Current position / occupation: Paralegal for criminal defense attorney
What are your top priorities if you’re elected?
My first priority would be to keep a finger on the pulse of our community. My job is not to tell our citizens what the problems are, my job is to listen and to make sure that I am aware of the citizens’ problems and concerns. Unlike our current official, I will have regular public meetings such as town halls to be sure I am constantly accessible to our community. I want to be sure I’m fighting for the issues that matter to the people most. Your agenda will be my agenda. So be ready to have a county commissioner that cares and listens to your top priorities.
What do you believe is the most challenging aspect of Osceola County’s continued growth?
Employment opportunities in Osceola don’t match the high cost of living here. New roads, new schools, extended utilities, emergency services and the additional county labor force to support our growth are just the beginning. Real growth depends on the labor force that can afford to live where they work. The real engine that drives growth has always been jobs and wages. I plan to take this challenge head on and take our working-class families into account every step of the way.
What role should the government play in making affordable housing more accessible for Osceola County residents?
This is not a new topic and it cannot be served by a short response. In the end, the solution would be best served by higher paying employment. Giving the right opportunities to our residents is critical and helps them take care of themselves.
Thousands of Hurricane Maria evacuees arrived in Osceola County last year. Many have since said they intend to stay in the area. What role do you see these citizens playing in Osceola County’s future and what role should government play in assisting evacuees with this transition?
It takes real courage to make such a major life change. We can all agree starting over in a new place is never easy, especially when it is unexpected. We are all citizens and they too deserve every opportunity as American citizens. With that said, let’s welcome them as we welcomed thousands of citizens that have moved from many different states.
When it comes to the tourism industry, what can local government do to attract new business investments and opportunities while still addressing the needs of current residents?
Local government should collaborate with our tourism leaders and groups such as Experience Kissimmee, CFHLA, FRLA, Kissimmee Chamber and others to work together in addressing needs to bring in proper businesses that will help our residents as well as our tourism community.
District 2 provides the workforce for many businesses including the tourism industry. What we need is reliable public transportation. The present system is an embarrassment and provides very poor services to the citizens of Osceola County. Local government should address our transportation issues and low wage issues. When we work together, we ensure our citizens have a voice and a seat at the table while making these decisions.
What motivated you to run for this position?
I want to remedy the current lack of communication. I am tired of the government waste and the waste our current leadership allows of our tax dollars. We need to think of our citizens first and stop putting politics ahead of the best interest of our families and community overall.
What experience do you bring?
I am a proud mother of four teenage children with a husband of 20 years. I know and understand the daily family struggles we have and the hardships we run into at times. I have a deep sense of justice, and I am relentless. I have been employed since I was 15 years old and I am currently employed as a paralegal in a law office. My experiences are many as PTA president, SAC chairwoman, president of the Democratic Hispanic Caucus, state treasurer for the Democratic Hispanic Caucus and advocating for our communities.
What is the biggest obstacle facing Osceola County’s future and what role should local government play in solving it?
The population of Osceola County is approximately 450,000 and is expected to reach 650,000 in the next 10 years. The way our county government has been run, there is very real possibility that all 650,000 of us will suffer from the bad decisions our current leadership has taken thus far. The neglect that brought us to this uncontrolled growth crisis cannot be allowed to continue. Vote Janette Martinez for change.