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: Margaret Good
Office: US House, Florida's 16th District
I am proud to have served my community working for the United Way, the Florida Agriculture Center & Horse Park Authority, and as a Representative for Florida House District 72. I was the recipient of the 2018-2019 Florida Healthcare Association Champion for the Elderly Award, the 2019 Icon Award bySarasotaOUT.com for advocacy for the LGBTQ community, and the 2019-2020 Florida Association for Women Lawyers Leader in the Law Award. I’ve been named a Florida Super Lawyers Rising Star for Business Litigation from 2017-2020 and was a nominee for 2016 SRQ Media Women in Business Leadership. I have also served on the boards of the Sarasota Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers, Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division, the Sarasota County Bar Association, the Manasota Track Club, and have volunteered with Junior League of Sarasota.
Why should voters vote for you?
There is so much at stake in this election. In the midst of a global pandemic, politicians in Washington, including our current Congressman, are trying to take away health care and protections for people with pre-existing conditions, even as COVID-19 is now considered a pre-existing condition. They have failed to get the pandemic under control with adequate testing and contact tracing and provide economic relief for working families and small businesses. We need leaders who are serious about addressing these problems.
If elected, what are your top priorities?
My top priorities are containing the COVID-19 pandemic and rebuilding our economy by providing economic relief to working families and small businesses, ensuring that all Americans have access to high quality affordable healthcare, protecting our environment, and getting big money out of politics.
What are three key messages of your campaign?
For too long, politicians in Washington have been putting themselves and their party politics ahead of Suncoast families. Our current Congressman has voted to repeal protections for pre-existing conditions, to privatize Social Security and gut Medicare and turn it into a voucher program, and he cut in line to take millions of dollars in PPP money for his businesses while small businesses were left with nothing. I’m running for Congress because I’ll work with anyone - regardless of party - to expand health care, lower prescription drug costs, and protect the environment. We need a leader who understands the challenges families are facing and will fight for the people of Florida’s 16th Congressional district, not work to enrich themselves.
What areas of public policy are you personally passionate about?
My father suffered a massive heart attack in his early 50s and, over the next two decades, spent weeks at a time in the hospital. We were very fortunate that he had healthcare through his job as an Episcopal priest because he was able to receive excellent care and not be left with crippling debt. I am passionate about ensuring that all Americans are able to get the same care that he was able to get and not have to worry about paying for it.
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?
In Florida, we have seen our state revenue drastically reduced because of the downturn of our economy caused by the pandemic, which means that state funding for our schools, first responders, and medical community is on the line. Small businesses are suffering and many are closing. More than a million Floridians have become unemployed through no fault of their own.
So I was disappointed to see that Congress failed to pass much-needed relief. For months, while Congress has wasted time, local communities, small businesses, and families in Florida have suffered. I supported the goals of the initial relief legislation and believe that Congress needs to continue to support the millions of Americans who lost their jobs through no fault of their own while also working to help get people back to work. Congress needs to put their differences aside, work together, and deliver the resources to struggling communities like ours. Our economy is healthiest when people are able to work and support their families
In the role you are seeking, what will you do to address issues of racism and inequality?
We must address the systemic and institutionalized racism that creates a culture of brutality against and incarceration of Black people and people of color. We need police reform that includes banning chokeholds and other excessive force measures, increases diversity in our police forces, and expands implicit bias training and community policing
What motivates you to run for public office?
I am running because I believe we deserve a representative who shows up for the people they represent and one that does the hard work to solve the issues that are important to our community. In the state legislature, I did just that. I worked across the aisle to get legislation passed to require updating of our stormwater rules that will have a great impact on our water quality. I advocated for public education and worked to find ways to make healthcare more affordable. I would be honored if you would vote for me in November.