By Kevin Deutsch
As part of our coverage of the Special Election to replace the late U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, Tamarac Talk is publishing questionnaires from each qualifying candidate who answered our questions before our July 31 deadline.
The Primary Election has been scheduled for Nov. 2, 2021, and the General Election for Jan. 11, 2022.
This seat includes Tamarac, Lauderhill, Lauderdale Lakes, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and Belle Glade. The questionnaires have been edited for length and clarity.
Name: Priscilla Ann Taylor
Family Status: Divorced, mother of two
Current Job: Consultant
Municipality of residence: West Palm Beach
Have you ever been arrested, charged with a criminal offense, or convicted of a crime?
Have you run for office before? If so, please provide details.
Yes. Port of Palm Beach Commissioner, Florida State Representative, Palm Beach County Commissioner.
What is your professional and educational background?
I am a business owner. I have owned insurance agencies and presently have a small consulting company. I hold an undergraduate degree in Liberal Studies from Barry University. I also have a Business MBA from Palm Beach Atlantic University.
I served as Minority Whip and Speaker Pro Tempore in the Florida House, chaired the Port of Palm Beach Commission and made history as the first African-American and first woman to serve as Palm Beach County Mayor.
Why are you running for this Congressional seat?
I am running for Congress because I want the voice of District 20 to continue to be heard in Washington. I have a long and proven track record of working with and representing the citizens of Palm Beach County at almost every level of local and state government. I have also served on national boards and committees, which gave me the opportunity to further my reach. This is a challenging district. I have represented the most challenging part of this district directly. As a long-time, successful small business owner, I know the struggles citizens face every day. As a Florida State Representative, the primary responsibility was to balance the state budget each year. While I was in office, that was in excess of 70 billion dollars. I will bring that experience to Washington.
What sets your candidacy and platform apart from the other candidates?
Experience does matter. I have a proven track record.
What in your estimate are the three biggest issues facing this congressional district, and how will you address them?
Gun Control. I will fight to keep guns out of the hands of those who should not have them: the mentally challenged, those under 18 years of age, etc. I will work to ban ghost guns and assault weapons. I will also implement rules which would require background checks and waiting periods before guns are allowed to be purchased.
The environment and clean water are very important. I will work to enact rules which would protect our environment. I will work to ensure our valuable resources are protected. It is very important that we continue to address climate change. I do see this as protecting the environment.
The economy and jobs are crucial as we move forward in the 21st Century. It is crucial that we boost opportunities for our citizens. I will work to enact training opportunities and partnerships with businesses to ready our citizens for the new job market.
What do you consider your most important 1) personal connection and 2) professional connection to this district?
I have lived in the district. I have worked in the district. My children grew up and went to school in the district.
I have represented much of the district as an elected official. My insurance and consulting business have always been in the district.
How familiar are you with Tamarac, and what in your view are the most significant challenges facing the city?
I have not lived in Tamarac nor in Broward County. I know of Tamarac from coming to Broward for business meetings. Tamarac is a beautiful area. I see safety and security as a challenging issue. Infrastructure and maintenance of public spaces, parks, roads, etc., are challenging areas which should also be addressed.
How do you plan to serve the residents of Tamarac?
Because of the size of the district, I would like to create a commission made up of representatives from each municipality in the district. This group would give me an opportunity to hear of issues directly. I will always have an open-door policy so that constituents can contact me.
How do you plan to serve the residents of Kings Point?
While this is a minority-majority district, I believe all constituents should be represented. I have a concern for the continuation of Medicare and quality healthcare for all. I will work to make sure that Kings Point is protected during this pandemic.
I will serve the residents of Kings Point by communicating with them directly. I will hold listening sessions and make sure the residents are kept apprised of federal legislation, which could directly affect their community.
Why should residents of the district cast their vote for you?
I am experienced and have a proven track record of working for the people. I have served as Palm Beach County Commissioner and Palm Beach County Mayor, Florida State Representative, and Commissioner of the Port of Palm Beach. I have also been a business owner. Working for and serving the people is not new to me. I care about the people and want to make sure they are represented in the best way possible. I can promise that once elected, you will see me. I will always be accessible and will always listen.
What are the top three issues facing the country, and how do you plan to address them if elected?
Voting rights are fundamental rights and a very important part of our democracy. I will fight to assure these rights are protected.
Immigration is an area that must be addressed. There should be a pathway to citizenship. I will support reform efforts as procedures are developed.
Criminal justice and police reform. Accountability and reform are necessary to assure that all citizens are protected and treated like people. I will fight for national standards for the police.
The U.S. locks up more people than any other country. Sentencing guidelines must be re-addressed. I will work for rehabilitation of individuals when possible, rather than incarceration.
What is the most important thing voters should know about you?
I am a dedicated public servant. I have been in leadership positions; local, state, and nationally. I believe that the only way to move forward and accomplish mutual goals is by working together.
I am a native Floridian. I have seen the changes in this state. I would like to see the leaders embrace the citizens with responsible leadership.
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- Kevin Deutsch is an award-winning crime journalist and author. A graduate of Florida International University, Kevin has worked on staff at The Miami Herald, New York Daily News, and The Palm Beach Post.
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