PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES

DONALD J. TRUMP

MIKE PENCE

Current President and Vice President of the United States.

Immigration: President Trump has enforced immigration laws to protect American communities and American jobs. Upon entering office, President Trump called on Congress to fully fund a wall along the Southern border, to close legal loopholes that enable illegal immigration, to end chain migration, and to eliminate the visa lottery program. Under President Trump’s leadership, the Department of Homeland Security took action to wind down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in an orderly fashion, following the assessment of the Department of Justice (DOJ) that DACA lacks legal authorization. The Department of Homeland Security launched the office of Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE). The President released his immigration reform proposal which calls for the transition to a merit-based immigration plan.

Healthcare: President Trump has worked to improve access to affordable quality health care. As part of the landmark Tax Cuts and Jobs Act President Trump repealed the individual mandate, which forced people to buy expensive insurance and taxed those who couldn’t afford it. President Trump signed a six-year extension of CHIP to fund healthcare for 9 million. President Trump has mobilized his entire administration to address drug addiction and opioid abuse by declaring the opioid crisis a nationwide public health emergency.

Economy: President Trump is unleashing economic growth and jobs. Since his election, the Trump administration’s pro-growth policies have generated 6 million new jobs, the unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest point in 50 years, and wages have grown at more than 3% for 10 months in a row. Under President Trump’s leadership, Congress passed historic tax cuts and relief for hard-working Americans. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth has soared under President Trump, topping 3% in 4 quarters under his administration.

Learn more about President Trump and Mike Pence at https://www.donaldjtrump.com/

 

JOE BIDEN

KAMALA HARRIS

Former Vice President to President Obama. Biden was born in 1942 in Scranton, Pennsylvania. When he was 10 years old, his family moved to Claymont, Delaware. He graduated from the University of Delaware with a degree in history and political science and received his law degree from the Syracuse University Law School. Biden practiced law and worked as a public defender before seeking public office.

Immigration: Immediately reverse the Trump Administration’s cruel and senseless policies that separate parents from their children at our border. End Trump’s detrimental asylum policies. End the mismanagement of the asylum system, which fuels violence and chaos at the border. Surge humanitarian resources to the border and foster public-private initiatives. End prolonged detention and reinvest in a case management program. Reverse Trump’s public charge rule. End the so-called National Emergency that siphons federal dollars from the Department of Defense to build a wall. Protect Dreamers and their families. Order an immediate review of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for vulnerable populations who cannot find safety in their countries ripped apart by violence or disaster.

 

Healthcare: Joe Biden proposes protecting and building on the Affordable Care Act instead of switching to a Medicare for All system.

Economy: Mobilize American manufacturing and innovation to ensure that the future is made in America, and in all of America. Mobilize American ingenuity to build a modern infrastructure and an equitable, clean energy future. Mobilize American talent and heart to build a 21st century caregiving and education workforce which will help ease the burden of care for working parents, especially women. Mobilize across the board to advance racial equity in America.

Raise minimum wage to at least $15 per hour, and ending the tipped minimum wage and sub-minimum wage for people with disabilities, and strong benefits so they can live a middle class life and provide opportunity for their kids.

Learn more about Biden and Harris and their platform at https://joebiden.com/joes-vision/  

MAYORAL CANDIDATES

DANIELLA LEVINE

CAVA

BIOGRAPHY

Born in New York and raised partly in Latin America, I received my bachelor’s degree in psychology with honors from Yale University and graduate degrees in law and social work from Columbia University. I moved to my husband’s hometown of Miami in the 1980s and have spent the last 40 years in Miami-Dade being a force for good. First through Legal Services of Greater Miami, the Guardian Ad Litem program and the Department of Children and Families, then by starting the nonprofit Catalyst Miami, and finally as your South Dade Commissioner and your voice in County Hall. Throughout my life, I have been guided by the desire to give back to my community and stand up against the status quo to protect our environment, expand public transit, support working families, and hold special interests accountable. I’m running for Miami-Dade County Mayor to be the first woman mayor of our County, to lead through this pandemic, and to come out on the other side addressing our broken transit system, a rampant affordability crisis, and the imminent threat of climate change. As Mayor, I’ll build a broad, diverse coalition to face these issues and bring a brighter future to Miami-Dade.

IF ELECTED, WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE ACCOMPLISHED?

The spread of COVID-19 has highlighted many of the issues that are most pressing and that we must tackle in order to deliver a better future for all Miami-Dade’s residents. To address the existing affordability problem exacerbated by the virus, we can ensure our employees are paid a living wage, that we improve and expand affordable housing offerings, and that our public transit gives them access to more jobs and opportunities around the county. To improve transit, we must address reliability issues and create new corridors to connect economic opportunity with populations around the county. Lastly, we must prepare the county for climate change that we are already witnessing. Larger storms, more frequent floods, and hotter summers will pose issues especially for our most disadvantaged residents – we must do a better job of preparing ourselves and our county to mitigate these changes and protect vulnerable populations from their effects. Addressing our County’s affordability crisis, improving our public transit offerings, and transforming Miami-Dade into a climate leader are three of the most important priorities I will have as Mayor. That’s why I’ve already released a SECURE plan relating how we should approach the COVID crisis, and an EMPOWER plan to reinvigorate some of our forgotten communities including by addressing police accountability. I’ll be your Mayor with a plan and set forth from day one to deliver on these promises.

 

ESTEBAN L.

BOVO Jr.

BIOGRAPHY

Esteban L. Bovo, Jr. was born on June 12, 1962 in Queens, New York to Marilyn and Esteban Bovo-Carás. As a member of the 2506 Brigade, Esteban Bovo’s father instilled in his son the value of fighting for justice while his mother taught him the importance of compassion and service to the community. Esteban Bovo has been a proud resident of Miami-Dade County for over 47 years and holds a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from Florida International University. He is married to Viviana and has five children; Oscar, Bianca, Esteban, Sofia, and Alessandro. Esteban L. Bovo, Jr. was elected in 2011 to serve as the Miami-Dade County Commissioner representing District 13, which includes Hialeah, Miami Lakes, Palm Springs North, and neighboring areas of unincorporated Miami-Dade. On December 6th, 2016 Commissioner Bovo was elected Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners for the 2017-2018 term.

IF ELECTED, WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE ACCOMPLISHED?

Oppose and veto any effort that increases property taxes and/or seeks to raise the millage rate. • Eliminate cronyism and “pay to play” culture that has corrupted contracts, such as Miami International Airport. • Govern with integrity by keeping the promises made to our residents. • Eliminate NO bid contracts, by requiring transparency and fairness in the procurement process. • Oppose all managed toll lanes on 826 (the Palmetto). • Keep our neighborhoods and schools safe. • Protect our Beaches and Everglades for our quality of life and prosperity. • Work with the State and Federal partners to address water quality issues; and put forth a serious transit expansion plan.

 

COUNTY COMMISSION 9

KIONEE

MCGHEE

BIOGRAPHY

I am your current State Representative and House Minority Leader Kionne McGhee. As your State Representative for the past 8 years, I am running to continue fighting for our South Dade community. I was born and raised in Naranja by a single mother who worked hard to ensure I could achieve my God Given talents. I have the experience of overcoming many challenges and obstacles throughout my life, including being a victim of gun violence and police brutality. I earned my law degree and became an attorney in the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office. In 2012, my community elected me to serve in the Florida Legislature. In 2018, I had the honor of being elected the House Minority Leader. I fought for funding transportation, raising the minimum wage, police body cameras, rights for former felons, funding for affordable housing, raising our teachers, personnel, and state workers’ salaries, to name a few. Our work is not done. To Keep South Dade moving forward, we will need a proven leader who has fought the battles and is prepared to take it to the next level.

IF ELECTED, WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE ACCOMPLISHED?

As your next County Commissioner for District 9, I would focus on the following issues for our South Dade community: Transportation is an important issue to every resident in South Dade. We were promised rail for years but South Dade never received it. Better transportation will bring more jobs, alleviate traffic, and improve the quality of life for our South Dade residents. The lack of affordable housing is an issue that is hurting our seniors and workers who want to provide a decent life for their families. I fought to fully fund the Sadwoski Trust Fund to ensure we will have more affordable housing in our County. We also need to make sure we have workforce housing available to those who graduate and workers. I have the relationships that are needed to bring our public and private partners together to address this. Gun Violence continues to plague our community. I have gone to too many funerals and have comforted too many parents and families of victims. I will work with all stakeholders to keep our community safe, while also providing educational and employment opportunities for our youth.

ELVIS MALDONADO

BIOGRAPHY

Elvis Maldonado has dedicated most of his adult life to serving others as a community advocate and as a City of Homestead Councilman since 2009 where he has subsequently been re-elected. Mr. Maldonado’s proven record of public service and personal commitment and engagement to the South Dade community, makes him uniquely qualified to serve as County Commissioner. He’s currently the only candidate in the County District 9 commission race with local government experience.

 

As a result of his excellence in public service, Councilman Maldonado was selected to serve as Chair of the 2019-2020 Florida League of Cities Legislative Policy Committee on Transportation & Intergovernmental Relations. During his tenure as Chairman, Mr. Maldonado has led the way in addressing municipal concerns relating to transportation and highway safety, as well as aviation, affordable housing, building codes, charter schools and veterans affairs. Moreover, Mr. Maldonado’s community involvement extends to serving on the Homestead City Charter Review Board and as a former Chair of the Community Development District (CDD).

 

As a Councilman who comes from a diverse leadership background, Mr. Maldonado serves as Chair of the Best Practices/New Trends Committee and is the Homestead Liaison for the Miami-Dade League of Cities. As a respected small business owner, Councilman Maldonado sits, along with other business and community leaders, county and municipal elected officials, on the Board of Directors of the prestigious Miami-Dade Beacon Council, the official economic development organization for Miami-Dade County. Being a strong advocate for education at all levels, Councilman Maldonado has mentored many young students while serving as Outreach Counselor at Homestead Senior High School, ASPIRA South Charter School and Homestead Middle School.

Councilman Maldonado has made the City of Homestead his home since the age of 5. Mr. Maldonado is the devoted father of two, young adult women. Being widowed as a young man, he single-handedly raised his young daughters while juggling his responsibilities as a committed small business owner and dedicated public servant. He graduated from Florida Computer and Business College in 1998.

IF ELECTED, WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE ACCOMPLISHED?

Transportation: Bring about the long-promised, but never delivered, state-of-the-art transportation systems like light rail to South and west Miami-Dade to improve resident mobility and alleviate much-needed traffic congestion. Encourage new, large and small businesses to locate their operations in southern and western Miami-Dade County, thereby, reversing the congestive traffic flows from the major business hubs currently located in the easternmost part of the county. This would eliminate the need of many residents from commuting long hours. Propose legislation calling for a county-wide moratorium on highway tolls administered by the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX) until such time as the Florida Legislature and the County Commission complete a thorough and independent audit of MDX’s daily operations, it’s expenditures, and future plans.

Affordability: I will fight to pass legislation which would increase the current caps the County’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund is able to spend on affordable housing projects, as well as accelerate the release of these funds, once they are allocated, so that the monies targeted for affordable housing do not sit idle, year after year – so that more projects may be built at a faster rate. I will also demand that until this affordability crisis is under control, the County’s Affordable Housing Fund’s annual budget be significantly increased to accommodate the needs of lower-and middle-class working families who are in need of stable and affordable housing. Incentivize our business community to invest more in our county’s workforce housing program to provide affordable housing opportunities for our first responders, teachers and nurses.

Small Businesses: I will pass legislation allowing new and existing small businesses to open their doors faster and expand their operations by reforming the burdensome permitting process, eliminating needless bureaucratic hurdles, and cutting red tape so that local government becomes a true partner and not an obstacle to small businesses. I will propose legislation for the expansion of the County’s popular “Mom & Pop” Small Business Grant Program by doubling the amount of grant money the county provides annually so that more struggling small businesses can benefit from this valuable program, as well as allowing new and qualified businesses, and startups to access this program. Incentivize our local colleges and universities to expand their curriculums to offer more vocational courses in trades in order to prepare the many young men and women, not inclined for a traditional education, to obtain the skills necessary for them to build fruitful careers and become part of our workforce at a much faster rate. I will work tirelessly with local, state and national economic development organizations and institutions in order to attract large and small businesses from around the country to relocate their operations and make Miami-Dade County their new home, and provide our residents with the quality, high-paying jobs they need and deserve.

 

Climate Change: I will pass legislation allowing new and existing small businesses to open their doors faster and expand their operations by reforming the burdensome permitting process, eliminating needless bureaucratic hurdles, and cutting red tape so that local government becomes a true partner and not an obstacle to small businesses. I will propose legislation for the expansion of the County’s popular “Mom & Pop” Small Business Grant Program by doubling the amount of grant money the county provides annually so that more struggling small businesses can benefit from this valuable program, as well as allowing new and qualified businesses, and startups to access this program. Incentivize our local colleges and universities to expand their curriculums to offer more vocational courses in trades in order to prepare the many young men and women, not inclined for a traditional education, to obtain the skills necessary for them to build fruitful careers and become part of our workforce at a much faster rate. I will work tirelessly with local, state and national economic development organizations and institutions in order to attract large and small businesses from around the country to relocate their operations and make Miami-Dade County their new home, and provide our residents with the quality, high-paying jobs they need and deserve.

Farming & Agriculture: I will be a steadfast supporter and defender of our Agriculture Industry and will work closely with my colleagues so that the funds that our County government sends to support this vital, local industry, is not reduced or threatened from any annual budgetary cuts. My office and I will make it a priority to inform and educate our fellow residents of the many benefits and importance that this industry brings to all of Miami-Dade County.

*info pulled from candidates website

 

COUNTY COMMISION 3

KEON HARDEMON

BIOGRAPHY

Commissioner Keon Hardemon was born in Miami, Florida where his family stressed to him the core values that remain true to him today: the importance of education, integrity, and service to the community. His first home was in the James E. Scott Public Housing Development in the Liberty City area of Miami-Dade County. He was raised in Liberty City neighborhood and is the epitome of the idiom that “It takes a village to raise a child”. As a product of the Miami-Dade County Public Schools System, he graduated Charles R. Drew Elementary School, Charles R. Drew Middle School, and Miami Northwestern Senior High School.

After graduating from Miami Northwestern, Commissioner Hardemon enrolled at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU). At FAMU, he was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated and served the FAMU student body in a myriad of appointed and elected positions. However, he was most notably known as the Student Government Association’s Senate President. Mr. Hardemon graduated from FAMU with a Bachelors Degree in Business Management and a Masters in Business Administration.

Upon graduating, he returned home to Miami-Dade County to work for Pfizer, a Fortune 500 firm, but later resigned to enroll in law school at the University Of Miami School Of Law (UM). Amongst other activities at UM, he was the Black Law Students Association Vice-President, the Parliamentarian for the Student Bar Association, a member of the Center for Ethics and Public Service, and was the first student to successfully argue a motion before a Circuit Court Judge that helped save the life of a man that was facing the death penalty.

Currently, the Commissioner is a member of the Florida Bar Association, the American Bar Association, Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Wilkie D. Ferguson Bar Association, FAMU Alumni Association, and the UM Alumni Association. He was most recently an Assistant Public Defender at the Law Offices of the Public Defender Carlos Martinez where he represented hundreds of clients from the Miami-Dade County Community.

*info pulled from miamidade.gov

GEPSIE M. METELLUS

BIOGRAPHY

Gepsie Morisset-Metellus is co-founder and Executive Director of the Haitian Neighborhood Center Sant La, an award-winning neighborhood resource center that serves as a lifeline for the Haitian immigrant population of South Florida.  

 

Her community involvement spans over three decades.  She currently serves on the Miami-Dade Public Schools Superintendent’s Business Advisory Council and the Miami-Dade School Bond Oversight Committee.   She is an active member of the Miami Chapter of the International Women’s Forum and the Greater Miami Chapter of the Links Inc. She is also active in many other community organizations.  

 

In addition to hosting a weekly talk-show targeting the Haitian community South Florida, Gepsie is a frequent national media commentator about the issues that impact the Haitian community.  Ms. Metellus is multilingual and has a multicultural perspective shaped by her extensive travel to Europe, Asia, The Middle East and the Caribbean. She’s an alumna of the Rockefeller Foundation’s prestigious fellowship, Next Generation Leaders, and of Harvard Business School’s Strategic Perspectives in Non-Profit Management.  Gepsie’s motto is “Provide the leadership to get things done! 

 

Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Gepsie M. Metellus migrated to the United States at the age of twelve. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in French/Romance Languages from Queens College, New York; a Master of Science in Modern Language Education from Florida International University and a Post Masters Certificate in Education Leadership from Nova Southeastern University.  In 2004, she was conferred an honorary doctorate for community service by the Université Jean Price Mars in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

She and her husband Gerard Metellus reside in Miami and have no children.

IF ELECTED, WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE ACCOMPLISHED?

Safe Communities: I believe in a bold vision that tackles poverty rates and addresses crime as a symptom of the lack of economic opportunity in our community. Too many of our neighbors are living paycheck to paycheck, working longer hours for lower wages. A safe community free from crime means creating policies that uplift and empower our community such as protecting workers rights, and expanding affordable housing.

 

Addressing Our Affordable Housing Crisis: Miami-Dade County is in an affordable housing crisis – we rank first when it comes to the percentage of renters paying more than 30% of their income on rent. We must ensure that those that work in Miami-Dade – our teachers, firefighters, wait staff, nurses, custodial workers, police officers, clerks – can afford to live here. I believe in a countywide approach to affordable housing by partnering with advocacy groups and developers to identify vacant public land and reshape zoning codes.

 

Traffic Congestion: Traffic congestion impacts the quality of life in Miami-Dade County. We need a comprehensive approach to transit that includes addressing gridlock on our highways and neighborhood streets, investing in public transit, including new rail and bus routes that connect our communities.

 

Sustainability: Here in Miami-Dade County, the growing threat of climate change and our aging infrastructure pose long-term threats to our community. We need to care for our planet, prioritize sustainable development policies that protect our environment, and make sustainable investments in our infrastructure. 

Livability:Clean water and healthcare are human rights. We need to invest in our healthcare infrastructure, prioritize access to healthy food, and protect our water supply. Especially as we emerge from this pandemic, parks and green space will remain an important part of our community’s infrastructure, and we need to invest more in these spaces to ensure they’re accessible to all residents. 

*info pulled from candidates website

 

REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS, DISTRICT 27

DONNA

SHALALA

BIOGRAPHY

Donna was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. Her grandparents were migrants from Lebanon and moved to the United States to pursue the American Dream. Donna understands first-hand the hard work and dedication that defines the lives of immigrants trying to provide a better life for their family, as her grandparents and parents did for her and her twin sister.

From 2001 to 2015 Donna served as the President of the University of Miami. During her tenure, UM solidified its position among top U.S. research universities and raised billions of dollars in private support for student scholarships, academic and research programs and facilities. She continues to serve as the Trustee Professor of Political Science and Health Policy at the University of Miami. In 2008, President George W. Bush awarded Donna Shalala the Presidential Medal of Freedom. While on a leave of absence from the University of Miami, Donna served as President of the Clinton Foundation from June 2015 to March 2017. This position allowed her to continue working towards improving global health, increasing opportunity for girls and women, reducing childhood obesity and preventable diseases, creating economic opportunity and growth both at home and abroad, and helping address the effects of climate change.

ISSUES

Women’s Rights: As one of the founders of EMILY’s List, she has been on the front lines of efforts to elevate pro-choice women into positions of leadership in government decision-making throughout her career.

Traffic & Infrastructure: inadequate and outdated infrastructure is crippling to the long-term viability of our community, hampering the economy and undermining the quality of life of Miami-Dade residents. Donna Shalala is committed to promoting innovative solutions to help alleviate traffic concerns and improve local infrastructure – including canals, roads, bridges, mass transit, airports and seaports – to allow the efficient movement of people and goods throughout our region.

 

Education: In support of the College Affordability Act, a comprehensive plan to overhaul the United States’ higher education system so that students can spend less on an earning their education, while earning more money in the long run. The College Affordability Act would:

  • Lower the cost of college for students and families by reinvesting in higher education, and making student loans cheaper to pay off for existing borrowers;

  • Improve the quality of higher education by holding schools accountable for students’ success; and

  • Expand opportunity for students from all backgrounds by providing flexible college options and stronger support to help students graduate on time

 

Learn more about Donna at https://donnashalala.com/priorities/

MARIA ELVIRA 

SALAZAR 

BIOGRAPHY

Born in Miami’s Little Havana to Cuban parents, who emigrated to the United States, fleeing Cuba due to the arrival of Fidel Castro to power. Salazar graduated from the University of Miami and later from Harvard University which she paid for herself. She began a career in journalism covering local stories for Univision.

Salazar’s career took her all over the world. She became the anchor for CNN Español, the first time a major news network had a broadcast fully in Spanish. Salazar then covered the White House and the Gulf War. Salazar would go on to be a national news anchorwoman at Telemundo and have a long run with her own top-rated show on Mega TV. Salazar resides in Miami with her two college-aged daughters and her husband. She is currently a regular guest on various local and national news programs.

ISSUES

Anti-Socialism: Believes Socialism is flawed, dangerous, and has no place in the United States of America. 

Protect the Environment: Salazar will work to secure the federal funding and bring to South Florida the best engineering minds to tackle the threats that we face from climate change and preserve Miami Beach. Salazar will also make sure our dated drainage and waste processing systems are modernized and reliable, so that the flooding endemic to our area is less of a threat.

Term Limits: We must get rid of career politicians in both parties that put profits and power above people, and we must set limits on how long public servants can serve in Washington.

Learn more at https://mariaelvirasalazar.com/ 

 

CLERK OF COURTS

HARVEY

RUVIN

BIOGRAPHY

Harvey is the Miami-Dade County Circuit Court Clerk in Florida. Ruvin assumed office in 1992.  Harvey Ruvin is a graduate Industrial Engineer (University of Florida 1959).  He received his Juris Doctor from the University of Miami Law School, 1962.  He was first elected to public office in 1968 at the age of 30.  Serving as Mayor of the City of North Bay Village, he became one of the youngest mayors in Miami-Dade County history.  In 1972, Ruvin was elected to the Metro Dade County Commission where he served for twenty years: focusing on environmental and technology issues.  

MISSION STATEMENT

We are agents of change and advocates of innovation. We apply appropriate strategic, technological, process and people solutions.

Our focus includes:

  • Optimizing our ability to provide quality service to the public.

  • Meeting the expectations of everyone who utilizes the services of the Miami-Dade County Clerk's Office.

  • Increasing access to public information.

  • Building a technical architecture for the future.

  • Enriching work, challenging and empowering the workforce to more freely initiate improvements.

  • Ensuring all those who are part of the updated processes understand the process and technological changes and are well-trained in those changes.

  • Maintaining a balance between realizing benefits and all other guiding principles.


We work in an open, learning environment that encourages a free flow of ideas among all employees.

RUBIN

YOUNG

BIOGRAPHY

Born and raised in Miami-Dade County, Mr. Young served as a Florida State Representative’s Legislative Assistant II in 1991. He was instrumental in helping the restructuring of the redistricting process, and in doing so helped elect many black officials to new seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

 

In addition to his responsibilities as a public servant, Mr. Young also joined the American Federation for State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) where he served as Union Shop Steward and later as International Staff Representative, recruiting, organizing, and fighting for the rights of the Union’s members from 2011 to 2013 in Washington, DC, serving as a staff representative and organizer for AFSCME District Council 20.

 

ISSUES

Education: This is key to the success of every citizen living in the State of Florida. It must be easily accessible and free to all citizens looking to pursue the American dream. We need to create a plan to reach and teach young people valuable skills like career development. We must find employment for the unemployed and underemployed through the creation of new jobs and new opportunities in the fields of entrepreneurship and education. 


Vision: Rubin Young’s mission and purpose is to promote the development of “The Beloved Community” that Dr. King spoke of throughout his life.  As we move into the 21st Century, let us find ways to strengthen our neighborhoods and put local residents who live in these areas of neglect and abuse back to work. 

SCHOOL BOARD DISTRICT 9

DENNIS

MOSS

BIOGRAPHY

Miami-Dade County Commissioner Dennis C. Moss was first elected in 1993 and has served on the Board of County Commissioners for close to 28 years. Commissioner Moss was elected on November 20, 2008 as the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners 2009-2010 Chairman. Commissioner Moss is known, respected, and admired for making promises and keeping them. He was initially elected to the Board of County Commissioners shortly after Hurricane Andrew, the second worst natural disaster in the history of the United States. Commissioner Moss immediately focused his efforts on the recovery of South Miami-Dade. His tireless efforts resulted in a comprehensive plan to rebuild distressed and declining areas affected by Hurricane Andrew. Named in recognition of Commissioner Moss, the Moss Plan was approved on September 7, 1993 by the Board of County Commissioners. Commissioner Moss's committment to South Dade has brought Jackson South Medical Center to South Dade, built South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center,assisted in bringing thousands of affordable housing units to the area, brought FedEx and now Amazon to Naranja, is building the Larcenia Bullard Plaza in Richmond Heights, has struck a deal to bring the Miami Wilds Water Theme Park to Zoo Miami, helped hundreds of small businesses through his Mom and Pop Small Business Program, and the list goes on. Commissioner Moss currently serves as Chairman of the Housing, Social Services and Economic Development Committee which is responsible for oversight of matters concerning affordable, workforce and public housing, education, community assistance, social services, economic development, job creation, neighborhood improvement and self-sufficiency initiatives. He was also appointed as Vice Chair of the Transportation and Finance Committee and a member of the Tourism and the Ports Committee, The Chairwoman’s Policy Council and the Community Disparities Subcommittee.

IF ELECTED, WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE ACCOMPLISHED?

  • 1. Ensure school safety

  • 2. Protect students & staff from COVID-19

  • 3. Create distance learning that works for all students

  • 4. Preserve schools in challenged neighborhoods

  • 5. Provide life skills: employment entrepreneur, coding and trade skills

 

Amendment 1: Citizenship Requirement to Vote in Florida Elections

LUISA

SANTOS

BIOGRAPHY

My story is a testament to the ability our district has to combat the socioeconomic inequities that are so deeply embedded in our nation. I was born in Bogota, Colombia, and when I was 8 years old I immigrated to this country. I entered our public school system, attending Perrine Elementary, surrounded by new people and a new language. However, I became determined to succeed in my academic pursuits, learning English through an ESOL program and becoming involved in as many activities as possible. However, when I attempted to volunteer with the school system, I learned that I was undocumented, a realization that further motivated me to become involved civically. I went on to begin my higher education at Miami Dade College before completing my degree in Political Economy and Education, Inquiry, and Justice at Georgetown University. While in D.C., I worked under the Obama Administration’s Department of Education and as a 4th grade assistant teacher and tutor in two vastly differently-resourced communities. My story, of overcoming hardship and immigration status, should be the story of every student in Miami-Dade; however, as we transition into an increasingly technologicized and stratified nation these opportunities have become difficult to obtain.

IF ELECTED, WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE ACCOMPLISHED?

As an elected official, I will work to protect the safety and mental health of our students, support our educators and staff, and ensure equity, fairness, and transparency countywide. When discussing student safety, it is my belief that this extends beyond the notion of having more police in school and encompasses the emotional wellbeing of our students. Our students deserve to attend a school where they feel safe from the threat of gun violence, where they feel safe from the threats of cyberbullying in an increasingly technologized world, and where they feel safe within their own emotions and feelings. A key portion of my platform is expanding social-emotional learning, with a truly solid implementation from the district, so that students can grapple with the stresses and emotional issues that can come from academic and home issues. We should also support our staff in the same manner in which we support our students, ensuring that they receive the proper resources necessary to execute their jobs to the best of their ability. Our teachers are tasked with the hardest job in the world, creating a path for our students, and we should support them as such. They ought to be paid more, and as a Board Member, I will also advocate for proper development and retention of educators at both the local and state levels. I also hope to empower educators and students alike with culturally relevant teaching that will tie our curriculum to the lived experiences of our students. I believe the issues of equity, fairness, and transparency in our district is critically important to creating a just school system that can provide students with opportunities. I am dedicated to ensuring the proper allocation of resources, protecting our most vulnerable youth from forces of discrimination and inequality, and utilizing data to ensure that the voice of the community as a whole is heard in the school policymaking process. We need to solve the achievement gaps within our district, dismantle the school to prison pipeline, and address the lack of career and college options available to our students upon graduation. I have proposed multiple policies to address this, both short-term and systemic, such as a retired volunteer corps, lowering the student to counselor ratio, investing in early education and restorative justice, and expanding support for our Career Technical Education and College Assistance Programs. Furthermore, we must revitalize the community-school relationship, and I dedicate myself to facilitating that as a School Board member through visiting schools regularly, holding quarterly town halls in rotating locations, having complete transparency with our educators, disaggregating data, and improving our websites to work well and provide places for feedback. As a Board Member, and through data-driven and targeted policies, I hope to promote a school district dedicated to equity, which protects and supports our students and teachers at every level.

 

What it says: “This amendment provides that only United States Citizens who are at least eighteen years of age, a permanent resident of Florida, and registered to vote, as provided by law, shall be qualified to vote in a Florida election.”

What a YES vote means: You support changing the text of Florida’s Constitution from “every citizen” to “only a citizen of the United States who is at least eighteen years of age and who is a permanent resident of the state, if registered as provided by law, shall be an elector of the county where registered.”

What a NO vote means: You support the current text of the constitution, which states “Every citizen of the United States who is at least eighteen years of age and who is a permanent resident of the state, if registered as provided by law, shall be an elector of the county where registered.”

What it says: “This amendment provides that only United States Citizens who are at least eighteen years of age, a permanent resident of Florida, and registered to vote, as provided by law, shall be qualified to vote in a Florida election.”

What a YES vote means: You support changing the text of Florida’s Constitution from “every citizen” to “only a citizen of the United States who is at least eighteen years of age and who is a permanent resident of the state, if registered as provided by law, shall be an elector of the county where registered.”

What a NO vote means: You support the current text of the constitution, which states “Every citizen of the United States who is at least eighteen years of age and who is a permanent resident of the state, if registered as provided by law, shall be an elector of the county where registered.”

 
 

What it says: “Allows all registered voters to vote in primaries for state legislature, governor, and cabinet regardless of political party affiliation. All candidates for an office, including party nominated candidates, appear on the same primary ballot. Two highest vote getters advance to general election. If only two candidates qualify, no primary is held and winner is determined in general election. Candidate’s party affiliation may appear on ballot as provided by law. Effective January 1, 2024.”

 

What a YES vote means: You support changing the Florida Constitution to allow an open primary in elections for state legislators, governor and cabinet officials.

What a NO vote means: You do not support the change and want the state to continue with its current closed system, which only allows registered voters to vote within their own party during a primary to decide who will represent them in a general election.

 

What it says: “Requires all proposed amendments or revisions to the state constitution to be approved by the voters in two elections, instead of one, in order to take effect. The proposal applies the current thresholds for passage to each of the two elections.”

 

What a YES vote means: You support changing the voting process to Florida’s constitutional amendments to be approved by 60% twice.

 

What a NO vote means: You’re fine with the current amendment process, which only requires an amendment to garner a 60% vote once.

What it says: “Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution, effective date January 1, 2021, to increase, from 2 years to 3 years, the period of time during which accrued Save-Our-Homes benefits may be transferred from a prior homestead to a new homestead.”

What a YES vote means: You support extending the two-year deadline for residents to transfer their “Save Our Home” benefits, which range from $25,000 to $50,000 in homestead exemptions, to three years.

What a NO vote means: You support the current two-year deadline for transferring the “Save Our Home” benefits and do not believe it should be extended.

 

What it says: “Provides that the homestead property tax discount for certain veterans with permanent combat-related disabilities carries over to such veteran’s surviving spouse who holds legal or beneficial title to, and who permanently resides on, the homestead property, until he or she remarries or sells or otherwise disposes of the property. The discount may be transferred to a new homestead property of the surviving spouse under certain conditions. The amendment takes effect January 1, 2021.”

 

What a YES vote means: You support a change to the state’s constitution that would allow spouses of disabled or deceased veterans receive a Homestead Property Tax discount.

 

What a NO vote means: You don’t support the amendment and don’t believe property tax discounts should be transferred to the spouse of a disabled or deceased veteran.

 
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