Masks and why we still need them

I get that masks are a hot topic at this time and a very touchy subject for a lot of people.   We still need the mask mandate in Pasco County.   When we look at the stats we are not out of the woods.   Our testing rates are still over 10 percent positive.   “DOH reported that results of 82,030 tests done overall in Pasco had an average rate of 10.15% coming back as positive on Sept. 8, compared to 10.14% on Sept. 7, 10.16% on Sept. 6, 10.18% on Sept. 5, 10.18% on Sept. 4, 10.2% on Sept. 3, 10.19% on Sept. 2 and 10.2% on Sept. 1. Fifty-eight tests were inclusive and results were pending for 131.”

We need to trust that our public health workers know their jobs and know what is best.   I get it masks can be uncomfortable but when we are faced with a public health crisis they are our best bet.   I have had a lot of people ask me for examples, I talk a lot about TB.   It is also an airborne infectious disease and we make sure we mask up and the patient masks up when we are near the person infected or possibly infected with TB.   We do this and have done this for years to prevent the spread of infection.   It is time for us to let the Public Health Workers to do their jobs and stop making this a political issue.   The safety and health of a community falls on the leaders of that community.   When they know that there is a public health risk they need to look to the experts and work together to make sure that the people are protected.

I know that there is a meeting on the 21st where they want to take away the mandate, but we are not ready.   Our testing rates are still over 10 percent.   Our schools are quarantining students, staff and teachers, taking away a mandate is just asking for trouble at this point in time.   We will have to deal with COVID for a while it is a virus that will not be gone anytime soon but we can slow the spread and try to slow the spread but it will take this whole community working together and following the Public Health directives to do that.

What is a CRA?

A CRA is a Community Redevelopment Agency.   It is basically earmarking that the tax dollars collected in an area are spent to fix and improve the issues in that area.   We have them here in Pasco County but only in the municipalities.   This is something that we desperately need in the County.   We need to work on areas that have flooding issues and that can be done easily through a CRA.   We need to work on areas that have blight issues.   That can be easily done through a CRA.   Yet our current elected officials view a CRA as a bad word.   They claim that it takes the money out of their pockets and forces it to be spent where the money is needed.   Think about that.   Think about your neighborhood and the issues you see in the area.   Think about what actually spending your tax dollars on that area would do for the area.   Aren’t you tired of people only showing up every election cycle to suddenly take down something that should have been done 4 years ago?   Aren’t you tired of them making vague promises of possibly helping?   It is time for us to get some ability to actually get the things done we need done here.   We have so many problems in this county and one of those problems is that we have elected officials that only show up when it benefits them.   When they can get a PR photo of then helping during election time, we deserve better.   We deserve someone that is okay with making sure that we are all taken care of and that the problems that are impacting our neighborhoods are actually worked on year round and not just every four years.   I will fight to make sure that we start approving CRAs in the areas that we need them.   To make sure that we start spending our tax dollars wisely so that we can improve things for all of the people of Pasco County not just the campaign donors of the Commissioners.

What District Do I live in?

I have been getting this a lot lately about why I am not on someone’s ballot or people thinking they live in District 4, because of the August Ballot.   County Commissioners are voted on Countywide!   We are assigned districts but the entire county gets to vote for all of the commissioners.   So you will see me on the November ballot and you will get to vote for 2 of the seats in November.

Yes it is strange that there is a seat on the August ballot but it is because the seat was resigned, so it is a special election and that is why it is on the August Ballot.   If there had been a Democrat running it would only have been a Republican primary and then they would have all been on the November ballot.   So the winner tomorrow will be the Commissioner for District 4.   You will see that same seat on the ballot again in 2022.

So yes you can vote for me, yes you can put out my yard sign and yes you can tell all your friends in Pasco to remember Brandi in November.

We need to actually have a shelter here.

I keep seeing a lot of posts in different groups about homeless people.   People are upset because they are sleeping in front of businesses or squatting in abandoned houses or making camps in areas.   The question becomes where do they go?   We do not have a shelter here.   We have no shelter to get them off the streets and into housing.   We lack in affordable housing here and haven’t funded the programs to get them out of the streets.   Several years ago my opponent fought the opening of a homeless shelter.   A shelter that still has not opened and still has not started getting people off the streets.   If we lack in the entry point how are we supposed to start working to solve the problem of homelessness?

I see the posts about the substance abuse problems that people are also dealing with in their areas.   I understand.   I see the used needles laying on the streets here.   I know that we have problems here but we do not have a needle exchange program here to start getting them into treatment.   A lot of people also do not have the insurance to go into programs to get the assistance that they need.   I know that we are number 1 in the state in Hepatitis A, B, and C and that it is all connected to our substance abuse problems.   We need to start funding programs that work to solve these problems, we cannot keep arresting our way out of these issues.   It is not working and things are not getting better.

I want us to open a homeless shelter.   A low barrier shelter that takes in single adults and works with them on whatever they need to get off the streets.   I want us to work on the substance abuse problem we have here but we also need to work to expand the programs that we have here so that they can bring people in and help them get sober.   These are difficult problems to tackle but if we don’t actually start with the programs to take care of them, they will never get solved.

I am just one person what can I do?

I hear this a lot!   We all need to remember that one person can be a powerful agent of change.   We forget often that it took one person to start the labor movement.   We forget that it took one person to start the disabilities movement.   We forget that it took one person to start the civil rights movement.   We forget that it took one person to start any movement!   We forget that all it takes is a person to stand up and say enough is enough!   We forget that our voices have power!   We forget that we have the strength and the power to change things for the better!   It is time for us to remember that we can change things for all of the people of this country, this state and this county!   We need to remember that everyone has something that they can offer!   Even if you can make one phone call or share one post or just tell one friend about this campaign, you can help to make a difference!   Everyone has a strength inside them, a power inside them to fix things!   Remember that one person can do a whole lot!

Can I vote for you I just got a ballot with…

I have been asked this question a lot lately.   Let me clear this up.   In Pasco County even though we are assigned districts, County Commissioners run countywide.   We have to campaign across the entire county reaching out to all voters even though we are assigned a district.   This is one of the biggest barriers to people running for this office.

Why is only District 4 on my ballot?   Well that seat was vacated by the person that held it so he could take another elected position.   A position that he ran unopposed for.   We have a lot of elected positions that people do not run for so the person who files just gets that position.   No that is not really an election but if we cannot get people to step up to run we will constantly have seats like this in Pasco County.

You will see me on your ballot in November, no matter where you live in Pasco County.

What makes you different as a politician?

I have been asked this a lot!   A lot of people have been burned by people that they voted for because of vague promises that were made to them.   I have thought about this a lot.   This morning I realized what makes me different.   I don’t do things because they benefit me, I do things because they are the right thing to do.

What made me realize this was someone who I know who works with people who have mental health diagnosis’s.  She reached out last night for solutions to a problem that some of the people she works with were having with accessing medications.   I brainstormed on it and sent her my thoughts and we had a conversation this morning about what was going on and I gave her some tips of how I have had to deal with insurance companies in the past that were not doing what they were supposed to do.   She had already called our elected officials and they basically said cannot help you best of luck.   I thought of a few outside the box solutions for things that I have had to try in the past because people deserve to be treated with respect and dignity and they deserve access to their treatment as ordered by their doctor.  As I learned no one wanted to help that is in office.   No one wanted to sit and take a few minutes to ponder what to do to help out two people who were being given the run around by their insurance company.   I did this because it is the right thing to do.   I have always done what is the right thing to do.   I do not do it because it is easy, I do it because it is what is right.   Our elected officials have been given to big of a pass for too long.   They often do not fight for what is right for the people and they tell them best of luck when they do not want to help.   It is time for us to change that because our elected officials should care about what happens to us!   They should care about us no matter what!   It is time for us to remind them of that!


Why do people not run for office?

Well they do not run because running for office is more than a full time job.   It is something if you are dedicated to winning the race takes up the majority of your time.   You have to put in the effort to win and be willing to face a lot of criticism.   Your life will be put under a microscope and you have to be prepared for people to say mean things to you.   I can tell you though it is worth it.   It is worth it to push the needle a little bit more to be that agent of change.   It is worth it to see that you can give hope to people that there are still people that actually care about people and are willing to step up and run.   It is worth it to get people excited about a candidate and excited about voting.

If you want to run for office, find out what the office is that you want to run for.   Seriously find out what they actually do and what you will be required to do.   Find out when it is up for election and find out what the requirements are to qualify.   We have a lot of seats here that go uncontested.   So the person filing literally just walks in.   That is not an election.   We need people that are willing to step up and wiling to put in the work to run.   Volunteer for another candidates campaign.   Get some hands on experience so you can understand what running will involve.   If you have difficulty speaking to people, you will need to work on that.  Running for office and getting elected means you will have to talk to people.  Find out what the issues are in the area that you want to run for.   Start educating yourself.   Elections for some seats are over 2 years away and this will give you time to start to prepare.

Seriously we need qualified people to step up and run for office because it is time for us to stop just giving people a pass and let them walk into any seat.   Remember you might lose the first time you run but so did a lot of other famous politicians.   That does not make you a failure it just makes you someone that tried but you still pick yourself up, dust yourself off and you try again.

Down Ballot not as Fancy as the President but we matter!

Yesterday the campaign did a lot of phone calls to voters in Pasco County.   I love talking to the voters.   I had a lot of great conversations yesterday but two of them were people who said they were not going to vote.  As you know that is a big oh no moment for me.   So we had a long talk about elections.   I asked what about voting makes you not want to vote.   They talked about how they just did not feel that the choices they had were the best and that no matter what their vote in the grand scheme did not matter.

So I did the Brandi thing and talked about down ballot candidates and who we are and what we do.   We had long discussions about County officials and what they do and what they don’t actually do.   We talked about State Seats and what they do and what they don’t do.   They then said they did not know who the candidates were that were running.   So we discussed voting by mail.   They will get the ballot six weeks before the election.   They can sit and google the candidates and see what they are all about.   They can learn about the issues that they care about and see if they have actually done anything in the past to help with those issues.   We discussed how local politics impacts them directly.   That the top of the ticket is the fanciest of the seats out there but it is not the one and only out there.   The local elections have consequences and they can be either good or bad if people do not vote!   They are the deciders of roads, sewers, schools, the jobs that come here, what improvements are done in the community, how our tax dollars are spent, and they are supposed to be the people that you see during a crisis situation out there helping you and talking to you about what to do to keep you and your family safe.   I then asked them, have they seen any of their elected officials at this time?   They both said no.   I asked do you think that is leadership or just someone in a seat because they want the title that comes with it?   This is why we need people voting.   It is our only way to hold elected officials accountable and it is the only way to change things!

After our lengthy conversations they both agreed to sign up for vote by mail so they can learn who the candidates are so they can vote.  So sign up for vote by mail for your safety and the safety of others or just to be able to sit at home and vote.   We need you to help us make this county a better county!

Why do I run?

I run because I believe that we can do better for the people!

I run because I know that we can do better for the people!

I run because the people deserve better!

We deserve better than elected officials that only see us as dollar signs and see our open spaces as a place that they can profit off of.   We deserve people that can fight for us and that will fight for us because they are not afraid to stand up and say and do what is right!   We deserve to actually have leaders in office and not just puppets that cannot form an opinion of their own because they worry about losing votes.   Our people deserve better!

We are in a tough and difficult time and yet our elected officials continue to hide and refuse to step up and do what is right.   Someone reached out to me and said something that impressed them about me is that not only will i lead but I also show up!   I show up even when i know that the room does not want me there and I still speak the truth about what is going on.   I show up and fight for what is right even when it is not the popular thing to do but it is what is right.   That showing up and making it clear that people matter is vitally important during this time because people need a leader that will continue to show up and fight for them not against them.