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: Scott Levinson
Office: Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners, District 1
*55 year life-long resident of District 1, Hillsborough County.
*Married for 25 years with three sons.
*Graduated from Tampa Prep High School.
*Attended Tulane University.
*Private business owner for 20+ years in Wholesale food distribution and manufacturing.
* 8 years on the Hillsborough County Youth Advisory Board Member.
*15 years as instructor for Hillsborough County Parks and Recreation Coaches Certification.
*4 year Board Member of Rodeph Shalom Synagogue.
*2 year President of Rodeph Shalom Synagogue Men's Club.
*3 year Youth Advisor of Rodeph Shalom Synagogue
*25 year volunteer at Tampa Bay Youth Football League.
*18 year President Tampa Bay Youth Football League.
*5 year Executive Director Tampa Bay Youth Football League.
*2 year instructor with Special Olympics
Why should voters vote for you?
I bring a life of knowledge and experience from the real world outside of the government establishment. I have run a business for over 20 years in which I was not only responsible for taking care of my family but also the families of my employees. I have also spent the last 25 years working with 3,000 to 4,000 children and their families while running the Tampa Bay Youth Football League and Foundation.
I see the real issues the families of our communities deal with on the ground level. I have learned when people have a problem it is not something we can ignore. Issues must be dealt with without delay and excuses. I firmly believe my life experiences as a non-system outsider has prepared me to find solutions and not dwell on problems.
If elected, what are your top priorities?
I consider the dysfunctionality of our County government to be our most pressing need. I would work to increase communication, the speed at which public issues are addressed and I would encourage more public input and involvement. I would work to regain the trust of our community in order to move the County forward in a positive direction.
What are three key messages of your campaign?
The top three messages that I would like to stress to our communities are the following:
- Government accessibility
- Absolute transparency
What areas of public policy are you personally passionate about?
I feel very passionate about increasing educational opportunities for children and adults alike. Increasing the public's accessibility to government and the programs offered for all, not just the special interests.
Finally, improving housing and transportation throughout the 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?
I feel our government leadership has been far too reactionary to their Covid response and not enough foresight and direction has gone into the planning. I believe the outreach for input from medical and economic experts has been far too limited and at times very tunnel-visioned.
I would have looked to assemble a more diverse pool of experts to give their opinions and data so more informative plans of action could have been enacted. It is extremely important that we search long and hard for all points of view and not just the ones that tend to fit the personal agendas of the decision-makers involved.
In the role you are seeking, what will you do to address issues of racism and inequality?
After 25 years of working with predominantly minority children and families, this issue is very near and dear to me. We must begin by treating all walks of life with dignity and respect. We must not only listen to the problems of the minority communities but we must also give those same communities a say in the solutions and the planning involved. We must strive to create a government where all individuals have the ability to contribute to the planning of their futures regardless of social standing, race, creed, or color.
Equal stature and acceptance is a must.
What motivates you to run for public office?
I am motivated to run for office out of frustration and aggravation.
These are sentiments that are felt by a large number of people in our communities. I sincerely believe that our local government must be given back to the people of Hillsborough County. For far too long the average citizen has felt that their voices are not being heard and the decisions made at a County level are often predetermined by the bureaucracy and special interests that is so prevalent in today's society.
I am committed to giving a say back to the public and making sure the voices of the streets will always have an avenue to be heard.