After my dad served in World War II, he married a Japanese woman – my mom. They started a business, and traveled the world. My father was working in Cuba when Castro’s regime overthrew the government, seizing all of my father’s assets and forcing them to flee the country. They settled in Miami, where they raised my brother and me. And that’s where I launched my watersports business, allowing me to see the world.
My wife and I were raising our family here in Florida, happily growing our business, but then we realized the park across the street – where our young girls played – was contaminated and the city wasn’t doing anything about it. I wanted to fix it but wasn’t sure how. So I mobilized my neighbors, and we got it done. It was all about the end product. Not who got the credit.
With encouragement from the community, I ran for local office without money or name recognition, or any insider support to speak of. The pundits scoffed at my chances, but in the end – we won.
Over the last six years, I’ve used my position to help tackle other murky problems – sea level rise, toxic algae, a minimum wage that was too low to live on, and sometimes putting my hands to a chainsaw and cleaning up after a hurricane.
Now I am running for Congress to take on Florida’s biggest problem yet: the GOP. It’s far past time Florida residents were given a strong voice in the Congress — and I’m ready to step up one more time for my neighbors to be that voice.