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ON

THE

ISSUES

Livable Cities

It is impossible to get around Lee County without a vehicle. We have a bus system that is underused because it is incredibly inefficient. We allow new construction with no organized plan of how it will affect the residents of Lee County. Rather than having individual septic tanks that have a cost burden on the homeowner and send pollution into our waterways, we could streamline a sewer system that would benefit the whole city.

Better Roads

My brother was killed by drunk drivers when he was 12 and I myself was hit by a car right here in San Carlos Park. To combat reckless driving, we need to allocate more police to traffic duty. Drug possession in and of itself is not the issue. Driving under the influence of drugs and reckless driving in general is. Rather than busting people in their homes for drug consumption, we need to keep it off the roads.

Our bus systems are barely accessible and our resources are going to waste. A well functioning bus system saves individuals the cost burden of a car and saves us all on carbon dioxide releases. I stand for smart growth and a better Lee Tran (ABetterLeeTran.com). 

Housing & Wages

Here in Lee county, the average cost of rent has increased by 19% since 2001 while the average income has gone up by only 4%. This means the cost of living (an inelastic product) is increasing with no regulation but wages are staying nearly the same each year. A livable wage is about assessing the cost of living and making sure that an individual gets compensated enough in order to not make sacrifices like health care and child care in order to keep a roof over their head.

  • In my travels I met many homeless people. I was homeless myself, but more fortunate. I was not addicted to drugs neither did I have a mental disorder. All the homeless people I have met either have a drug addiction, are mentally ill, or are just a traveler. In most cases it is one or both of the first two.

  • Here in lee county I worked at Little Caesars and Dunkin’ Doughnuts back to back in order to make enough money for first last and security for a new rental lease. There was a man who would come in to both jobs frequently, asking if we were hiring or if he could have some food. He is mentally ill. He wants to work but can’t because he can’t focus for over 10 seconds and doesn’t remember people from day to day. He has no family and our current system has no plan for someone like him. I don’t like that. I don’t like a system that turns its head to an individual who had no say in having been born with a disability. I see something that’s broken and needs to be fixed rather than ignored. People’s lives are at stake.

  •  We need a socialized housing and jobs program so that the mentally ill have a place in society and a wage that supports their basic living necessities. We need more trees to filter pollution, they need jobs. Let’s help each other out.

Algal Blooms

Pre-developed Florida worked as a filter for excess nutrients, but post-developed Florida is a funnel for pollutants, because of the connecting lakes north of Lake Okeechobee. Local basins account for 62% of the flow to the Caloosahatchee River, and most of the nutrient loading in the river. These basins are loaded with excess nitrogen and phosphorus, from non-point sources such as agricultural runoff, urban runoff, and stormwater runoff.  Additional contributors are failing septic systems.

 

You don't have a legal right to clean air and water. I believe you should, but the current administration disagrees. The state legislature, including my opponent (Sugar) Ray Rodriguez, passed the SB-712 “Clean Waterways Act” which makes it easier to dump biosolids into waterways and bans citizens from establishing rights of nature i.e. a legal right to clean air and water. They have proven themselves to be perpetrators of the problem and preventers of a solution. I will fight to repeal SB-712. I am on the board of Lee Rights of Nature and we are currently suing Governor Desantis for signing this act into law.

Economics

The Florida Climate and Economic Defense Initiative (FCEDI)  is an economic development plan that is tasked with combating the many issues facing Florida’s environment. From flooding due to storm surges, to coastal erosion, to the toxic algal blooms and oil and agricultural pollutants that  hurt our wildlife and destroy our ecotourism industry. By rebuilding and protecting our coastlines and by transforming our grid, transportation, and agricultural systems to non polluting energy sources, we can not only eliminate the threats to Florida’s natural wonders, but we can propel  Florida’s economy to levels never before reached. If the people can dream it, the FCEDI can achieve it.

AT A GLANCE

COVID-19

  • COVID General

 

Rachel believes that the pandemic has been mismanaged. She believes we could have prevented reaching 200,000 deaths if the state legislature had required masks earlier. She knows that while small businesses are closing and families are struggling financially across the U.S., billionaire wealth has grown by 845 billion in the past 6 months. 
 

  • Masks

 

Rachel supports mask mandates, in order to keep us safe. Personal freedom is great until it becomes an infringement on someone else's life. 

 

  • School Reopening

 

Rachel believes in mandatory masks. She favors the expansion of virtual schooling over in-person classes and believes if that had been done from the beginning, we could get back to in-person classes in a more careful way. Governor Desantes's recent lift of COVID-19 safety measures showed the people of Lee County that he is not a leader who puts people first. A good leader does not sacrifice the safety of their people.  

 

  • Business/Economic Impact

 

Rachel knows that billionaire wealth has risen by 845 billion in the past 6 months. Rachel believes that the state government should be helping small businesses keep afloat rather than making billionaires more wealthy. 

 

ECONOMY/JOBS

  • Budget

 

Rachel believes that taxes should only be used for things that are absolutely necessary. She believes healthcare for all is as necessary as the fire department. 

  • Job Creation

 

Rachel believes every person should have a livable wage because a fair wage requires less help. Rachel is a framer of the Florida Climate and Economic Defense Initiative, which includes transitioning our energy sector off of fossil fuel work and into green jobs. 

 

  • Living Wage

 

Rachel believes that a livable wage is about assessing the cost of living and making sure that an individual gets compensated enough in order to not make sacrifices like health care and child care in order to keep a roof over their head. She favors increasing the minimum wage to $15/hour over six years. 

 

  • Green Jobs

 

Rachel is a framer of the Florida Climate and Economic Defense Initiative, which includes transitioning our energy sector off of fossil fuel work and into green jobs.
 

  • Student Debt

 

Rachel believes that having to work during school divides a student's attention and harms their performance in classes. Rachel believes college education should come with enough money to pay for basic necessities so students don’t have to divide their time and are not left with debt when they graduate.
 

  • Small Business

 

Rachel understands supporting local small businesses is more sustainable for our environment and our economy. 

 

  • Tax Policy

 

Rachel believes that taxes should be used for what is absolutely necessary. Streamlining healthcare is cheaper than our current system and includes everyone. She supports taxes being used for necessary things like health and education rather than corporate greed. 

 

EDUCATION

  • Charter Schools

 

Rachel is an anti-charter school candidate. As a principle, she is against using public funds for private means, with the exception of schools for the blind, deaf, or other disabilities. She believes every child should have equal access to quality education and knows that charter schools take away from that possibility. 

 

  • Funding

 

Rachel will work for more equitable funding for our schools. Schools are now funded by property taxes. Lower-income neighborhoods pay less in property taxes, which means our children do not have an equal quality of education and thus eventually do not have equal opportunity in the workforce.

 

  • Higher Education

 

Rachel believes that education should be universal since it benefits not just the receiver of education but all of society. 

 

  • Trade Schools/Vocational Education

 

Rachel believes that trade schools and vocational education should be treated as important as a university. Universal education should also include trade school. 

 

ENVIRONMENT

  • Climate Change

 

Rachel knows that climate change is real and is one of the founders of the Florida Climate and Economic Defense Initiative. 

CLIMATE CHANGE: https://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/

FL CLIMATE AND ECONOMIC DEFENSE INITIATIVE: https://flclimate.com/

 

  • Energy Policy

 

Rachel vows to vote against fracking. She is a framer of the Florida Climate and Economic Defense Initiative, which includes transitioning our energy sector off of fossil fuel work and into green jobs. She not only supports transitioning our energy sector off fossil fuels but has a plan to do it. 

 

  • Environmental Protection

 

Here in Lee County, we don't have a legal right to clean air and water. Rachel believes we should. She serves on the board of Lee County Rights of Nature,  which is currently in a lawsuit with Governor DeSantis since he passed the SB 712 "Clean Waterways Act," which prevents that right from being established. Her opponent voted for this bill in the house.

 

GUNS

  • Assault Weapons

 

Rachel does not see a need for assault rifles but she is also cautious of the creation of black markets for guns if they are unregulated. Rachel earned the moms demand action gun distinction. She believes in reforming gun policy because enough people have been hurt by guns. 

 

  • Arming Teachers

 

At this time Rachel does not believe in arming teachers.
 

  • Gun Safety

Rachel is comfortable with gun ownership as long as owners behave legally and responsibly. However, she feels they should be held liable for the use of their weapons.

  • Universal Background Checks

Rachel believes that those who have hurt someone with a gun should not be allowed to own a gun. 

  • Waiting Periods 

 

Rachel believes that waiting for the sake of waiting is silly. She does believe in other gun reforms like changing Stand Your Ground. George Zimmerman was able to get away with murder, through our court system. 

GOVERNMENT 

  • Campaign Finance Reform

 

Rachel knows that when big agriculture funds political campaigns, no one keeps them accountable for the damage they cause to our local environment. She will work to change the way campaigns are financed. She supports the idea of democracy dollars, ending PAC’s, and rank choice voting, as ways to reform our voting system. 

 

  • Gerrymandering

 

Rachel believes that districts, including hers, have been gerrymandered for too long. It’s a political game that benefits politicians and corporations and undermines the will of the people. It mostly hurts underserved and underprivileged communities. 

 

  • Opinion of Trump

 

Rachel believes that Trump's denial of the seriousness of COVID-19 and climate change along with his claim that "Many fine people" exist in white supremacist groups is all evidence of his poor leadership. An honest public servant is honest with their people. 

 

  • Term Limits

 

Rachel supports term limits because they prevent one person from becoming too powerful. Checks and balances are important in government. 

 

  • Voting Rights

 

Rachel believes we should change to a rank choice voting system. She will work to expand vote by mail and to have online voting. 

 

HEALTHCARE

  • Abortion 

 

Rachel believes we are at a standstill when it comes to Pro-choice and Pro-life. Instead of participating in the never-ending argument, she believes in doing what has worked. Expanding contraceptives has proven to decrease abortions. Colorado saw a 60% decline in abortions when they offered free IUD’s for 5 years. Rachel supports expanding Medicaid so that women have the availability of contraceptives. She does not believe in banning abortions as that will only create a black market for them.
 

  • Accessibility

 

Rachel will work to expand Medicaid in Florida.

  • Affordability

 

Rachel believes that those in the legislature who voted against Medicaid expansion and prescription drug affordability are morally corrupt and should be sued. 

  • Marijuana (Medical)

 

Rachel believes that a plant should not be illegal. 

  • Medicare for All

 

Rachel believes in universal health care. 

  • Opioid Epidemic

 

Rachel believes that the cure to the opioid epidemic lies in funding the rehabilitation rather than the incarceration of victims, legalizing cannabis (based on Oregon's results), and providing housing for the homeless. It is overall less expensive to house all the homeless than to ignore them. 

 

  • Reproductive Rights

 

Rachel believes that if we really want to see a decrease in abortions, universal birth control is the answer. 

 

HOUSING

  • Affordability

Rachel knows that since 2001, the average cost of rent in Lee County has increased by 19% while the average income has gone up by only 4%. 

 

  • Homelessness

 

Rachel was once homeless and knows firsthand the struggles that people in such a situation go through. Many in the homeless population suffer from mental illness. Rachel believes that we need a socialized housing and jobs program so that the mentally ill have a place in society and a wage that supports their basic living necessities.

 

HUMAN RIGHTS / EQUALITY

  • Black Lives Matter/BLM

Rachel believes communities should have solidarity with one another so that everyone can thrive and be heard. Rachel has marched in solidarity with the local Black Lives Matter movement. 

 

  • Racial Justice

Rachel will work to enact more distinct laws to combat racial discrimination.  Ending broken window policing and the war on drugs is a part of that. 

  • LGBTQ Rights

The biggest struggle facing the LGBTQ community is not being able to adopt kids. Tennessee now publicly funds religious organizations to run their orphanages and deny gay couples the ability to adopt children. As a legislator, Rachel will stand up for the LGBTQ community. 

  • Fair Pay

Rachel believes that people should get paid the same for the same job description.
 

  • Equality Act

Rachel believes that the Equality Act is good.
 

  • Criminal Justice Reform

Rachel believes that the current system is broken. She believes in ending solitary confinement, decriminalizing drug possession and legalizing cannabis, moving law enforcement toward traffic duty (FL ranks third in the nations for deaths due to car crashes), and providing better police training. She believes in rehabilitation over incarceration.


 

  • Defund/Reform the Police

Rachel believes in the demilitarization of the police force. Rachel knows that decriminalizing drug possession and legalizing cannabis will leave leftover funds that can then be put toward better training for cops and rehabilitation centers. Rather than putting police to arrest people for drug possession, she wants to put them to traffic duty and use leftover funds for rehabilitation centers. 

 

IMMIGRATION

  • DACA

 

Rachel wants to defend DACA recipients. 

  • Family Separation/Detention

 

Rachel believes that it is corrupt to detain someone seeking asylum. It is clear we need immigration reform. She recommends the documentary “Immigration Nation” for anyone wanting to learn more about immigration from the perspective of an ice agent, an undocumented immigrant, an archaeologist, a medical examiner, and more. 

INFRASTRUCTURE

  • Broadband

 

Rachel wants universal internet because she believes in open access to information. 

  • Repair & Modernization

 

Rachel supports an improved mass transit system. She believes that there is a lack of city planning, which makes our roadways unsafe. 

 

LOCAL ISSUES

  • Algal Blooms

 

The current establishment has passed the SB-712 “Clean Waterways Act” which makes it easier to dump biosolids into waterways and bans citizens from having a legal right to clean air and water. They have proven themselves to be perpetrators of the problem and preventers of a solution. I will fight to repeal SB-712.

 

  • Clear Cutting

 

Rachel believes we must stop clear-cutting for real estate, and keep fragile ecosystems that filter our water intact

  • Sewage System

 

Rachel knows we must move forward with plans to sequester carbon, require testing of runoff from agriculture sites, and build a streamlined sewer system rather than individual septic systems that are a cost burden to the homeowner and the environment.

 

PUBLIC SAFETY / LAW ENFORCEMENT

  • Marijuana (Recreational)

 

Rachel’s brother was killed by a driver under the influence. She believes that rather than focus on drug possession in and of itself, we should put our efforts towards monitoring our roads for unsafe drivers. 

 

VETERANS’ ISSUES

  • Healthcare

 

States that have expanded Medicaid have lower uninsured rates in regards to healthcare among veterans. Florida has not expanded Medicaid. Rachel supports expanding Medicaid in the state of FL. 

 

  • Benefits

 

Rachel believes fair compensation should be granted to our veterans. We should not have homeless veterans here in Lee county. Rachel believes in housing our homeless veterans. 

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©2020  |  Paid for by Rachel Brown for Florida Senate, District 27