Good people can disagree, but twenty years of one party rule in Jacksonville needs to be challenged. I am running for Florida State Representative district 12 because for too long we have been sending party establishment button pushers to Tallahassee who continue to thwart the will of the people.
The most troubling example of this is how our one-party establishment leaders have continually ignored Article IX, section 1 of our state constitution which states it is “a paramount duty… to make adequate provision for all children residing within [our] borders.” Yet, our legislators continually vote to take vital resources away from our public schools to benefit well-connected corporate conglomerates. They have truly given up on our schools but we have not and we will fight to ensure that all students, regardless of their economic circumstances, have the opportunity for the best education possible.
Jacksonville is a great place to live and work. We know it and many other Americans as well as fellow Floridians are finding this out as well. Our city is growing at an ever expanding rate but we need to manage this growth with forward thinking commitments.
We need to ensure that our vital infrastructure — roads, bridges, waterways — remain safe, viable, and convenient modes of transportation. We also need to look to ways of developing a safe and reliable means of public transportation to boost tourism, create jobs and maintain revenue for our public needs.
As a progressive running with the Democratic party, I understand the need for compromise to craft legislation which will benefit most Jacksonvillians. We need to work with one another with malice toward none and understand that, for the most part, we all have the best interests of Florida and Floridians in mind. Contrary to popular belief, progressives do not believe that government solves every problem, rather we believe that government should work as efficiently as possible for the maximum number of our citizens. We can achieve this goal with principled compromise and working together. When I was a young Petty Officer stationed in Mayport, I learned the importance of working with individuals from a variety of backgrounds with different viewpoints but to achieve a common goal.
“politics are dictated not by how they will help the people [but for]… the profit margin of a utility, the power of a union leader, the bankroll of a multimillionaire, the welfare of an agriculture giant or the budget of a big bureaucracy. The people seem convinced that such a system has forgotten the average man or woman in America today.”
— Reubin Askew
Florida Governor 1971-1979
I have always been interested in politics but only as an observer. My first political act was to write a letter to President Ronald Reagan to tell him about our shared interest in swimming. I was in the second grade at the time.
My wife and I are proud life-long Floridians. We met in grad school at UNF. I teach English, history and film at a local high school while Jaclynn works as an editor at a local company. Without her support I would not be able to do this.
I was born in Tampa, spent my early years in Oviedo (just outside of Orlando) and went to high school in West Palm Beach. After high school, I went back to Orlando and earned my degree in history from the University of Central Florida.
When the World Trade Centers were attacked on 9/11 I was living in New York City. Soon afterwards, I enlisted in the Navy. I chose to enlist rather than become an officer. The Navy brought me back to Florida as I was stationed aboard the USS Carney here in Mayport. I worked as an Operations Specialist while earning my ESWS (Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist) Pin before I was honorably discharged in 2006.
After serving I moved to Winston-Salem, NC and began studying for my second degree. For my first degree I had to use student loans but for my second degree I was able to use my veteran’s benefits. If you do not believe that there are any government programs that are beneficial and work well then I would ask for you to please look at the Montgomery GI Bill. While studying for my English degree full-time I worked three jobs. One of my proudest achievements was making the Chancellor’s List. After graduation, I wanted to move back to Jacksonville. I knew this was a great place to live and wanted to be closer to my family. Luckily, I was hired by a local school. I have been working here ever since. In addition to my high school teaching, I have had the immense privilege to teach English composition to sailors and soldiers in our armed forces through a local community college.
I believe that now it is too important to stand idly by. The politics of corruption and division have separated us for too long. I truly believe that we are all good, but our politicians have sought to govern us through anger and vitriol. I promise to be a voice independent of party, independent of corruption and independent of petty party politics. I will be dependent only on you and your vote.
“To be a successful state we must nurture successful children”
— Lawton Chiles
Florida Governor 1991-1998
Why I Need Your Donations, and Where We Can Go From Here
It is no secret that our state legislature is drowning in corporate cash. This is legal and necessary to our political process. But shouldn’t your voice be heard as well? We need to support grassroots candidates to counteract the corrupting influence that money has had on our politics since even before the Citizens United decision. Your small dollar donation (5, 10, 25, 50 or 100 dollars) would go to signs and mailers to contact voters just like you who want to have a voice in our state legislature.
Here is the link: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/yost4fla
If you decide to donate, thank you. Please note that your contribution would not be tax deductible and individuals are limited to $1,000 per election cycle. Also, only donate if the following are true:
1. This contribution is made from your own funds and funds are not being provided by another person or entity for the purpose of making this contribution.
2. You are making this contribution with my own personal credit card or check and not with a corporate or business credit card or a card issued to another person.
3. You are not making this contribution from the general treasury funds of a corporation, labor union or national bank.
4. You are not not a federal contractor.
5. You are at least eighteen years old.