Felix Lorenzo

District 11

Retired in September 2015, Pharmaceutical representative for 40 years, last 35 with the same company

Los Angeles Pierce College (A.A., Marketing)

Spent 40 years in two pharmaceutical companies, worked as an accountant in Spain

Why are you running?

I am running for this position because other people want to make a [separate] city in [Kendall]. I started going to these meetings found out. It’s not for the community to have a city in this area. It doesn’t make sense to have a city in this area so that’s why I decided to run. I retired from a company in September of last year so now I have the time.

Why are you best qualified?

I’m the only candidate that presents a platform. I have eight points to support. The other candidates didn’t present a program — a specific one. I will be tied to this and work for it.

  1. I don’t want the new city because I haven’t found anyone in the area who wants a new city.
  2. I don’t want to change the name of the area to West End North and West End South.
  3. I am against the red light cameras.
  4. I am against increasing the county debt.
  5. I think transportation money should go towards transportation. Transportation should receive the benefits from the transportation tax.
  6. Budget for county commission is $922 million for this year. I will start publishing how that budget is used.
  7. I don’t want to move the Urban Development Boundary. Now there’s traffic congestion and enough land to build houses in this area. When they decided where this real line will be, they should take consideration of the agricultural land in this area.
  8. I have no other conflict of interest. I will never leave a meeting because of a conflict of interest.

What are the biggest challenges Miami is facing?

I think the biggest challenge is traffic. The other is the situation with immigration. We have to resolve both and we have to also help people start trusting the government.

How do you propose solving them?

There is no easy answer. These are very complex. In regards to the traffic, we have to use the transportation tax to improve the transportation system with new buses.
With immigration, it’s a problem with federal government. The county doesn’t have the authority to resolve this so we have to warn the federal government.

We want to make government more transparent. They raised the cost of the expressway and everyone was talking about it but nothing happened. The people are are the members of the Miami-Dade Expressway board. When they raise taxes and the toll no one has responsibility. They have to acknowledge that they have the responsibility.

What makes Miami so damn cool?

I enjoy the city and the weather. It’s a very international cosmopolitan city. It’s an international environment with relationships between different community and ethnic groups. We also have a high quality of life.

What can Miami-Dade do to prepare for sea level rise and protect our natural environment?

First we have to find out how deep in the Everglades we will go, before moving the Urban Development Boundary. Climate change is important, but we have to discuss Everglades restoration first.

Why is the rent so high?

A lot of people from South America are coming to Miami and buying land up in Miami. I hear that one of the reasons for the building in Downtown Miami is that there’s investments from South America. Salaries in Miami can’t afford $1 million apartments. Many times people have opinions without knowing the subject. It’s a complex problem and we need to have time to analyze it.

Is there anything that can be done to fix our transit system and get traffic under control?

See above.

How do you feel about the county’s campaign finance system?

I think that we have to do something. For example, one of the candidates from District 11 has more than $130,000 in contributions and they are from people outside the area. There are a lot of economic interests outside the area. We have to control that and put a limit on total contributions on candidates. It’s money that’s buying the election. You will see that 95 percent of the contributions are coming from outside of the district.

If you had a $100 budget to spend, how would you spend it?