Primary Election - TUESDAY AUGUST 18
"I believe in ideas that come from the heart of the community. As a progressive Democrat, I will join with you and stand for social justice, protect our natural resources, promote equal access to health care and education, and invest in a resilient economic recovery that keeps our planet safe for future generations."
First of all I believe in science, and I believe it is time to act! 97% of the global scientific community agree on the hard data reflecting human induced climate change rapidly changing our planet for the worse. Worldwide, all across the United States, and right here in Pinellas County, this affects us in multiple ways. Florida is the most vulnerable state in the US to rising sea levels. Climate change creates more extreme weather more frequently. This means stronger hurricanes, an increase in heavy rain events causing severe flooding, record setting heat waves, fires and drought. The predicted sea level rise puts Floridians among the most vulnerable. Immediate action at the state level is critical.
Our federal government, unlike nearly every other government in the world, refuses to create policies to address climate change. The current administration pulled us out of the Paris Agreement which sets clear goals on climate, and is turning back over 50 years of environmental regulations that have dramatically improved the air we breathe and the quality of the water we drink. This endangers our health and our children's health and future. Legislation is urgently needed at the state level to counter these federal attacks on our environment, but recent history tells us a change in leadership is necessary for that to happen.
Statewide, then Governor Rick Scott forbid the use of the words "climate change, and global warming" in his administration. This time our state legislature stood silently by, and our state has suffered for it. Florida has made progress recently, but let us not be fooled. After all, it's been a long time since Governor Bob Graham led the way on environmental issues and Everglades restoration. Career politicians often talk a good game and change their position around election time. Polluting special interest groups contribute big money to campaigns, and have more access and influence on our elected officials than the average citizen. This reduces our level of trust in government. With a change of leadership in both Washington and Tallahassee, we will have a chance to put an end to special interest groups that put profit over people. Those who block meaningful efforts to mitigate negative human impact on climate must be voted out. If elected, I will put our health and the health of our planet first, and work to get big money out of politics, putting power back in the hands of the voter, and restoring trust in the system.
Public opinion polls show people of all political affiliations wanting to move forward with pro-environment, climate crisis solutions. Because of this, change is happening at the local level when not blocked by state or federal rules. If elected, I will work for more local control to protect our natural resources. Protecting the environment and joining the ranks of those taking on the Climate Crisis is my primary focus for this campaign, because a healthy planet means a healthy human race, and that is worth fighting for! It is time we apply a new vision. An EcoVision for 2020 and beyond. Given the continued advances in clean, renewable, sustainable and resilient energy, including wind, tidal, and solar technologies, it is time our economy goes green! It is time we set our sights higher than the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. Please join us in planting the seeds of change for a healthy tomorrow.
In the age of COVID-19, we understand even more the importance of being connected to our friends, neighbors and family, and of being grateful for what we have, including our good health. Staying healthy while re-invigorating our economy requires fresh ideas, and a team effort by the community will usher in a new age and get us back on our feet. Ideas once called too progressive are becoming mainstream. Our state government has struggled to get loans and unemployment benefits to families in need. We must fix the broken system and make it right. Whether we are young or old, healthy or sick, financially independent or not, we can join together as a community and as a nation to help each other in our times of need. I am open to your ideas, because together we can do a better job of helping each other achieve our dreams. That is why I'm campaigning for this position. When you join the team, this becomes your campaign too. Share the vision, and help Make America Grateful Again!
We are in a new age. Unemployment is high, and people need help. We have a new understanding of the fragility of our economy, and our food and supply chains. If elected, I will look for resilient ideas and answers for the challenges of today. We will make sure our Florida farmers are supported. Our public education system is more important than ever, and I will fight for public education dollars. On social justice issues Black Lives Matter! Doing what's right means Pay Equity, a Living Wage, and Equal Access to Health Care. Additionally, people from all walks of life helped build this nation and keep us fed, so immigrants and their children, the Dreamers, have rights too and are protected. The 2nd Amendment is respected, but public safety is expected. And unfortunately, voter suppression efforts are still a reality in 2020 America. Additional election security is needed, as foreign powers seek to disrupt our elections. I will fight to Protect Our Vote, the cornerstone of our democracy. United by Common Goals, join the team and help make them a reality!
With your help we can win this together. Whether it is helping by assisting with mailers, door knocking, fundraising, spreading the news by word-of-mouth, sharing social media, making phone calls and texts, or hosting a neighborhood "driveway" town hall, you can make a difference in getting out the vote. These are all ways of helping us achieve our common goals together. Donating time is most valuable, and you are invited to join a volunteer team to help get out the vote! Making a financial contribution helps us compete, and is absolutely crucial to winning this race as well. How you join the campaign is up to you.
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I am a beach-going, nature-loving, organic-eating, concert-seeking, kayak-paddling kind of guy with a passion for justice. Every day is a gift. "Do unto others" is the motto I live by. Clean air, clean water, and a healthy planet we can enjoy is what motivates me, and what makes life worth living that much more!