In the News

As DeSantis and Trump Continue their Erratic Response, Democratic Local Elected Officials Lead in Helping Communities in Need

Yesterday, local elected officials joined a virtual news conference to discuss their efforts to help their communities during the coronavirus pandemic, and their role in leading the response to the crisis after the state’s failure to implement early and safe measures to deal with the spread of the virus.

Local governments have been on the front line of the nation’s defense against the spread of the virus and helping their communities by providing bilingual information and resources to their constituents, assisting with unemployment claims, distributing food to the community, and setting up funds to help local small businesses.

Highlights from the press conference:

Mayor of Kissimmee, José Alvarez:

“Without local government, cities and counties cannot be run. For Mitch McConnell and Rick Scott to say let states and local governments go bankrupt is very irresponsible. In Osceola County, since all this started, we have not received enough test kits. Now the state wants to open the state, but we have only started testing people two weeks ago, and the numbers are not going down, they are still spiking up. What is coming down from this administration is terrible. It’s not helping us at all to do the job we need to do and take care of our constituents. It is an everyday struggle for local elected officials.”

Vice Mayor of Hallandale Beach, Sabrina Javellana:

“Cities are stepping up. They are leading in the absence and delay of the federal government. Cities have been in the frontline of the COVID-19 response and our employees are essential employees. Cities are a hundred percent essential, and they are not receiving aid from the state and the federal government.

It is very terrifying watching President Trump and Senate Leader McConnell on the news abandoning states in need, and saying they would rather let them declare bankruptcy than provide aid for states and cities. President FDR’s new deal brought the federal government together with states and cities to address a crisis they couldn’t recover on their own. We need collaborative leadership, and we are not seeing it from the President and our Governor.”

City of Tampa, District 7, Councilman Luis Viera:

“People need to know that local elected officials are working hard during these times. When we look at what is happening at the federal level with Donald Trump, we see a lot of inconsistency and trying to divide Americans across political lines in a time when we really need to come together as Americans. As a City of Tampa Councilman, I have been working hard to make sure my constituents know that I am there for them. Me and my office have organized several town halls with small businesses, students, and people with disabilities, and help them with any concerns or issues they have during the coronavirus pandemic.

People are looking for public officials to work hard and do their job, something that we don’t always see from the White House, and that’s why we at the local government have gotten to pick up the slack and do our jobs right and that’s something I am proud to do.”

Coral Springs Commissioner Joshua Simmons:

“We need to think about people. Millions of people are not working and we need to make sure that they can pay their bills. It bothered me when I saw the Governor taking a victory lap in the middle of a pandemic when people are still dying and getting sick. No one under our watch, under our district is suffering, especially when we are all supposed to be on this together because this is happening to everyone.”

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