In an effort to help you make informed decisions during the General Election, ABC Action News has reached out to dozens of candidates running for office. The following statements have been submitted to ABC Action News by the candidate. Every candidate was given the same set of questions. These are their responses in his/her own words.
Name: Kimberly Walker
Office: US Congress District 12
I served a total of sixteen years in the military, eight in the U.S Army and another eight in the Florida Air Force National Guard. I've earned a Master of Science degree in Information Technology from the Florida Institute of Technology.
I worked for the Department of Defense as a government contractor and currently work for the Department of Treasury. I am a senior consultant with eighteen years of experience in
architecture, implementation, upgrade, migration, deployment, and software customization.
I specialize in providing solutions to accommodate customer's needs by identifying and exploring new growth opportunities, creating innovative and integrated solutions to solve business challenges.
I am also a prior state correctional officer.
Why should voters vote for you?
My investment in the everyday lives of voters is the reason they should vote for me. My goals are to represent constituents in a way they know their voices are being heard and represented. I have solutions that will help working families and buttress the social systems on which they depend. I will represent my community as the voice for all my constituents, whether they voted for me or not.
If elected, what are your top priorities?
Invest in Americans by creating a Lifelong learning system; this includes a Lifelong Learning Training Account, coordinate with colleges & universities, nontraditional programs, and businesses to develop shorter learning modules to foster continued learning.
Increase teacher's pay by creating a federal tax code to create a permanent $13,000 refundable Federal Teachers Tax Credit. The result will increase teachers' take-home pay by $230 per week.
Reform the patent system where pharmaceutical companies have abused the system by prolonging their drug exclusivity.
What are three key messages of your campaign?
Overcoming – throughout United States history, our nation has faced many challenges like income, social, and racial inequality. We have the power to fight and make a difference. We can overcome our challenges together.
Moving Forward – the world is continuously changing. We must learn from our past but continue to move forward and embrace change.
A new leadership – with our country reaching a turning point for change, it is time that we had a new leader in Congress who reflects the hopes and aspirations calling for that change.
What areas of public policy are you personally passionate about?
I am very passionate about healthcare. My cousin, at the age of 49, died from a massive heart attack. Had Florida opted to expand the Medicaid expansion, she could have received the preventive care she needed.
I am also passionate about education. I believe providing quality education is one of the government's most important obligations to people.
We must push to expand career and technical education opportunities to grow our skilled workforce.
As it relates to the role you are seeking, how has that governmental body handled the Covid-19 pandemic? What would you do differently/the same in handling both the public health risk and the economic recovery?
The government hasn’t done a good job of handling the coronavirus pandemic. Never in my life have I ever seen a pandemic become so politicize from this Administration.
The Cares Act passed with bipartisan support, but further relief has stalled, and both sides (Republican and Democrats) blame each other for failed talks.
I support increasing the federal unemployment benefits to $600 per week and the Emergency Housing Protections and Relief Act. The Housing Protections and Relief Act will allocate $100 billion to emergency rental assistance programs, create a $75 billion relief fund for homeowners, and extend the eviction and foreclosure moratorium.
I would also provide funding to states to help provide reskills training to individuals that are currently out of work.
In the role you are seeking, what will you do to address issues of racism and inequality?
To achieve a world of racial justice and equality for all, we must strive to repair centuries of harm inflicted on minorities and dismantle systemic racism.
Passing the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act will address a range of policies and issues regarding policing practices and law enforcement accountability.
We must also address inequality and how it creates conditions that deny individuals and groups equal opportunity and violate fundamental human rights.
- Increase the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour
- Prioritize investment and policy solutions that support low- income communities that bear the brunt of pollution and climate change.
- Pass the Equality Act that will amend the Civil Rights Act to include sexual orientation and gender identity.
What motivates you to run for public office?
I decided to run for office because I did not like the direction our country is going. What motivates me to run for office is my mother, a retiree who works part-time as a school crossing guard and struggles to pay for her medication.
My brother and I help pay for mom’s medicine, but many Americans do not have that type of support system. At the age of 49, my cousin died because the state refused to expand Medicaid, and she fell in what we call a “coverage gap” and couldn’t afford health insurance.
I believe in a government that will work for all its citizens. I do not accept what has been presented as our only option and want to give a voice to all constituents in district 12. I want to ensure all residents are guaranteed affordable healthcare, better education for our children, and a clean and safe environment.