COVID- 19 Recovery
The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated Florida’s and District 120’s economy and continues to be a public health emergency for all residents. Our current state leaders have failed to lead with science and put working people first. To rebuild our economy, we must solve our public health crisis. I will lead with science. We must ensure more availability of rapid tests to identify the disease quicker and socially trace those who test positive. We must institute a statewide mask mandate to limit the spread, we must only re-open indoor spaces when safe to do so, and finally, we must ensure all frontline workers have the personal protective equipment they need.
Many workers have lost their job through no fault of their own, and small businesses see significant declines in revenue as we tackle the crisis. We must fix our broken unemployment system and expand benefits. We must support small businesses with grants instead of giving millions of dollars in tax refunds to Florida’s most powerful corporations.
The Climate Emergency and Sea-Level Rise
The science is settled. The Earth is warming, and our oceans are rising. The climate emergency is the greatest threat facing Florida, period. The sad fact is that despite all we have learned over the past 20 years about the climate emergency and sea-level rise, our current leadership in Tallahassee has refused to pass any meaningful measures to reduce our reliance on dirty fossil fuels and transition us to a clean energy future. When I am elected, I will use the best science available to develop pragmatic solutions to this crisis that protect South Florida’s families and small businesses. That is why I have released a 4-Point Plan to address the climate emergency.
Affordable Quality Healthcare
There are far too many Floridians that cannot afford basic healthcare, and so they go without it. We have a for-profit healthcare system that puts profits above people; meanwhile, two-thirds of all bankruptcies are due to medical expenses. It doesn’t have to be this way. We can lower healthcare, prescription, and all out-of-pocket costs.
Since the launch of the Affordable Care Act in 2014, other states have been receiving billions of Federal dollars every year to expand their Medicaid programs. But not Florida. If Florida were to accept these Federal dollars, which cover over 96% of the total costs over five years, more than 837,000 more Floridians could receive the healthcare and prescription drugs they need to stay healthy.
Lower Costs of Prescription Drugs
Millions of Floridians struggle to pay for their prescriptions; in fact, 10% don’t take their prescriptions at all because they cannot afford them. Americans pay more for our prescriptions than any other country in the world. I will fight to have our state’s prescription drug costs lowered to match other countries, or we will import the same drugs from other countries.
Cap the Monthly Cost of Insulin
I will work to cap the prices of prescription drugs that so many depend on to keep them healthy. Nearly a quarter of all insulin-dependent diabetics now ration doses because they cannot afford to take their required dosage. What’s most outrageous is that the cost of insulin has been skyrocketing, not because it costs more to make, but because the pharmaceutical companies can charge what they want. I will fight to cap the monthly cost of insulin so that two million Floridians can afford the medicine that they cannot live without.
Environment and Water Quality
I believe that in Florida, our environment is our economy. The water that flows from the mainland of Florida through the Everglades, Florida Bay, and our reef is polluted and is poisoning and destroying our environment. Our reef, which coral cover was around 45% in the 1970s, is now down to about 2% and declining. When elected, I will fight to hold polluters accountable, to have septic tanks inspected when selling a home, and make large residential and commercial developments connect to central sewer systems and not septic tanks.
I will also work to ensure that the Florida Keys Stewardship Act is fully funded and not raided to pay for other pet projects.
Campaign Finance Reform
I believe that the root of all that is wrong with our government is the way that campaigns are financed. Candidates and elected officials seeking re-election spend twenty to thirty hours per week soliciting campaign contributions. That is not doing the work of the people. For instance, in 2018, our current State Representative raised over $488,000 for her campaign account.
We all agree that the problem with our government is how campaigns are financed. That our laws do not reflect the interests of the people, but of the corporate donors that keep our elected leaders in power. I will work to end corporate contributions, set limits on how much can be raised for each office sought, and to overturn Citizens United at our state level.
I will work with county and municipal governments throughout District 120 to make affordable housing more attainable. At the state level, I will fight to protect the Sadowski Fund and other affordable home programs from being raided by legislators to pay for other projects.
Lower Citizens Insurance Windstorm Rates
We pay the highest Citizens Insurance premium rate in the state even though we have the strongest building codes. Currently, Citizens Insurance can raise wind insurance rates as much as 10% per year, which adds increased pressure to an already expensive area to live while reducing property values. I will work to reduce the annual rate increase cap.
Invest in Public Schools
We should all desire a highly educated population, for many reasons, not least of which is that tomorrow’s jobs and economic growth of our state depend on it. From early pre-k through high school and into higher education, our government must increase investments in improving our educational outcomes and in ensuring all people are afforded the opportunity for quality public education.
An Economy that Works for All Floridians
Florida’s primary industry is tourism, which is directly related to the health of our environment. No district in Florida understands this better than House District 120. I love our state, and I love that the world loves to visit. If Florida wants to remain the global leader in tourism, we need to make sure our environment is healthy, which includes sufficient funding for restoration and conservation, including state and local parks, and taking care of our oceans and waterways.