Carlos Guillermo Smith graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2003 with a B.S in Business Administration.
Civic Organizations (limit 75 words)
Carlos Guillermo Smith was the Chair of the Orange County Democratic Executive Committee from 2011 to 2015. He is currently the Government Affairs Manager at Equality Florida, our state’s largest LGBT advocacy organization.
Please describe your positions on the legislative responsibility for protecting the public interest in the Education, Health Care and Criminal Justice systems. Do you have any specific proposals to improve these systems? (limit 150 words)
The Florida Legislature has a responsibility to act in the interest of the public at all times. Unfortunately, we have seen the Florida led Legislature divert funding away from traditional public schools and move funding towards charter schools. I do not agree with this move. We need to fully fund our traditional public schools. Florida’s Republican led government has also voted to deny federal funds to expand medicare coverage. I believe that as Legislators we need to be finding ways to expand healthcare coverage, not denying it. In the area of Criminal Justice we need to move towards community policing and creating police departments that look like the communities they serve. As Legislators we need to make sure that police have the best training possible and the support necessary to work in the community as a partner, not as just an enforcer of laws.
Over 500,000 working poor Florida citizens remain without health insurance. Would you support tapping federal dollars to cover these people? If not, what kind of plan do you support? (limit 150 words)
I absolutely support expanding healthcare coverage by accepting federal dollars. Let us be clear, these funds are being left on our doorstep and the doorbell is being rung and the Republican led government is simply refusing to answer the door. They are refusing these funds because they are refusing to accept that the Affordable Care Act has been a success in expanding coverage. We need healthcare coverage for all of our citizens, especially our working poor.
An estimated 300,000 people died from gun violence between 2004 and 2014. Here at home in Orlando, the June 12 nightclub shooting saw 49 people killed, and 50 more wounded. Do you support or oppose a state ban on assault weapons and/or more thorough background checks? (limit 150 words)
I support a state ban on assault weapons. Infact the organization I currently work for, Equality Florida, has partnered with the LOWV to push our local and state leaders on this issue. There is no civilian purpose for weapons of war. We need to stop the manufacture, sale and use of these military style weapons.