Graduate, Colonial High School, 1983
B.A. History, University of Central Florida
Juris Doctor, University of Miami School of Law
Civic Organizations (limit 75 words)
Mustard Seed of Central Florida
Volunteer Reader, Head Start Program
An estimated 300,000 people have died from gun violence between 2004 and 2014. Do you believe the Second Amendment leaves any room for limits on gun rights? If so, please outline what those limits should be. (limit 150 words)
It is not inconsistent to support the Second Amendment while recognizing that modern firearms technology has evolved beyond the technology in place at the time the amendment was drafted. Given today’s sophisticated weapons technology, we should recognize the potential for unstable or dangerous individuals to inflict great harm on mass numbers of people. Recent tragic events highlight the need for thorough background checks, banning sales of assault type rifles, instituting a gun buy-back program like the one in Australia to take assault weapons currently in civilian hands off the streets, licensing of all guns, and closing the gun show/private seller loophole.
Some 30 million Americans remain uninsured. Would you support or oppose the Affordable Healthcare Act as currently written? Explain why you would support its continuation or what kind of plan, if any, should replace it. (limit 150 words)
The ACA, while a step in the right direction, leaves much room for improvement. Many Americans remain uninsured. Insurance companies continually undercut the intent of the act in favor of profits over people. I support a universal single payer model such as those in Canada and much of Western Europe. It is a national disgrace that Americans die for lack of adequate medical care.
Some presidential candidates have said they would favor getting rid of the U.S. Department of Education. Explain what kind of role you believe the federal government should play in education and what federal education policies you would support or oppose. (limit 150 words)
We need to rethink education policy by tailoring today’s curriculum to compete on a global scale. I support increased federal funding for early, high quality childhood education, technical or trade school as a path to the middle class for those who are not on a path to a 4 year degree, free community college, fostering and encouraging critical thinking and drastically scaling back testing in place of actual teaching. Incentivize teaching as a profession by increasing teacher pay.
The U.S. debt is approaching $20 trillion, and interest payments on the debt were $223 billion in 2015. What measures would you support to reduce the annual budget deficit that contributes to the national debt? (limit 150 words)
The debt must be viewed in the context of the overall GDP. The focus must be on the nature of the spending, not just the amount of the debt. For example, deficit spending to support job creation and growth, infrastructure build, and education is an investment that will generate returns in excess of the original cost. In contrast, deficit hawks advocating Greek style austerity measures fail to recognize the economic impact on the revenue base. Military spending accounts for nearly half of the federal budget and is larger than the military budgets of the next countries combined. I support drastically cutting military spending including closing the over 800 bases the U.S. maintains around the world. We cannot afford to be the world’s hall monitor. Additionally, we must repatriate the assets of multi-billion dollar corporations who offshore their profits and avoid paying any taxes at home. End subsidies to oil companies and invest in renewal clean energy providing jobs and safeguarding the environment.