Founder and CEO of LanguageSpeak
University of North Alabama
Former chairwoman of the Miami-Dade Democratic Party, ran for the U.S. House of Representatives Florida in District 26, ran for lieutenant governor of Florida
Annette Taddeo replied to questions via e-mail.
The controversial education bill, HB 7069, allots public funds to privately owned charter schools. Where do you stand on this issue?
HB 7069 is disastrous public policy, which is why bipartisan leaders from across the state spoke out against it. Charter schools are simply eroding our public schools and our ability to give all students a high quality education system. It’s most outrageous that charter schools are being held to different, and lower, standards, which is depriving our public school system from achieving its full potential. It’s truly maddening that the charter school lobby has infiltrated our legislature in such a way that they are becoming blind to the realities of the damage being done to student learning potential. Sadly, [HB] 7069 only aggravates the problem with charter schools getting more at the expense of our traditional public schools.
Amendment 2, aka the medical marijuana amendment, passed by 71 percent statewide. But legislation governing the implementation of the amendment has put significant restrictions on its use. Do you think the bill accurately reflects the will of the voters?
The Florida Legislature must fully implement the will of the voters. It’s rare that a constitutional amendment passes by such an overwhelming majority – it’s a clear message sent by Floridians that they believe access to all forms of medicine to treat debilitating diseases should be made available. It’s time that legislators stop telling Floridians what they believe and should begin to listen to Floridians on what we want the direction of our state to be.
There were many open carry bills in the last legislative session and it remains a controversial topic. How would you vote on bills concerning where people can and cannot openly carry guns?
If elected to serve in the Florida Senate, I will oppose the dangerous open carry bills. It’s been opposed in a bipartisan way, which is a good sign that this legislation only matters to a special interest lobby while leaving Floridians vulnerable to more gun violence. We cannot allow our college campuses to be weaponized as it could likely lead to more problems than solving one.
What is the most important to you as you run for this seat?
I decided to run for State Senate District 40 after receiving a number of calls from residents and community leaders who want to see fresh leadership in Tallahassee. They know my record of service and that my community involvement ranges from speaking truth to power to advocating for working people’s rights. My history of activism goes back to the late 90s as part of a group of community leaders that fought to injustices in Miami-Dade County.
My fight for our community has continued through the years from joining picket lines to fighting against corporate welfare. I believe we need a state senator who is squarely focused on strengthening our public schools, taking on contestation and traffic with solutions, and improving access to our healthcare system. I am also eager to work with my colleagues to protect our environment and ensure our drinking water remains safe for generations to come.