Those who know me well, know that economic opportunity is and has been the backbone of my platform for years. I believe that everyone should have the right to earn a fair wage and provide for their families on one income. I believe in homeownership as I am a Realtor/Broker by trade and have worked in the industry for over 20 years before becoming a Politician. With more than 30 years in the real estate industry, I know how critical it is to our communities for people to be economically stable, to be able to respectfully provide for their families, to be able to have affordable housing available to everyone, and to maybe eventually own a home.
I have worked on many initiatives to bring economic growth into this community but the one I am most proud of is FITCE (the Florida International Trade & Cultural Expo). I believed it was imperative to bring countries from all over the world to Ft. Lauderdale to improve our international trade and strengthen the economy in Broward County. This concept came from an idea I implemented when I was a Commissioner in Lauderhill; working with Sister Cities International to connect cities in other countries to cities here in South Florida to improve our economy through trade efforts.
I believe we must capitalize on the coastal uniqueness of our community as a Gateway to the Americas and utilize it to increase and improve our economy throughout Palm Beach and Broward County. I am a strong advocate for small, minority, and women-owned businesses as I believe they are the true backbone of our economy.
I am relentless, aggressive, and strategic in my plan that economic prosperity must include all the people of Broward County. My mission statement and goal as Mayor is to: Make Broward County a better place for all who live here by empowering our community, strengthening our households and businesses, creating policies that afford access to opportunities, and unifying everyone across racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
As your next Congressman, I will continue to push for economic prosperity for all of District 20, and when I go to Congress you can be confident I will bring the money back home to the people in my District to help them grow, but I need your support. To win the race for Congress we need money for signs, and to pay supporters to canvas and make calls. Can I count on your support today?
I am no educator but I have always believed in the power of education and have continued to work diligently to help bring stronger educational programs to my community. I vow to do the same across District 20. When I was a commissioner in Lauderhill we used the city's budget to create the city's Education A+ plan that assembled educators to formulate plans to improve the education for our children. I partnered with KAPOW, Kids in the Power of Work where we brought in various civil servants (policemen, firemen, etc.), to share with the kids weekly about what they do and where they came from. By doing this we were showing our kids that they are much like them and within a year, kids that initially wanted to be rappers, football players, and movie stars decided instead they wanted to be civil servants too. The kids were able to create connections and build rapport while discovering how much in common they shared. We also need to ensure that everyone has the opportunity for education, especially those who may have started with a record. We must ensure that they get the necessary support to be fully acclimated back into society, thus having a chance at a brighter future.
I believe that we should provide a free 2-year college education to everyone who wants to attend college and 4 years of free higher-level education for underserved communities. We need to provide easier access to grants and simplify the FAFSA application process. Most importantly we need to implement policies to reduce student debt so that once our children are ready to enter the job market they are not saddled with debt for years.
We must partner our local schools with large companies and organizations such as I did with the Dillard High School Panthers, and the Florida Panthers to bring technical training to the school. I pushed Mr. Runcie when he was the District Superintendent to bring technical training to the county, which has since resulted in the now Arthur Ashe Technical Training Center.
We must continue to work to ensure that all our children have a plan for the future, whether it's technical training during and after high school, getting a 2-year degree within a specific field of study, or pursuing higher education. Regardless of the choice, we need to make sure the pathway is easier, less stressful, and empowers them with the freedom of choice and a plan for their future.
I am Dale VC Holness, Broward County Commissioner for District 9 and the 2019/2020 Broward County Mayor. During the Covid-19 outbreak, I was there on the front lines every day working to ensure the safety of this community and the people I serve. I worked diligently for all people, not just people in my district; but across all of Broward County, Miami Dade, and as far-reaching as Palm Beach County during the outbreak.
I worked together with leaders across all these counties for one reason; to ensure we were one voice when it came to the people of our cities and how best to protect them. I understand that what I do is not always comfortable for everyone, but sometimes I must do what is needed when it's difficult, and I will work tirelessly to get it done.
I fought to ensure that all people were protected, and I was the first county in the state to bring Covid-19 vaccines to our community for the elderly. I knew how critical the impact on our economy was, as it’s my daily fight to ensure prosperity for all. We are a coastal vacation location and one of the main ports for cruise ships. This is why I led the efforts to keep our communities safe during the pandemic as the Mayor of Broward County and stood against leaders, including the Governor, to bring people stranded on cruise ships home after Covid hit vacationers at sea. Had we left our friends at sea we would have damaged the economy even further in the future where people would choose to fly into and cruise out of another location.
In Congress, I will continue to be a champion for the economy empowering people, strengthening families, households, and businesses, and creating policies that improve access to opportunities for everyone. It was my guidance during the outbreak which ensured that we protected our people and found solutions quickly to get us back open for business.
I plan to support and work with Amy Klobuchar on the Marshall Plan for Mom’s bill to ensure that women are treated fairly and can return to work after the devastating impact on their families. We must ensure that we provide support for child care that would allow women to continue to grow in the workplace. They should not be punished for raising children, running a household, and wanting a career as well. The plan provides a playbook for employers that lays out the daily injustices working moms face and exactly what they need to return to work and thrive.
American moms, especially moms of color have taken the strongest hit when it comes to the Covid 19 pandemic. In the past year 2,300,000 women left the workforce, more than 30 years of progress disappeared overnight, and more than twice women of color are leaving the workforce, compared to white women. The plan makes it possible for women with kids to receive direct payment as they have had their pay in the workforce replaced by unseen and unpaid labor at home. In Congress, I plan on passing long-overdue policies like paid family leave, affordable childcare, and pay equity. I also plan to provide retraining programs to ensure women have the requisite skills to fill the available post-pandemic jobs. I also plan to provide comfort to our moms by ensuring a plan to safely repent schools 5 days a week.
As we continue to rebuild our economy, I can truly say that no one has fought harder for our small, minority, and women-owned business than I have. As your next Congressman, I will continue to fight to rebuild and mitigate the economic impact from Covid, work to ensure that we have a streamlined process to manage the challenges of unemployment, simplify the process to ensure people receive money faster, and support our working moms too. I will work for you, very hard, just as I have over the past 11 years, and I will continue to fight for the people of Florida in Broward and Palm Beach Counties as your next Congressman for District 20.
We must learn from this experience and establish processes to ensure we are better prepared in the future for this and any other events that might affect our wonderful state.
I believe in homeownership as I am a Realtor/Broker by trade and have worked in the industry for over 20 years before becoming a Politician. With more than 30 years in the real estate industry, I know how critical it is to our communities for people to be economically stable, to be able to respectfully provide for their families, to be able to have affordable housing available to everyone, and to maybe eventually own a home.
For years I sat on the board that decided which candidate running for office would be endorsed. I often asked the tough questions about how they would improve the community, clean up the crime on the streets, and help make the city better for everyone. Representing the local Board of Realtors is why I first decided to run for office. I heard candidates say, “there is nothing we can do about that” and I decided that I would run and make a difference.
I bought my first home at 22 years old and I know how important it is to be a homeowner. To ensure this is a possibility for others we must provide a fair and living wage to everyone. We must continue to increase the minimum wage so that people would only need one job and not three, to live with dignity. There are several aspects of our lives that are connected to the mortgage industry. These impacts rose to the forefront during the 2007 mortgage crisis with the widespread loss of homeownership and the negative impact it had on so many other businesses that were vital to the economy.
I have always believed in the importance of homeownership. I will continue to build a strong economic future for our communities to ensure that people will be able to provide for their families and experience the stability that impacts our communities when we own our homes.
As your next Congressman, I will work to ensure we provide affordable housing for all people, where opportunities are provided for homeownership to everyone who wants to be a homeowner. I will also work with the communities I serve to expand the number of First Time Home-buyer Workshops while expanding and enhancing participation in homeownership training/mentoring. I plan to start and encourage more homeownership discussions at the high school level. I plan to foster and identify construction opportunities with local municipalities on vacant lots within affordable housing. I will also target government-owned and non-profit vacant property within the District and work to ensure they build a comprehensive plan for an affordable housing program.
I had the privilege of meeting with several of the residents of Kings Point. As we talked I reiterated how critical it is that we continue to build and strengthen our social security system and the best way to do that is to ensure that our youth and future generations are earning and providing significant dollars to our system. That's how it works. We ALL contribute to ensuring we have the money needed to retire gracefully and have the funds we need already stored away when "our" time comes. We also need to ensure that our seniors have the healthcare and ability to have additional affordable insurance to help with medical costs that aren't covered under the Medicare program. We need to continue to look at ways to improve the lives of those on limited/fixed income to ensure that when life-altering events take place they are cared for with dignity and self-respect.
I have always worked at the local level to improve benefits for seniors that I could impact in this county, which included presenting a Senior Homestead Exemption. The initiative was passed to provide senior citizens with an additional $50,000 exemption if they earn less than $30,000 a year, as well as the additional $25,000 exception if they have lived in their home for more than 25 years.
I was raised by my elders, my grandmother, my mother, and aunts for a good portion of my life and I saw how hard they worked. I understand that our seniors are the ones who paved the way for us and worked hard to ensure that our economy today is as strong as it is. We need to ensure that they are now taken care of and that they no longer have to worry about these things but enjoy their golden years from the fruit of their labor.
When I'm in Congress I plan to address the continued heightened stress over immigration and review policies that need to be updated and revisited. I am an immigrant myself; a Jamaican-born US citizen, and I believe in this country. I understand firsthand the love for this country, what it stands for, and what it was founded on. We are a community that has always been a melting pot of all people from all over the world for centuries. For us to continue to grow as a country of peace, we must work together to establish immigration rules that protect our country, while providing opportunities for people entering our country to successfully integrate and become active, healthy, and productive citizens. For over 4 years I have led a citizenship drive at Lauderhill Mall assisting people who are here legally in obtaining their citizenship. This initiative has processed more than 7,500 citizenship applications. We must ensure that others are not trying to stop that process, preventing people who have contributed to this country and paid taxes from being allowed the same freedom and respect as all of us. I will work together with others in Congress to build stronger policies that ensure that people are treated with dignity when entering our country while ensuring that we have established solutions that address illegal entry and safe return to their countries with their families when they are unable to lawfully stay.
I have been a strong advocate for addressing the many needs of the people within the district as the Commissioner and Broward County Mayor and I believe I have the experience needed to address the challenges, resistance, and struggles we currently face in Washington, DC. I have successfully worked to improve our neighborhoods, worked to ensure that county services are equally distributed and have been visible and accessible to the residents. My hashtag given to me by the community is #daleeverywhere because I am everywhere and I will continue to be. My goal is that all residents of District 20 that I will serve are heard, respected, and their concerns are properly addressed. You can be assured I will push to improve the economy for all those living in my District.
As an immigrant of Jamaica, I understand too well the effects of poverty. For some, it continues to be a cycle that we must work on breaking down. We need to help provide opportunities for people that are less fortunate and help level the playing field for those who want to grow and build economic strength for their families. I led the effort in the community to increase the living wage for our airport workers in Broward County because I believe that everyone should have the right to a fair living wage. It took over 4 years to finally get it done, but I never gave up, continued the fight, and we prevailed.
However, we also need to recognize we have a real problem with homelessness in this country. Please understand this; it's not just related to poverty, but mental illness. We have over 44% of the US homeless in Florida today, and many of those that are currently incarcerated are there with mental health issues. We need to work together with our local communities to address the mental health needs and provide mental health care to those people who can be treated and can live a more productive life. We need to partner with our veteran groups and work together to improve mental health care for our veterans. Over 70% of our veterans are homeless today and deserve to be provided programs to help them live their lives with dignity.
We continue to experience a significantly higher rate of poverty within the black communities today as well, and with more and more of those same people consistently being incarcerated. To break the cycle of poverty and crime we need to promote civil citation laws that will help our youth get a fair chance at changing the cycle. Instead of being arrested multiple times for minor crimes which leads to a lack of education and heightened crime rates, we need to work with our local communities to ensure these kids go through a program that helps them recover when they are young to become productive members of society that add to the economic strength of our communities, not tear it down.
I have been a strong advocate for addressing the many needs of the people within the district as the Commissioner and Broward County Mayor and I believe I have the experience needed to face the challenges, resistance, and struggles we face in Washington, DC today. I have successfully worked to improve our neighborhoods and worked to ensure that County services are equally distributed. My goal is that all residents of District 20 that I will serve are heard, respected and their concerns are properly addressed and you can be assured I will push to improve the economy for all those living in my District.