the DAVE SMITH CAMPAIGN - "For a cleaner, greener Florida"
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The Dave Smith Campaign Team welcomes you to our new website!  The DAVE SMITH CAMPAIGN is focused on listening to your concerns- Dave will truly represent you! I have seen and heard enough to know this much: this system is broken; the guiding vision is one of cronyism and favoritism for the few pals of the inner circle. POLITICAL ADVERTISEMENT PAID FOR AND APPROVED BY DAVE SMITH, DEMOCRAT, FOR FLORIDA STATE HOUSE DISTRICT 11 ******************************************
"Teaching in the public schools for 12 years has been the greatest, most fulfilling part of my diverse career.  Equality and fairness are in short supply. We can do better."  - Dave Smith
As a consumer and taxpayer, you might feel frustrated that government often does not work for your interests. Dave Smith is a good listener, and he wants the office of Florida State House District 11 to be an avenue for your input into better state government.
We will not harm the special interests who financed those other campaigns so lavishly, because these too are citizens who deserve a voice in our democratic system. It's just that the property owners, consumers, and taxpayers who often share common interests, usually don't have the lobbying power that wealthy and powerful can muster. As a result "money talks" louder and "the squeaky wheel gets the grease." And yes, lobbyists are there to distribute valuable favors and to "squeak" as loudly as possible.
In the end, some officials surrender to the system in place, and forget entirely who they are and who they are supposed to work for: "we, the people." Periodic elections are handled by highly-paid "consultants" who buy advertising media and keep the candidate out of the daily operation of the campaign. I am a hands-on candidate.
It is not the lure of money and power that draws me into this contest. Anyone who knows me in my role of citizens' advocate, can tell you, I have constantly sought to make local government less exclusive and more responsive to the great numbers of people who contribute their tax dollars (willingly or not!) to make government at all levels possible.
When I say "democratic" with a small "d", I am talking about a system where all elected representatives actually work for the people who elected them. Our American democracy is not mob rule, far from it, but an orderly people-oriented system when it is working properly.
Republicans may want to argue that we are a republic, not a democracy. This war of words has gone on long enough. The word, "republic" is from Latin, containing the meaning "popular control." Even though the parties have their differences, there has to be bipartisan effort for the sake of doing the people's business.
So, the 2 main parties work within a system where the people have a great measure of control or participation. Our interests may intersect, but there are major differences between me and my opponents.
Primarily, I  am an honest and direct person capable of compromise, who will seek to balance the interests of all, especially our largest groups of people: consumers of government services, property and business owners, taxpayers. That includes about everybody.
If you wish to contribute to the campaign, please send a check made out to "Dave Smith Campaign 2012" and send to the address below:
the Dave Smith Campaign 2012
1053 Kings Road
Neptune Beach, FL 32266
Volunteers are very welcome! To volunteer or to have a yard sign, there are 2 ways to contact the Campaign: 1) call 904-241-0949; or
2) email to Thanks in advance!
I couldn't have said it better! DS
In Florida, we say we love children - and surely we do. But if that be so, how can so many children be treated so badly? Times are tough - and dollars to invest are sparse - but when will it ever be a good time?
I'm not a basher. I try to be fair. But it just outrages me how badly we do by children in our state. I expect far more from our elected leaders than we almost always get.
It's this bad in Florida:
- 822,000 of our children - or almost one of every five - have no health insurance. It's the second-worst rate in the nation.
- A quarter of our public high school students don't graduate.
- We pay most child care professionals less than we pay animal control workers and parking lot attendants.
Nationally, on measure after measure, our state - the fourth largest in the nation with an economy larger than that of most countries - ranks abysmally in how it treats children.
Statistics tell the story
We live in a good and caring country, and Jacksonville is a good and caring community. Duval is the seventh largest of Florida's 67 countries with so much for which to be thankful. Duval continues to grow in many ways, including the more than 13,000 children born each year.
Yet, 15 percent of Duval's children live in the full federal definition of poverty. Almost 40 percent of your kindergarten children are not really ready for school, based on the state's "readiness" assessment.
Twenty-eight percent of Duval's fourth-grade students do not read at even minimum proficiency.
Only 16 percent of your adults have at least a four-year college degree.
Almost 5,000 juveniles were detained by law enforcement last year. There are almost 4,000 inmates in the county jail.
What is wrong with us? Do we just not care that much?
Are we not making the case coherently? Is it a lack of leadership?
Why do we as individuals seemingly lack the power to make people listen?
Seemingly most everything has a powerful interest group in our state - for roads, for prisons, for agriculture, and so on and so forth. When do children become a real priority? I am not talking about taxes; I am talking about priorities.
Shouldn't every child have a real relationship to a medical caregiver?
Are we not wise enough to make screening for special needs - from autism to attention deficit disorder to so much more - available for all throughout the early childhood years (and then the necessary treatment to help that child reach the fullest possible potential)?
Shouldn't our constitutionally mandated prekindergarten program for 4-year-olds be of genuine quality? (It is not now.)
Shouldn't we have the best, most widely available mentoring and parent skill-building programs?
More than government
I do not think in terms of simply a state obligation. Both private and public resources - and private and public will - are needed. Real leadership - not lip service as we most often get now - is needed among elected officials as well as among civic and business leaders.
I read more history and biographies than anything else, so I grasp the lessons of history. Progress depends on people pushing, even shoving, to move forward. The difficult achievements of the past form a solid foundation for basic American fairness and decency.
From biographies I am reminded that the great stories of human history are of individuals who, to use today's vernacular, stepped up to insist on change.
That is leadership. I want make-it-happen leadership. I'd like children to be the first priority in our state.
Floridians, in everyone's best interests, ought not accept anything less than this state's commitment to specific progress and investment for the futures of all children.
What I advocate is just plain decency and fairness and so very "American."
David Lawrence Jr. is president of the Early Childhood Initiative Foundation of Miami, University Scholar for early childhood development and readiness at the University of Florida, and former publisher of The Miami Herald.
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