Democrat Joy Goff-Marcil is looking for your vote to send her to Tallahassee as the new representative of Florida House District 30.
Republican Bob Cortes and Democrat Joy Goff-Marcil each are looking for your vote to send them to Tallahassee as the new representative of Florida House District 30.
Cortes, 55, is a former Longwood city commissioner and mayor and has served as the District 30 state representative since November 2014. Goff-Marcil, 50, has served on the Maitland City Council for five years as both councilwoman and vice mayor.
Goff-Marcil won the Aug. 28 Democratic primary for District 30 against Clark Anderson and Brendan Ramírez, while Cortes ran unopposed in the 2018 Republican primary. The two will face one another during the Nov. 6 general election.
The early-voting period in Orange County runs through Sunday, Nov. 4. For more information about early voting, visit the Orange County Supervisor of Elections website at ocfelections.com.
Answers have been edited for space but not content. For complete, unedited answers, visit OrangeObserver.com.
1. Why are you running for House District 30?
I am running because I want to fully fund public schools and invest in our teachers. I want to protect our fragile waterways and environment, which when polluted, are detrimental to the health of our citizens and our Florida economy. I want to work on sensible gun-safety policy and expand access to affordable, high-quality health care. I want to find more ways to support the heart of our economy — small businesses.
2. Describe three reasons why constituents should vote for you.
I care deeply about my local communities and the State of Florida and would not be influenced by corporate interests. I believe in science, and I will listen to experts on environmental issues. With my experience as an attorney and city councilwoman, I think about the reasoning behind proposed laws and how we may all be affected in the short- and long-term.
3. If elected, what will your priorities be in office?
My priorities will be fully funding public education; listening to the experts on how to clean up our Florida waterways; making sure that funds set up to acquire land for conservation through programs such as the Florida Forever Fund are being accessed; and easing the burden of finding affordable housing by making sure that programs such as the Sadowski Trust Fund are being used as intended.
4. What is your stance on the Home Rule, and how should state and local governments function together?
Local governments should be able to enact stricter protections for their citizens and their environment. I am finishing my second term on the Maitland City Council, where I watched how the state lawmakers launched an assault on our Home Rule. To name just a few examples, this past year, state lawmakers tried to enforce regulations regarding our tree canopy on a state level instead of at the local level, where local lawmakers can decide based on the unique needs of their communities. The state lawmakers tried to take away local Community Redevelopment Agencies, which are opportunities for local governments to redevelop their downtowns. In Maitland, state lawmakers renewed a development agreement that was approved by previous Maitland council members before the recession. In doing so, the state Legislature took away the ability of the current City Council to stop or change these development plans. The state Legislature and our local governments should be working together and listening to each other.
5. What are the biggest problems facing Florida public education, and how would you address them?
The biggest problem is that taxpayer money is being taken away from public schools and used to fund private school vouchers and privately operated charter schools — schools (that) are not held to the same level of accountability as the public schools in terms of testing, teacher certification, transportation or admission. I want to work with educators, administrators and legislators to make public education a priority again. I want our local teachers and schools to be able to regain control of curricula, reduce the importance of standardized testing and further expand public accelerated-training programs and technical education.
6. What is the solution to our health care problem?
The first step would be to allow the expansion of Medicaid into Florida. This would drive down the cost for all of us, because residents would not be using emergency rooms for their preventative care. Also, it is the right thing to do to make sure people who cannot afford health care have the opportunity for access to quality health care.
What are the keys to boosting Florida’s economy?
Florida’s economy is based on our natural resources. We attract business by creating a great place to live with clean waterways, quality health care, innovative public education and support for small businesses. We also must pass sensible gun laws so businesses and their employees feel their families are safe.