BARBARA'S PRIORITIES FOR TALLAHASSEE
LIST OF ISSUES
Osceola and Polk school districts host a diverse population of students from around the world. Unfortunately, Polk County schools rank 37 out of 39 counties for per student funding making Polk the third lowest funded school district in the state.
Many of our students throughout Florida are still struggling to succeed academically. Barbara believes every child deserves a quality education and will fight to ensure that our public schools are fully funded. She will ensure that early intervention and special education services are readily available for at-risk students. As a mother who raised a special needs child to a full and productive adulthood, Barbara knows the importance of advocating for children’s special educational services and early detection methodologies. She will fight to ensure that every one of Florida’s students receives the highest level of education in the least restrictive environment.
Florida’s teachers are one of our greatest resources and Barbara will fight to ensure that their salaries reflect the important work they do, and will support legislation to ensure that teacher unions remain intact.
Barbara believes in the value of public education and strongly opposes the use of our taxpayer dollars to fund unregulated, for-profit charter schools. Any school that receives state funding must be held to the same standard as public schools. We cannot continue to divert state money to private schools in the form of vouchers. State voucher spending is projected to hit $1 billion by 2020. These schools are not being held accountable for the education of the students that attend, and have been increasingly found to be providing a sub-standard quality of education. Barbara will stop the excessive flow of money to private and for-profit charter schools that are not meeting the needs of students, and in some cases actually putting our students in harm’s way.
Barbara is a proponent of reproductive justice for all women. She will defend a woman’s right to reproductive privacy, without government interference, and will work to ensure that women have access to the reproductive health care and contraception options they need. Barbara believes that a woman’s reproductive health care decisions are between her and her doctor.
Barbara is a long time ally to the LGBTQ+ community. She understands LGBTQ+ discrimination. Her close family members have been impacted by communities that do not respect the rights of LGBTQ+ people. Recently returning to the academic realm as a non-traditional adult student majoring in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality studies, Barbara received high honors and academic acclaim for the work she did in the area of marriage equality, transgender and women’s rights. She will make anti-discrimination legislation one of her top priorities in Tallahassee.
Barbara, in her daily life, clearly demonstrates her desire to serve the people of District 42. She works very hard to make sure everyone in her district is being represented to the best of her ability. As she's fond of saying: "We don't need to look for common ground. We're standing on it." Barbara is a real person, not a career politician. When she saw more and more problems arising, she stepped up to do something about it.
Barbara grew up with the understanding that service to community and country was an important part of being an American. She was born into a military family in the Navy town of Charleston, South Carolina, where her World War II Veteran father was a training instructor for the Navy’s fleet ballistic missile submarine program. She will take her understanding of veteran and military family issues to Tallahassee to ensure our service members are getting the healthcare they deserve and to lower the rate of veteran homelessness in Florida.
Every citizen in our state deserves the access to affordable health care. Health care isn’t just a luxury for those who can afford it — every Floridian should be able to receive treatment when they are sick or injured.
In speaking with hundreds of people across the district, Barbara understands the impact reckless policies have had on our well being. She has talked to people who have no health insurance due to the lack of expanded Medicaid dollars in the state of Florida; she’s talked to people who cannot afford insurance or the prescription medication they need to fight battles against cancer. People who need help are not receiving it- and that is not okay.
Barbara knows that we cannot continue to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, cut Medicaid, limit patient choice, and then expect Floridians to thrive. She will fight to expand Medicaid and work to ensure that every Floridian has access to affordable healthcare and the care they deserve.
Barbara serves as Director for the West Central Region for Florida Rights of Nature Network which is committed to protecting and preserving nature.
Barbara understands that decisions made in the coming legislative year will fundamentally shape Florida’s environment for years to come. As your state representative, she will stand up to the special interests and polluters whose actions help cause the denigration of our water systems.
Barbara will fight for environmental justice and policies that will allow future generations to continue to enjoy our great state’s natural resources. She will work to ensure that Florida Forever is fully funded and that Amendment 1 funds are used to acquire and preserve public land as the voters intended. She will support a fracking ban, and will hold accountable the big corporations endangering Florida’s wetlands. Barbara knows how important it is to build partnerships with local businesses to promote new products and ideas to alleviate the strain we put on our environment.