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 Directo 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
3690 West Gandy Blvd, #149, Tampa, FL 33611