Primary Elections - August 30

The LWV Voters’ Guide 2016 lists candidates in contested races who are on August 30 Primary Election Ballot and provides candidate answers to biographical and policy questions posed by the League of Women Voters of Miami-Dade Education Fund.  

The League of Women Voters does not endorse or oppose any candidate or political party. Candidates received email questions in races that are contested within the same party. Candidate replies are reproduced exactly as submitted, without editing or verification. Responses are provided for those candidates who took the time to respond.

Voting in the Primary Election

Your choice will help select your party’s candidates. In Florida, only the Democratic and Republican parties conduct Primary Elections (August 30, 2016) to elect their nominees for the General Election. Voters must select which party and may participate only in that party’s Primary Election. In the November 8, 2016 General Election, voters may vote for any candidate representing any political party or no party affiliation.

Prior to the November General Election, the League will post responses in the LWV Voters’ Guide 2016 from candidates in contested elections from opposing parties as well as those with No Party Affiliation.

FLORIDA AMENDMENTS

Amendment 4: Tax Exemption On Renewable Energy Devices

The League of Women Voters of Florida & Miami-Dade County recommend a YES Vote

Amendment 4 expands tax breaks on renewable energy devices to include businesses. Current state law restricts property-tax breaks on solar power and other renewable energy devices to residential property. The amendment would authorize (but not require) the state Legislature to pass laws exempting businesses from two different taxes when those businesses purchase renewable energy devices. One exemption would prohibit local governments from considering renewable energy devices when determining the value of real estate used for business purposes. The other would exempt renewable energy devices from the state’s tax on a business’ “tangible personal property,” which includes such items as computers and furniture. The amendment would take effect on Jan. 1, 2018, and would sunset on Dec. 31, 2037. This amendment, which will appear on the Aug. 30 primary ballot, should not be confused with a solar-power amendment that will appear on the general election ballot Nov. 8. The two are very different. 

A YES vote on Amendment 4 would:

  • Change the state Constitution by allowing the Legislature to exempt renewable energy devices from a tax imposed on business-owned personal property.
  • Allows the Legislature to prohibit local property appraisers from including renewable energy devices when determining the value of business-owned real estate, which means property tax bills would not increase because a business purchased those devices.
  • Potentially encourage businesses to invest in renewable energy devices, such as solar-power cells and wind turbines that generate electricity.

A NO vote on Amendment 4 would:

  • Maintain the status quo, which currently subjects businesses that buy renewable energy devices to the state’s tax on personal property.
  • Continue allowing local property appraisers to include renewable energy devices when deciding how much real estate is worth, which means the value of those devices shows up on a business’ tax bill.
  • Have no effect on the current law that grants a tax exemption on renewable energy devices used on residential property.

 

UNITED STATES SENATE  

For United States Senate canidate information visit the LWV Florida Voter Guide.

 

UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVES

The House of Representatives has equal legislative functions and powers with the Senate; however only the House may originate revenue and appropriation bills, shares power with the Senate to levy taxes, borrow money, regulate interstate commerce and declare war. 2-year term.

All candiates were asked the following questions:

  • BACKGROUND: Why are you running for this office and what qualities, training, experience and skills do you bring to this position?
  • GUN VIOLENCE: Do you believe the Second Amendment leaves room for limits on gun rights? Would you favor a ban on assault weapons? Limit on firearms purchases by someone who is under suspicion of terrorist activities?
  • AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE ACT: Do you support its continuation? If you favor modification or replacement, what kind of changes do you favor?
  • IMMIGRATION: What is your plan on immigration? on reform? the undocumented? and on refugee asylum?

 

U.S. HOUSE DISTRICT 23  -  Tim Canova (DEM)

My campaign represents a new kind of politics in which congressional candidates do not have to devote thirty hours a week in call centers to ask wealthy people for contributions.  I vowed that I would not take a penny from corporate interests, their PACs or SuperPACs.  When elected, I will not owe any favors to any special interests. I am for the people of South Florida, not for special interests. 

I completed my undergraduate studies in government and economics at Franklin & Marshall College in Pennsylvania, earned a law degree, with honors, at the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. In the early 1980s, I served as a legislative aide to the late U.S. Senator Paul Tsongas, a Democrat from Massachusetts. While working on Capitol Hill, I began warning about the rise of Wall Street special interests and the assault on working families. I published critical articles on the deregulation of interest rates and lending standards and the rise of subprime and predatory lending. 

I practiced law in New York City with two prominent law firms in the early 1990s, and then moved to South Florida for a visiting professor position at the University of Miami School of Law.  I became a leading critic in the legal academy of Wall Street deregulation. I opposed efforts to weaken the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act firewalls that had separated commercial banking from the risky securities markets. I cautioned about the rise of complex derivative financial instruments that were turning the United States into a “casino” economy. In the early 2000s, I warned about the growing bubble in housing prices and called for increased supervision of Wall Street banks and financial markets. 
In 2011 I was selected by U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders to serve on an advisory committee on Federal Reserve reform along with such leading economists as James Galbraith, Robert Reich, Jeffrey Sachs, and Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz.

I am currently at Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law where I am a tenured Professor of Law and Public Finance, and where I have taught Business Entities, a required class for second year law students, and Regulation of Financial Institutions and seminars on the Wall Street crisis.  During this time, I have taught hundreds of young men and women from South Florida and I have learned a great deal about the problems they and their families face every day.

GUN VIOLENCE

Today in America – through either our negligence or willful inaction – we have created a culture of fear; the fear that anywhere and at any moment we can be the victim of senseless gun violence. I do not want to live in a culture of fear that threatens our freedom, our liberty or our happiness. That is why when I am elected to Congress I will make every effort to end this culture of fear.
For these reasons I would support overturning the federal ban on researching gun violence because I strongly believe that the best way to address any problem is to try understand what is causing the problem. Using federal resources to identify the true drivers of gun violence will allow us to craft the most finely turned legislation to tackle this epidemic.
Furthermore, our country’s founders could not have possibly imagined a world where guns are have become such casual instruments of death and therefore we must work to create reasonable limits on our Second Amendment rights, such as:
1.      Banning assault weapons;
2.     Requiring instant background checks, and closing background-check loopholes such as for gun shows;
3.     Prohibiting individuals on the terrorist watch list and from acquiring guns;
4.     Requiring that gun-owners notify the police when their guns are stolen;
5.     Prohibiting perpetrators of violent misdemeanors, those arrested for domestic violence and anyone under the age of 21, from qualifying for concealed carry permits, and requiring those who qualify for a concealed carry permit to successfully complete a safety training course;
6.     Requiring criminal background checks on gun owners and gun shop/gun show employees;
7.      Requiring reasonable liability insurance for gun owners. 

AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE ACT

The passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was a monumental achievement. Through the ACA, millions of Americans have gained access to health insurance that was previously too expensive or otherwise unattainable. It is because of the ACA that insurers can no longer deny coverage because of preexisting conditions, drop policyholders when they get sick, or issue policies with lifetime dollar limits on essential benefits. The ACA was a transformational piece of legislation, but I know we can do better. 

The United States remains the only major developed country that does not provide universal health care to all its citizens. Despite the reforms of the ACA, tens of millions of Americans still do not have health insurance. Millions more are underinsured, cannot afford high priced deductibles and co-payments, or are forced to declare bankruptcy because they simply cannot pay their medical bills. This should not happen in a fair and just America. I firmly believe that healthcare is a universal human right and it is because of this that I want to improve upon the Affordable Care Act, by moving to a “Medicare for all” single-payer health care system that would guarantee every citizen health care as a basic right. 

That said, on the road to creating a universal health care system for all Americans, we must not ignore improving Medicare in its current form. Currently, many seniors struggle to afford the prescriptions medicines they need. That is why when I am elected to Congress I plan on working to create legislation that will allow the federal government to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies to bring down the cost of prescription drugs for Medicare recipients. I also intend to introduce legislation to change the asset and income tests for getting help with Medicare premiums and copays so that the seniors who are most in need are not forced to choose between their health and feeding themselves.  

IMMIGRATION

America is a country built by generations of immigrants who came to its shores in search of a better life. Today, the United States continues to be a prime destination for those seeking opportunity, prosperity, or refuge for themselves and their families. However, welcoming immigrants in the 21st century presents problems that we did not face in the past. Our country needs to reform its immigration policy so that we have sensible and humane solutions to the challenges of today while continuing to attract the world’s best and brightest to help build a better tomorrow for all Americans.

When I am elected to Congress I will fight tirelessly to forge a fair path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants in the country. I will support the expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) programs so that people, like the Dreamers, who have lived in America most of their lives are not forced to return to countries they no longer recognize or call home.  I also intend to reform student and skilled worker visa programs so that we can continue to attract the best talent to America and lead the world in technology and innovation for generations to come.  

While advocating for a more humane policy for undocumented immigrants, I also support enhancing our border security.  Unfortunately, weak border security has at times provided a safety valve for corrupt and repressive regimes south of our border.  The U.S. has to do more to be both a good neighbor and encourage democratic reforms in those countries to our south.

954-367-3877
tim@timcanova.com

 

U.S. HOUSE DISTRICT 23  -  Debbie Wasserman Schultz (DEM)

I ran and continue to run for Congress because I believe that one person can make a difference. I have pushed for programs that represent the priorities of all of South Florida’s families, not just a select few. I will continue to push for job creation and tax policies that benefit small businesses and working families. I firmly believe that as a mother of school age children, the voice of my generation is significantly underrepresented in Congress. Therefore I have continually raised many issues that are unique to my generation that need to be raised in the Congress; issues such as pool safety, protection of children from internet predators, and equal pay for equal work and providing a safe and secure future for our children. As a woman and a mother, I bring an important perspective to these issues every day. 
Additionally, I have been a strong advocate for my constituents on issues important to them, such as fighting to protect Medicare and Social Security, improving the affordability, quality of and access to health care, fighting to expand access to affordable student loans and protecting our environment by standing up and achieving progress on Everglades restoration programs and fighting offshore oil drilling. As a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, I have successfully secured resources for local, state and federal programs to improve the quality of life for my constituents, Floridians and Americans. 

GUN VIOLENCE

The gun violence epidemic is unacceptable. It is long past due for every public official in America to stand up for common-sense gun safety measures that we know help keep guns out of the wrong hands and have the support of an overwhelming majority of Americans. I support universal background checks, a federal ban on assault weapons, and closing the outrageous loophole that allows a suspected terrorist to purchase a gun. I strongly support overturning the federal ban on gun violence research. 

AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE ACT

I am a strong supporter of the Affordable Care Act. As a young breast cancer survivor, I learned that you never know what may come your way. Every American deserves comprehensive, affordable health insurance. We need the Florida Legislature to pass Medicaid expansion for the more than 800,000 Floridians who desperately need it. Congress should focus on building on our progress as the law is implemented, and I will continue to look at ways to ensure we can attain fully universal and affordable coverage for all Americans. 

IMMIGRATION

I am committed to passing comprehensive immigration reform that reflects our heritage as a nation of immigrants. Under our current patchwork of policies, millions of our fellow brothers and sisters are living in the shadows, outside of the system and in fear of being separated from their families. Comprehensive immigration reform must ensure that our nation’s immigration system is a driver of economic prosperity, provides security for our borders, and protects American workers. 
Undocumented immigrants should be given the opportunity to integrate into American society through an earned pathway to citizenship, as long as they pay their taxes, undergo background checks, and follow the legal process to become a citizen. This nation's character and history are founded on the backs of families fleeing persecution and seeking refuge; we must uphold these values. We have a robust and thorough vetting process already in place to ensure that we can support those who truly need protection and safety. 
Contact information:  askdebbie@dwsforcongress.com, 954-533-7980



U.S. HOUSE DISTRICT 23 – Martin “Marty” Feigenbaum (REP) 

No Response



U.S. HOUSE DISTRICT 23 – Joseph “Joe” Kaufman (REP)

I am running for office for two main reasons, my background and my daughter. I do counter-terrorism research, writing and lectures for three think tanks: the David Horowitz Freedom Center, the Middle East Forum, and the Center for Security Policy. I have been involved in this field for the past 15 years, and I have accomplished much to be proud of. Given how big a threat terrorism is to our nation today, it is imperative that someone with my background serve in Congress. As well, my amazing wife, Emily, and I have an equally amazing three-year-old daughter, who we both want to grow up in prosperity and safety. With a national debt reaching $20 trillion and so many jobs moving overseas, America is facing a very chaotic future for my daughter and all in her generation. I need to go to Congress to help save our nation, and I look forward to doing so very soon.

GUN VIOLENCE

I am against any type of gun control for law abiding citizens. That said, I support the recent legislation banning the purchase of firearms by those individuals found on the ‘terrorism watch list.’ In my professional life, I do counter-terrorism work, and with regard to Orlando, we saw what happens when terrorists get their hands on guns. Regarding a ban on research, I would rather take the money that would go towards that research and use it for something more appropriate, such as funding for mental health facilities. It is embarrassing that Florida ranks 49 out of 50 states in funding for mental health.

AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE ACT

I am in favor of replacing the Affordable Care Act with a health care system that provides high quality at low cost, while at the same time allowing those with pre-existing conditions to benefit as well. I believe the only way to bring up the quality and bring down the cost is by having nationwide competition between i-nsurance companies, so that, instead of having a half-dozen companies control cost, you have 300+ companies competing against one another. Those that are good will prosper and those that are not will not be around for long. Pre-existing conditions can be handled through the use of risk pools, as auto insurance companies utilize, which mitigates the cost across the board. Having a system such as this also takes away the chaos that has been experienced by many businesses who have suffered under Obamacare. It also gets rid of the high premiums and high deductibles that many have had to pay out.

IMMIGRATION

I want legal immigration reformed, so those who wish for residency or citizenship have a quicker, easier and less costly process. My wife (originally from Peru) was sworn in as an American citizen recently. Over the course of six years, she paid $10,000 to an immigration attorney. Also, it is common sense to provide guest workers with an easy renewal process for guest visas (only jobs which most Americans do not desire). Guest workers make up half of all illegals. If these two reforms are made for the LEGAL immigration system, it will end most of the ILLEGAL immigration problem. Regarding those legitimately seeking asylum, my great-grandparents came to the USA to escape Hitler. If America had not opened her arms to them, I would not be around to write this, as they probably would have been murdered along with many other members of my family. I will always fight for those who arrive in the US under similar circumstances and who cannot be deemed threats to our homeland.

 

U.S. HOUSE DISTRICT 24 – Randal Hill (DEM)

No Response

 

U.S. HOUSE DISTRICT 24 – Frederica Wilson (DEM)

Throughout my quarter-century of public service, from the Miami-Dade County Public school board to the Florida State Legislature to Congress, I remain committed to being a strong voice for the voiceless and a fighter for improving lives and communities in Florida.
 
During my time in Congress, I have continued this commitment to the people of South Florida’s 24th Congressional District by fighting for good, fair paying jobs for our workers, better opportunities for our children, access to affordable health care, and safety, security, and prosperity in our communities.
 
GUN VIOLENCE
 
I believe that the Second Amendment leaves room for limits on gun rights, that assault weapons should be banned, and that individuals under suspicion of terrorist activities should be unable to purchase firearms.
 
For me, gun violence is not just another issue—it’s personal and a decades-long priority. I have helped to bury too many people from my own community because of gun violence. I have seen too many young, talented, and beautiful children lose their lives. 
 
AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE ACT

Access to high-quality, affordable healthcare for all is a right and I support the continuation of the Affordable Care Act.

It is vitally important for the State of Florida to fully participate in the Affordable Care Act by accepting Medicaid expansion dollars. Florida is leaving money on the table—money that would be used to take care of our most vulnerable residents. I will continue fighting to ensure that the basic right to health care is guaranteed for my constituents and for all Floridians.

Health care also plays a vital role in South Florida’s economy and is one of the largest employers in the region. Better access to care results in healthier people and communities, and generates good-paying jobs.

The Frederica Wilson and Juanita Mann Health Center in Liberty City was a project that I started during my time in the Florida Legislature and was both proud and gratified to see it completed during my service in Congress.  This clinic is a product of my ongoing activism for the underserved and uninsured in my district, and I am in the process of building an annex that will provide pediatric medical and dental services. 

IMMIGRATION

As the representative for one of the most diverse and immigrant rich congressional districts in the country, I am fighting for an immigration system that respects families, protects human rights, and strengthens our economy.

America has always been a nation of immigrants.  People from other nations—who arrived here both with and without documentation—have enriched our society and made tremendous contributions to our economy.  This is true now more than ever. 

President Obama’s immigration plan would give millions of undocumented immigrants an opportunity to come out of the shadows to get an education, and become law abiding and tax paying citizens.

Since my time in the Florida Legislature, I have been a proud voice for fairness in immigration. On a moral level, I am convinced that there’s simply no such thing as an “illegal person.” As the cofounder of Congress’ Full Employment Caucus and a persistent advocate for congressional action on jobs, I am convinced that immigration reform is an important vehicle for economic progress.

202-406-0194  
Lakesha_wilson@bellsouth.net



U.S. HOUSE DISTRICT 26 – Joe Garcia (DEM)

I’m running because I care deeply about my community. It’s the community where I grew up, where I was educated and where I worked, raised my family and lived my entire life. When I was in Congress, I pushed past partisan politics to get things done for the families of South Florida because this is our home.

I sponsored the only bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill in the 113th Congress and secured 200 cosponsors. When radical Republican leadership refused to call a vote on this legislation, I led a group of lawmakers in asking President Obama to move forward with Executive Actions, resulting in DAPA and DACA+.

I fought Republicans who tried to defund Planned Parenthood because a woman’s right to choose is sacred. I stood by the Affordable Care Act and voted over 20 times against attempts to repeal the law.

As the congressman from the everglades and Florida Keys, I understand how climate change and rising sea levels can impact our lives. I defended our environment and the EPA safeguards that protect our ecosystem from corporate polluters and secured $200 million for everglades restoration projects and $2 million for Keys water quality projects because the environment and access to clean water is a priority for our community.

South Florida’s economy is experiencing record growth, but too many people are getting left behind by low wages and widening inequality. I want to see an increased minimum wage and focus on education, job training and economic growth so we can have good, quality jobs.  We can’t turn this country around if Congress continue to give millions of dollars in handouts to big corporations instead of making government work for everyone. We need a change.

I have striven to bring about that change throughout my entire career—whether working on the Florida Public Service Commission to successfully lower utility bills for all Floridians or serving President Obama as a director in the Department of Energy to do the same for all American families. As President and Executive Director of the Cuban American National Foundation, I worked to advance human rights in Cuba and throughout South America.

I'm running because I believe Congress is broken, and it takes people with real progressive ideals and a record of delivering in order to find solutions to the most difficult challenges facing our country. I want to continue to be that voice for my community. 

GUN VIOLENCE

All rights come with responsibilities and the Second Amendment is no exception. 
 
In recent years we have seen an increase in shootings resulting in senseless death. We need to take this seriously and take real action.  I am disappointed in my opponent who voted against the ban on assault weapons for people on the terrorist watch list.  
 
I have been a long-time supporter of common sense gun control, especially when it comes to keeping guns out of the hands of terrorists, criminals, domestic abusers, and the mentally ill. When speaker Boehner refused to hold any votes on gun reform I joined 135 other members of Congress in a letter demanding he end his silence on our country’s rampant gun violence. 
 
Today, I continue to support gun reform that keeps all people safe. I believe no one who is on a terrorist watch list should be allowed to purchase a gun. I am in favor of background checks for all gun sales and transfers. I also support doing away with loopholes. When you buy or sell a car, you are required to keep proper documentation of that transaction, purchasing a deadly firearm should be no different. 
 
We also need to pass laws to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and stalkers. The Florida Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board has reported that 56% of all domestic violence homicides in the state from 2006-2012 were committed with a gun. We need to ensure that we don’t allow already dangerous circumstances to turn deadly. 
 
Finally, I am in favor of an assault weapons ban. No person should be able to go into a school, church or nightclub with military-grade weapons and cause devastating harm before our police officers even have a chance to respond. 

AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE ACT

I absolutely support the continuation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In fact, I voted over 20 times in Congress to protect and improve Obamacare when Republicans tried to repeal and dismantle the law.  We must continue to improve the system under the ACA, but the reality is that our healthcare system is more fair and efficient today than ever before. Today, 20 million more people are insured in America because of the President’s healthcare law. In the past 3 years, South Florida enrolled more people under Obamacare than any other region in the country proving the need for affordable healthcare in our community. 
 
In addition, we can continue to improve the system under the ACA. Most importantly, we need to expand coverage to the 30 million people who remain uninsured. Part of the solution is demanding governors expand Medicaid for vulnerable families. When Governor Rick Scott refused to expand Medicaid, 1.2 million Floridians were left behind, uninsured. Passing immigration reform that provides a pathway to citizenship for undocumented residents also allows them to access to the healthcare marketplace is another part of the solution to get people coverage. Alternately, a Public Option is the best way to get all people covered and one that I would support.
 
In short, I believe the Affordable Care Act should be protected and expanded. All Americans should have access to affordable quality healthcare.

IMMIGRATION

I was fortunate to have been the lead sponsor of the last bipartisan Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) bill to be filed in the U.S. House of Representatives. Through our efforts, we were able to secure 200 cosponsors and would have passed CIR had Republican leadership in the House allowed a vote on the bill. When leadership blocked the bill, I led a group of lawmakers in asking President Obama to move forward with Executive Actions that resulted in his taking actions to implement policies from my reform bill, DAPA and DACA+.
 
As the son of Cuban immigrants and as a candidate for Congress in a district with one of the largest immigrant populations in the US, I'm passionate about making the system work for all Americans. I believe that CIR is needed to keep American families together.  Deportation of students and children who have lived here their whole life in America is not the answer to our problems.  I fought for Dreamers and believe that allowing them to stay in the US and giving them the ability to pay taxes and grow our economy is the best solution for the United States. More than 50% of South Florida small businesses are owned by immigrants and passing comprehensive immigration reform means more people can start small businesses and grow the US economy.
 
A pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants was a staple of the CIR legislation I sponsored in Congress. Reforms to our refugee and asylum processing system are also necessary. As part of these reforms, we must adjust the status of immigrants currently in the country under Temporary Protected Status (TPS). All the people who have languished under TPS for years should have a pathway to permanent status. Additionally we need to create a special adjudication process for Venezuelans asylum seekers. The U.S. has always been a beacon of opportunity for people escaping persecution and should be no different now. 
 
I am proud to have fought for comprehensive immigration reform in Congress. With the support of the voters, I intend to continue those efforts and finally pass legislation that helps South Florida families, keeps families together and grows the economy.

Joe Garcia for Congress
www.joegarciaforfl.com
786-732-4296



U.S. HOUSE DISTRICT 26 – Annette Taddeo (DEM)

No Response



U.S. HOUSE DISTRICT 27 - David Andrew Adams (REP)

I am running because there needs to be someone who will be the voice of the new generation. For too long our voices of concern have been silenced. Its time for a new generation of leadership for a new generation of America.

GUN VIOLENCE

This is a complicated issue. More research and planning needs to go into this. Banning and altering Amendments may not solve the problem. I am open to an intelligent discussion on both sides. 

AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE ACT

I do support radical modification or complete replacement.

IMMIGRATION

This is another issue that needs a closer look and revaluation.



U.S. HOUSE DISTRICT 27 – Scott Fuhrman (DEM)

South Florida, and the country as a whole, is in need of new leadership unafraid to say that climate change is real, reversible, and urgent to our attention. Our district needs new thinking ready to bring the postal service into the 21st Century through postal banking that can help our brothers and sisters most in need, to allowing door sale delivery of alcoholic beverages, and more. Our congress needs a shakeup via leaders who are ready to take on student debt and address our foreign relations with a diplomatic mind and a steady hand. Our communities need legislators ready to advocate for a massive rebuild of our crumbling and dated infrastructure including high-speed rails, new roads and bridges, and working towards more renewable energy consumption; bringing new, decent paying jobs along the way. Our schools need advocates to strengthen the value of our teachers and the funding for our schools to ensure every American, regardless of zip code, can have the same opportunities to learn and succeed.
 
My family has achieved the American Dream and our business success has helped hundreds of families over the years achieve it too. I’m running for the House of Representatives to advocate for structural change and new jobs to help every American, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, or sexual identity have the opportunity to have a fair shake at the destiny we call the American Dream.
 
GUN VIOLENCE

I am a gun owner and a believer in the existence of the 2nd amendment, but I also understand that our current gun culture bears some responsibility for the rise in mass shootings like the heartbreaking attack targeting our LGBT+ community in Orlando. I, like a majority of Americans, support common-sense gun regulations. That includes banning gun sales to people on the terror watch list -- given means by which a wrongly-listed person can appeal both the no-fly list and the no-gun list, as to ensure due process -- because if you’ve been deemed too dangerous to board an airplane, you have got to be seen as too dangerous to buy a gun.
 
Universal background checks are a must and in Congress I will stand up for what more than 80% of Americans feel is needed to keep our communities safe. That means, through legislation from a Congress willing to act, we need to close the hobbyist and gun show loopholes.
 
AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE ACT

Absolutely, but modifications are needed to make the ACA a living policy policy that adapts as health care advances. Health care is a human right and the goal should be universal coverage for all Americans. The ACA is a good start at 90% coverage, and we must build upon it to reach the goal. A renewed push to bring the public option amendment back is a great example of one of the modifications needed to keep private insurers competitive on prices. Allowing Congress to negotiate prescription drug prices is another. Without negotiation, the American people are the ones who primarily lose out. Ultimately, see the ACA moving towards a model that Senator Sanders gained so much support by advocating for on behalf of the still millions of Americans locked out of proper health care access.
 
We need a congress with the understanding that preventative health care is far less expensive than reactive or emergency care, and that the more people who have insurance the less people will have to resort to emergency care, saving the country many billions of dollars. That takes a change in perspective, and I think our district is ready for that change.
 
IMMIGRATION

Immigrants make this country stronger. It was disheartening to see the Supreme Court overturn DAPA because breaking up families through deportation is a human tragedy. It’s a disservice to justice, leaves a moral blindspot in our immigration policy, and goes against the ideals upon which this nation was founded. The Statue of Liberty’s other name is the Mother of Exiles and I’m proud to live in a country where people from other nations are willing to risk their lives to get here. We should welcome them with open arms, not demonize them for political gain. We need a compassionate pathway to citizenship that is also prudent for the management of our federal budget. We need to have a more compassionate approach for our refugee program and understand that turmoil is what brings people to seek asylum in the first place. That cannot be the reason we turn our backs on them.
 
The amount of unfounded resources we waste on witch hunts for families trying to make a better life is all less funding we could be using to keep our children safe, fed, and educated; less money we can use to end homelessness; less money we can be using for our vets after they come back home. Furthermore, referring to humans as “illegals” is a dehumanizing and shameful tactic, and I was extremely disappointed that Rep. Ros-Lehtinen supported Paul Ryan for Speaker after he swore to stalwart immigration reform. It’s imperative that the 115th Congress takes up comprehensive immigration reform to stop the shattering of immigrant families through deportation and I plan on being on the right side of history on this issue.

Scott Fuhrman
305-608-6038



U.S. HOUSE DISTRICT 27 – Frank Perez (DEM)

No Response

 

U.S. HOUSE DISTRICT 27 – Adam Sackrin (DEM)

No Response



U.S. HOUSE DISTRICT 27 – Maria Peiro (REP)

No Response



U.S. HOUSE DISTRICT 27 – Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (REP)

No Response

 

THE FLORIDA SENATE

The Florida Senate is the upper house of the legislature of the state of Florida. Along with the House of Representatives it comprises the Florida Legislature. After census, draw congressional and legislative districts. The Florida Constitution establishes the legislature’s powers and duties that include passing laws, developing annual state budget and making investigations. 

4-year term; term limits 8 years. 40 Senate seats.

All candidates were asked the following questions:

  • BACKGROUND: Why are you running for this office and what qualities, training, experience and skills do you bring to this position?
  • GUN VIOLENCE: Do you believe the Second Amendment leaves room for limits on gun rights? What protections do you favor? Your view on background checks and loopholes?
  • EDUCATION: Do you favor current student performance and school and teacher measurement and evaluation? How can Florida best improve outcomes? 
  • ENVIRONMENT: How do you propose to protect our water supply, Biscayne Bay, the Everglades National Park? Please specify.

 

SENATE DISTRICT 38 – Anis Blemur (DEM)

No Response
 

SENATE DISTRICT 38 – Kevin A. Burns (DEM)

I am Kevin A Burns, 57 and a lifelong resident of this State Senate district 38. I was born on Miami Beach and raised in the North Miami area. I attended the local public schools. I am a Real Estate Broker with Turnberry International Realty. I have been married for 31 years and I have a daughter named Autumn.
 
I have been involved in public service for more than 40 years, both as a community activist and an elected official.  I was twice elected Mayor of North Miami. During that time I was able to build 5 new schools within a three-year period. This had never been done before in any city in Miami Dade. I am fully committed to fully funding our public school systems. I don’t favor the current testing standards or how they are applied.
 
I am the only candidate to put in writing that I oppose the open carry gun bill; this bill would allow anyone with a permit to carry guns fully exposed and on public property, colleges, hospitals and other venues. We must never allow this to happen. As Mayor I was a member of the group Mayors Against Illegal Guns, we fought for stronger background checks and enforcement of federal guns laws already on the books.
 
I believe the state should purchase the sugar land that was agreed to eight years ago and to hold the large companies accountable for their pollution. I was a leading force when I was on the MPO to build the elevated bridge on Tamiami trail.  I can say that my effort along with others, we were able to get several miles elevated. This was seen as a major improvement to the water flow south of the trail.
 
I am the best candidate to represent this district 38 because of my proven experience, ability to work with others to solve our problems and my knowledge of the issues in this district. Also I have voted in every election I could for my entire life and have always been a democrat. A candidate in this race hasn’t voted in 17 election the past 8 years according to the Miami Herald. 

Votekevinburns.com  
votekevinburns@gmail.com
305-896-8919


SENATE DISTRICT 38 – Daphne Campbell (DEM)

No Response

 

SENATE DISTRICT 38 – Don Festige (DEM)

Having gone to Tallahassee and Washington DC for the past four years lobbying on behalf of the United Teachers of Dade, Miami-Dade County PTA/PTSA and Miami Dade County Public Schools CTE Office on behalf of our student, parents and community, I realized that many of the current people representing our district and state felt entitled to their office and did not care about the people of our communities but rather, seemed more interested in serving the wants and needs of special interest groups. It is time that the “People” of our community have a representative in office who truly cares about them.

GUN VIOLENCE

Yes, there needs to be limits. There should be a state gun buyback program funded by the state. It should not just be the responsibility of our churches and private groups. There also need to be a ban on semi-automatic weapons. Additionally, we need stronger background checks and the gun show loophole needs to be closed.
 
EDUCATION

Our current testing system is not set up to be a assessment on students gains and needs but is rather a system that has been established to control education funding by a select few. The current system disenfranchises both students and teachers and has forced the creativity out of our classrooms. Testing should be used to determine a students growth but not be a be all end all. Those currently in office making decisions on testing and educational funding know little about what goes on in a classroom and what is truly needed.

ENVIRONMENT

First we to buy the rest of the U.S. Sugar land, more than 150,000 acres south of Lake Okeechobee. It is so important to restoring the ecosystem, a place to start is a storm water treatment area owned by the South Florida Water Management District. It's an expanse of marshland and shallow lakes with one main purpose: to scrub phosphorus from the water flowing south from the sugar cane fields.
Purchasing the land will also help to cut the use of Nitrogen Fertilizer which is 300 times stronger than carbon dioxide and lasts in our atmosphere for almost 100 years.
I also believe we need to create greater solar energy use incentives. 
 
Our recent problem with the toxic algae bloom is nothing new. The same problem occurred back in 2013 after continued heavy rains caused the release of water from lake Okeechobee.

 

SENATE DISTRICT 38 – Michael Gongora (DEM)

As a dedicated public servant, I know I will do the best job of all the candidates. My experience in city and state government coupled with my legal training and skills will benefit the residents of District 38 as, in me, they will have a leader who can hit the ground running from day one to effectuate positive change in our quality of life. Since I was very young, I learned about the importance of public service from my grandfathers - one was a Southern minister; the other a former commissioner in Cuba and businessman. They taught me the lessons of good governance which I look forward to putting to work as State Senator.  The residents of District 38 deserve a Democrat representing us who will ably champion our key issues such as equal rights for all, preserving the environment, enhanced public education and more stringent gun screening laws.   In light of the recent gun shootings and killings all over the world, including at Pulse in Orlando, I realized it was time for me to step up to defend and protect our community.  The key issues include quality education for all; preserving and protecting our environment; securing needed funds for traffic and transit solutions; increasing our minimum wage; passing tougher gun screening laws; implementing clearer condominium association regulations; and ensuring that all are protected against discrimination in employment, housing and lodging. As a former City Commissioner and a community association attorney I have the ability and experience to implement positive changes in all of these areas for the residents of State Senate District 38

GUN VIOLENCE

Yes, the Second Amendment provides the legal right to bear “arms” not to bear weapons of war and also there needs to be some limitations on access and screening.  As commissioner, I co-sponsored resolutions for better gun screening laws because it was the right thing to do before it was politically popular.  I am in favor of adding gun screening laws and background checks to ensure that people with mental health issues, people being investigated by law enforcement and people on the “no fly” list do not have access to these dangerous weapons.  It is unconscionable that certain legislator that claim to be “democrats” did not return their votes this year to call for a special legislative session to work on this very important issue.  I am painfully aware that the NRA finances candidates and legislators to vote against better gun screening protections and my vote is not for sale.  According to a CNN poll, 95% of Americans, including Democrats and Republicans, want better gun screening laws in place.  It’s time to get this much needed legislation passed.  We must also retreat from other NRA sponsored legislation which over-regulates local government from being able to have better gun screening laws.  I was upset as a Miami Beach Commissioner, that the certain legislation was passed at the State level to not only preclude local government from passing better gun screening legislation, but that there is also a personal fine imposed on local elected officials trying to pass legislation to help their community. We cannot continue waiting for Washington to provide solutions. It is most important that for this to succeed, our different communities and organizations work together at the state level, with grassroots support from their stakeholders. Our leaders need to work together to ensure safe gun legislation is enacted in Tallahassee and I would be honored to lead this charge.
 
EDUCATION

While I recognize the need for a standardized objective means of evaluating education, I am also concerned that education is becoming too standardized.  Not all children learn in the same pace or manner. Different styles of teaching and learning are often beneficial to reach students.  I also believe that students must be taught to be independent thinkers and taught how to think for themselves.  I appreciate the changes which have already been made to Florida’s Common Core standards, but I would like to see more revisions to allow for better models of achievement assessment. We need to find a way to alter the Common Core curriculum to also allow for alternative methods of teaching recognizing that not all children have the same interests, strengths and weaknesses.  Student performance and teacher measurement evaluation must be modified and enhanced to nurture different students’ individual talents and teachers should be rewarded in a more subjective manner than how students perform on standardized tests.
 
Florida can improve outcomes by investing more money into education and by ensuring that public funds are properly spent on public schooling. Much of our State’s school funding is being used on charter schools which do not have sufficient accountability to the taxpayers. Also, it is unfortunate that education seems to get overlooked far too often at budget time.  We need pre-K, afterschool programs and better tools available for children to learn.  Also, teachers pay needs to be increased to widen the pool of applicants and ensure that we are recruiting and retaining the best and brightest teachers available to teach our children.  We must also be guarded against things that weaken the funding for public schools such as “vouchers” and other ways of draining our public schools of needed monies.
 
ENVIRONMENT

One of the first acts I took after being elected to the Miami Beach Commission was to create the Sustainability Committee where I also served as its first Chair.  One of our primary goals was to ensure that our waters were clean and not polluted.  I have always supported clean water and recognize the necessity of the storage reservoir which should have been done years ago. We need State legislation which would promote freshwater conservation.

If elected to the State Senate, I will draw on my environmental experience, network of residents and activists, and support from groups like Everglades Trust to ensure that we are more responsible citizens moving forward. Florida should be a model for the environment. Unfortunately, right now we are not doing the right thing and it is leading to disastrous consequences. I support the movement to buy the land and protect it from further environmental damage, which has turned our waters into algae-filled guacamole-like sludge. Recent algae blooms have diminished tourism and quality of life north of us.
 
The environment is not something that can be overlooked. As such, I support the movement to buy the land and get to work on remediation plans that have been advocated by local residents there for years. I support enactment of further legislation to promote renewable energy and ensuring more affordable prices for solar energy. As an Association attorney, I am very familiar with -  and have promoted - owners’ rights to install solar and other renewable energy devices on the roofs of their homes. More education is needed so homeowners living in these Associations throughout our State understand their rights.
 
I favor tighter legislation, ideally a ban, on fracking. Such practices exploit our environment and impede sustainability. Additionally, we must restrict the Governor’s ability to appoint the people to the Environmental Regulation Commission.  These people have voted to pollute our waters with toxins.  We must keep our water supply clean and free from all pollutants and toxins.  In addition to restricting the current Governor we must look for ways to have more legislative control over these important issues.
 
 www.GongoraforFlorida.com
305-912-4664
gongoraforsenate@gmail.com

 

SENATE DISTRICT 38 –  Jason Pizzo (DEM)

No response



SENATE DISTRICT 40 – Dwight Bullard (DEM) 

I have had the honor of serving in the Florida Senate now for the last four years. Prior to that I served in the Florida House from 2008-2012. In my time of elected service I've noticed that the process has been void of elected leaders willing to call out injustices when they're present. Being bold as a voice for the marginalized has been a position I've relished during my time in office and it is my hope that others will show the courage to step up in a real way and join me moving forward. 

GUN VIOLENCE

I definitely believe the 2nd Amendment leaves room for limitations. I support a repeal of the state limitations on local government as it pertains to the 2nd Amendment. I support and have proposed a repeal of "Stand Your Ground". I support stricter background checks on everyone and restrictions on those that have histories of severe mental illness or records of violent outbursts. I also support the closing of the gun show loopholes as well as the banning of guns in schools, on campuses and in public buildings. I also support a return of the national ban on assault weapons.

EDUCATION

It does a disservice to the great work that teachers do, to connect their livelihood to a test that does not capture the scope of their work. It is also equally problematic that students should have their pathway to graduation hindered by any high stakes test let alone several over their matriculation. Lastly we have set our schools back by arbitrarily grading them based on a farce of an accountability system and  the unabated expansion of charter schools and voucher programs. I would allow teachers to teach and provide a supportive learning environment for students that includes art, music and support services like nursing and counseling onsite.

ENVIRONMENT

I would propose electing a Governor in 2018 that cares more about our environment than filling the pockets of his corporate cronies. I support proper use of the Amendment 1 dollars for purchase of the lands south of Lake Okeechobee and immediate clean-up of the blue-green algae blooms as well as the red blooms. I fully support and look to sponsor a statewide ban on fracking as well continuing to support a ban on offshore drilling in Florida.


SENATE DISTRICT 40 – Andrew Korge (DEM)

No Response



SENATE DISTRICT 40 –  Ana Rivas Logan (DEM)

No Response


SENATE DISTRICT 40 – Missalys Perez (DEM)

No Response

 

THE FLORIDA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES


The Florida House of Representatives is the lower house of the legislature of the State of Florida. The Florida Constitution establishes the legislature’s powers and duties that include passing laws, developing annual state budget and making investigations. 

Member serves 2-year term; term limits- 4 contiguous two-year terms. 120 House seats.

All candidates were asked the following questions:

  • BACKGROUND: Why are you running for this office and what qualities, training, experience and skills do you bring to this position?
  • GUN VIOLENCE: Do you believe the Second Amendment leaves room for limits on gun rights? What protections do you favor? Your view on background checks and loopholes?
  • EDUCATION: Do you favor current student performance and school and teacher measurement and evaluation? How can Florida best improve outcomes? 
  • ENVIRONMENT: How do you propose to protect our water supply, Biscayne Bay, the Everglades National Park? Please specify.



HOUSE DISTRICT 107 – Mary Estime-Irvin (DEM)

No Response

 

HOUSE DISTRICT 107 –  Barbara Watson (DEM)

No Response

 

HOUSE DISTRICT 108 – Taj Collie-Echoles (DEM)

No Response

 

HOUSE DISTRICT 108 – Fayola Delica (DEM)

Fayola Delica, BSHSE, BSN, RN
Democratic Candidate for FL House District 108
PO BOX 530471
Miami Shores, FL 33153
P: 786-471-6018
W: www.electfayoladelica.com
E: electfayoladelica@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ElectFayolaDelica
Public Figure page: https://www.facebook.com/DelicaFayola
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ElectFayolaD
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/electfayoladelica/

 

HOUSE DISTRICT 108 – Moise Duge (DEM)

No Response

 

HOUSE DISTRICT 108 – Roy Hardemon (DEM)

No Response

 

HOUSE DISTRICT 108 – Francesca “Fran” Menes (DEM)

Much like the lives of people in our community – my life hasn’t been easy. I was raised by working ­class Haitian immigrants who worked tirelessly to provide for me and my two sisters. That’s why I have spent my life’s work advocating alongside working families, immigrants, women, the elderly and our youth ­­and I have learned throughout my service that together we build. Together we build our path to success by fully funding public schools. As a product of public schools, I know the importance of early childhood development and after school programs. Together we build by raising the minimum wage to $15/hour which will strengthen the foundation of our families. We can have the community that we want, need and deserve but we must build it together. 

My candidacy provides an opportunity to elect a true champion for working families. I am honored to be endorsed by the Florida AFL/­CIO, AFSCME Florida,UNITE HERE Local 355, SEIU Florida, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 78, Teamsters Local Union No. 769, Florida Young Democrats, Ruth’s List, United Teachers of Dade, Florida Planned Parenthood PAC, National Women's Political Caucus of Florida, Haitian Americans for Progress PAC, Equality Florida Action PAC, SAVE Action, PAC, Miami­ Dade County Commissioners Daniella Levine Cava, Sally A. Heyman and Barbara Jordan, State Representative Jose Javier Rodriguez , Miami Shores Councilwoman Ivonne Ledesma and Miami Shores Councilman MacAdam Glinn.

These organizations, elected officials, and residents believe in me to fight for them and for our community. They are behind me not just for their own wellbeing, but for their families and the future of their children. If you believe in our vision, for building a stronger community together, then please vote for me, Francesca Menes for State House District 108 August 30th. 

GUN VIOLENCE

As a progressive leader, I stand with survivors and affected families of gun violence to bring attention to the need for sensible gun policy and to demand change before more members of our community lose their lives. The tragedy in Orlando has brought renewed media attention and political debate to this extremely important issue, but there are dozens of less news covered tragedies that happen everyday in our communities. Our community, State House District 108, has experienced too much loss of life, and each of these tragedies leaves a hole in our families, in our neighborhoods, and in the very fabric of our society. You can count on me to be a champion for strict background checks, closing gun show and terror watch loopholes, but also to address systemic issues that result in our youth getting drawn in a cycle of violence. I am committed to reforming zero ­tolerance school policies that have created a school-­to-­prison pipeline for our youth. By investing in education and afterschool programs for our youth, we can provide more productive opportunities for them to grow. 

EDUCATION

I am a product of head start and public education and I know Florida needs to give our children and teachers the resources they need to achieve. Public education is about equal access and reducing inequalities. I believe in fully funding our public schools so that every child, regardless of the neighborhood they live in, can receive a high quality education and foundation for a bright future. 

I believe our local communities, including teachers, parents, and school board members, know what is best for their students. I stand behind the right of individual states to manage their education system and to establish benchmarks, but I do not support having our students taught to a test. I feel strongly that we should not continue with this pattern of evaluating our children with more standardized testing. By teaching toward a test, students lack the necessary skills and exposure to be more creative beings. They lack the ability to think critically and look beyond the test. I also believe we must invest in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (S.T.E.A.M.) programs, in order for our youth to be able to compete on a global scale. 

Ultimately, I believe that by investing in our teachers we can best improve outcomes for our students. I have close friends who are teachers and in order to ensure they have the resources to properly educate our children, on the very reduced pay they receive, they personally buy supplies. Florida’s teachers pay is ranked 47th in the nation. This is nothing to be proud of. The fact that those responsible for cultivating the minds of our future generations are not adequately paid should be a concern to us all. We must provide adequate pay and benefits to teachers in order to recruit and retain the highest quality educators. 

ENVIRONMENT

Protecting our water supplies is often overlooked as a lesser priority. Florida has one of the largest amounts of natural water sources, but we have seen the devastating effects on the environment that comes from abusing the natural flow of water, and bottling natural springs. The recent state of emergency caused by algae blooms in Lake Okeechobee is a painful reminder that we should stop playing politics when it comes to issues concerning our environment, and the health of our communities. 

While the environmentally disastrous effects of toxic discharges from Lake Okeechobee have recently garnered widespread – and even national – visibility, we in South Florida have seen for years what happens when we mismanage the Everglades ecosystem and local natural resources such as Biscayne Bay. When toxic substances are released into our water sources and make their way to more populated areas, they inflict damage on not just our state’s fragile environment and ecosystem, but also small businesses that rely on tourism. 

We must have stronger regulations for protecting our environment as well as consequences for polluters, which Governor Scott and the legislature in Tallahassee have been unwilling to implement. I will be a voice for ensuring that our Amendment 1 dollars are properly spent to purchase lands for conservation, restore the wetlands, protect the water quality in our streams and rivers, and preserve our coastline. I also support initiatives to expand water storage in our state, and feel this is particularly important in areas that are experiencing large population growth. Protecting our water supply and environment will require investment, but we can not afford to short change future generations. 


HOUSE DISTRICT 108 – Henry Patel (DEM)

No Response


HOUSE DISTRICT 108 – Marie Erlande Steril (DEM)

No Response

 

HOUSE DISTRICT 112 – Nicholas X. Duran (DEM)

I’m a born and raised Floridian with deep roots in the Miami-Dade community. I’m a graduate of the University of Florida and New York Law School. After working a few years at a Miami law firm, I took the lessons and example of my mom, a public school teacher, to heart and in 2010 became an organizer for The Children’s Movement of Florida, advocating for increased funding for outreach and access to programs that aid Florida’s children. Following a family medical emergency in 2013 that would have devastated my family if not for my family’s access to health insurance, I became State Director for Enroll America in Florida in order to ensure that every Floridian had the protections that his family enjoyed.

After helping Enroll America become the a national leader in coordinating healthcare signups and education under the Affordable Care Act, I shifted my focus to those caught in the coverage gap and became the Executive Director of the Florida Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, a position I holds today. Most importantly though, I’m a husband and married to my best friend Danielle and a lucky father to two kids Mason (5) and Michaela (2).  

GUN VIOLENCE

There is general consensus among Americans in favor of implementing smart, effective gun laws. It’s time to act and implement effective, pragmatic gun regulations that will make our communities safer. If elected I’ll focus energies on this issue and will look pass legislation that will include an array of policies including much needed background checks on all firearm purchases, limiting the number of guns someone can buy at once, eliminating the gun show loophole and/or getting high-capacity magazines off our streets.

EDUCATION

I believe all our state’s children, no matter what zip-code they live in, have a right to receive the highest-quality education our state provides and invests in. I believe the Common Core curriculum provides our students with the opportunity to learn to think deeper, and learn to support answers with reasoning and evidence but believe we need to strive to always ask if we are providing all our children with an environment that stimulates learning and personal growth while ensuring we support our teachers.
Our state undervalues and underpays our teachers and while we should focus on merit-based pay, we currently do not foster an environment to recruit more teachers into the profession. My mother was a public-school teacher for 32 years and retired a little over a year ago so this is is an issue that I’ve seen through her and her colleagues.

ENVIRONMENT

We need to renew our emphasis in recruiting high-level science based staff to join the DEP. Reinvestment and focus in ensuring we have a strong water management districts.
More specific actions to this district including continuing to support efforts to make FPL move faster toward water cooling towers replacing the cooling canals for Turkey Point. Work to reverse the recent Environmental Regulation Commission's recent decision and ensure they include the two additional members to the committee. Work against any effort trying to allow fracking in this state.

786-373-6690
duranforflorida@gmail.com



HOUSE DISTRICT 112 – Waldo Faura-Morales (DEM)

No Response



HOUSE DISTRICT 112 – Michael W. Davey (REP)

No Response



HOUSE DISTRICT 112 – Rosa Maria “Rosy” Palomino (REP)

No Response



HOUSE DISTRICT 113 – David Richardson (DEM)

No Response



HOUSE DISTRICT 113 – Rey Valdes (DEM)

No Response
 

HOUSE DISTRICT 114 – Daisy J. Baez (DEM)

From serving my community to serving my country, I am committed to fighting for what is right. Underlying my success as a veteran, healthcare executive, and social worker is my passion to work for others. I bring years of managerial experience, but most importantly, I bring a unique perspective -- as someone who worked relentlessly to fulfill the promise this country offered.
 
I am running for House District 114 because I believe that a government that protects the middle class, supports public education, and seeks to serve all its constituents is a government worth fighting for. Tallahassee should protect and improve the quality of life for Florida families, not something that is for sale to special interest groups.
 
I believe that I have the background, qualifications, and experience to be a true voice for Floridians in Tallahassee.   Below is a summary for your review and consideration.
 
PLATFORM
·      Economic development that brings well paid, skilled jobs to the district and Florida
·      Resolving the issue of 800,000 Floridians without access to affordable health care insurance
·      Developing collaborative strategies to improve safety and reduce crime in our communities
·      Addressing traffic and infrastructure needs in our cities that increase productivity and enhances services
·      Protecting our natural resources and water supply
·      Education funding and reforms so that all of our children can be prepared for college and beyond
 
COMMUNITY
·      Former Member, Board of Directors, Merrick House Museum, Coral Gables, Florida
·      Member, Barry University Graduate Health Professions Advisory Board
·      Member, Board of Directors, Dominican American National Round Table
·      Founder & Member Board of Directors, Dominican Health Care Association of Florida
 
POLITICS
·      First Dominican American to achieve nomination for Statewide office in Florida, 2014 (State House 114) after winning Democratic primary.
·      Past President, Democratic Hispanic Caucus, Miami Dade County
·      Delegate, Democratic National Convention, 2012
·      Delegate, Democratic National Convention, 2016
·      White House working group, Colombian Free Trade Agreement, White House, 3/2012
·      White House working group, Florida Leaders on the Fiscal Cliff, White House, 11/2012
 
AWARDS
·      Woman of Impact, Women History Coalition Miami Dade County
·      Hispanic Woman of Distinction, Latina Style Magazine
·      Thelma Gibson Award, Women’s Chamber of Commerce
 
MILITARY SERVICE
U.S. Army, 1st Cavalry Division, Division Surgeon’s Office.  Honorable Discharge.
Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Department of Defense Certificate of Achievement, Department of the Army Certificate of Achievement, 1st Cavalry Division Soldier of the Quarter, 15th Medical Battalion Soldier of the Month.
 
EDUCATION
M.A. Counseling, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas.
B.S. Social Work, University of Central Texas, Killeen, Texas.
 
PROFESSIONAL
25 year of progressive executive experience with local and national health care companies including Elements Behavioral, Inc., Larkin Community Hospital, GEO Care Inc., Metropolitan Hospital, Tenet Health Care, Select Specialty Corporation, HCA Corporation, and HealthSouth Corporation.
 
GUN VIOLENCE
 
Yes, I will support legislation that ensures that the following are priorities:

  • Individuals subject to domestic abuse charges are not able to obtain guns
  • Individuals with mental illness are not able to obtain guns
  • The gun show loophole is closed
  • Safety training is required to obtain and register a firearm.

EDUCATION
 
While I understand the utility of some standardized testing, I am against using the FSA or other forms of standardized testing as the sole measurement of achievement and teacher performance. I think student performance on assessments like the FSA are a good marker of proficiency and a good metric to compare schools, but we also need to keep in context the different learning styles and environments of our students.
 
A well-rounded education and exposure to a variety of subjects, interests, and experiences are the hallmarks of a well-rounded education, which is what every child in Florida deserves.
 
ENVIRONMENT
 
Recent events in Florida such as Algae Bloom in the St. Lucie River and connecting waterways and beaches, radiation pollution in the Turkey Point plan water canals, increase in the allowance of toxic levels in our water supply, and misuse of amendment two funds for other than its intended use are very concerning to me and will be a priority for advocacy when I reach the legislature. 
 
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection must ensure that it supports and enforces the many projects specifically targeted at assuring our state’s water supply and water quality. Furthermore, our State legislature should recognize the importance of monitoring, improving and maintaining the quality of water both at the source level and as a vital aspect of life in Florida.  I feel it is important that we continue to enhance water quality and guarantee water supply to Floridians through environmental regulations.  We should increase state funding for alternative water supply projects as a way to help urban municipalities with groundwater shortages and reduce the effects of drought.
 
Email: Daisy@DaisyBaez.com   
Campaign phone: (305) 215- 5880
Campaign Address: P.O. Box 141642, Coral Gables, FL 33114

 

HOUSE DISTRICT 114 – Alberto L. Santana (DEM)

No Response


HOUSE DISTRICT  115 – ROSS HANCOCK (DEM)

I am challenging an incumbent state representative because no one else was, at the time I filed, despite the fact that he voted for fracking and for open carry of guns on college campuses. I think that is enough to justify taking his office from him. I have many years of experience on public issues as a former newspaper editor in our county, and as a former advocate for vocational education and American manufacturing jobs at a non-profit organization. As a lifelong environmental activist, I am accredited by the state as a Florida Master Naturalist. I am the only bilingual English-Spanish candidate in this race.

GUN VIOLENCE

I think the Constitution overall provides for the right of people to be secure from guns in public places. I believe that locally appropriate gun regulations should not be preempted by the legislature. I support nationwide gun permitting with background and other checks to prevent sales or transfers of guns to potentially dangerous individuals.

EDUCATION

Legislators who have imposed excessive industrial-type metrics on public education have done our students a disservice. We should pursue best practices built on evidence-based educational expertise of educational scholars and professionals worldwide. In Miami-Dade, especially, we need to recognize the impacts of our cultural diversity and not shortchange language, arts, and vocational-technical education. We need to ensure that Miami-Dade College is affordable to the county’s students, so they can all look forward to career-enhancing opportunities.

ENVIRONMENT

Biscayne Bay, the Everglades, and our local water supply have about a dozen separate threats right now. My campaign is devoted to protecting the people’s water, which our home values and community’s future are dependent on. Turkey Point must fix its cooling system quickly so that it stops hyper-salinating the public aquifer. There is also saltwater intrusion due to excessive draw-down of our public water resources and loss of open wild acreage for rainwater capture. We need construction growth to be in sync with available water (as well as traffic capacity) and we must increase water conservation. Sugar lands south of Lake Okeechobee need to be acquired and converted into water storage and cleaning acreage. This will help restore the Everglades, reduce sea grass loss in Florida Bay, and stop the algae blooms in the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee Rivers and elsewhere that result from excessive Lake Okeechobee discharges. We need to restore inspections of septic tanks and further regulate agricultural, commercial and residential fertilizer runoff. We need to investigate children’s cancer clusters and determine if water pollution is a factor. We need to keep fracking out of the state. We all need to work together to increase Florida’s resiliency with regard to climate change and sea level rise. The legislature needs to support the conservation lands acquisition amendment that Floridians overwhelmingly voted for in 2014.

ross@voteRossHancock.com
http://www.voteRossHancock.com
(786) 543-3412

 

HOUSE DISTRICT 115 – Jeffrey Doc Solomon (DEM)

I’ve had a sincere passion my whole life to serve people and make the lives of others better. I have done so very effectively, with my family, in my practice as a health professional, and in my community involvement. While I have thoroughly enjoyed all those roles of service, I am prepared to take my community service to a more productive level. Because of my 56 years of life experiences and much wisdom gathered, I have a tremendous amount to offer in a public leadership role in my sincere intent to support the common good of all of the citizens of Florida. I have served my community for over 33 years through volunteer efforts with youth sports as a health care provider and a coach for Optimist, YMCA, University, and Public School programs. I am presently the Vice Chair of the Pinecrest Zoning Board, and a past Vice Chair of the Miami-Dade Sports Commission. Additionally, I have served on Miami-Dade County Public Schools Health Advisory Committee representing school board member Dr. Larry Feldman. Proudly, I am also a graduate of Leadership Florida Statewide Community Foundation.

GUN VIOLENCE

I do not support open carry laws. I believe they create fear in the mostly and preferably unarmed public. I also believe that law enforcers find open carry a threat and would prefer not to feel challenged by individuals that can compromise their effectiveness in enforcement. I am fine with concealed carry of properly trained and permitted individuals, but I support legislation that restricts the locations that one may carry a concealed gun such as schools, government, entertainment and bar locations which are dedicated to large numbers of children or where people who may be impaired by alcohol are located. I support legislation banning the purchase of assault weapons, large ammo magazines, and armor piercing ammunitions. I believe we must require background checks for all people in all circumstances including gun shows, person to person sales as well as online sales, and we should not allow anyone on a no fly list to purchase any guns unless properly vetted and cleared from the list. 

EDUCATION

Because Common Core academics consist of goals intended to be what a student should know and be able to do at the end of each grade from K - 12. And because they were created to ensure that all students graduate from high school with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in college, career, and life, regardless of where they live. I recognize the value and need for consistent learning goals across Florida. The standards provide a clear and consistent framework for educators are evidence-based and consistent and I believe should be a standard in every school in Florida.

I believe we need to invest more in training teachers, and their administrative bosses. The quality of a child’s teacher is the single most-important school-related factor in their success. We should not focus on punishing bad teachers, but learn how to make good ones instead. Modernize the teacher’s job and don’t isolate teachers from peers. Think in terms of trade offs, not absolutes; such as extend the school year and compensated for that by making classrooms a little bigger. Let kids learn at their own pace. Get families involved earlier because early childhood education is key to kids’ achievement in the long-term. Address the issue of poverty.

Merit pay faces several key challenges and was prematurely employed. First, student outcomes are difficult to define and measure. Second, the contributions of individual teachers to student outcomes are difficult to disentangle from student background and prior achievement. Serious analysis shows significant deficiencies in several measures of teacher performance. Policy makers should not be adopting any measures without careful analysis of its properties and a plan to monitor how it is performing. The key issue is whether the incentive and sorting effects of an admittedly imperfect merit pay system can improve the quality of the teacher workforce.

Admittedly, public school jobs do offer a living wage. However, compared to other specialized jobs that involve degrees and training, the salaries don’t stack up. This is a serious, intellectual job that demands more serious pay. Census data, shows that teacher wages have declined relative to comparable private-sector workers over the past several decades. If not so, then it is curious that teaching is not an employment magnet comparable to other jobs like the financial sector.

ENVIRONMENT

I would start by pushing forward land purchases South of Lake Okeechobee, because environmentally harmful polluted waters contaminated by agricultural business interest is being stored in Lake Okeechobee, and because the polluted waters have been flushed out to the Gulf and Ocean creating toxic algae blooms along the waterways and coastline. The results of the flush have historically and most severely at present caused an environmental disaster that costs Florida and its citizens a fortune in damages of various sorts. The intended goal of the purchase is to stop the environmentally damaging rapid trans coastal flush, and to provide a more natural filter for the reinvigoration of a dehydrating dying Everglades environmental system by providing fresh waters that safely travel South through the purchased holding lands. It is a scientifically practical approach that serves the interest of all Floridians. What is most egregious about Gov. Scott and the state legislators neglect of purchase and follow up is that they were given a directive by the citizens of Florida through constitutional amendments to move forward on this project. They have turned their backs on the people who elected them in favor of the interest of big agricultural business that funded their political campaigns. To make matters worse the funds that have been allocated are being misappropriated and intentionally diverted by those same elected leaders. Additionally, the agreements between the state and the owners of lands intended to be purchased will expire soon and the landowners intend to use much of that land for other purposes more profitable to them in today’s market.

After consulting with environmental engineers that are experts in the area, I’ve confirmed resolution of the Lake issue would lend to the reduction of the nuclear plant salinization issue by increased depth of freshwater flow South. The approach would also require the inclusion of an Eastern flow toward the plant with appropriate flood avoidance of the South Dade agricultural lands that can be accomplished by additional projects similar to that of the Palmetto Bays Deering Flow Way further to the South. That would support the Biscayne Bays Coastal Wetlands Project in returning natural habitats, reducing salt water intrusion, and decreasing hyper salinization of Southern Biscayne Bay. The solutions are not too complicated, but the key to success of such an effort begins with the land purchases South of Lake Okeechobee.

786 412 8555
email:gypsydoc@bellsouth.net
 


HOUSE DISTRICT 118 – Lynda Bell (REP)

No Response

 

HOUSE DISTRICT 118 – Carlos Pria (REP)

No Response

 

HOUSE DISTRICT 118 – David Rivera (REP)

No Response

 

HOUSE DISTRICT 118 – Anthony Rodriguez (REP)

No Response

 

HOUSE DISTRICT 118 – Steven A. Rojas Tallon (REP)

No Response

 

HOUSE DISTRICT 120 – Kevin Diaz (DEM)

No Response

 

HOUSE DISTRICT 120 – Dan Horton (DEM)

No Response

 

MAYOR OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY

Miami-Dade Home Rule Charter is the governing document (constitution) since 1957. County charter was amended to have a strong-mayor form of government. The mayor is charged with administering county government, appointing and firing department heads, proposing the budget. Mayor has a 4-year term; term limits – 2 consecutive terms. Non-partisan county-wide election.

All candidates were asked the following questions:

  • Why are you running for this office and what qualities, training, experience and skills do you bring to this position?
  • What do you see as the most important issues facing this office, and how would you deal with them if elected?

 


Candidate for MAYOR OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY - Frederick Bryant

No Response


Candidate for MAYOR OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY - B.J. Chiszar

I am running for Mayor to reform County government; invest in mass transit to alleviate the traffic nightmare; utilize community based policing to address the rampant violent crime in certain areas, put the environment first; mitigate the impact of climate change and sea level rise; build a world class & modern library system; get the money out of local politics by limiting the amount of campaign donations to $100; fully fund the voter approved Pets Trust; eliminate fees for residents for Parks & Museums; reduce property taxes & public roadway tolls; eliminate the STS fee for disabled residents; Save the Pine Rocklands, Virginia Key & Crandon Park; ban fracking; increase targeted small business grants and most importantly, to give the people a progressive choice.

I believe that my experience as the elected former Chairman of the Miami Dade Democratic Party and my service to in the Army’s elite Military Intelligence Corps, as well as educational training and certifications have prepared me to lead a large county government. I have a strong commitment to efficiency. I will be a steward of the public dollar and invest in our future. I have earned three degrees, one in Military intelligence, Political Science and a Master’s of Public Admin from FIU. My Master’s certificates were in both homeland security and emergency management. I also hold several dozen military and FEMA certifications. I consider myself a bridge building macro manager.

What do you see as the most important issues facing this office, and how would you deal with them if elected?

I believe the most pressing countywide problem is traffic, followed by corruption. I believe that violent crime is out of control in certain areas. I believe that the environment is not being respected. The first strategy is a regional approach to funding for mass transit with Palm Beach, Broward and Monroe. We will build light rail lines and trolley stations throughout the County over a 10-year period. We will increase lane capacity at choke points, synchronize lights with traffic, and clear accidents quicker. I want to limit the amount of campaign donations to $100. I also support limiting contributions to individuals only, no businesses, PACs, or registered lobbyists. I will bring transparency and efficiency to County Hall. I will have an open door policy, host spring budget hearings and create a citizen’s ombudsman. On crime, I will implement a community based policing program combined with a focus on small business economic development. On the environment, we will face climate change and sea level rise, with a focus on stopping the damage and mitigating the adverse impacts. We will protect our natural beauty, save the Pine Rocklands, Virginia Key and Crandon Park. We will ban fracking in Florida!


Candidate for MAYOR OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY - Miguel A. Eizmendiz

No Response

 

Candidate for MAYOR OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY - Carlos A. Gimenez                   

I am running for re-election of Miami-Dade County to continue moving our community forward. I have forty years of public service experience and a clearly defined governing philosophy based on transparency, efficiency and fiscal responsibility. I want to represent all Miami-Dade County residents with integrity and honesty. As Miami-Dade's highest-ranking elected official and chief administrator, I am responsible for the leadership and management of an organization (Miami-Dade County) with over 26,000 employees and an annual budget of more than $7 billion. I also oversee Miami International Airport and PortMiami, which directly or indirectly support half a million jobs in the community. In addition, I oversee the Water and Sewer Department, which has 2.3 million customers, and the Miami-Dade Police Department and Fire Rescue Department. The Police Department is the seventh largest law enforcement agency in the country and the Fire Rescue Department is the sixth largest of its kind in the United States.
                    
Experience is listed below:           

  • Firefighter for the Miami Fire-Rescue Department for 25 years and served as Department Chief for the last 9 years. Served as the first Hispanic Chief and was named Department Chief at the age of 37;
  • Manager of the City of Miami from 2000 to 2003. Took the City's bond rating from "junk" to investment grade and left the City with more than $140 million in reserves;
  • Served as County Commissioner for seven years: first elected in 2004 and re- elected for a second term in 2008
    • Chairman of the Government Operations Committee and Chairman of the Regional Transportation Committee, overseeing Miami-Dade County’s transportation systems and championed the PortMiami tunnel project
  • Member of the International City Managers Association 
  • Member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs;
  • Member of the National Fire Protection Association;
  • Member of the Florida Fire Chiefs and the Fire Officers Association of Miami-Dade;
  • Served on the Federal Emergency Management Agency Urban Search and Rescue Advisory Committee; and
  • Chair of FEMA’s Legal Issues Subcommittee.

What do you see as the most important issues facing this office, and how would you deal with them if elected?
                    
(1) Public Safety: Number one priority, from firefighter to Mayor.

  • Body Worn Cameras: Championed this technology before it became popular to do so by implementing a system of 1,000 body cameras for police officers. Secured a $1 million in federal grant to launch the body camera program in Miami-Dade, which now is the largest police department in the Southeast United States using them.          
  • Hiring Corrections/Police Officers: 125 new police officers were hired in 2015; 40 new police officers will be hired by the end of fiscal year 2016-2017.
  • Police Vehicles: Replace the county's police-vehicle fleet and modernized its real-time crime center.          
  • Community on Patrol Application: The Community on Patrol Application, will provide residents with the ability to anonymously report tips to the Miami-Dade Police Department Command Center, upload videos, photos and notes, as well as identify and provide the residential location of sexual offenders, file police reports
  • and commend officers -- all from your smart phone.         
  • Implemented a new program where the Miami-Dade Police Department paired officers directly with at-risk youth that were identified by our juvenile services department as being repeat or occasional offenders, to mentor and help them.

(2) Transportation:
                    
The future of transportation in Miami-Dade County will require us to leverage new technologies while maximizing our investments in traditional infrastructure projects.

  • Led the charge to legalize the use of ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft in Miami-Dade.        
  • Championing the SMART plan for transit, which calls for six corridors (rail lines) to travel across Miami-Dade.
  • Working to enhance our county bus fleet, as well as making it more efficient by eliminating certain stops, so trips are faster.
  •  Have supported the All Aboard Florida/Tri-Rail Expansion project that will connect Miami-Dade County passengers with Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Orlando.
  • Have also supported the Bay Link project, providing a public transit connection from Downtown to Miami Beach.
  • Advocated and supported the construction of the Port Tunnel, which has improved access to and from the Port. It is now alleviating traffic by removing approximately 14,000 vehicles from Downtown roadways every day.

(3) Economic Growth/Job Creation:

  • Established the Employ Miami-Dade program, which focuses on training, providing our residents the necessary skills to enter the workforce, as well as connecting residents from neighborhoods with high unemployment rates with potential employers, and ensuring they are considered first for local jobs.
  • Continue to work with the One Community One Goal initiative aimed at generating new higher-paying jobs in targeted industries, like technology, for Miami-Dade.
  • While the Liberty City Rising project is part of our affordable housing initiatives, it will also provide job opportunities for the community and residents of the area. The revitalization is expected to create approximately 2,290 jobs.
  • I have also championed economic development projects, like the American Dream Miami, which will be the Country's largest mall and entertainment center with the potential to attract millions of visitors from around the world to the county each year, and create thousands of jobs.
  • But the future of our county’s economic dynamism needs to be tied to other sectors as well, including technology. This is the reason why I have been a strong advocate of eMerge Americas and Venture Hive, an entrepreneurial incubator.                            

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez
4061 S. LeJeune Road, Miami, FL 33146
(Work) 305-375-5071
(Home) 305-928-2020

 

Candidate for MAYOR OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY - Farid Khavari

I am running for mayor to solve the urgent economic and environmental problems facing Miami-Dade County.  I am an economist and the author of 10 groundbreaking books in economics, environment and energy.  Our urgent problems are also a huge economic opportunity for Miami-Dade County. My plan will work towards creating environmentally safe and sustainable prosperity and economic security for all, not just the big money cronies.

Many of these problems are urgent due to neglect during years of corrupt crony politics. In fact, corruption is one of the urgent problems.  We can bypass the corruption with a new mayor and a new administration dedicated to serving the interests of all of the people.   
We can make great improvements in our quality of life without raising taxes. In fact, when we do all the right things, county government will save hundreds of millions of dollars per year, while incomes and economic security and prosperity increase.  
Solving our problems will create over 25,000 good private sector jobs, without subsidies. In time those jobs will create more jobs. 25,000 good jobs can save the county $25,000,000 per year in social costs like ER visits. 

 

What do you see as the most important issues facing this office, and how would you deal with them if elected?

Here are the most urgent issues facing Miami-Dade County. The other candidates for mayor don’t even discuss them.

1.    Our aquifer is being depleted and saltwater is intruding at an increasing rate. We need action now. We can’t drink saltwater. This is not just an environmental problem, it could be an economic disaster for everyone. My plan will fix the aquifer before it is too late.  Mayor Gimenez’s plan is to sell our water system to a private company like FPL! 

2.    Health care costs the county hundreds of millions per year, yet 36% of the people have no insurance and their health suffers—ultimately leading to urgent care at county expense. It would actually be cheaper to provide routine care for everyone than to pay for urgent care resulting from lack of basic healthcare. Millions of dollars and countless lives can be saved each year by reallocating existing resources to achieve better outcomes, while creating thousands of good jobs. My plan for a county-wide network of SuperClinics, available 24/7, would provide routine to everyone regardless of ability to pay, without losing time at work—and save the county millions per year.

3.    Sea level rise is happening in Miami now. There is a solution, which will require international cooperation, but we can begin right here in Miami-Dade County right now, and take the lead globally.

4.    FPL’s Turkey Point nuclear plants are desperately sucking fresh water from the Everglades to cool themselves! This creates algae and pollution, while depleting our fresh water resources. Now FPL wants to raise rates, and soon they’ll want us to pay billions more for two new nuclear plants approved by Gov. Scott for only $3million in contributions. My plan is to eliminate the need for the new plants and to phase out the existing plants. If Germany can eliminate nukes by using solar, then Miami-Dade can, too!   My plan will pay for itself, create thousands of good jobs, and save the average homeowner $50,000 tax-free over 20 years. It’s just economics.

Details on this and other plans can be found at my website, www.khavariformayor.com. 

It is time to get corrupt crony politics out of county government, and to use the vast resources of Miami-Dade County to improve health, safety and economic security for everyone in Miami-Dade County. We don’t need higher taxes to do it. We just need a leader with a plan. 

fk@zerocosteconomy.com   
786-286-669

 

 

Candidate for MAYOR OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY - Raquel Regalado

I am running for Mayor of Miami-Dade County in order to provide leadership to an organization with over 26,000 employees and an annual budget of over $7 Billion.  As the second largest employer, county government should be a greater force of good in our community. The waste in human capital under the current administration is intolerable.
 
As the Mayor of Miami-Dade County, I will set goals for innovative public sector workers to achieve. I will delegate management responsibility to carefully selected department administrators chosen through an open and competitive process. My years as an elected official with the Miami-Dade Public Schools have forged my convictions regarding merit selection. In my administration, academic performance, professional experience and subject matter expertise will matter. I am prepared to entrust competent, first-rate directors to manage their operations.  If the service expectations of the public are being met, and my trust is not breached, progress will be made. I am confident that the public sector workers will deliver, if given the respect and latitude they deserve.
 
My many years of hosting public affairs radio and television programs has given me an insight into the problems of this community that is truly unique. As a member in good standing with the Florida Bar, I also hold myself as an officer of the court and am committed to upholding the cherished values and principles of our American society. My ability to listen, distill the essence of problems, and craft policy solutions will be a tremendous asset as the leader of county government.      
 
What do you see as the most important issues facing this office, and how would you deal with them if elected?
 
The most important issue facing the Office of the Mayor is the need for structural reform of procurement to cleanse the office of the stench of corruption. I intend to modify the Code of the County to delegate the authority to recommend contract awards to the appointed Department Directors. I want to eliminate the national perception that Miami-Dade County is a "pay to play" contracting arena that requires substantial campaign contributions and the engagement of multiple lobbyists. To counter the perception, I will introduce policy that will reward firms for civic engagement, as evidenced by charitable giving to reputable community based organizations and service on the boards of non-governmental agencies.  If lobbyists want to meet with me, I will schedule meetings in the lobby of the Stephen P. Clark Government Center. It will be a new day for procurement under my administration.
 
As we restore trust and confidence to the operations of government with talented department directors and the diminished role of lobbyists and campaign contributions, we will begin to address the major problems confronting Miami-Dade County: traffic congestion, gun violence, small business development, and climate change adaptation. 
 
Traffic congestion solutions will involve engaging officials from Broward and Monroe Counties in order to expand the reach of proposed lines across county borders. A regional approach for the major lines will make our applications for federal funding more attractive. By increasing ridership numbers from beyond our borders, we will reach levels that our region will be able to compete with other metropolitan areas. On the mass transit front, I will also dedicate substantial resources in the maintenance of our buses. More mechanics are needed to ensure a more reliable fleet and better on-time performance. I will not settle for 70% on-time performance.
 
A concept I find interesting is the notion of vehicle-optional-zones, providing for all of the needs of the average person within a radius that is walkable or accessible via trolleys, bus and rail. The areas of greatest density will be required to meet certain mobility criteria in order to be officially designated a vehicle-optional-zone. I intend to work with our municipalities and civic leaders to make this happen. 
 
Gun violence is an acute problem within specific neighborhoods of our community.  More resources need to be pooled by county government, the school system, municipalities and the Children's Trust to ensure a "community bank" for local community based programs to experiment with innovative strategies to reach the most difficult cases of at-risk youth. We need to make a long-term commitment to break the cycle of gun violence that is defining the current generation of youth In our urban community.  Only if we have dedicated resources and a longitudinal approach will we succeed. I am committed to securing the resources for a sustained effort.
 
I have announced my intentions to disband the Beacon Council and focus attention on growing existing small businesses as a more appropriate investment of Local Business Tax proceeds. Working through organizations like the FIU Small Business Development Center I believe we can create more stable workplaces and provide for greater economic security of our workforce.
 
The time for addressing the concerns of climate change and sea level rise is yesterday. I will work with engineering experts to design a concrete plan to improve drainage operations in our most vulnerable areas. The South Florida Water Management District needs to be our partner in this effort. If direction from the Florida Legislature is needed to ensure the SFWMD addresses its unfunded capital program, then I will take up that issue in Tallahassee. We need to demonstrate to the insurance and mortgage industry that we are taking these matters seriously. Our goal should be to have effective, adaptive measures in place to address all the expected challenges on a thirty-year horizon, the current life of an average home mortgage.
 
raquel@raquelregalado.com


Candidate for MAYOR OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY - Alfred Santamaria

No Response

 

COUNTY COMMISSIONER

A County Commissioner is selected by district to a 13-member Board of County Commissioners The Commissioners meet in committees and as a full body that sets policy, passes legislation and votes on the budget. Commissioner has a 4-year term; term limits – 2 consecutive terms. Non-partisan, single –district elections.

All candidates were asked the following questions:

  • Why are you running for this office and what qualities, training, experience and skills do you bring to this position?
  • What do you see as the most important issues facing this office, and how would you deal with them if elected?

 

COMMISSION DISTRICT 7 - Michael Castro

No Response

 

COMMISSION DISTRICT 7 - Xavier L. Suarez

I am the incumbent seeking re-election. My passion is public service and helping our county prosper. Miami-Dade County is one of the poorest in the country, with a limited and unaffordable transportation system, high unemployment rate and stagnant wages, and an affordable housing crisis. As Chairman of the Economic and Prosperity Committee of the Board of County Commissioners it is my duty to ensure that these needs are addressed and that all residents have the opportunity to prosperity.
 
I am an attorney and, for the last 5 years, have been serving as County Commissioner of District 7, a member of the South Florida Regional Planning Council, and a member of the Baylink Executive Policy Committee. I understand the challenges our community faces and have worked diligently to improve quality of life for all in our County.
 
What do you see as the most important issues facing this office, and how would you deal with them if elected?

Creating more affordable housing units
Miami-Dade County is one of the least affordable areas to live in the country. As Chairman of the Economic Prosperity Committee, mitigating the affordable housing crisis is a central part of my mandate. I was co-sponsor for a resolution to establish a policy that at least $10 million of General Fund revenue be allocated each year to the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, and I have gone on record advocating for up to $50 million.

Economic development in low/middle income communities
I authored the Community Benefits Agreement ordinance for the county, getting it passed on first reading after Sunshine meeting with Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava. The CBA ordinance gives negotiations legal standing, creating a mutually beneficial framework for developers and the community to allow for fair and equitable development. Benefits may include hiring a percentage of workers locally, environmental mitigation, social services, new grocery stores, and trust funds. Doing so helps build relationships between developers and local small businesses, promoting a more equitable people-centered development. I will also continue to support an amendment to increase the Living Wage Ordinance to $15 per hour for county contractors and their sub-contractors.
 
Comprehensive transit system
In 2015 I presented to our legislative delegation my ‘25/5 plan’, to extract 25% of all revenues generated by tolls and auto tag renewals for use in mass transportation. We desperately need an East-West extension, one to the North along NW 27th Avenue, and another further south along the South Dade Busway to Florida City. Bikers and pedestrians should also be an integral part of the planning and construction of mass transit.  As such, 5% of revenue would be dedicated to the “Complete Streets” program and include bike and pedestrian trails for a more walkable, livable community.
 
Climate Change
For the 2015 county budget hearing, Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava and I advocated for a $500,000 line item to address climate change; ultimately, $300,000 was allocated. It is incumbent upon policymakers to: (1) continue measuring and evaluating sea-level rise for at least the next ten years; and (2) while those measurements are being made and other climate change data are being obtained, prepare to make adjustments to the building codes if it is found that the accelerated rates are a permanent feature of our geology and weather. Saltwater intrusion must be separately and aggressively tackled by emphasizing the importance of continued monitoring and wellfield management. 

Xavier L. Suarez
305-496-8484
xaviersuarezesq@aol.com
Miami-Dade County Commission District 7        
                
 

COMMISSION DISTRICT 9 – Earl Beaver

Education. Tilden Tech High, Police & Security K9 Academy (Certificate), Miami Dade College AA Degree, UF University (Completed Dietary Management Program)

Occupation and employer: Food Nutrition Director, Brookwood, At Signature Health
 
Earl Beaver will not be beholden to any developer or special-interest group! I have already rejected interests group's money and will continue to do so. My campaign is self- funded and I am the only candidate for Miami Dade County Commissioner who can say that. The moment a candidate takes such money from outside business sources, all their good deeds could slowly move away from the needs of the community.

As a symbol of Earl’s dedication, he has already closed his business (restaurant management business) so he would be more available for the citizens of the 9th district of Miami Dade. There is nothing more important to him professional, then working for the citizens of the 9th district. Mr. Earl Beaver has over 25 years of successful leadership and management experience which afforded him the opportunity to impact the lives of hundreds of young people: job training, life coaching, resume writing, organizing computer drives for kids, feeding the homeless, organizing small business expos and heading volunteering projects for companies.   Earl Beaver educational training, work experience and inner passion have prepared me to be an effective commissioner who will work for the people, not interest groups..
 
What are the top three challenges facing the county? What ideas do you have for resolving or dealing with these challenges? 

1. No real job programs in the 9th district:
I would provide transitional jobs and training  for disadvantaged youth and adults who need temporary, wage-based employment as a stepping stone to develop work skills and enter the regular labor market.

2. No small business resources 9th district:
I will open a small business administration center
Assist new and small businesses with product development, budgeting, marketing and business plan.

It is not all about giving grant money to the small business person (Mom & Pop Program), the focus needs to be teaching them how to run a business.

3. Family and Community must improve: Neighborhoods and Community
I will sponsor more fairs, neighborhood celebrations, and multi-cultural community
events to bring families together and build stronger ties among neighbors.  Also through regular meetings between the police departments, school board,  and school superintendent that focus on shared priorities, activities and the development of joint plans of action. Invite all to be involved to ease tension and build trust and community, by helping the community of the 9th district  and Police bond and becoming an example to the nation!.
 
I love South Florida and am asking for an opportunity, to be your County Commissioner of the 9th district, to help make our community a place where families can feel safe, grow a career and build community! My Mission in life is to inspire others to learn more . . . dream more . . . and become more!

Work telephone:  305-746-5513


COMMISSION DISTRICT 9 - Dennis C. Moss

No Response


COMMISSION DISTRICT 11 - Felix M. Lorenzo

No Response


COMMISSION DISTRICT 11 - Joe A. Martinez

No Response

 

SCHOOL BOARD OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY

The Miami-Dade School Board, the policy board for Miami-Dade public schools K-12, has nine members elected from individual districts to 4-year terms. In non-partisan election. The School Board appoints the Superintendent who in turn appoints administrators who together carry out the policy of the School Board.

All candidates were asked the following questions:

  • Why are you running for this office and what qualities, training, experience and skills do you bring to this position?
  • What do you see as the most important issues facing this office, and how would you deal with them if elected?


SCHOOL BOARD DISTRICT 1 – James Bush III

No Response

 

SCHOOL BOARD DISTRICT 1 – Steve Gallon III

I am running for the office of School Board member for District 1 to support and advocate for the improvement of teaching and learning, and to enhance the overall quality and conditions of public education in our schools and school district as a whole.

The ultimate mission of the School Board is the learning of students. This mission requires that there be a commitment to supporting those who are on the front lines of this work and ensuring that the conditions, compensation, and collaboration support this work.

As a life-long public school educator of over 26 years, and having served as a classroom teacher, assistant principal, elementary and high school principal, and district administrator in Miami-Dade County, as well as a Superintendent of Schools, my experience and background are uniquely superior to those of the other candidates. My knowledge, background, experience, and proven advocacy in areas that include but are not limited to curriculum, instruction, data, budget, finance, personnel, collective bargaining, legislation, and school operations and safety will enable me to help craft and support policy to improve our school district. In addition, they will all enable me to serve as an experienced voice for teachers and staff working in schools and throughout the district.

MOST IMPORTANT ISSUES

As a candidate for District 1 School Board member, my focus and candidacy the most issues facing the school system are improving the education of our students, supporting for increased compensation and improved working conditions for teachers and staff, supporting excellence and providing the resources that support its attainment, and ensuring the manifestation of equity and equality in every school and every corner of the public school system.
 

SCHOOL BOARD DISTRICT 1 – Wilbert T. ‘Tee’ Holloway

No Response
 


SCHOOL BOARD DISTRICT 6 – Modesto ‘Mo’ Abety

My life’s work has been to ensure our children have the resources to succeed. As the former President & CEO of The Children’s Trust, I have worked hard to earn the trust of parents, advocates and community leaders for my dedication to the well­being, safety, health and education of our children. I am a strong believer in building parental and community responsibility for our children. I am ready to take my four decades of experience both on The Children’s Trust and in public service to the School Board so our children have an advocate fighting for them, for their parents, for their teachers and together for a high quality public education. 

I am pleased to have gained the support from those who share my vision for offering the best resources for our children to succeed. They include organized labor such as the United Teachers of Dade , and the South Florida AFL CIO, as well as leaders in our community, David and Roberta Lawrence, and County Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava. I have also earned the support of the community itself­­ parents, teachers, and social workers, families and child advocates. 

What do you see as the most important issues facing this office, and how would you deal with them if elected? 

Over testing: I will be a voice for parents and children who want our schools to put student learning ahead of teaching to a test. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the school board to urge Tallahassee to reform the onerous testing requirements that only serve to line the pockets of testing companies while failing to advance true student learning in our school system. I’m committed to giving teachers the tools they need to do what they do best: teach! 

Lack of Funding: I will work with students, teachers and parents alike to ensure that Miami­-Dade’s accountability system works for all our children and for all taxpayers. Our Miami­-Dade Delegation to the Florida Legislature also needs to be held accountable for ensuring that we get our fair share of the State’s education dollars. As a grandfather, I know that giving our children the best education system means a brighter future for them and our community. 

Strong Teachers: I firmly believe that quality education is dependent on a strong teacher. I will be an advocate for providing our teachers with suitable pay benefits, and a caring, nurturing, respectful environment so that we can recruit and retain the best talent in Miami Dade County. 

 

SCHOOL BOARD DISTRICT 6 – Gus Machado

I attended the University of Florida where I studied Political Science and I also attended Florida International University, I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. As a former Elementary school Teacher and now a parent to two little sons, my passion, my background knowledge in elementary education and working with the school district the past 3 years got me ready to run for the school board.
 
[I have a beautiful wife, Raquel Machado and two young sons, Ethan is 5-years-old and Shane is 4-years-old who are both in special education classes. My 5-year-old is on the Autism spectrum and my 4-year-old has a developmental language delay and ADHD.]   
 
I’m currently on the Board and President of Autism Rescue Mission, a non-profit organization that raises money locally for local kids on the Autism spectrum and I also volunteer for Autism Speaks for the last 3 years.
 
I have been searching for almost 2 years for a school that could accommodate my 2 sons with special needs education in my district; I was in a lottery waiting to see if a spot becomes available. After 11 months of frustration, waiting lists, and testing, we finally found a school that is in the district, but not near our home.
 
This is going to cause me to have a 4.5 hour commute daily to drop off and pick up my sons. No child should have to sit in a car for 1.5 hours in the morning and 1.5 hours in the afternoon to go to and from school. Those hours should be spent in therapy, not in the car.
 
I would like to be an advocate for parents who are facing the same problem I am and make sure that every child in every neighborhood has access to special education classes and an autism academy.
 
The school board is stale. There are members on the board for over 20 years who have been there for too long and they are out of touch with parents, schools, and students. This has caused our public school system to fall behind. The technology is outdated and needs to be brought up to speed. We have new technology like tracking our success of our children. When have technology to track a package by FEDEX or track a car service like UBER. How can we not track the success and the needs of our students, this would make the school system more accountable.
 
The School Board needs new ideas, new technology, and new members with a fresh perspective. As a school board member, it will be a priority for me to ensure that we allocate resources to opening up more schools for kids with disabilities.
 
I believe that this is a problem that is happening across the board in Miami-Dade County. I have personally experienced a testing delay of one year for my son. I’ve spoken to parents who have waited two or three years for their child to be tested. We need more transparency for the testing program. We should have access to how many kids are in the program, how many have applied, etc. All kids should have a chance to be tested to enter no matter their background or race. There is a school and a place for every child.
 
We need to bring the school system’s technology and teaching curriculum up to the  21st century. 

786-525-9292



SCHOOL BOARD DISTRICT 6 - Pedro Mora

No Response

 

SCHOOL BOARD DISTRICT 6 – Marie Teresa ‘Mari Tere’ Rojas

First and foremost, education has always been my passion! I have devoted my entire life to educating and advocating for our children, our most precious resource. I want to bring that passion and my 40 years of experience, knowledge, integrity, and leadership, to the School Board. I see many opportunities that I can build upon using my experience as an educator and administrator within Miami-Dade County Public Schools. I want to continue to improve the quality of programs and services for students, increase student achievement, ensure class size is maintained, and properly compensate teachers in order to attract and maintain. Also, in the area of human resources, the ability to develop board policies and procedures geared to the provision of a safe and equitable learning environment for all stakeholders.

I started my professional career with Miami-Dade County Public Schools in 1975 as a classroom teacher at H.M. Flagler Elementary School. During my tenure, I served our district in numerous high-level administrative positions such as Principal, Assistant Principal, Region Director, Assistant Superintendent of the Office of Professional Standards, and as Administrative Assistant to a School Board Member.  
 
What do you see as the most important issues facing this office, and how would you deal with them if elected?
 
Two of the most important issues facing this office are ensuring the safety of all stakeholders as well as funding, to secure the adequate monetary resources to warrant successful performance of all stakeholders. I believe we can solve both issues by serving as an advocate for children, and working with state legislature to secure more funding for projects.

Another critical issue is the quality of programs and services for our students. I would work to increase student achievement through enhanced academic programs.

Another important issue is the recruitment and retention of highly-qualified teachers. A plan of action to retain teachers could be to ensure a mentoring system that provides support to the teachers always, but especially during the first year. To have a “think out of the box” approach by suggesting co-teaching with an experienced teacher. It is important to provide incentives and simply highlight the positives on a daily basis. 

Keeping up with technological advancements and professional development to enhance student progress and the efficiency of all employees are also important issues that must be addressed.  If elected, I would strive to maximize the technology available to meet the needs of the 21st Century while working collaboratively with higher education institutions.

I will also develop board policies and procedures geared to the provision of a safe and equitable learning environment for all stakeholders using my experience, leadership, knowledge, integrity and most importantly, passion as an educator administrator.

Phone: 786-719-0584
Email: mtrojas7@hotmail.com
Facebook: facebook.com/MariTereRojasDistrict6

 

SCHOOL BOARD DISTRICT 7 – Aster Bato Mohamed

I am running for Miami-Dade School Board District 7 seat because as a classroom teacher for 17 years, district parent educator for five years, I’ve advocated for students, parents, teachers and the community for over 30 years. Now I want continue to dedicate my unique perspective as a teacher and district parent educator by serving as a school board member to improve the academic achievement of ALL students. 
Qualities as a School Board Candidate

Advocacy  - My first priority is advocating for students and families in the district. As a former classroom teacher for 17 years and a parent educator for the district for six years, I understand the current challenges and political climate in the county, state and country in terms of educational policy and students’ assessment and shortage of funding. 

I have the experiences of working with elected officials which produced positive results for our students and families and the community at large. I am familiar with our district’s greatest strengths and greatest needs for adequate funding for education. Therefore, I will be a strong advocate for the district at local, state and federal levels. 

My training includes Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education and Master of Arts in Educational Administration. In addition I am endorsed to teach gifted, English Language Learners (ELL) and Special Education course for recertification until 2020. 

Experience - As a candidate I have the most experience working with parents, teachers, administrators and elected officials in our district for over thirty years. As a former PTA president and Educational Excellence School Advisory Committee (EESAC) chairwoman and member, I am familiar with district policies, procedures, and protocols. I have represented the local and regions schools on the district advisory committee for several years. Having lived and taught in the most diverse community in the district I am running, I understand the needs of our various constituents. 

Some of my skill sets I possess are the ability to listen, analyze, collaborate on all information presented and develop an action plan. For this reason, I have been appointed by Miami Dade Public Schools regional superintendent, to serve on local school site selection, regional principal of the year selection, and regional Teacher of the Committees representing the community. As a school board member, I will ask in depth questions about policy and programs so that we, as a community, understand the value they bring to the classroom. I will encourage the proposal of new initiatives to improve the education of our children. I will listen and reflect the concerns of our community and work collaboratively with fellow Board members to improve our schools and advocate for strong public schools. 

What do you see as the most important issues facing this office, and how would you deal with them if elected? 

The growing number of charter school:  Charter schools are private schools funded by public dollars and managed by private management companies and business people. In order to operate, they must provide the local school board with a contract (charter) for approval. They select their own students and do not accept all students as public schools are mandated to do so. My view is that public education should be funded by public school dollars and private money should fund charter/private schools. If any school is funded by public school dollars they should be open to ALL students and not a selected few.

High Stakes Testing: Policy makers and educators need to collaborate to figure out how best to assess students learning. Everyone agrees that Florida public school students face too much testing. It will be up to lawmakers to decide how far those tests, which include the new Florida State Assessments (FSA), will be pared back. There should be a limit on the time that teachers are spending preparing students for tests rather than teaching students the skills they need. Special areas classes such as Music, Art, and Sports which aid students in understanding core subjects should not be cut. Test scores should not be used to evaluate teacher performance. Teachers are pressured to teach to the tests rather than helping students acquire life-long skills. 

I recommend that a committee of educators and administrators decide how teachers will be evaluated rather than politician. 
Reaching Hard to Reach Families: Many families feel they are not welcomed to their children’s schools. As a result, they are not aware of programs available to their children. During the summer before school academic year begins; hold town hall meetings in the schools close to their residents. 

 

SCHOOL BOARD DISTRICT 7 – Lubby Navarro

No Response