EVERYONE. Many companies are struggling to stay current in the fast-paced digital landscape, much less enter it. Accessibility should be a TOP priority for physical places of business AND on their websites. My goal is to make Tallahassee / Leon County one of the top in the nation for accessible websites. This is a priority because 1 in every 4 citizens has a disability and it is time to make sure their experience on the web is equal.

We desperately need proper broadband; having access to high-speed internet across our community should not be a privilege, rather a necessity. We now live in the most connected time ever. Whether your business needs high-speed Internet or your children at home need it for homework, we must make connectivity a priority.

We can all agree that infrastructure is a critical part of smart growth. We must continue to have a horizon-focused approach to our emerging needs. Electric vehicles are becoming more popular, but is our local infrastructure ready for this projected explosion in growth? Electric cars are becoming more affordable. As an EV owner for the past five years, I have experienced the pros and cons of what it means to own an EV in Leon County. We don’t need charging stations on every corner. It makes far more sense to incentivize charging at home and at workplaces. We need to make it easy for our citizens to “plugin.”

I will foster meaningful Citizen Engagement and Feedback using technology. Issues today are intensified through social media without consensus or agreement. There is no way for a commissioner to get an accurate pulse on their constituents’ collective views on issues. The loud few often monopolize the conversation. With my decades of digital work, I will utilize technology to help our community share their opinions with their commissioners in a meaningful and authentic way. We can create surveys so your voice is heard and your perspective is delivered to commissioners on many of the issues being discussed today. I am certain that our elected leaders would gain valuable feedback that would help better shape the work we were elected to do.


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    Dustin Rivest
    Entrepreneur & Innovator
    • Age: 35
    • Phone: 850-566-3789
    • E-mail:
    Dustin Rivest

    Political Advertisement Paid for and Approved by Dustin Rivest for County Commission.