United States House District 27 - DEM
2022 General - Voter Guide Ranking
United States House District 27 - DEM
2022 Clean Water Questionnaire Responses
To read each question, answer and candidate comments click below.
- Question 1 : Yes1) In late 2020 the state of Florida became one of three states to assume the wetland dredge and fill permitting authority previously held by federal authorities. The move, enabled by a rule change late in the Trump administration, was challenged in court by conservationists who said it put 6 million acres of Florida wetlands at risk. Subsequently a federal judge ruled the rule change could cause “serious environmental harm” and the federal Environmental Protection Agency has objected to numerous permits granted by the FDEP. Do you believe wetland permitting authority should be returned to the federal government, and wetlands protections should be expanded and prioritized?
- Question 2 : Yes2) Manatee deaths in Florida have captured headlines around the world, with more than 1,100 sea cows dying last year. Many died of starvation driven primarily by the loss of seagrass, a key source of food and habitat that's been decimated by decades of pollution. Any solution must be multifaceted and include significant new spending - but also tougher rules and enforcement. Do you support compelling the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to force the state of Florida to upgrade water quality standards to meet the Clean Water Act criteria and thereby make Florida’s waters safe and clean for manatees, as well as people?
Yes, I also believe that the Clean Water Act needs reform. The Clean Water Act was a moment when history chose to prioritize our waters. But that moment, it was nearly 50 years ago. It is time for the goal of the CWA to encompass its transformative mission. It's time to update the CWA with the modern issues affecting the quality of our water. There are numerous areas needing more than just a little legislative fine-tuning. The scope of the act has been narrowed, discharge limitations have been hindered by lack of funding, and nonpoint source pollutants are not adequately addressed. Time has shown the dismal truth of water pollution still being an active problem in America today. Self-serving Washington Senators need to be reminded of this, and the quality of our Florida water’s needs directly advocated for in CWA reform.
- Question 3 : Yes3) When it comes to Everglades restoration, water storage is key. Storage methods like Aquifer Storage & Recovery (ASR) deep-injection wells pose risks in Florida’s porous bedrock, where contaminants like arsenic can leach into the water, and move water too slowly to be an effective means of flood control. Independent experts, including the National Academy of Sciences, have called for increasing above ground water storage. Will you prioritize funding for Everglades restoration projects with above ground storage and filtration marshes that send water south through the Everglades and down to Florida Bay, the headwaters of the Florida Keys, as nature intended?
I actively got Miami involved with the fight for the Everglades when I joined the Everglades Trust. I also wrote an op-ed explaining that we need more funding to the proper projects after the original federal funding was allocated to Big Sugar projects. https://www.orlandosentinel.com/opinion/guest-commentary/os-op-everglades-restoration-funding-big-sugar-20220131-ttgdyntmmfgjrkv5xih64h5vie-story.html
- Question 4 : Yes*4) Special interests like Florida's powerful sugar industry spend lavishly to influence elections, with "Big Sugar," the phosphate mining industry and big utilities, among others, spending hundreds of millions of dollars to aid candidates who then back their preferred legislation - too often, at the expense of clean water. Do you agree your campaign will accept no contributions from any source with ties to polluting industries including, but not limited to, the sugar, phosphate and utility industries?
I have never taken a penny from Big Sugar, and I never will, but my primary opponent has taken hundreds of thousands of dollars and has voted in support of their projects in the legislature. See CD-27 Primary Environmental Report, which details my stances on the environment, my history as a legislator, and my opponents campaign contributions from Big Sugar: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1OgSrhhEoAr-IJ0lHo6ekkX4JOTVNQDxN/view
- Question 5 : Yes5) Big Sugar’s clout in Washington D.C. is subsidized by taxpayers. Price supports and import controls in the federal farm bill pad the industry’s profits, inflating U.S. sugar prices an estimated 69 percent above the global price, and providing $1.2 billion worth of support to sugar growers and processors. That means consumers pay more at the grocery store - and allows the industry to spend freely on political campaigns to protect their privilege. The federal Sugar Program is up for renewal in the 2023 Farm Bill. If elected, will you support the growing bipartisan effort to reform and ultimately end sugar price supports?
I will vote to eliminate the sugar price supports.
As a member of the Everglades Trust (I recently resigned so there wasn't a conflict with endorsements) and candidate, I have publicly advocated for wetland permitting authority to be returned to the federal government. I have met with almost all of the state's water keepers and have heard the concerns, not just here in Miami, but all over our state.