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: Maura Cruz Lanz
Office: Hillsborough County Board of Commissioners, District 3
Manuel Lanz Construction Corporation, Owner from 1985 to 2015 Retired
Why should voters vote for you?
We were an MBE small business, we did Institutional and Commercial Construction for the City of St.Petersburg, City of Tampa, Hillsborough County, and School Board of Hillsborough.
Some of the projects we built were: Fire Station 13, West Chase Fire Station, Valrico Fire Station Veterans Memorial Museum, Barksdale Senior Center.
We received awards from St. Petersburg and Hillsborough BOCC.
If elected, what are your top priorities?
I want to bring change to the people and small businesses of District 3. It has been under the Democratic Party control since1980, and there has been little to no change in the district. I want to see the improvement made across our district.
What are three key messages of your campaign?
Opening up economic development through smart growth, and encouraging mixed land use through enterprise zones where the community can work, live, and shop.
Affordable housing is needed in the community, this can be attained through
Opportunity Zones, and keeping fees lower. We need to be good stewards of the taxpayer money.
What areas of public policy are you personally passionate about?
Communities all want safety and security, we need to make sure the Hillsborough County Sheriff and Hillsborough County Fire Departments have what they need to do their jobs to serve our county.
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?
Covid-19 has impacted everyone, especially the church and small businesses. I believe they were unfairly shut down, while large corporations were allowed to stay open.
I realize that we were dealing with an unknown virus, but too many civil rights were being abused as a result. The science was not being followed, There were medicines like HCQ that should have been allowed to be used to help the sick. Masks should have been voluntary. If you are sick or fearful then, by all means, wear your mask. Protecting the elderly and people with immune deficiencies is the main priority in my opinion. The total shutdown didn’t work, it hurt more than it helped.
In the role you are seeking, what will you do to address issues of racism and inequality?
The racial unrest will take the Community and Law Enforcement coming together to work through the issues. I believe reforms are already being put in place with both TPD and the Sheriffs. We need to address drugs, and gang violence in east Hillsborough. I personally have had to confront drug dealers operating on my properties. I believe that we need to bring back civics, apprenticeship, and vocational training in High Schools in Hillsborough County. Vocational education prepared many in my day to get good-paying jobs, and put folks on a path to business ownership.
What motivates you to run for public office?
God, my family, and especially my grandchildren fuel my motivation to run for public office. I want everyone to experience the American Dream that my parents did when they arrived from Cuba, and passed onto to me. A free country with our great Constitution that guarantees our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness