Tina Polsky is a Democrat running for the Florida House, representing District 81. Her responses to our candidate questionnaire are noted below. Learn more about Tina Polsky from her campaign at tinapolsky.com.
1.In your own words, what differentiates you from your opponents?
I am new to politics and I believe it is time for fresh ideas and the next generation to step up and be heard. I have been so proud to earn the endorsements of the elected officials who cover my district as well as the organizations who represent the hard-working people of my district.
2.Explain what you see as the most important issue facing the state.
If I had to pick only one issue, it would be common sense gun safety reform. We have the opportunity in Florida to lead the nation in this effort and we need to go further than we did in the last legislative session.
3.How are you uniquely qualified to address that issue?
As a mediator, I believe have to skills to get bipartisan support and compromise on this difficult issue.
4.Should teachers and/or other school employees that are not law enforcement be armed?
5.Are the current gun laws in Florida too strict, too weak, or just right? Why?
Too weak. We can do much more with respect to safer storage of guns as well as the types of guns and magazines that are available. I believe that we must also ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
6.Florida currently allows marijuana for medical use. What has shaped your position on the issue?
The research into how medical marijuana has helped those in need has led me to believe strongly that we must respect the will of the voters by making it available to those who need it for medical reasons.
7.Under what circumstances would you support the legalization of marijuana for recreational use?
I would support legalization of recreational marijuana.
8.The NRA is suing Florida over The Stoneman Douglas School Safety Act. Would you be in favor of making changes to the law to avoid a court battle?
I believe in some changes to the law (such as arming school staff) and I would be in support of strengthening gun control measures, but I am strongly against the changes I believe the NRA would like to see incorporated into the law.
9.Despite public support for it, the texting while driving bill stalled again last session. What, if anything, should be done to pass a bill that would involve stronger enforcement for texting while driving?
The bill needs to be heard in the Senate and be voted on.
10.The Stand Your Ground Law has been highly controversial. Do you think the law is working or is there something lawmakers should do to change it?
I do not support the Stand Your Ground Law.
11. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 20 percent of Floridians don’t have health insurance. Should anything be done about this? Is expanding Medicaid the answer?
Expanding Medicaid is one answer and it is unacceptable to me that so many Floridians do not have health insurance. We need to make health insurance affordable and accessible to all.
12.The Florida legislature keeps taking money out of two trust funds created to help pay for affordable housing, leading some communities to eliminate affordable housing programs. Should affordable housing be a priority for a state, and is it?
Affordable housing should be a priority and the funds designated for housing should be used for that purpose.
13.Florida’s current senators have resisted sugar policy reform despite bipartisan support at the federal level. Do you support or oppose sugar policy reform and why?
I believe we should always strike a balance between environmental concerns and the important economic and agricultural impact of the sugar industry, especially in my district.
14.What is an example of a policy or issue you have changed your view on in the last 20 years?
I never thought we would need to debate the legality of a woman’s right to choose, and now that right is very much in jeopardy. Florida needs to take proactive steps to protect women’s health.
15.What question do you wish someone would ask you and why?
I am open to questions from all voters – regardless of party affiliation. In the legislature, it will be my duty to represent everyone in the district and that is a responsibility I will not take lightly.
16.Under what circumstances would you lie?
To spare someone’s feelings.
17.Last music concert you saw?
18.Who is your political hero? Why?
Ted Deutch – he stands up for his constituents and keeps fighting for the families affected by gun violence.
19.What is the best advice you have ever gotten?
Know when to keep quiet and just listen.
20.Who do you cheer the loudest for? Gators, Seminoles, Hurricanes, Rattlers, or someone else?
I’ll stay neutral on this question (I didn’t go to college in Florida).