Gavin Buckley, Annapolis small business owner and resident, is the visionary behind revitalization of West Street, creation of the West Village Precinct, and beloved community events including Dining Under the Stars, the First Sunday Arts Festival, the Chocolate Festival, and the Fringe Festival.
Gavin’s story began in Australia where he was raised by a single mother. He worked his way across the world after leaving school, dropping anchor in Spa Creek in 1992 with only $200 in his pocket. He fell in love with Annapolis for its unique blend of history, maritime culture and small-town friendliness. He fell in love again when he met future wife, native Annapolitan Julie Williams. Together they are now raising two children, Dash & Miles.
From his first job as a server at Middleton Tavern, Gavin showed the vision and entrepreneurial spirit for which he is so well known. He quickly learned the basics of business, raised capital, and navigated bureaucracy to open Annapolis' first coffee shop, The Moon.
In time, Gavin began to see potential in West Street – then considered the “wrong part of town”, where drug deals and prostitution were common. He opened pan-Asian restaurant Tsunami and a diverse group of residents, passionate about their community, responded to his vision. Tsunami soon became “the place" to be and its success encouraged Gavin to establish new restaurants including Lemongrass, Metropolitan, and Sailor Oyster Bar.
Gavin is committed to preserving the historic character of Annapolis with leadership and vision to ensure it remains a dynamic, living city. This is why he challenged and defeated the City’s plan to demolish 100-year-old homes on West Street to make way for an 800-car garage. This area is now the West Village Precinct – a flourishing hub for local businesses, residents, and visitors.
Gavin knows that community connections are at the heart of West Street’s transformation. As Mayor he will bring together business owners, community leaders, and residents to develop innovative ideas and economic opportunities for Main Street, Maryland Ave, West Annapolis and all parts of the city. These include 21st century transit solutions, a more transparent development process, strong community policing, and greater focus on the needs of the local community.
Gavin Buckley is not a career politician but a resident, businessman, and father raising young children. He is committed to our shared community and our shared future. His vision is for a vibrant, sustainable, and inclusive Annapolis with infrastructure, services, and events that make it a wonderful place to work and live for all.
We hope you will be inspired and Join Gavin in 2017
Gavin will draw on his 25 years of business experience to shape Main Street into a corridor that once again serves locals and tourists alike – applying the same leadership and vision behind the revitalization of West Street. Gavin knows that economic success is driven by strong communities built on shared experiences of arts & culture, good food, accessible services, and shops and businesses that reflect the broad range of residents and their priorities.
Residents must be informed and engaged early in the development process. Gavin will consult widely across our culturally and geographically diverse community for input on the City’s ‘Comprehensive Plan’. A more transparent decision process that keeps residents involved at every step is the key to better City planning, better traffic and better schools.
Integrated transit options are at the heart of a functional modern city and are the key to ensuring residents and visitors can travel across our city more easily and efficiently. Gavin will prioritize pedestrians, bikes, trolleys, and cars – in that order – to ease traffic congestion. He will connect our green spaces, develop new bike paths, and extend the bus and trolley system to connect residential, business, and recreational areas.
Annapolis has a deep connection to water and the local environment. Gavin will make our city a leader in green energy and common-sense water quality measures to protect our residents, property, and natural resources from the threats of flooding and pollution. He is committed to the Paris Climate Agreement and to protecting the Bay from challenges by the Federal Government.
Communities are strongest when police officers, firefighters, and teachers are from the areas in which they serve. Gavin will ensure that local employment and mutual respect underpin essential community services that guarantee safe, secure neighborhoods. When residents, local government and business work together, and on behalf of each other, vibrant communities and economies thrive.