By Representative Spencer Roach
As I finish my first term in the Florida House, I constantly draw from the feedback I received while knocking on thousands of doors in Lehigh Acres. I found that people generally had three expectations from their government: 1) they wanted a response to their call or email 2) they expected to be treated with respect and identified by name as an individual rather than a statistic, and 3) they wanted whatever process they had to follow to be easy to navigate, and if not, they wanted you to walk them through it. I learned those lessons well, and I’ve worked every day to be accessible, respond personally, and to be a relentless advocated on your behalf.
I cannot effectively represent you without knowing your needs and concerns. That is why I have put my personal cell phone number on all my campaign materials, and even shared it on TV during a news interview regarding the inefficiencies of our reemployment insurance program. You can rest assured that when the phone rings, I will answer. Because of this direct line of communication with my constituents, I have been able to effectively advocate for the issues that matter most to you and your family in Lehigh Acres.
My recent focus has been my fight with the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), which has been an absolute failure of government. It could not have failed at a worse time. I’ve spent countless advocating for our residents who were forced out of work by a mandatory government shut down to ensure they received the unemployment assistance they rightfully deserve. I have personally assisted with hundreds of cases, helping constituents navigate the broken unemployment system, removing roadblocks and barriers to ensure benefits got to those who needed it. I am proud that I have been able to be of direct assistance to the people I serve and have the ability to provide a real impact in peoples’ lives. I understand that I work for you, and I take that responsibility very seriously. When you need me, I want you to know that I will be there.
I have fought hard to help the hard working people of Lehigh and throughout District 79 and the state of Florida. Last year I helped pass legislation that provided pay raises for our teachers and an across the board 3% pay raise for all state employees (except legislators).
Through my committee assignment I played a significant role in passing bills that will effectively reduce the cost of your healthcare and prescription drugs by utilizing free market principles: I voted to expand the practice of telemedicine, to allow the importation of cheaper drugs from Canada, and to repeal draconian laws designed to protect health care monopolies by preventing the construction of competing hospitals.
My number one funding priority was obtaining $1.25 million to build fire station #106, to be located on the corner of Sunshine & Homestead. This was the second year in a row that I filed this legislation, and while it passed both chambers, it was ultimately vetoed by the Governor during his self-described “Red Wedding” use of the veto pin to cut over a billion dollars worth of funding, the largest budget veto in the history of our state. This is a just one reminder of the harsh reality of the impact the coronavirus crisis has had on Southwest Florida.
It has been an honor and privilege to serve as your voice at the State Capitol, and I hope my track records of accessibility, hard work, and hands-on leadership has earned your vote for a second term.