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Legislative Campaigns

Meet Steven Meza, a Democrat running for Senate District 33

Nearly 250 candidates are vying for state House and state Senate seats in 2020. Try as we will, Florida Politics can’t interview all of them.

Just like in 2016 and 2018, we’re again asking every candidate to complete a questionnaire we believe offers an interesting, albeit, thumbnail sketch of who they are and why they are running. If you are a candidate and would like to complete the questionnaire, email Jason@FloridaPolitics.com.

Today’s feature: Steven Meza, a Democratic candidate for Senate District 33.

In 25 words or less, why are you running for office?

Bold new progressive leadership that is willing to work to bring the representation and the voice of the people back to Tallahassee with genuine intent.

Education background?

Finishing Philosophy B.A. program at Florida Atlantic University.

What was your first job?

Walgreens, I was 16 at the time.

Significant other? Kids?

Alicia Beaton, no kids.

Did you speak with anybody in your political party before deciding on running? Receive any encouragement?

No, I knew I would be challenging not only an incumbent, but a party leader. I’ve spoken to constituents in the community and they have all said they want new leadership.

Who do you count on for advice?

I don’t have an inner or outer circle like most people in politics, but I have good contacts and people I’ve met on this journey that have given me plenty of wisdom. I really on what I believe is the right thing to do, what feels genuine, and the people in the community.

Who is your political consultant? Campaign manager?

Me, myself, and I. My campaign is the definition of a grassroots operation, especially with everything now, but I have people who work in a lot of the industries that make up the political world who help me along the way.

Who was the first person to contribute to your campaign? Why did they donate?

Leslie Parchment, she’s a good friend of my moms. My mom reached out to her contacts to help me get started fundraising and when she told me she donated she said it was because she remembered taking care of me as a child and wanted to invest in my future.

Who, if anyone, inspires you in state government?

In Florida, I would easily pick Rep. Anna Eskamani; I love her passion and how active and engaged she is with her community. Not only that, but she is apart of the few democrats in the legislature who speak out on issues that many would be afraid to do.

Why do people mistrust elected officials and what are you going to do about it?

Many are not genuine, many are worried about the next race, the next seat, and how to establish their name over the people’s interest, as well as the fact that many are stuck in their ideological views. My goal is to bring the justice the seat deserves.

What are 3 issues that you’re running on?

Raising the per pupil spending and our rank as a state in how we invest in students; common sense laws to penalize, protect, and enforce environmental protections for our state ecosystem; implementing a global payment system in our public health care institutions to reign in monetization of the healthcare industry so we can have a patient focused healthcare system that doesn’t place people in debt.

What is a “disruptive” issue you are interested in?

Public school funding being diluted by the charter school system; I believe we should have a choice in a children’s education, but not at the cost of others. Charters schools have a 70% fail/close rate in Florida and that takes away money from our public institutions to fill the pockets of for-profit schools with little oversight. We cant let profit undermine our education system in Florida.

What does your legislative district need from Tallahassee?

Not only do we need a new progressive and effective voice in Tallahassee for our district; we need to be compensated as one of the biggest parts of the states economic engine. We need updated infrastructure to acclimate to climate change and its effects, we need better housing to adapt to climate change and that provides a quality lifestyle for all. District 33 needs a legislator who is active and engaged so people can trust and know there is someone fighting for them.  My district needs and wants their concerns to be addressed so they can get the change they’ve been hoping for. 

Who was the best governor in Florida’s modern history?

Not the easiest to answer. I believe all the governors had a few good instances. Gov. Ron DeSantis seems to care about the environment, which is new considering former Gov. Rick Scott didn’t care to address it. But his response to the covid crisis is terrible in terms of leadership. Scott did a fairly good job when it came to addressing hurricane season such as Wilma but was too business focused and not for the peoples interest. Former Gov. Charlie Crist prioritized education, which improved a lot, and former Gov. Jeb Bush focused on conservation. They all had their goods and fault but I don’t see how any of them could receive such a title as “Best”.

If you could amend the Florida Constitution, what would you change?

– Section 17: “The death penalty is an authorized punishment for capital crimes designated by the legislature.” The death penalty is outdated and draconian form of punishment, rehabilitation should be the goal not playing God. 

– Section 7: Natural resources and scenic beauty, subsection C addressing oil exploration and drilling. As we transition to renewable energy, it in the interest of the state and the environment to do away with oil exploration as it only does more harm than good for tax payers, ecologically, and long term gains of achieving an equitable future for all Floridians.

Are yard signs an important part of campaigning in your district?

Yes and no; a lot of candidates focus on name recognition and not what they are fighting for, they help in showing support from constituents a like but it is not effective unless they place them everywhere in the county.

What’s the first thing you read each morning?

Believe it or not, everyday and periodically in the day, I read Florida politics; it’s the fastest way to consume political news and events in the state, it gives me more clarity as to what the Sunrise podcast is speaking about too.

Where do you get your political news?

I read all the major and minor news outlets through the Apple News app. I don’t rely on the public broadcasts of the news so much to help eliminate biases in the presentation of the argument. I believe you have to read both sides to get an understanding, that’s the only way to think of a bipartisan approach. 

Social media presence? Twitter handle?

– Instagram: @ElectStevenMeza

– Twitter:@ElectStevenMeza

– Facebook: @ElectStevenMeza

In 25 words or less, why are you running for office?

Bold new progressive leadership that is willing to work to bring the representation and the voice of the people back to Tallahassee with genuine intent.

In 280 characters, what’s a Tweet that best describes your campaign message?

We need a bold new voice in FL Politics, a progressive one at that. The people want change now and we must give it to them. I will work for that change, rally the people, and give them the hope they’re looking for. Let’s keep #MovingFloridaForward, vote Steven Meza.

Hobbies?

Reading, fishing, cooking, and learning.

Favorite sport and sports team?

I’m definitely not the sportiest, but I would have to say basketball. A team? I’m not sure since some are all star teams, but the Heat all the way when LeBron James and Dwayne Wade was still here.

Written By

Jason Delgado covers news out of the state capital for Florida Politics. After a stint with the U.S. Army, Jason attended the University of Central Florida where he studied American Policy and National Security. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. Throw him a line at jason@floridapolitics.com or on Twitter at @JasonDelgadoFL.

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