2018 General Election » County » Pinellas County Commission » Board of County Commissioners, District 6 - Single Member
Former CEO, college professor and published law scholar specializing in community development, small business expansion and the green economy. I helped start a policy think tank with Cornell ILR that improves healthcare, housing, economic, social and environmental policies.
SUNY Buffalo School of Law, JD SUNY Buffalo PhD Columbia University MA Columbia University MA SUNY Buffalo BA
All candidates in this race were asked the same questions by the League of Women Voters.
I have successfully worked to build stronger, healthier and more connected communities and local economies for 15 years. So much of what I plan for Pinellas I have successfully accomplished elsewhere. I want our region to be global leaders of the green economy; I want the Sunshine State to grow its economy by leading the way on solar. Also I plan to invest more resources in small business expansion, anchor institution development and implement community benefit agreements on development projects to ensure that precious tax dollars are used as carefully and as impactfully as possible. I want to expand and incentivize public transportation alternatives including busses, trolleys and light rail; implement Complete Streets (design of pedestrian and bike-friendly streets); incentivize renewable energy in transportation where possible. Funding will come from shifting the budget from carbon-intensive to carbon-neurtral choices.
I plan to implement solutions to sea level rise such as elevating streets, improving drainage infrastructure and planting additional mangroves, trees, grasses and utilizing other nature-based solutions to drain floodwater and create beautiful public spaces. We also need solutions that are rooted in community resilience, which strengthens community organizations and empowers people to play an active role in climate preparedness. As a political candidate under no circumstances will I ever allow oil drilling or fracking in our waters. Our beaches drive 1/5 of the Pinellas economy and they will always be a top priority. I will work with environmental experts on cutting-edge solutions.
We need to start building more dense and walkable communities to accommodate the population increase in our region in order to keep housing prices low. Transportation-oriented development also helps keep essentials like housing and transportation costs low. This is a simple supply and demand issue that can be addressed by changing codes rather than utilizing tax dollars.
I will work to protect home rule to allow the priorities of local decision-makers to have more impact than state ones. Local leaders must have the ability to oversee issues that uniquely impact their community. I also plan to work with our state elected officials to repeal H.B. 631 which makes it easier to privatize our beaches.
Only 3% of land in Pinellas County is undeveloped. Some of this is park land and recreational space that the community loves. I would like to use Penny for Pinellas funding to help preserve this land in a community land trust so that our great-grandchildren can enjoy the green spaces that we do. There are already two such spaces in my district that I am working to protect.