Having spent most of my adult life outside of the United States, I have dealt with the difficulties and problems associated with immigration paperwork and working in foreign countries. Where most politicians are fine with throwing out a few words in Spanish to show you their empathy for migrants, I have been where most never will go. I have lived in countries where I did not know the dominant language, Spanish. I lived in countries where my native tongue wasn’t the dominant language. I had to work around the difficulties presented, and I know firsthand how being a “foreigner” can be anxious and filled with unknown challenges.
As your Congressman, I will:
SECURE THE BORDER
It must be understood that an open border is a risk to the citizens of the United States. Not just for potential violence, free flow of drugs, and human trafficking, but as we have seen these past two years, health security as well.
Congress needs to stop the mixed messaging that confuses migrants, citizens, and law enforcement. A unified voice will present a clear direction that can control the flow of humanityacross our borders.
We need to allow law enforcement and the judicial systems to move forward with enforcing our border laws.
PATH TO CITIZENSHIP
Although I would be the first to advocate the full enforcement of our laws, it must be recognized that too many people have entered the country improperly to identify, collect, and deport them all effectively.
The path to citizenship should not be a free pass but a legal process to work with those in our country to establish citizenship and avoid having a second, or invisible, class of people in our society.
FOREIGN IMMIGRATION SUPPORT CENTERS
Work to reduce human smuggling and trafficking by having the means within select foreign countries to have specialized immigration processing facilities to facilitate the immigration process from the cradle to the grave.
NATIONALIZATION/GOVERNMENT SUPPORT CENTERS
Having lived and worked in countries where my native tongue was not the dominant language of the land, I understand the need for support for newly immigrated individuals and families.
Provide government support centers that will allow newly immigrated people to integrate into American society.
REFORM IMMIGRATION LAW
Lastly, we need to reform immigration law. The gordian knot that the law has become prevents competent immigration of people, encouraging bypassing the legal process for a more expedited illegal one.
I will work to reduce the complicated qualification requirements and streamline the process.
Our economy is a wonderful mix of people and business. The small, local business has been the backbone of the U.S. economy and needs to be encouraged and supported. The 2020 pandemic saw small businesses be shortchanged while the largest of America’s corporations were sheltered from the economic effects and even saw their profits sky-rocket. The working class suffered while the elites moved their business and financials into protected positions. In a fight for the economy, we must do
everything to protect the small business and the working class that makes up our nation’s financial backbone.
As your Congressman, I will:
STAND WITH THE WORKING CLASS
Coming from a poor background, I understand the hard work necessary to support and protect a family. Our political leaders are continuously looking out for the wealthiest interests among us, not those who live paycheck to paycheck.
I will fight to protect public and private workers’ rights outside their workplace. Too often, the employer determines what the workers can and cannot say or do outside of the workplace environment. Our government must protect your freedoms outside the workplace, and I will fight for that freedom in the halls of Congress.
I will protect your right to choose. To choose to be in a union or not. To be an independent contractor or an employee. Too often, it is the employer that holds the power of workers. We need to work toward a better equilibrium between employee and employer and reduce worker-hostile legislation.
MOVE PEOPLE FORWARD
I am tired of the “tax the rich” campaigns that always seem to increase the tax on the middle class and do nothing with the wealthy of our country.
Rather than punish the rich, a tactic that never seems to work in practice, I would focus on ourpoor and working class. Support and propose legislation that allows the poor and middle class to move up and become wealthy. Reduce the legislative burden to all, so everyone has the opportunity to succeed.
Provide increased funding for small business initiatives across the board.
WORK IN SUPPORT OF SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN TAMPA BAY
The 14 th Congressional District has the potential to replace California’s infamous Silicon Valley. We are a leader in the technology, health, environmental, defense, and other vital sectors. The benefits of our district across all industries need to be championed, not just select special interests.
FIGHT FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND AGAINST GENTRIFICATION
I will advocate for increased spending and planning for public housing and public transportation. A critical area that needs to be addressed as Tampa moves beyond the city status and truly intoa metropolis.
I will support legislation that makes housing affordable and sustainable to lift people out of homelessness and on to a sustainable path.
I will support policies that protect communities, especially our poor and working-classcommunities, from being displaced to make way for homes outside their income capabilities.
Education is an ever-evolving industry that now fundamentally reaches beyond the traditional K-12 parameters. The reaction to the pandemic in 2020 showed the need for a flexible educational system that allows for various means and methods to teach the basic life skills needed for our society. Rather than attempting to place millions of students back into an inflexible system, the U.S. Government need to adopt a more flexible and malleable stance.
As your Congressman, I will:
PROVIDE MORE OPTIONS
The modern school system has been built upon centuries of improvements and changes as botheducation and society changed. Our education system should not be limited to what was, but focused on what could be.
I will support more options to parents and children to help guarantee a fair, equitable, and measurable education that provides all children the ability to achieve and succeed regardless of circumstances.
As the modern school system and traditional learning methods change, I will support the abilities of schools and teachers to flex with these changes. Administrators, teachers, and parents can experiment with learning and educational requirements, tailoring education to the student, rather than forcing the student into a one size fits all process.
PRIORITIZE HIGHER EDUCATION
Tampa Bay has some of the finest universities and colleges in the United States. Having earned a Bachelor of Science and two Master’s degrees, higher education is a valuable tool, but not necessarily the only one.
Coming from a working-class background, I recognize that the supermajority of jobs that require a college degree don’t need the skillset of a college degree to do the job. I would work with companies and policymakers to ensure that lack of a degree doesn’t hinder entry into the workforce.
Wealthier Americans are more likely to pursue degrees, leaving the costs a barrier to entry to poorer Americans who can’t afford the degree. Rather than subsidize an expensive but unnecessary degree program, I would encourage businesses and organizations to evaluate their positions (primarily executive positions) to determine if a degree truly is necessary for the position or a means of discrimination.
TEACHING NOT TESTING FOR QUALITY EDUCATION
Testing should not be used as a means of “scoring” or “judging” teacher performance. Teaching to a test does not result in a quality education.
Encouraging testing for individual aptitude and teaching toward that aptitude.
“Rarely has something been so important and so talked about with less clarity and less apparent
understanding than this phenomenon.”
- Former National Security Agency and the former
CIA Director Gen. (Ret.) Michael Hayden.
(1) Oldsmar Water Treatment Facility hacked, potentially leading to poisoned water for thousands
(2) St Pete teen hacked and crashed the Internet for all 145 Pinellas schools.
(3) Colonial Pipeline was hacked, and operations were taken offline, resulting in panic buying at the
(4) It is estimated that cybercrime will cost the world over $10 Trillion a year by 2025, representing
the greatest transfer of economic wealth in history.
There are more critical issues in the cyber domain than Instagram for Kids. I have spent my working
career in the information technology sector, the majority working on our military’s cyber defenses. I am
acutely aware of how vulnerable our country is in this domain. Our country needs action and attention
on cybersecurity . . . action that I will bring. The funding for this sector in the Build Back Better
legislation is only a drop in the bucket of financing needed and does little for security in this domain.
As your Congressman, I will:
WORK TOWARD ACHIEVING CYBER DETERRENCE
From China to teenagers, hackers are not afraid of attacking our nation’s people or infrastructure.
Increasingly our nation and citizens are weathering deliberate cyberattacks. We must establish virtual
boundaries that will result in proportional retaliation or reprisals if breached.
WORK TOWARD CYBER SAFETY
The Department of Defense has strongly invested in its offensive cyber capabilities, preparing for an
upcoming cyberwar. However, the day-to-day activities of hundreds of thousands of businesses,
agencies, and organizations are responsible for our critical infrastructure that need to be defended. We
need to increase funding and support to the Department of Homeland Security and specifically through
the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency dedicated to protecting our citizens and
businesses. I have several legislative ideas to ensure that events like the hack of the Oldsmar Water
Treatment Facility never happen again.
WORK TOWARD FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND PRESS ON THE INTERNET
Section 230 was designed to protect the innovation needed by tech companies in the 90s. It is still
needed today. However, the Judicial system has wrongly interrupted the intent of the laws passed, and
it is up to Congress to correct the law and allow Judges to apply it correctly. Suppose tech companies
like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube would like express editorial control over their platforms, rather
than simply being a conduit of information. In that case, they need to be held to the same standard as
other editorial platforms like magazines and newspapers.
CHAMPION PRIVACY ON THE INTERNET
“Democrats are committed to policies that will protect individuals’ privacy and data rights while
continuing to support and enable innovation and improve accessibility in the technology sector.” (5). As
technology companies collect and compile personal information on our citizenry, they build a unique
profile. That unique profile does not belong to the tech company but you, the individual. Legislation
needs to focus on protecting your rights to your unique digital profile and allow you more control over
EXPAND BROADBAND ACCESS
Citizens cannot fully function in an interconnected world that demands more bandwidth than dial-up
can provide in rural America. We can quickly expand last-mile service to those in need by funding
community anchor institutions and subsidizing small business entrepreneurs.
A commonality in rural America and cities is the high number of low-income individuals and families that
either can’t afford regular access to broadband Internet or cannot afford the hardware necessary to
access it. Although the information, services, and products are virtual, the hardware is essential to
reach it. By funding community anchor institutions, we can provide that hardware and much-needed
(5) 2020 Democrat Party Platform
Health insurance is no longer health assurance. Private insurance companies now fight patients over coverage. They deny, delay, and put roadblocks in the way of our health. The same problems of twenty years ago; unknown treatment costs, denied coverage, and prescription costs, are the same problems we have today. Our hospitals may be number 1 in the world for health care treatment, but we are dead last in every other aspect of our health care system. We can do better. With a hybrid private-public system, we can solve our healthcare crisis.
HEALTH INSURANCE SHOULD BE INSURANCE
We buy home insurance, car insurance, property, and business insurance on the off chance that the unexpected happens; we will have a means of not being ruined over it. Insurance is a valuable and necessary part of our society. However, we have not been treating health insurance as insurance. Car insurance doesn’t typically include oil changes or fixing an engine. It’s there for cracked windows, collisions, and accidents, not daily wear and tear.
We need to return health insurance to its proper form, allowing insurance to be used when the catastrophic and unexpected happens. It should cover the treatment if you have an emergency medical condition.
NEVER A BILL
St. Jude is famous for marketing that a child’s family should never receive a bill for treatment. I don’t believe that an American should receive a bill for prescriptions, preventative or diagnostic health care. We can set up a federal system through the Department of Health and Human Services, paid for by every American based on income level. Doctors and hospitals only bill the U.S. Government. In turn, the U.S. Government will have robust auditing and quality checks to ensure we, the People, are not being overbilled or taken advantage of.
Once a diagnosis is made, it can be determined whether the U.S. Government or private health insurance will pay the bill, not the patient.
If we are honest with ourselves, we will admit that there will come a point in every person’s life when their body starts to break down. There is no cure yet, for aging. We have made fantastic progress in prolonging life and geriatric care. However, our system makes one of the most vulnerable populations jump through hoops and endure confusing paperwork during a time when they should be enjoying their golden years. Get rid of the hoops and confusion. No more Part A, Part B, Part X. We, as a society, need to determine the point at which we transition into our last years, and for that age group, the U.S. Government should pay for all medical expenses.
Medicaid is an assistance program. It would remain an assistance program for those low-income individuals or families that may not be able to afford the premiums of private health insurance under my plan. In this case, an assistance program can either work in place of a private health insurance plan or assist in paying the premiums of a private insurance plan.
Very few politicians have any real experience outside the United States. Our world is a global world, and few career politicians know anything but their little corner of the United States. Rarely have they had to live and work in a foreign country. I have. They have not had to deal with immigration and residential issues. I have. They have not had to participate and experience the diversity of different cultures. I have. By choosing me, you will have a representative with real-world global experience.
30 years ago, Iraq invaded the small country of Kuwait. The American people and our Congress were swayed to go to war through lies and manipulation. At the time, then-Senator Biden stated, “Even if you win today, you still lose,” and voted against going to war.
Today, we have Russia invading the country of Ukraine. Another country in which we, the American people, have no obligation to defend, except to counter another aggressive dictator. The problem is the stakes are higher. Russian military capability is not like third-world Iraq. Russia is a nuclear power with nuclear capabilities. Not like Iraq’s nuclear smoke and mirrors. As any rat trapped will turn to fight, Putin will go nuclear not to lose, if he can’t win.
Can you trust our current Congress not to be manipulated again? Can you trust the many representatives with little experience outside their little corner of America to know what it is like to live and work in foreign countries? To know intimately what it is like to be in a war?
I have that experience. I have experienced war like few in Congress have. I know what it means to be shot at. To be under attack by those that want to kill you. To have Iranian ballistic missiles incoming.
We must tread carefully, or the long-forgotten Cold War could heat up very quickly.
REVERSE THE MILITARIZATION OF FOREIGN POLICY
Stop using the U.S. Military as America’s easy button on the global stage.
The U.S. Constitution clearly states that only Congress has the power to declare war. Yet, the entrenched, long-term career politicians have increasingly ceded these powers to the Executive Branch. They are granting the President extensive war powers without effective oversight. The 2001 and 2002 Authorizations of Use of Military Force (AUMF) resolutions have ultimately demonstrated how much damage can be done at the hands of an erratic President.
These policies do not constitute good policy. Congress has failed to use its constitutional powers to reign in executive power because it is easier for career politicians to maintain the status quo. Through their Congressional Representatives, the American people must have a say in any decision to send and use military force abroad.
Like the United States, the Middle East is not one monolithic group of people, but a diverse range of people, culture, faiths, and social structures. Having lived and worked in this region for years, I can say with confidence that at the core, people in these countries, regardless of culture, faith, or social norms are similar in their wants and needs to those here in the U.S. They want to provide for their families. They want to see their children safe and succeeding. They want to help each other.
The United States has a shared responsibility in both stabling and destabilizing this region for various reasons. Going forward we need to commit to ensuring that our actions not only benefit the United States and our people but contribute to the stabilization of the region. Strengthen ties to those governments that work toward peace and stabilization and call out those that don’t.
Puerto Rico has too long been caught up in legal purgatory. It is neither state nor country. The citizens of Puerto Rico should determine their territory’s future. All the people of Puerto Rico should have the opportunity to have a say in that future. Through a referendum vote, the people can choose to advance their territory into U.S. statehood, become a truly independent country, or keep Puerto Rico as an unincorporated territory of the United States.
The Tampa Bay area has a rich history of Cuban influence. Hernando de Soto, governor of Cuba, sailed into Tampa Bay in 1539, establishing a connection that continues to this day. Four of Florida’s governors were born in Havana. The first cigar plants opened in Tampa in 1870 and became the cigar capital of the country. The U.S. was the preferred destination for political refugees fleeing Cuba.
The U.S., and Florida in particular, has always supported our Cuban neighbors. Let’s start by ending the travel embargo and letting families reunite. Let’s end embargoes that haven’t worked in decades and begin showing the Cuban government what an economic and freedom powerhouse the United States is.
We need to reimagine our nation’s competitive posture toward China. There has been a decided lack of results in policy that has resulted in human rights violations, decreased efforts in combating pollution and man-made causes of Climate Change, and the use of the COVID pandemic to increase their economic ambitions around the globe.
Because of the disastrous withdrawal and fallout of the Afghanistan withdrawal, we need to bolster the U.S. diplomatic strategy in addressing challenges posed by China and reaffirm America’s commitment to its allies in the Indo-Pacific region and around the world.
We need to invest in universal values, authorizing a broad range of human rights and civil society measures, including supporting democracy in Hong Kong, genuine autonomy for Tibet, and imposing sanctions concerning forced labor, forced sterilization, and other abuses in Xinjiang.
The Russian government’s most recent actions to invade Ukraine have shown the necessity of NATO to ensure the defense of the European continent against aggressive antagonists and dictators. Entrenched and career politicians have long abdicated their responsibility on foreign policy. While Congress struggles to pass laws given high political polarization and low legislative capacity, the Executive Branch has expanded its power beyond its Constitutional role.
In the upcoming days, the role of the U.S. / NATO relationship will take on a pressing concern. We must now recognize that our European allies need to strengthen their military and defensive capabilities. We must not allow the U.S. and its people to bear the brunt of defending foreign countries.
The long-forgotten continent. Every past President has devoted limited attention to the activities of one of the largest landmasses on earth. Every career politician only focuses on African health. China is certainly not ignoring this resource-rich market, and Africa is changing – only U.S. strategy is not keeping up. U.S. interests in Africa are constantly and successfully being undermined by China, Russia, and other regional powers. Attention needs to be brought if we are serious about countering China’s $10 billion soft power initiative and competing with global players.
We have an opportunity to change course and positively shape the legacy of U.S.-Africa relations. If the Biden administration focuses on areas of strong U.S. competitive advantage and crafts a values-based foreign policy that takes into account Africans’ preference for accountability and democracy, the United States still has a chance to outperform China on the continent—but it has to act fast.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM
Not Soft, Not Hard – But Smart on Crime
The criminal justice system is the best reflection of the American culture. We love a good redemption
story—the struggle to overcome hardships to triumph over adversity. Yet, we love to kick you when you
are down too. Florida – and the U.S. – subjects its citizens to incarceration and correctional control
more than nearly any other state – and country. I am dedicated to ending over-incarceration and
economic disparities in our criminal justice system.
No Private Camps, Jails, or Prisons!
Whether local, state, or federal, we the People have given the Government the authority to incarcerate
people whose actions have been determined to cause harm or who would themselves be harmful to
society. How then can we, as a society, in good conscience, allow the Government to shrug off then the
responsibility we, the People, gave it and give over to a private organization. Organizations not
accountable to the People but their shareholders.
We need to close private camps, jails, and prisons and ensure that the Government remains responsible
and accountable for the power that we, the People, have given it.
Reduce the Prison-Industrial Complex
The rapid expansion of the U.S. inmate population, especially during the ‘War on Drugs’ campaigns of
the Regan years, resulted in political influence and economic profits for the various businesses supplying
goods and services to the U.S. justice system. Along with the Rutherford Institute and the ACLU, I
believe that the financial incentive has transformed the criminal justice system into a profit-motivated
sector rather than one of reform and punishment.
Prison Labor: ‘Prison insourcing’ has grown popular as a cheap alternative to offshore outsourcing.
Sadly, we call for a $15 minimum wage for workers on the outside when inmates rarely get more than a
few dollars an hour for their work in facility maintenance or government-run prison factories. Suppose
you listen to the stories of former inmates. In that case, many will focus on the hustle - what they
needed to do to get the money they needed to buy overly expensive food and essential everyday items
like hygiene products. Labor and job-related training are keys to reducing recidivism, but not at slave
wages. Suppressed wages result in a need for more inmates, not less, and incentivizes those motivated
by profit to increase the pool of cheaply paid inmates. This must end.
Immigration: We are now seeing the rise of the immigration-industrial complex. Because our
immigration system is such a mess, the budget for ICE and CBP is growing by leaps and bounds. We
have had the ‘kids-in-cages’ problem through at least three presidents with no end in sight. It is
reported that nearly 50% of all detainees are housed in private facilities. Companies are created to
handle the problem and are motivated by profit to ensure the problem continues. Communities are
harmed by the mass immigration problem and employed by the same companies that service and
encourage the immigration-industrial problem. A never-ending cycle that needs leadership not
beholden to profit but to the People to correct.
Mental-Health: In the 50s, the pharmacutical companies started coming out with wonder drugs that
help hundreds of thousands of mentally ill patients live normal lives. We as a society used that as an
excuse to wash our hands of the problem. Let them pop pills, we said. The Federal Community Mental
Health Act of 1963 was passed and hundreds of thousands of women and men with long term mental
health problems were released from psychiatric hospitals, promised by President Kennedy that “the cold
mercy of custodial care would be replaced by the open warmth of community.” The promise was not
kept by his successors. States, including Florida, closed long term psychiatric hospitals without
prevention or residential services in place or without building full outpaitent care. Many Floridians in
need of support became homeless or langished in jail or prision. That trend continues to this day.
We can never change past mistakes, but we can go forward to correct them. We as a country need to
invest more resources into growing our behavioral health workforce, increaseing research and
innovation into mental health treatments, and most of all build community capacity to care for the
mentally ill. By doing so, we keep jails and prisions free of those that don’t belong there, and help those
suffering thorugh no fault of their own.
3690 West Gandy Blvd, #149, Tampa, FL 33611