It’s time to try something new to lower your cost of living and raise your quality of life.
After a generation of Republican rule, Florida’s thriving economy has become disconnected from the individuals it is meant to serve. This year, Florida was ranked the eleventh-worst state to raise a family. Our poverty rate is far too high, particularly for children. Our rankings for working-class people and health care are consistently at the bottom.
Meanwhile, Florida’s economy is the 15th largest in the world. We are one of the best states in the union to start a business. But our robust economy has become disconnected from the lives of everyday Floridians.
Let’s try something new. Let’s lower costs for Floridians while raising standards and our quality of life.
There is no denying that Florida faces an affordability crisis. Most workers in Florida can’t afford to rent a typical two-bedroom apartment – a full-time worker needs to earn $24.43 an hour to pay the typical rent of $1,270 a month; the median wage in Florida is $17.26 an hour. Our plan will be directed to help everyday Floridians, like a part-time retail worker, the police officer, the single mom, the retiree, or a nurse.
- When I am governor, I will declare a housing state of emergency. I will direct the Attorney General to halt rent hikes and designate anything over 10% as price gouging.
- Over the course of its existence, $2.3 billion of the Sadowski fund – Florida’s affordable housing trust fund – has been allocated to other uses. I won’t sign any bill that diverts Sadowski funds to non-affordable housing related projects.
- We will expand the Homestead Exemption up to $100,000 of value, and offer additional property tax exemptions for those who own only one home.
- I will fight to repeal the state law that prohibits local governments from imposing rent control, and explore innovative ideas, like utilizing empty hotels and motels for conversion to efficiency affordable housing
- Establish an Affordable Housing and Planning Task Force to recommend immediate action
The homeowner’s insurance system in the State of Florida is effectively in collapse. The average premium is more than $3,500. This crisis is being driven by fraud, waste, abuse, lawsuits, and skyrocketing property values.
- One of my first acts as governor will be to appoint a Homeowner’s Insurance Task Force to take on this crisis. This task force will focus on:
- Fraud prevention
- Frivolous lawsuits
- Innovative ideas to lower rates
- Recruit new providers
- I will increase the authority of the State’s Insurance Advocate to serve as a voice for the people – not the insurance companies.
- I will negotiate with large insurers that sell a range of insurance products to offer homeowners insurance as well, offering discounts to homeowners who package their insurance with one provider.
- Floridians should be able to become eligible for insurance discounts if they participate in state-provided wind inspections, and other preparatory activities to make homes safer during a hurricane.
There’s no way a place called “The Sunshine State” shouldn’t be leading the way on solar energy. Instead, we’re behind states like California, North Carolina, and even New Jersey and Massachusetts. Florida is the best-positioned state in the nation to lead the way on the energy expansion movement. We just need the right leadership to get the job done.
We also need to understand the disparities in energy, that Black and Hispanic families face an energy burden three times higher than other consumers. That’s why, when I launched the statewide energy disparity study in 2021, I said, “To help those who need it the most, we need to understand the systemic inequalities, the barriers and disparities and all the factors that keep vulnerable communities trapped in a cycle of energy efficiency and higher energy costs.” It’s also why, as Commissioner of Agriculture, I launched the Low-Income Residential Energy Efficient Grant Program.
I will update and expand the Florida Energy and Climate Plan we introduced in my capacity as Agriculture Commissioner.
- Smart energy and infrastructure starts with security. I will Identify infrastructure vulnerabilities, starting with drinking water and wastewater vulnerabilities, and work with experts to ensure these systems are secure.
- All Floridians deserve access to job opportunities, outstanding schools and quality health care – not just those in our metropolitan areas. I will leverage federal investment in equitable broadband infrastructure for our rural areas. I will work with the private sector and local communities to guarantee high-speed Internet access is affordable, with an eye towards those who are currently underserved.
- I will stand up to the for-profit utility companies and demand we lower utility bills for everyday Floridians through the expansion of available grants and tax credits.
- The tragedy of Surfside should never have happened. We will do a top-down review of our building code in the State of Florida to ensure we are inspecting new construction appropriately, and have the necessary mechanisms in place to inspect buildings in need.
- I believe in energy independence, and I believe that it starts with solar. Together, we will make the Sunshine State the leader in solar energy, we will preserve net metering, and stop the utilities and their lobbyists in Tallahassee from making solar more difficult to obtain and more expensive.
- I will expand Florida’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program which provides grants to localities and non-profits to assist eligible low-income Floridians. My administration will also partner with local governments to provide incentives for low income housing improvements.
More than 73,000 Floridians died of COVID-19 during the pandemic. Many more experienced temporary or even permanent disabilities. The lingering stress has had a profound mental health impact on our citizens. The pandemic put a strain on our healthcare system as well, requiring more of our healthcare providers and professionals than has ever been asked. As with any crisis, the COVID pandemic has presented Florida with an opportunity to give all Floridians access to the quality, affordable healthcare they deserve, and to fully support our healthcare providers.
- I will expand Medicaid because it is the right thing to do. It’s good for Florida’s economy. It creates jobs. It’s an investment in rural hospitals. It’s an investment in our seniors. It provides critical care to those in need. And, most important of all, it saves the lives of Floridians. Services will also be expanded for:
- Prenatal care
- Dentistry access
- Senior services
- Insulin users; Medicaid insulin pricing for every Floridian who needs it
- As of last year, more than 22,000 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities were kept on a waiting list for Medicaid services. That is a disgrace, and in my Administration, we’ll get the people on that list the services they need. We will also expand coverage for mental health services in the state.
- Paid parental leave will start with the State of Florida. Mothers and fathers – including those who wish to adopt – will get six weeks of paid leave.
- There is no question that our healthcare workers are essential workers. I will expand development and retention programs to keep the best doctors, nurses, NPs, and other medical professionals here in Florida.
- We will address the health needs of rural Floridians by expanding affordable telehealth services. We will also provide tax incentives to minority access providers, and those who operate free and charitable medical clinics.
- I will work with leaders in government and across the state to implement an Aging Population Marshall Plan, which will address a range of issues, like increased quality care for our rapidly aging population.
We will eliminate childhood hunger in the State of Florida. Right now, nearly three million Floridians face food insecurity, including 850,000 children. That’s unacceptable.
To fight food insecurity, I have consistently advocated for universal free school meals, led a partnership with Walmart on a Rural Food Grant to fight hunger in rural communities, sought to expand access to fresh foods in food deserts, a proposal to establish universal free school breakfast and lunch across Florida, and provided tax credits to farmers who donate farm-fresh foods. I also opposed former President Trump’s disastrous cuts to food stamp programs.
As your governor, I recognize that the health of a child, and their access to nutritious food is vital to the success of my whole agenda. The health of Florida’s children will influence outcomes like health & well-being, educational attainment, and workforce development.
- Under my administration, we will implement universal free school breakfast and lunch. Kids can’t concentrate on school work with empty bellies. This is an investment in the health and education of Florida’s students.
- Food deserts in Florida – and across America – are expanding. I will work with leaders at the federal level, including the USDA, as well as locally to implement innovative solutions to ensure every Floridian has access to safe, healthy, fresh food. Some innovative ideas we will consider include:
- Establishing bus-stop farmer’s markets. Locating farmer’s markets at bus stops, train stations, and other public transportation hubs gives people who work the opportunity to pick up farm-fresh groceries while on their commute home.
- Expand my “Victory Gardens” program, which encourages local growth and unity in our communities. Community gardens in our urban areas have helped alleviate food insecurity in low-income areas, and we should expand them.
- Encouraging innovative transportation options. A key component of food deserts is lack of transportation. I will work with rideshare providers like Lyft to help, including providing citizens of food deserts discounted rides to participating local grocers and markets.
- Limiting dollar stores. Several American cities – New Orleans, Birmingham, and Atlanta, to name a few – have initiatives to slow the spread of dollar stores, especially in food deserts.
- For too long, everyday Floridians have felt the burden of shortages of essential products. While the federal government focuses on fixing our global supply chain problems, I want to ensure we secure domestic sourced commodities.
Florida is facing profound challenges. We must ask our citizens to step forward to help serve their communities, their cities, their state and their nation.
- Today we have rising prices, a housing affordability crisis, the inability to get a federally-approved minimum wage passed, and a vast array of Florida’s natural resources in need of care. That is why I will create a Florida Civilian Conservation Corps for residents of Florida. This Corps will follow similar principles of AmeriCorps, which began in 1993 under President Clinton, who created the Corporation for National and Community Service.
- Environment – Members will work throughout Florida as stewards of our natural spaces, partnering with state and local parks professionals.
- Employment – This program is intended to serve as a pathway to employment opportunities and help develop vital work skills.
- Disaster Response – Members will assist when disasters strike. They will work on the ground to repair homes, help survivors, and help restore communities and neighborhoods.
- Health & Community Engagement – Members may also assist with capacity and distribution at local food banks, assist in taking on homelessness, and work with local officials to address food insecurity.
- Individuals who serve in the Corps, or through other qualifying employment, will be eligible for forgiveness of most federally-guaranteed student loans. In addition, interest payments that accrue during service may be eligible for repayment.
- Too many of our workers have fallen through the cracks, particularly “gig workers,” who are effectively driving much of our economy today. That is why I am proposing a Gig Workers Bill of Rights. Our Florida Gig Worker Bill of Rights will spell out the plain facts: a worker is a worker. They deserve full employment rights – the same as other workers around our state, with minimum wage protections, paid sick leave, and vacation pay. The Bill of Rights will also stipulate:
- Clarity of payment, including how pay is calculated. Workers will be paid for all hours worked.
- That companies will always cover work-related expenses. The real wages of a gig worker will never be reduced below the minimum wage, and that tips are always extra, not included in wages.
- That there will be no punishment for time off.
- There is a common, clear test for employment status.
- That gig workers have a right to refuse any job, and that gig workers have a right to freedom from discrimination.
When I served as a public defender, I saw first hand that too often poverty and injustice were inextricably linked. We can begin to right the inherent wrongs in our system by eliminating barriers for Floridians who have served their time and seek to reenter society. Too often offenders fall into a trap not of their making and re-offend. We can end this cycle by:
- Improving pretrial services and supervision,
- Increasing diversion programs
- Expanding proven programs like drug courts
- Civil penalties for certain low-level drug offenses.
- I will seek full legalization of marijuana in Florida. I will expunge all existing charges and sentences for misdemeanor as well as third-degree felony marijuana possession. We will fund drug treatment and diversion programs utilizing tax revenue collected from marijuana sales.
- We need to reduce barriers to re-entry, and we must support our fellow citizens who remain crime-free after returning to their neighborhoods and communities. Too often, those with criminal records find themselves blocked from opportunity – jobs, education, housing – all of it can be difficult to obtain, or out of reach entirely. I would pursue “clean slate” legislation that clears criminal records should a citizen remain crime-free for a specified length of time.
- Our justice system should treat people fairly. Given that the vast majority of prisoners return to society, our system should have a focus on rehabilitation not a lifetime of costly disadvantage. Floridians with a past criminal record constantly face challenges finding opportunities, such as employment and housing. Too often, revenue from court fees and fines effectively criminalizes poverty, particularly targeting our minority and traditionally disenfranchised communities. I will work to reduce and, when appropriate, eliminate these fees.
We need to expand transportation options in Florida. It was a mistake when then-Governor Rick Scott turned down federal transportation funding for high speed rail in 2011. When I am governor, I will work every day to connect more people to job opportunities by investing in long-distance passenger rail lines across the state. Rather than stripping power from local governments, I will work with them to expand and coordinate commuter rail and bus networks.
I am going to invest in transportation infrastructure that our businesses need to succeed, particularly in traditionally underserved areas of need. Accessible transportation options means our seniors, people with disabilities, and many others can get to medical appointments, get to work, and get to school.
- Explore reducing tolls for residents
- Implement a gas tax reduction now (not wait until it’s politically expedient)
- Sell the unnecessary extra two state jets budget for this legislative session
- Invest in public/private partnerships to expand regional and statewide public transportation
- Invest in high speed rail
- We must expand our transportation options. More transportation options for more Floridians is an economic investment we cannot afford to pass up. I will be a partner with local communities, working together on commuter rail and bus networks, with a focus on transit deserts.
- We will invest in transportation infrastructure that our Florida workers and businesses need for advancement and success.
I have a vision where prosperity in Florida is meant for everyone. The success of our economy should be judged on how many children and families thrive.
- I will implement $15 minimum wage for State workers, leading the way for a standard minimum wage across Florida.
- Florida’s more than 2.5 million small businesses are the soul of our state’s economy. As governor, I will work with Enterprise Florida and other business leaders to create a Small Business Growth Fund, investing in small business financing programs that do not duplicate existing, hard-to-use programs and help grow customers.
- I will establish an “entrepreneurship learner’s permit” – a small business incubation program offering a hand-up to individuals forming new businesses in Florida. For first-time entrepreneurs, the permit will fast-track filing times and reduce permitting or licensing fees associated with the formation of new businesses. We will also invest in education and training programs for new business permit holders.
- Florida has already lost too much entertainment business to states like Georgia. I will bring back Film Florida.
- I’ll work with our unions to expand both educational and apprenticeship opportunities.
- I am committed to ensuring that Florida’s small businesses, particularly, minority-owned small businesses, receive the support they need to access state resources. I will create state navigators to assist our minority small business owners get the help they need to thrive.
- In 2021, nearly five million international visitors came to Florida. When I am governor, I will appoint an Agency Director to lead an office of International Relations. This office will ensure that all our diverse communities continue to enhance Florida’s reputation as a place for diplomacy, commerce, and resilience — strengthening the economic opportunities and ensuring long-term growth in the Sunshine State.
Clean air and pristine waterways are more than just central to our economic well-being – our environment is what makes Florida special.
We also need to recognize that no state in the union is more susceptible to the effects of a changing climate than Florida. In fact, we have already felt the impacts of extreme weather events. Although climate change represents a very real danger, it is also an opportunity to generate jobs through innovative technologies and cutting-edge energy efficiency efforts. We will focus on advanced energy sectors and work with unions and industry leaders to train workers for good-paying jobs. And we will work with leaders at the federal and local level to not just respond to climate change disasters, but to prepare our communities for the changes to come.
- Sewage pipe infiltration, as well as fertilizer runoff cause harmful algae blooms and cause millions of dollars in damage and loss of business along the coast. As governor, I will establish Clean Air and Water Development Funds. My administration will work with leaders at the EPA, USDA and across Florida to set aside funds for our communities most in need of environmental mitigation.
- I will increase tax incentives for residents who utilize water-saving Florida-friendly landscaping. These landscapes avoid the runoff of excess fertilizers and pesticides and provide habitats for wildlife.
- It’s no secret that those affected most by dangerous toxins in our environment are those who have been traditionally disenfranchised. I will direct Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection to define aggressive mitigation protocols to address dangerous chemicals and toxins – like those found in the gypsum stack in Piney Point – and set aggressive timetables and benchmarks for remediation. Included in these plans will be detailed communications efforts to work at the neighborhood level to notify citizens of the dangers.
- I will set attainable – but aggressive – renewable energy targets for our electric utilities. My administration will target tax credits towards solar as well as other forms of energy generation. Florida will no longer ignore solar; we will streamline the adoption of solar, creating jobs along with clean energy.
- Instead of ignoring climate change and the environment, our government will embrace it. State initiative fostering energy efficiency and reducing waste will include:
- updating building codes
- examining power grids
- clean energy vehicles for the State
- Restoring the Everglades is non-negotiable. The Everglades are the beating heart of Florida, essential to our environment, and to our soul. I will immediately implement an aggressive Everglades Restoration Plan to ensure we have redoubled our efforts to restore the Everglades. I will also halt the continued pollution of Lake Okeechobee.
Like the economy of Florida, our public safety mechanisms have become disconnected from the lives of everyday Floridians. As a public defender, I was on the front lines, standing with those facing the stark inequalities of race, money, education, and mental health.
Today, I fear we are seeing the green shoots of that inequality rise again. Gun violence and crime are on the rise. And our justice systems are antiquated and rotting from the inside out. We need a top-down approach to reform.
Our reforms will be comprehensive, but data-driven. I will also ensure our work is based on the lived experiences of Floridians. I will travel the state listening to policing and public safety professionals, as well as those who have been through the criminal justice system.
- We know community policing works. When I am governor, I will increase funds for community policing in order to reconnect our police officers to the people, neighborhoods, and communities they serve.
- We have seen innovative programs like St. Petersburg’s Community Assistance and Life Liaison (CALL) program work beyond expectations. Sending mental health professionals to non-emergency calls makes our communities safer, and allows police officers to do the hard work of preventing crime and solving cases. I will also provide funding for State and local police officers to de-escalation training.
- We must redouble our efforts on behalf of juveniles convicted of crimes, who, for too long, have been ignored by the leaders of our state. I will champion legislation to expand behavioral and diversion programs that expunge the criminal records of eligible juveniles, rather than have them serve prison time. I will also expand civil citation programs for juveniles.
- We must begin to re-establish trust between law enforcement and our community. Part of the answer lies in ensuring our police officers know they are valued, and are paid a fair salary for the dangerous work they do every day. I will establish a standard minimum salary for all law enforcement.
- I will finally close the gun show loophole and ban so-called “ghost guns”.
Law enforcement and national security experts agree: domestic terrorism is on the rise in America.
On May 14, 2022, a mass shooting took place at a supermarket in the Kingsley neighborhood of Buffalo, New York. Ten people were killed, three were injured. Eleven of the shooting victims were Black. The shooter live-streamed the attack on social media.
Those perpetuating these horrific crimes know no domestic boundaries. In 2017, a gunman opened fire on the annual Congressional Baseball Game for Charity. U.S. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, along with five others, were seriously injured.
In 2017, neo-Nazis, fascists, white nationalists, and alt-righters marched on Charlottesville. A woman named Heather Heyer was killed, and 28 others were injured when a terrorist drove his car into a group of counter-protesters.
An anti-Semitic believer in a white genocide conspiracy theory killed 11 and wounded 6 more at the Tree of Life – Or L’Simcha Congregation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2018. A follower of the same white genocide conspiracy theory burned an Escondido, California mosque in 2019.
No one has forgotten one of the worst acts of domestic terrorism, and the deadliest attack on LGBTQ people in American history: On June 12, 2016, 49 people were killed and 53 were injured in the mass shooting in Orlando at the Pulse nightclub.
Victims of these atrocities look like America: Blacks, Jews, immigrants, LGBTQ individuals, Asians, and people of color. There is no place in America, and no place in Florida for this kind of radical hate and violent extremism
As Governor, I will:
Ensure the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and Office of Domestic Security Florida have the resources they need to properly execute Florida’s Domestic Security Strategic Plan.
Focus on information and intelligence sharing with local, statewide, and national law enforcement and security professionals
Ensure we are leveraging the resources of the appropriate private partners
Focus on identifying emerging threats by ensuring FDLE and ODS have the proper resources to monitor and analyze national domestic terror trends.
Protect critical infrastructure against acts of terrorism.
Work with local and municipal leaders to ensure critical operations facilities like wastewater treatment and water plants are safe from attack.
Ensure our local and national law enforcement partners are working with disaster recovery experts to ensure that residents can recover quickly, and stronger than before when attacks do occur.
Eliminate the Division of Elections police created in 2022 and dedicate that funding towards amplifying the forces investigating domestic terrorists groups in Florida.
Public education is one of my top priorities. And public education, along with the rights of children and families, has never been under attack more than it was during this last despicable legislative session. From Governor DeSantis shaming children for wearing masks at a press conference, to the Legislature withholding school recognition grants for districts enforcing a federal COVID-19 mask mandate, the way Florida’s Republican leadership has treated the children of Florida is a disgrace.
I envision a brighter future for Florida. But we’ll never get there if Florida doesn’t have the best schools in the nation. When I’m governor, we will.
- The Florida constitution mandates the state provide free, quality, universal voluntary pre-Kindergarten (VPK). Still, though more than 75% of eligible four-year-olds attend VPK, many Florida families find themselves struggling to pay for the services for a full day beyond the three hours of education programming provided for four- and five-year-olds. Florida ranks 41st out of 43 states offering VPK in per student spending. Furthermore, there is a persistent, inexcusable waitlist for these necessary services. When I am governor, I will:
- Follow the lead of the Early Learning Coalitions and allow initial eligibility for families making up to 200 percent of the poverty level ($43,440 for a single parent with two children).
- Work with the Biden Administration and Congress to vastly increase our share of funding from the federal Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG).
- Parents work eight-hour days. I will find ways to additionally supplement funding for a full 8-hour day for a child in VPK.
- The average salary for a childcare provider in Florida is $11.78. When I’m governor, I will mandate a $15.00 per hour minimum for all childcare teachers in Florida.
- Clear the waitlist backlog. Every child should have the chance to learn.
- Mandate a $15.00 per hour minimum for all childcare teachers and aides in Florida.
- Teachers and students need more resources. Florida currently ranks 49th in teacher pay. But the Florida student allocation hasn’t been so low since Charlie Crist was the Republican Governor. Governor DeSantis does a lot of bragging about modest raises for new teachers, but it’s clearly not enough. Other states spend nearly double per student over Florida. It’s time we took education funding seriously in this state. I will call on the Florida Legislature to double per student spending over the course of my term. And we will implement teacher pay increases for veterans to ensure parity.
- Florida’s Bright Futures Scholarships establishes lottery-funded scholarships to reward Florida high school graduates for high academic achievement. I will expand the program. We also need to make attainment of higher education more equitable. I will work with our federal partners to expand Pell Grants and increase Work-Study funding. We will also explore tuition-free community college for eligible high school students.
- When I am governor, the State will be a true partner with our HBCUs. I want Florida to lead the way on cutting-edge HBCU Centers of Innovation to take on issues facing our state, as well as the nation. As governor, I will call on the Florida Legislature to invest money in a venture capital fund specific to HBCUs so that they may innovate, create, and explore on campus. I will be a strong champion for the federal HBCU National Security Innovation Act and the HBCU Innovation Fund Act, empowering “HBCUs to expand their footprint as important engines of innovation.”
- In higher education, it has become clear that eliminating college debt is the right thing to do. Higher education has outpaced what average citizens can afford. 30 years ago, tuition at a public, four-year university totaled about $3,360 per year in today’s dollars. That same degree today is nearly triple the cost. That is why President Biden has already canceled more than $11 billion in student debt. When I’m governor, I’ll call on him to eliminate the rest of it. It’s smart economics – and it’s the right thing to do for Floridians, and Americans.
- For many Floridians, technical college – offering more hands-on learning – is a better education than a four year university or college education. I will focus on expanding our technical and trade schools in Florida. Because technical institutions traditionally take less time than four year universities, we can enlist a well-prepared workforce in Florida faster.
Florida has the second most seniors per capita in the country. Our senior population is a gift to be treasured, to be treated with reverence and respect. We have a sacred duty to honor and care for our senior citizens.
I will implement a billion-dollar senior rebate. The COVID-19 pandemic took a considerable toll on our senior population. Today, few are bearing the brunt of our current economic crisis more than Florida’s seniors. This rebate will be a one-time grant – not a loan – and, through the Florida Department of Elder Affairs, will be made available to citizens over the age of 65 in Florida.
Florida’s seniors always have been and always will be an extraordinary asset to our state. They have lived the experience of our diverse workforce. They have volunteered at home or abroad. Our seniors mentor young people. Our seniors have built the State of Florida. That is why, when I am governor, I will implement a Senior’s Bill of Rights, to include:
Improving transportation options with an eye towards senior needs.
Revamp and establish a stronger long-term care ombudsman.
Improve safer staffing standards in nursing homes.
Lowering prescription drug costs – and ensuring they stay low.
Ensure Medicaid expansion meets the needs of assisted living seniors.
I will devote resources to the community care programs and home-based service programs, cutting wait times for necessary senior services. No one should have to wait for a hot meal to be delivered, a home health aid, or personal care items.
I will expand Medicaid. We must help “early seniors” who have not yet reached Medicare-age but are out of work, or work for employers with no health coverage.
From a childhood in Miami, to serving as a public defender, to fighting for housing for Floridians, to serving as your Commissioner of Agriculture, I know first hand that one’s path should never be determined by the accident of their birth. I believe in the American dream, in service, in personal responsibility, in education for all, in service, in family, and in faith. I believe in freedom for all.
When I am governor, I will go to work every day to raise standards for Floridians who dream of freedom, too.
- Our Civil Rights – which many Americans fought, bled, and died for – are under attack once again, particularly at the ballot box. I will always stand on the side of expanding our Civil Rights, not limiting them.
- The idea of home rule has been under attack in Florida for twenty years. I trust local governments and their leaders to know what’s best for their constituents, and will work to rebuild home rule in Florida.
- Florida should always strive to build a more inclusive, supportive State for LGBTQ+ residents and visitors. As Governor, I will appoint an LGBTQ+ Liaison to serve in the Governor’s Office. This liaison will manage the daily operations of a statewide LGBTQ+ Welcome Center and elevate LGBTQ+-related community concerns to my attention. While we have made much progress in Florida, there is still work to do, including:
- Repealing regressive sodomy laws in Florida.
- Ensuring our State Medicaid program covers transgender health (and we will have trans-inclusive health benefits for State employees).
- Enacting foster care non-descrimination.
- Ensuring our schools have the appropriate anti-bullying tools they need to protect our LGBTQ+ students.
- Working towards equality for all is more than just the right thing to do – equality is good for business. I will highlight businesses across Florida who respect diversity.
- The rapid dissemination of misinformation has been on a steep incline since social media platforms became widely used. I will direct state resources to combating misinformation, and will hold those accountable who deliberately mislead the citizens of our state.
- Our immigrant communities are integral to the story of Florida. When I am governor, I will never use our treasured immigrant communities as a political prop.
Florida has never had a female governor. And it shows. On my first day in office, I will work to repeal the regressive limitation on a woman’s right to make her own healthcare choices, HB 5. I will also expand Medicaid coverage for pregnant women to one year postpartum. Our state faces an inexcusable maternal mortality crisis. Florida ranks 32nd out of the 50 for highest maternal mortality rates. Once again, women of color are disproportionately affected. Under my leadership, this gross disparity will come to an end.
- I will always be a champion of the rights of a woman to make her own healthcare decisions. I will also defend the rights of doctors to provide care.
- I will expand Medicaid and increase Medicaid coverage for pregnant women from birth to one year postpartum.
Home to twenty-one military bases and more than 1.5 million veterans, Florida owes a debt to those who have served our nation in uniform.
- I will expand the property tax exemption for qualified veterans.
- I also want to work with our institutions of higher learning to decrease barriers for veterans who want to pursue higher education. The State of Florida will ensure there are dedicated veteran support staff at every college and university as well as more credit transfer opportunities for qualified veterans.
- As Governor, I will work with the Adjutant General and other military leaders to create an Office of Military Inclusion in the State of Florida. This office will take on issues facing women veterans, veterans of color, and LGBTQ+ veterans. They will work with other departments to address issues such as:
- Veteran mental health services
- Veteran senior housing
- Veteran education
- Veteran employment in our military communities
- I will work with social services leaders, local governments, and the VA to end veteran homelessness in Florida.
No American right is more sacred than your right to vote. Unfortunately, Governor DeSantis and the Republican Legislature care more about solidifying Republican power than they do about our democracy and your right to vote. There is no other explanation for their constant voter suppression efforts.
- When I am your governor, I would take immediate steps to expand voting, not limit it:
- I would expand access to mail ballots.
- Automatically register to vote anyone who seeks a driver’s license.
- Implement same day voter registration.
- Make Election Day a state holiday. Every voter, including working people, should have the best possible opportunity to cast their ballots.
- Work with Supervisors of Elections to ensure equitable polling sites.
- I will serve as a full partner with the Secretary of State and local Supervisors of Elections to ensure they have the training and resources necessary to serve their voters.
- I would embrace the spirit of Amendment 4 and allow felons who have completed their sentences to register to vote, giving them full restitution.
- We will ensure there is assistance for seniors and disabled Floridians on Election Day, and ensure postage for mail ballots is free.
It is time to bring back transparency to the Governor’s Office. We also must focus on ways to streamline our government, while ensuring it remains effective in service to the people of the State of Florida.
- I will make my daily meeting log, as well as my flight record log, public.
- City Citizen Review Board’s are created to enhance trust between City leadership and citizens. We will create one for the Governor’s Office to serve the same purpose.
Our world has become more dangerous, not less. I will work with state and national law enforcement and security experts on determining the best ways to prevent nefarious foreign infiltration in state government.
- Lobbyists have once again become too comfortable in Tallahassee. I will expand requirements for lobbying the state and explore a spousal lobbying requirement.
- Our unemployment system in the State of Florida remains a disgrace and a national embarrassment. I will work on day one to revamp DEO and our broken unemployment system so that it once again serves those Floridians most in need.
- I will expand the Office of External Affairs to incorporate an Office of Foreign Affairs.
- I will work with experts both in and out of government to implement best practices in opening access to minority contracts.
- The state will have “navigators” to help new Floridians get settled – from answering questions about insurance to starting a business.