Environment:

I will work to facilitate purchasing land south of Lake Okeechobee in order to restore a portion of the natural flow of water from the lake so fresh, clean water can be stored, treated and conveyed south into the Everglades, the River of Grass and Florida Bay which is currently dying due to alarmingly high salinity levels. Over 200 scientists agree on buying land south of Lake Okeechobee in the Everglades Agricultural Area (mostly sugar cane fields) to store, treat and convey clean, fresh water south. I also will work to facilitate completion of projects within the framework of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Project (CERP) which include storage and treatment projects north, west, east and south of Lake Okeechobee. Sea level rise is happening in our state and Everglades restoration that includes moving large volumes of fresh, clean water south into the Everglades will help stave off saltwater intrusion of our aquifers which supply drinking water to millions of people in Florida. I am proud to have signed the Now Or Neverglades DeclarationMy opponent Matt Caldwell stubbornly refuses to sign it.

Amendment 1 was voted into law in 2014 by 75% of Florida voters. Since then, the funds have been misused (led by Matt Caldwell, Rick Scott and others) on such things as vehicles, insurance and balancing the budget, all things that should be done out of general revenue. I will work to use Amendment 1 funds as intended by the will of the voters: acquisition of lands necessary for Everglades restoration.

Our state is supposed to manage water for the benefit of all but water in South Florida is being managed mostly for the benefit of agriculture. Our health, welfare, property values, businesses, rivers, beaches and quality of life are suffering under these biased policies.

Billions of gallons of polluted water from Lake Ockeechobee are being released into the Caloosahatchee River on the west coast and the St. Lucie river on the east coast. That highly nutrient loaded, polluted water is spreading through the Gulf, replacing the crystal clear water with a growing plume that looks like an oil spill in our coastal waters and is fouling estuaries around Fort Myers, Sanibel and Captiva islands. Tourists are staying away. Fishing guides are losing business. Grass beds critical to sea life are being ruined. 

Fracking is a threat to Florida’s environment, surface water and drinking water. We should not allow a small group of energy companies to risk these things so they can make a quick profit. Matt Caldwell voted YES on HB191, pro-fracking legislation that would have legitimized fracking in the state of Florida and taken away the ability of local communities to ban fracking to protect its citizens. I find it offensive that any legislator would vote to take away local control, especially with a public and environmental safety issue such as fracking. I will work to enact a statewide fracking ban in Florida.

Climate change is happening and undeniable. Governor Rick Scott and Representative Matt Caldwell are on the wrong side of history and their policies are putting all Floridians at risk. 

Education:

Strengthen our public education system.

Reform high stakes testing and quantify teacher performance based on factors not solely related to test scores.

I will work to level the playing field between Charter Schools and public schools and restore local control to our school districts

We should honor the Lottery fund amendment and use the money as intended

The class size amendment has been approved TWICE by voters. I will work to maintain the integrity of this crucial measure which helps teachers deliver a better educational experience to children without being overwhelmed.

Voucher program funding should be used to strengthen our public education system instead of picking winners and losers.

Workers’ Rights

I will fight to strengthen and preserve the Florida Retirement System for current and future generations and to protect collective bargaining rights for Florida workers.

Gun Rights:

I am a gun owner and believe in the 2nd amendment.

Health Care:

I will fight for Medicaid Expansion so people who need access to health care can get it. I support continuing to make family planning and crucial health care services available to all citizens who seek them. I fully support Amendment 2, full legalization of medical marijuana and regulation of marijuana like alcohol.

Business

I will work to strengthen Florida’s reputation as a place where people want to come to start businesses. Small businesses are the engines of job creation. Small businesses create seven of every ten new jobs and they employ just over half of the country’s private sector workforce. I will work to support small businesses in any way possible.

Growth and Development

I will work to re-instate and strengthen growth management practices that recognize environmental concerns while maintaining a healthy pro-business atmosphere.

Infrastructure

District 79, and all of Florida, needs to address its crumbling infrastructure in addition to building new infrastructure.

Jobs

We can create high quality, high paying jobs through infrastructure, transportation and renewable energy projects. Protecting and preserving our environment will also strengthen our tourism industry which creates more jobs as well. Medicaid expansion will also create quality jobs in the health care industry.

Clean Energy

I will to work to bring PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) to Lee County. PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) is a simple and effective way to finance energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water conservation upgrades to buildings. PACE can pay for new heating and cooling systems, lighting improvements, solar panels, water pumps, insulation, and more for almost any property – homes, commercial, industrial, non-profit, and agricultural. Property owners across the US are using PACE because it saves them money and makes their buildings more valuable. PACE pays for 100% of a project’s costs and is repaid over a period of time (up to 20 years) with an assessment added to the property’s tax bill. PACE financing stays with the building upon sale and is easy to share with tenants. State and local governments sponsor PACE financing to create jobs, promote economic development, and protect the environment.This allows us to generate energy onsite and lowers stress to our electrical grid. After natural disasters, power service can take weeks to restore. Generating power onsite eliminates this problem.

I support Floridians for Solar Choice, Conservatives for Energy Freedom, & the Green Tea Party efforts to pass a constitutional amendment that would give Florida’s families and businesses the right to choose solar power, as well as fighting for fair policy development in the legislature. 

Instead of letting utility companies influence our state government officials and dictate to us how we can buy or generate clean, renewable energy. Our country and state was founded on “freedom of choice”. This should apply to energy as well. It is our right as citizens to generate clean, renewable energy without any government or corporate restrictions. We must unite progressives, Tea Party -all of us – on the great number of issues upon which we agree! We cannot continue to let utility companies dictate whether or not Florida embodies its name – “The Sunshine State”. Let’s start acting like it! Parties are irrelevant when we come together to fight for a common goal – the betterment of our state. We need “The People’s Voice” to take our right to Solar Choice in Florida. I will be a champion for solar energy in Tallahassee.

Broadband

I will work to bring high speed broadband to every home in my district. Older and/or less affluent communities don’t have the same access to high speed broadband and internet –based services. This must change.

Transportation

High Speed Rail and Electric Vehicle infrastructure can help improve our public transit system.

Military and Veterans

Honor our men and women in the armed services by taking care of them after they return home to their local communities.

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