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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
As we saw this morning the county offered assistance for people from the CARES act. They ran out of funding in less than 5 minutes. It is clear that our current elected officials have no idea what the people of Pasco County are going through at this time.
We had so many people struggling before COVID 19, but in the new normal we have more people struggling because businesses are not opening or they were self employed and their business has dried up. We need to start working to try fix the cracks in our very broken system because so many people are falling through them at this time. Our current elected officials seem to have forgotten that they have a responsibility to the people that they govern. It is time for us to start reminding them. We need to call them out and we need to vote them out!
I have been working with a lot of volunteers to make sure everyone has access to voting during this time. One of the ways that people can make sure that they can still vote, they can sign up for vote by mail.
You will be mailed your ballot 6 weeks before the election, so you can sit down and google all the candidates that are running for office. You can then track your ballot online after you have sent it in at pascovotes.com. We need to make sure that everyone can vote safely during this time.
I am tired of elected officials being more concerned about being reelected than they are about the health and welfare of their people. Those are not leaders and we in Pasco deserve better and we will get better when we elect someone like me who wants to make sure that the people of Pasco are represented and lead through times of crisis.
I am so proud of the changes that we have made this year when it comes to mom’s running for office. We now are allowed to have children on the floor of the Senate thanks to amazing women like Tammy Duckworth, and we can now count childcare as a campaign expense thanks to countless advocates. I am a mom. People who know me and follow my campaign know this. Zoey goes with me to meetings and to events. If I can find a person to watch her, then I go on my own. She is a part of my life and is the future of this party. Involving children at an early age in the political process helps to create future voters and voters that are engaged. We need to start thinking outside the box when it comes to engaging voters. If we keep our meetings not accessible to parents, then we will not be able to get them involved in the process. I am fortunate that Zoey has made a lot of friends at these meetings and has been welcomed into the Democratic Party. As the political landscape changes it is the responsibility of the party to evolve with it. I am proud that we have had minimal issues with Zoey going with me to meetings. She is the future of this party and the most important person in my life.
As some of you know, I ran and worked at a small non-profit that helped people living with AIDS. Our agency closed it’s doors today. We worked hard in the area fighting for people to get the care and the help that they needed but the state of Florida felt that our program was unnecessary. So today I said goodbye to all of the hardworking case managers at our agency and wished them will in their future endeavors. It has been a difficult day for me, because I worry about the staff and the people that we served.
I always benefited from knowing the people we served. They were amazing individuals who had a lot of strength. I learned from all of them that it takes inner strength to continue on, even when it seems like life is hard. I have known that life is hard my whole life, but working with my people I learned how to keep going on when it seems like you want to shut down. This transition in my life has been difficult but it got me involved in the political world again. I always said that I would not run for office because of my loyalty to the people that I serve, and it is because of that loyalty that I am running. I believe that we need a politician that is loyal to the people they serve, not the developers or the people that fund their campaigns. We deserve someone that believes that people are important and that people matter. Someone that can set aside their own personal pain and issues and continue on for the betterment of the people. I know that it is my inner strength and conviction that has my opposition scared, and I have all of the people I have served over the years to thank for that. I appreciate all of the support that I have received and all of the support I will receive.