Nowadays dysfunction, turmoil, and disrespect are pretty normal. What’s not normal - is common sense, the common good, and common decency. These ideals bind us together for the purpose of building a better nation and community for ourselves and our children.
What we see now is a system where the only way a person can serve their community in political office, is to accept big money donations and make big empty promises. That isn’t how you lead a community, this isn’t how you serve your constituents, and this isn’t how we intend to win this election.
A decision to serve your community has to be about more than just a paycheck. Serving this community has to be a calling, one fueled by a desire to genuinely help others. This guiding principle has led me to serve in many uniforms over the years.
In my youth, as a cub scout and boy scout, I served our community. In my early adulthood, I changed uniforms and served as a sergeant in the United States Army preserving our freedom abroad. As a young father back home in Osceola County, my uniform changed again as I began working as a union laborer and activist securing labor rights for my brothers and sisters. It was this service that made me realize the next uniform needed was one of political service to my community, Osceola County.
In 1990, the uniform to serve was granted to me by the voters of Osceola County. Serving as Board Chairman and a twice-elected member of the Osceola County School Board. For two terms starting in 2008, my uniform became that of an Osceola County Commissioner including one year as your Vice Chairman. One thing hasn’t changed from uniform to uniform. I’ve always been fighting for you, our community, and the county that I proudly choose to call home.
This position isn’t just a career, it has to be a calling to public service. This common cause and calling guided my life whether as a member of your Osceola County Commission or as a member of the United States Army.
For those that know me well, I’m something of a novelty: I’m a liberal redneck. Loud and proud of our community and its heritage - but unwavering in my support of equality, labor rights, and a steadfast belief that government can and should help the people it represents. Our path to the future requires an appreciation of our past. We aren’t just cattle country anymore. We are a dynamic county sprawling with culture, diverse economic opportunities, and truly limitless potential.
In order to navigate that potential, we must recognize that unlimited and uncontrolled growth is not the solution to our problems. We must develop a cohesive vision for our community that ensures our residents maintain the greatest standard of living: with schools that aren’t overpopulated, a police force that isn’t overextended, and an infrastructure that isn’t overwhelmed.
We didn’t always get it right during my tenure, but we always tried to do right. We accomplished a great many things during my time in office. These weren’t just my ideas - but the realization of many ideas that came from ordinary folks all across our community. These achievements can be measured and can be seen in your neighborhoods. Whether it be a new library in Celebration, a firehouse in Reunion, a Nature and Welcome Center in Kissimmee, a health clinic in Campbell City, or a landmark wage theft ordinance which protects everyday workers all across Osceola County.
We’ve done good work, but it isn’t good enough - we’ve got unfinished business. So here’s what comes next: we’re going on what we call the Open Mike Tour because politicians do enough talking. For several weeks we’ll be visiting homes, community centers, places of worship, and local businesses hearing from our neighbors to better understand how we can restore common sense, common decency, and the common good to our county government.
That’s our cause. That’s why I’m running for Osceola County Commissioner, District One.