Blog

Discussing the Harmful Don’t Say Gay bill:

This week, Governor DeSantis is likely to sign the “Don’t Say Gay” Bill, HB 1557, into law. The  bill is among many this Legislative Session which are unconstitutional and unrepresentative of Floridians. HB 1557 limits the ability of schools to discuss sexuality, sexual orientation, and gender. It also allows teachers to tell the legal guardianContinue reading “Discussing the Harmful Don’t Say Gay bill:”

Celebrating Orlando Sentinel Central Floridian of the Year Nominee: Steve Meyers:

March 2022, I was honored to join my friend and Orlando Sentinel Central Floridian of the Year Nominee Steve Meyers at the eponymous Awards Ceremony. Congratulations to Richard Lapchick for his recognition and Steve Meyers, Mae Hazelton, Marucci Guzman, and Eric Camarillo for their nominations. I am so proud to live in a community withContinue reading “Celebrating Orlando Sentinel Central Floridian of the Year Nominee: Steve Meyers:”

A first look At the Transportation Sales Tax initiative:

Last week (Mid March 2022) , the Orange County Board of Commissioners had a Public Work Session regarding the Transportation Sales Tax. Next steps are another Public Work Session and  a vote on April 26. The one cent sales tax increase is intended for more reliable public transportation options as well upgrades and improvements onContinue reading “A first look At the Transportation Sales Tax initiative:”

Introduction to Commonsense Childbirth Inc.

A west Orange County nonprofit health clinic, Commonsense Childbirth Inc., was recently recognized by Time Magazine. Founder Jennie Joseph was part of Time Magazine’s inaugural Women of the Year. This birth center and clinic gives pregnant persons prenatal and postpartum support in an effort to level the healthcare playing field and eradicate black maternal mortality.Continue reading “Introduction to Commonsense Childbirth Inc.”

A Federal Ruling to Support Rural Boundaries, Expanding Protections for the Econ River:.

A federal judge recently gave some hope to beleaguered environmentalists and rural communities in Florida by not only ruling in favor of the County’s rural boundary, but also requiring the developer to pay the county nearly $537,00 in legal fees. The court held that Seminole County Commissioners had the right to reject the plan toContinue reading “A Federal Ruling to Support Rural Boundaries, Expanding Protections for the Econ River:.”

The Need for Light Rail to be prioritized in the Transportation Sales Tax Work Sessions: 

As we move into the final work session and vote by the Board of County Commissioners, I have to express my disappointment in the absence of any consideration for light rail or some other east – west mass transit option. The U.S. Census was clear: West Orange County added 80,000 new residents yet the onlyContinue reading “The Need for Light Rail to be prioritized in the Transportation Sales Tax Work Sessions: ”

Agenda Items Removed from Board of County Commission Meeting!

The purpose of District Commissioners is to ensure stakeholders and residents are informed and have an opportunity to engage with any legislative items which would affect those residents. However, over the last several Orange County Board of Commissioners meetings, items of great importance to Orange County residents have been either removed from consideration, or decidedContinue reading “Agenda Items Removed from Board of County Commission Meeting!”

Celebrating Passover!

Last week, those in the Jewish community celebrated Passover together for the first time in two years. Passover is one of the most important holidays in the Jewish religion, as it details the Jews’ escape from Egyptian slavery. Growing up, I was always taught that Passover is an opportunity to stand up for all oppressedContinue reading “Celebrating Passover!”

Comments on My January 2022 Memo to the Mayor regarding Split Oak Forest

In one of the most bipartisan, clear-cut decisions of November 2020, 86% agreed to protect Split Oak Forest with a Charter Amendment. I wrote a memo to the Mayor and Commissioners as early as January 2022 asking them to rescind their application which would allow destruction of at least 160 acres of public lands.  It’sContinue reading “Comments on My January 2022 Memo to the Mayor regarding Split Oak Forest”

The Florida Community Trust’s Vote against Split Oak Forest

Last week, the Florida Communities Trust (FCT) approved the request for modification to Split Oak Forest submitted by Orange County. The fight to defend our environment put me in my seat today. I asked Mayor Demings and the Board of County Commissioners to bring this item back for a vote in January. My only responseContinue reading “The Florida Community Trust’s Vote against Split Oak Forest”

Environmental Efforts in my First Year as Commissioner

Since my election in 2020, I have worked tirelessly on water quality issues from stormwater retention to the new fertilizer ordinance update and revised wetland code. I championed a more comprehensive tree protection ordinance and GreenPLACE conservation program. All of these efforts are based on the voter support of the charter amendment passed providing forContinue reading “Environmental Efforts in my First Year as Commissioner”

Celebrating Ramadan!

To all who celebrate, happy Eid al-Fitr! Congratulations on completing Ramadan, one of the most challenging and important holidays for Islam. I am lucky to have the Islamic Center of Orlando in District 1 as incredible partners in building a safe community. Their recent Interfaith Iftar ceremony was the perfect display of District 1’s solidarity.Continue reading “Celebrating Ramadan!”

Governor DeSantis is Hurting The Business Community

If the rest of Florida’s business community thinks they are safe sitting idly by as the Governor attacks the state’s largest employer they are missing the larger threat. It was unbelievably irresponsible for the Governor to abolish RCID without conducting a thorough economic study. Orange and Osceola County taxpayers may end up shouldering the burdenContinue reading “Governor DeSantis is Hurting The Business Community”

Inconsistencies within the Transportation Sales tax

The  Board of County Commissioners narrowly passed the Transportation Sales Tax for the November ballot. This measure was based in part on a report that used Vision Zero as a basis for additional pedestrian and bicycle safety measures. This direct conflict was one of many inconsistencies that ultimately led me to vote no to theContinue reading “Inconsistencies within the Transportation Sales tax”