After hosting an open candidates forum in Lake Worth and inviting candidates to our monthly public meeting to address follow up questions, we have decided our endorsements and positions on the election. Although we are not an organization that focuses much on political campaigns, we felt once again that the elections in Lake Worth have become an important battleground in the grassroots effort for environmental and quality of life issues across the County (and beyond).
We are glad to support Javier del Sol for Mayor. Javier has been active in social and environmental issues in the City of Lake Worth spanning three decades. His campaign reflects his commitment to simple, low-impact local living, maximizing recycling and a do-it-yourself ethic--including home painted yard signs by children and adults volunteers in the neighborhoods. Javier has attended PBCEC events for years, and participated in other regional environmental, social justice and human rights efforts (his frequent attendance at Everglades Day was noted by local Audubon Everglades eco-matriarch Rosa Durando.) His long-standing connections to under-represented communities in this town run unprecedentedly deep. For more about Javier check out: www.javierformayor.com
Our second endorsement is for Commissioner District 3, Jo-Ann Golden, running for re-election. Jo-Ann has been a community activist for years, from her hometown in Vermont to solidarity work in Central America and of course, here with her local work at the local affordable housing organization. Her time in office thus far has been one of integrity and commitment to controlling over-development, real estate greed and the opposing the selling-off of public space and services. She also took the lead in standing up to the Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA), and is helping guiding us out of their non-renewable energy grip. Check Jo-Ann out at: www.goldenforcommissioner.com
The PBCEC has also decided that it is important to mention who we felt were the greatest threats in the election:
Wes Blackman, running for District 3. Wes has been on Lake Worth's Planning and Zoning board for some of their worst votes on development, which is not surprising, being that he has worked for Kilday & Associates, a primary voice for the County's rampant development in past years.
Rene Varela, running for Mayor. Rene is a danger primarily because he is masquerading as an environmental candidate. He has no reputable support in the grassroots environmental community, in fact, his support is coming from the usual chamber of commerce and real estate types. Rene has taken no clear stances on important issues, he has only the reputation of his supporters to speak for him.
Scott Maxwell, running for District 1. It is unfortunate that Scott is now in the same category as Rene as far as his supporters speaking louder than his own positions, as Scott once stood with the environmental community in opposition to the beach development plans of ex-Mayor Rodney Romano. Today, he is not only the chamber's choice, but he has also become a voice of xenophobic anti-immigrant perspectives in the area.
Once again, Lake Worth has the chance to turn politics-as-usual in Palm Beach County on its head. The County that won the title "Corruption Capital of Florida" is also now home to one of the most dedicated and effective opponents of crooked bureaucracy. There is a turning tide in this State, and it seems to be starting at the warm Gulfstream waters of little ol' Lake Worth.
For further details on any of these candidates from the PBCEC view, please feel free to contact us at PBCEnviroCoalition@gmail.com