Priorities for Broward County
We need legislators who can stand up to the special interests that block progress. The entrenched Republican majorities which have controlled the Florida legislature for the past 30 years have abdicated their responsibility for oversight of taxpayer dollars. In contrast, I have over 30 years of public service experience as an Assistant Inspector General, Foreign Service Officer, and attorney helping small businesses. I have a track record of getting things accomplished as a government watchdog fighting fraud and waste of our taxpayer dollars. I will use my skills and experience to solve problems for real people rather than deepening the political divide. We owe that to taxpayers and the public we hope to serve.
Here’s what you can expect me to get done for Broward County:
Protections Against Sea Level Rise and Water Pollution – We need a statewide plan to comprehensively address sea level rise and protect our homes, beaches, and clean water.
District 93 thrives on tourism, but sea level rise is eroding our beaches, red tides and pollution are threatening our hospitality and marine industries. Rising sea levels, more intense hurricane seasons and sunny day flooding are already threatening our homes, life savings and our future. We have also experienced recent assaults to our clean water with bursting pipes and toxic algae, and there is a growing recognition of the impact on our maritime and tourism industries, and personal health. It is also imperative that we protect the Everglades which provides fresh water for millions. I will always oppose fracking and any measure that threatens our water quality.
These are all factors contributing to a perfect storm. We cannot solve problems without longterm strategic solutions to the threat of climate change. The legislature needs to be a partner, not just a bystander. We must establish a clear goal for Florida to be carbon neutral by 2050 and work to develop a comprehensive plan to reach that goal. I will advocate for us to accelerate the use of clean energy and greater energy efficiency. Market forces as a result of the COVID crisis have provided an unanticipated boost to this effort, and the argument for clean energy is not just the right thing to do for our health and the planet, but has suddenly gained the force of the economic argument as well. I will also alway fight for green solutions and push the economic argument for jobs, with guidelines to protect our health, our homes and our economic drivers in the tourism and maritime industries so that we can build a sustainable economy.
Expand Medicaid and Healthcare Access – I will push for Florida to access the Federal dollars it is owed and to initiate full implementation of Medicaid expansion – this is long overdue.
Florida has the 3rd largest uninsured population of any state, with over 2.7M uninsured in 2018. Yet due to inaction in Tallahassee – Florida continues to lose a huge pot of federal dollars that would pay for healthcare needed by our friends and neighbors. Over 400,000 Floridians would gain health coverage if we adopted this common-sense option, and that number is growing as more people lose jobs and employer-provided insurance.
Worse still, our current leaders are not only missing in action when it comes to expanding healthcare access, but they are actively fighting to make it worse. Despite promises to protect pre-existing conditions, Florida has joined a lawsuit to overturn the ACA. If successful, this action would take away protections for pre-existing conditions, take away young adult coverage until age 26, and take away cost protections for preventive health care. In the middle of a global pandemic, our leaders are trying to overturn the healthcare that over 20 million Americans depend on, with no plan to replace it!
When I get to Tallahassee, I’ll fight to ensure that our healthcare is not only protected, but expanded, creating a system that works for all of us.
Common Sense Gun Safety Legislation – We need a legislator who will fight to put in place common-sense gun safety legislation to protect our children and reduce gun violence.
4.6 million children in the U.S. live in homes with unlocked guns and guns are the 3rd leading cause of death among children. In Florida, a gun is stolen every 26 minutes, and it’s 3rd in the nation for gun theft. As a Brady endorsed candidate, and gun sense candidate designated by Moms Demand Action for Gun Safety, I believe that we should reinstate a Brady ban on assault weapons that our US Congress allowed to expire in 2005. I have gone door to door to gather petitions for an assault weapons ban in Florida and to distribute gun locks. I know there is broad, and intensely held support for sensible gun safety measures in my district.
I would press for the reforms to put a limit on ammunition and high-capacity magazine sales. I will advocate to expand the risk protection law to include family members as petitioners (currently only law enforcement can petition for these orders), to enable victims of domestic violence and others to petition the court for an order to temporarily take a gun from the possession of an individual who is a threat to themselves or to others. I would advocate to reform the concealed weapon license system by shortening the duration of a license and require additional training before renewing a license.
We must also improve the state’s background check system so that they can more readily find criminal records that would disqualify a person from obtaining a license. I would also fight to ban three-dimensional printed firearms, require trigger locks on stored and loaded firearms, and perhaps most importantly, advocate for to repeal the state preemption of local government’s ability to pass local gun safety laws. Local governments should have the authority, and not be preempted by state law, from passing ordinances such as prohibiting guns in parks where children play, prohibiting concealed carry in a childcare facility, or within 1,500 feet of a school, performing arts center, house of worship, government building or beach. Concerted action at the state and local level could help reduce the gun violence that has become part of our daily lives.
Invest in Public Education – I want to ensure that all schools are playing by the same rules and given the resources our teachers and students deserve.
Each year, more of your taxpayer dollars for public education are being diverted to for-profit Charter schools that are not subject to the same rules and oversight as other public schools. Whether or not you have children in our public schools, public education is at the heart of a healthy community and an important economic driver. Taxpayers deserve transparency and accountability in the use of public schools funds. Special interests have lobbied The Florida legislature to remove this transparency, and given extraordinary preferences and resources to charter schools that have not been shared alike with traditional public schools.
Over the past few years, the Florida Legislature has diverted Public Education Capital Outlay (PECO) dollars almost exclusively to charter schools. As a result, several counties (including Broward) passed local initiatives to raise revenue for traditional public schools. Unfortunately, the GOP legislature continues to pass laws that overrule voters’ wishes in these local initiatives, by mandating that those revenues be shared with charter schools. I support parents having choices in education but I also believe that taxpayer dollars should not support the operation or establishment of charter or private schools that do not adhere to the same rules, regulations, teaching certification, enrollment standards, curriculum, or reporting requirements as traditional public schools.