Soon after high school, Vic joined the US Marines and served his nation for 3 years, including one deployment overseas. He then joined the New York City Transit Police for over 20 years and attended their police academy. Everything Vic has learned, he has learned in service to this nation, and our community.
Civic Organizations (limit 75 words)
Member, Orange County Democratic Executive Committee
Member, League of Women Voters
Past Appointee to Marion County Commissioners Blue Ribbon Task Force
Past member, Florida Voters League, Inc.
Past Union Liaison, Orlando 4 Obama
Former Political Coordinator, Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1596
Former Southeast Region Representative, ATU Latino Caucus
Former Trustee, Central Florida Labor Council of Orange County
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)
We are each a part of this community, and a rising tide lifts all of us together. Our government must pass legislation that creates a rising tide to lift us all. On Education, I propose increased funding towards apprenticeship programs which provide more options to our students in finding meaningful and fulfilling work. Florida currently ranks 50th out of 50 states in providing mental health treatment, and I believe that is a major factor in our state’s crimes. And I, of course, support expanding Medicaid coverage in addition to increasing our mental health funding. Our criminal justice system should be reformed to help rehabilitate offenders and provide them the needed treatment so as to prevent recidivism, instead solely focusing on punishment. It is also important that people who serve their jail sentences are allowed to become fully-participating members of our society again and their voting rights restored.
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 am a working man. I have been my whole life–as a Marine, a police officer, and a bus driver. When I was a police officer, I took a second job as a security guard. As a school bus driver, I also drove for Lynx. I have worked 2 and 3 jobs. I know what it means to be a part of a working family, and understand truly the burdens that we carry. You shouldn’t have to choose between food and medication. We need to expand Medicaid coverage, period. There are over 800,000 people in Florida who cannot afford healthcare coverage, and that number grows by the day. I am fully in support of any plan that expands healthcare access and coverage to Floridians, and that includes tapping federal dollars.
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)
As a Marine and a former police officer, I have been on the front lines keeping our community safe for decades. I wholeheartedly support a statewide ban on assault weapons in addition to more thorough background checks. I voted against all open carry legislation (HBs 163, 4001, 4051), and intend to continue fighting against legislation that would endanger the safety of our community. I worry about our ability to provide treatment to people suffering from mental illness–our state ranks 50th out of 50 states in funding mental health treatment–and we all understand that poor mental health is a major factor in these senseless tragedies that we saw both across the country and at home here in Orlando. We need to do more. We don’t need high-powered firearms moving around in the streets, and people carrying them. And I plan to stop it once and for all.