by Kayser Enneking
Hello, my name is Kayser Enneking. I am a native of North Central Florida, a mother, a wife, and a medical doctor. I am running for the Florida State House District 21 because our community deserves a Representative who votes like they care about the community.
Like many of my patients, I am frustrated by the current status quo of our healthcare systems. I was shocked by the purely political decision by Florida State Legislators to not expand Medicaid. This decision has been bad for our state, and this district. Prior to COVID-19 it was estimated 800,000 Floridians would’ve been eligible for healthcare if we expanded Medicaid. As thousands lose employer sponsored healthcare due to job losses, that number has now ballooned to well over 1 million Floridians. In our district, Medicaid expansion would translate into jobs and critical funding for our rural hospitals. It also would cover mental health as well as substance abuse treatment, which are vital to the health of our community.
This year we have seen the impact of decades of legislative policies that have focused on budget cuts, catering to special interests, and corporate tax giveaways. The Legislature, and Chuck Clemons’, indifference to ensuring the health of our community goes beyond the decision to not expand Medicaid. Prior to COVID-19 our public health system was crumbling. Legislators, including Chuck Clemons, have voted to cut millions of dollars and thousands of jobs from county health departments over the last decade. COVID-19 has shown the glaring holes in our state government; a broken unemployment system, a failing public health infrastructure, and a Republican Majority that would rather cede power to the Governor than go to Tallahassee and address the issues that impact our community.
My frustration with the politicization of healthcare fueled my desire to run for office. However, in the wake of COVID-19 we must commit to rebuilding our economy, and our state in a way that benefits all Floridians, not just the wealthy and well connected.
This year, as thousands of Floridians were locked out of our broken unemployment system, the State of Florida sent over $500 million in tax refunds to top corporations, while main street businesses in Trenton, Cross City, Gainesville, and throughout our area struggled to make ends meet.
For too long, the legislature has ignored the needs of our students and teachers, rerouting much needed funding away from public schools into non-regulated, for-profit charter and private schools. We need to increase all teachers’ salaries, invest in our school infrastructure, and ensure every teacher, staffer, and student is safe in the classroom.
A clean environment is vital to healthy communities and healthy lives. We must protect our springs and aquifers here in North Florida for future generations. Our legislators must stand up for the issues important to our community, and give these issues more than lip service. We must ban fracking, support science based water management districts, and invest in cost sharing to support best practices for our small farmers throughout the district.
My platform deals with issues facing every Floridian: democrat, republican, independent, poor, rich, white, black, and brown. I ask for your vote on Nov. 3 so we can be the change in Florida. Vote Kayser Enneking for Florida House District 21.
Please visit www.ennekingforflorida.com to learn more about our campaign and see how you can get involved!