Slip into Florida: Charlie Crist would create new office to welcome Sunshine State newcomers
Charlie Crist is charged up about electric vehicles.

Charlie crist
Need to transfer a professional license? Crist would have you covered.

Moving to Florida will become even easier if Charlie Crist has anything to say about it.

Crist, running to replace Gov. Ron DeSantis, announced his intention to create the Office for New Floridians to assist some 900 people who move to Florida every day — nearly 330,000 new Floridians every year.

And Crist’s campaign says the former Republican Governor, now a Democrat, wants to welcome them with “open arms.”

The campaign even has a URL in mind: WelcometoFlorida.gov.

“Sometimes our new neighbors need assistance navigating their new home — and the Office for New Floridians will cut red tape, reduce bureaucracy, and provide essential information and services to ensure every new Floridian can make a successful transition,” a news release from the campaign says.

New Floridians are an essential part of the economy of our state, the news release says.

“They buy houses, open new businesses, send their children to school, and help improve our communities. As Governor, Charlie Crist will make sure our new neighbors get essential assistance to make a successful transition — regardless of whether they’re moving to Florida from another state or another country.”

That will mean helping people with essential tasks like transferring driver’s licenses, motor vehicle registrations, and professional licenses. The office will give new Floridians help setting up new businesses and finding the right schools for their children to attend.

Not only would this new office be open 24 hours a day on the website, but it would also have a hotline and brick-and-mortar centers. Helping skilled professionals and tradespeople get set up would be a particular focus.

Crist is facing an uphill battle trying to unseat the incumbent Governor, who has risen to a national profile. Crist must also defeat Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, also a Democrat, in the Primary Election to get to the Governor’s Mansion.

“Florida currently does not make it easy enough to become a New Floridian. Paperwork, red tape, and bureaucracy create burdens that are too high and prevent new Floridians from making a smooth and quick transition. By focusing on solving this problem, we will grow our economy, create jobs, and put power in the people’s hands. Whether a New Floridian is coming from Boston or Bogata, the Office for New Floridians will ensure Florida is the most welcoming state in the union for new residents,” the news release says.

Last updated on August 15, 2021

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected]


5 comments

  • Zhombre

    August 13, 2021 at 12:15 pm

    People have been relocating to Florida quite successfully on their own. State agency is unnecessary. Just another gimmick from Charlie Crist. At one time, long ago in Florida politics, he proposed bringing back chain gangs. Now he wants to roll out the welcome wagon and create another state agency staffed by bureaucrats. Maybe unemployed or semiretired journalists could work there. No thanks.

  • Wanda

    August 13, 2021 at 12:47 pm

    Charles has my vote Death DeSantis has to go he kills teacher and children

    • Zhombre

      August 13, 2021 at 12:53 pm

      Your eloquence is awesome.

  • JoAnne

    August 16, 2021 at 7:43 am

    We are full. We don’t need the welcome wagon. Maybe he could address the actual issue we have-overpopulation and how it affects the environment. The dems favorite platform.

  • Paul

    August 16, 2021 at 9:51 am

    I’m all for cutting government red tape and administrative burdens to EVERYONE – not just newcomers. While a Governor probably has the authority under Article IV of the Florida Constitution to create an “Office of…” within the EOG, getting its activities funded will take an act of the Florida Legislature. If he does it right, he might succeed at getting it funded, but if he tries to do it through political posturing, it will be DOA.

Comments are closed.


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