Six years of public school – Brookshire Elementary, Winter Park
Six years of private school – Trinity Prep, Winter Park – Valedictorian
Bachelors Degree from Duke University – Double majors in Mathematics and Public Policy – Graduated Cum Laude
Civic Organizations (limit 75 words)
League of Women Voters of Orange County – former board member – former Chair of the LWVOC Natural Resources Committee
League of Women Voters of Florida – former board member and former First Vice President – former Chair of the LWVF Natural Resources Committee
Speak Up Wekiva, Inc. – current President and board member
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)
With regards to Education, we must end the senseless over-testing of our students which is part of an unseen push to privatize education. Charter schools must be held to the same standards as regular public schools. Teachers, parents and students need to have more input in the decision making process. Legislators must stop micro-managing our classrooms.
With regards to Health Care, we must fully implement the Affordable Care Act in Florida by expanding Medicaid to subsidize the health insurance costs of our working poor. Heath care costs must be constrained by limiting windfall profits by pharmaceutical companies.
With regards to Criminal Justice, we must allow those who have paid their debt to society to regain their Constitutional right to vote. This is not only the right thing to do, it has proven to lower recidivism rates. We need to monitor and record the misuse of police powers where and when they occur. Our social compact depends on fair and equitable justice in all neighborhoods regardless of race, creed or socio-economic status.
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 fully support the expansion of Medicaid to help cover the cost of insuring the working poor who have been left behind by the Florida Legislature and Governor. It makes good economic sense to insure the working poor, allowing them access to preventative treatment for illnesses that often end up as expensive emergency room visits if left unattended. There is a disincentive to work by insuring non-working individuals through Medicaid, but leaving those who cannot afford health insurance to suffer without regular access to physicians. This is Florida’s shame – leaving hundreds of thousands of service workers to languish in sickness while others enjoy the benefit of the best health care money can buy.
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 absolutely support legislation to ban the sale of assault weapons in Florida and close the gun show loophole by making background checks mandatory for all gun sales. We are killing ourselves in the name of allowing a radical interpretation of one amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The right to punch ends where another’s nose begins – and we are seeing too many bloody noses as the result of lax regulation guised as freedom. The 49 people killed at Pulse had Constitutional rights as well – the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We must defend those rights with the same fervency that the gun lobby defends its radical view of the second amendment.