The servant-leader is servant first, it begins with a natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first, as opposed to, wanting power, influence, fame, or wealth.”
– Robert K. Greenleaf
Between high rents, costly home repairs resulting from mine blasting, rising insurance rates, and low wages that don’t keep up with rising costs, I recognize the challenges facing the hard working people of our community and Florida. We can do better.
We need to put our hard-earned tax-payer dollars to work for us and stop using them to benefit special interests that don’t serve our community.
I will fight to ensure that we have fair, living wages that allow us to better plan for our future and provide for our families. I will pursue policies which foster investment in and protection of small businesses so entrepreneurial individuals can participate and give back to our local and state economy. And I will ensure that our tax-payer dollars are wisely spent in priority areas instead of in ways that benefit only the well-connected.
No one in our community should be forced to choose between paying the bills and getting proper medical care. It is clear that we must expand healthcare for everyone, including mental healthcare.
We need greater coverage for health care, that starts with expanding Medicaid to the 800,000 Floridians who fall in the coverage gap, and strengthening the protections of current healthcare plans including the Affordable Care Act, which saw record enrollment in Hialeah. Mental health care can’t be left behind. In our wealthy society, health care is a moral imperative.
I will advocate for the people of our district to keep the coverage they enjoy and get the coverage they need.
Everyone has a right to an excellent education, and every school should be a safe, supportive place, regardless of zip code. Schools should motivate and engage young people in the process of learning, and develop critical thinking skills in students which are essential regardless of what path they take. Schools should also assist students in real-life tasks such as personal finance, developing on the job skills for careers of their choice, and college preparation. Because our teachers deliver this high-quality education, we must invest in them in order to invest in our students.
We need to address inequalities in our school system, support and compensate all teachers adequately, and properly fund our public schools.
I will work diligently to make sure our tax-payer dollars are being used by our schools – for our schools – and not to enrich private entities with ideological agendas, which place profits above teachers and students. I will promote critical thinking and real-life curricula for students beyond a test. And I will advocate for a raise in pay for all teachers, not just beginning teachers, so we attract and retain the talent that is necessary to deliver a high-quality education.
Protecting our natural resources in South Florida not only makes environmental sense, it makes economic sense. Water is our most precious resource, and should be treated as such. Climate change and rising sea levels are existential threats to us in South Florida.
The legislature must protect our water quality from chemicals moving downstream from agriculture, and we must move urgently to deliver the promise of Everglades Restoration Projects. Now is the time to mitigate and prepare for the effects of climate change – because impacts are already being felt with increased flooding in our community.
I will push for real and immediate action to protect the unique environment which not only makes South Florida our beloved home, but also helps create jobs in tourism and brings in much-needed tax dollars that benefit our entire state.
Mine blasting is a decades-long problem in our community that has not gone away, because elected officials have been influenced by special interests to protect mine blasting companies over the people who elected them. Companies should be held accountable for their actions – homeowners should be compensated for damages to their homes, and taxpayers shouldn’t have to foot the bill for damaged public buildings as a result of the blasts.
We need to reduce the severity of blasts in the short-run and push for banning blasts in the long-run. When tapping into our natural resources, businesses have an even stronger obligation to operate responsibly, even if that means they assume added costs. Limestone can be extracted through excavation instead of blasting.
I will work to secure reporting of mine blasting events before and after they occur, so residents psychologically affected by blasts can prepare in advance, and residents can exercise oversight over blasting operations. And I will collaborate with county entities to review measures taken by other Florida counties to ban blasting. Finally, I will fight for homeowners to be compensated for damages to their homes.
Traffic and transportation are not mere inconveniences. They impact our quality of life, shortening our days and leaving us with less time to spend with our loved ones. For some of us, it can mean the difference between securing a job or not.
I have listened to residents in our district and understand how traffic congestion, increased tolls, burdensome express lanes, and a lack of viable transit options are placing an undue burden on all of us. We need to have better cooperation between local and state entities to plan and implement traffic solutions that work for everyone.
I know how to collaborate effectively with diverse groups and I will work jointly with all entities to ensure that we finally make progress on our traffic and transportation issues.
Recent events throughout our country and in our own backyard have shined a light on issues of racial inequality in our society, primarily affecting the relationship between law enforcement and our minority communities. While many of us in District 110 may not share the experiences of those who have been unjustly treated by law enforcement, as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stated, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
Let’s take this moment to have the difficult and candid conversations that will bring us all together to discuss issues that ultimately affect us all. Let’s show the law enforcement profession the greatest respect by holding police officers to the highest standards of conduct.
There are several things that we can do at the state level to reform policing. I will work to make sure that all law enforcement agencies across the state can purchase body cams, ultimately for the benefit of all parties involved in an incident. And we need to revisit our police training programs to address how police engage with communities they serve.