Director of food and nutrition at Signature Health, a health care facility
University of Florida (B.A., Dietary Management)
Miami Dade College (A.A.)
Many years working with the community, schools, young people, job development training for ex-convicts and kids
Why are you running?
I want to be part of the process of change and building community and I see a lot of potential for the 9th district of Miami-Dade County.
Why are you best qualified?
For one, I’m the only candidate of Miami-Dade County that’s self-funded and not accepting money from outside sources or developers. The minute you start taking money from developers, your agenda goes south. I have 25 years of experience of small business and corporate management and community service experience.
What are the biggest challenges Miami is facing?
The 9th district needs job training for youth and adults, a lot of them don’t have work experience. They need marketable trades where they can actually get a decent paying job. More small business resources, a lot of businesses are opening in the area but a lot don’t stay in business. I want to open a small business administration in the 9th district to get resources out and help them stay in business.
Assist seniors with transportation, making sure their medical needs are provided for working with local medical facilities.
I want to work closely with the police department and at risk youth and keep them busy with after school programs to help them build reading and math skills and not have them running on the streets.
How do you propose solving them?
I will create a small business resource center.
Revive transportation system in 9th system, it’s the only area not serviced by a train. I will build a more reliable and safe transportation system and work along with college and trade schools to build job development and job training.
For one, getting the kids involved in law enforcement themselves, a lot of them fear cops, and the cops need to know who they’re serving as well. I will do more activities and events and create more big brother programs with the police department. It’s a very challenging but reachable project, it can be an example for the nation.
What makes Miami so damn cool?
The beautiful weather, the progressive steps it’s making towards bringing tourists down here and having them experience our beauty and restaurants. We have a rich melting pot down here, and we should embrace that diversity.
What can Miami-Dade do to prepare for sea level rise and protect our natural environment?
We have to not build on land that’s protected and is already for our animals and oceans and that’s a big problem right now. A lot of development is going through Everglades, and that needs to be protected.
Why is the rent so high?
The rent is high here in our district, but there’s not enough housing. There is affordable housing, but not enough decent housing. What I want to propose is , it starts with job development. There’s not a lot of job development over here. I have to come up with a solution to start job development and that will stop crime.
Is there anything that can be done to fix our transit system and get traffic under control?
We need to push for more private funding. My proposal is to build trains that connect the art centers and colleges but we need more private funding to connect to the 9th district. Right now it’s the only community not serviced by a train. If I had to score it I would give it a two. It’s pretty horrible for our commuters to get to work. There is no Metrorail or Tri-Rail, something has to be implemented. There is private money out there and we need to tap into it. There’s so much traffic down here, to get from Homestead to Kendall, it’s like an hour. I would like to propose an express lane or some kind of express service to the airport. It’s ambitious but advantageous.
How do you feel about the county’s campaign finance system?
I feel that they’re doing a decent job with it, however it should be more spread out to more areas that need the funds the most. Some areas don’t have stop signs, warning lights, proper markings on the grounds. Roadways and parks are not developed.
Again, if candidates want to be funded by interest groups and by developers or real estate companies, that’s to each his own. You don’t need a million dollars to run a county commissioner election. It’s excessive. It’s unnecessary. I don’t have a good point other than if they want to be purchased by companies and interest groups. It’s only going to hurt them in the end. I’m self funded and I’m doing it comfortably, I’m running a great campaign, budgeting my own funds. I’m not saying that everyone should be self funded, I’m saying that if candidates are taking money from special interest groups, they’re only hurting the community because now they’re being controlled by those corporate entities.
It’s not right for the community. I’m glad we have open finance systems where everyone can see who’s giving money to you and the public needs to watch closely. That’s why voting is so important, you need to vote for someone who will represent them, not a corporation or interest group. They’re not giving you $25,000 just because, they’re giving you that because they want you to support their cause.
If you had a $100 budget to spend on the city, how would you spend it?