Issues

The moment that we place “People Above Politics” we will be able to achieve more ofour goals as a nation.

Bettina Rodriguez Aguilera

Bettina Rodriguez Aguilera is an entrepreneur, social worker, educator, economic developer, and former Vice Mayor. She has worked tirelessly to tackle South Florida’s most difficult challenges for over four decades in the public and private sectors.

1) ECONOMY

Jobs/Economic Development

I believe that small businesses are the backbone of economic freedom. They represent most of the jobs in our economy and we as a nation must provide them the information and resources to see them strive. I witnessed the tenacity and innovation that characterize entrepreneurs, I saw how they put everything they had into their dreams and how those businesses created permanent jobs.

As the first economic developer of Doral I was able to position the City as the #1 in start-up businesses and economic growth in the state of FL.

Action
I am ready to put my proven track record of making things happen to create jobs for the 27th district and work with Washington to bring in federal dollars.

To address one of the major hurdles in the grows and expansion I am proposing a law that regulates and governs over all the Credit Reporting Agencies setting new standards so that people who have suffered hardships such as a foreclosure during the recent housing crisis do not continue to be negatively affected if the rest of their financials have always been in order.

Reducing regulations, fees and taxes

Working for Miami-Dade County Manager’s office as an ombudsman (community liaison) for over 10 years, cutting red tape and bureaucracy for all levels of government I know how convoluted it becomes for businesses to navigate through the maze of regulations. As a business owner I have experienced that each day that a business can’t open cost money. That is why as Vice-Mayor I sponsored laws that cut taxes, reduced fees and eased the communication with government officials. Over regulation, cripples economic prosperity and excessive fees and taxes are unnecessary. Government’s role should be to minimally monitor basic functioning.

Action
As your Congresswoman I will strive to support businesses, reduce taxes, fees and excessive regulations

Traffic

Traffic is a necessity of everyday life, it affects us all and diminishes our quality of life. Lack of proper urban planning and connectivity creates a chaotic reality that creates stress and affects the economic development of an area. I have experienced first-hand and know what needs to be done to ease the congestion with smart transit solutions.

Action

  • Bring federal dollars to open roads and establish interconnectivity in heavily congested areas.
  • Increase the bus service making it reliable and timely
  • Address the airport and seaport connection with rail and establish truck port routes connected to fast rail and transit.
  • Increase trolley stops integrated with entertainment and restaurant stops
  • Synchronization of traffic lights, bridges and the utilizations of technologies
  • Establish rapid bus service on superhighways and federal roads.
  • Asses private mini-bus routes
  • Promote carpool and bus and ride in large factories and major employers
  • Light rail, electronic buses.

Highway Tolls

Tolls and traffic is a huge problem and tops on the list of issues for the residents of District 27. As the Vice- Mayor of Doral I navigated through all levels of government and learned all too well about the huge disconnect between FDOT, MDX, FTE (Turnpike) and SunPass. That lack of connectivity and the absence of one uniform platform for tolls and SunPass is one of the things I will address. Not only is it an administrative annoyance to us all, but is also drives the cost up of Public Transit operations and ultimately the tolls. Florida has 750 tolled roads, more than any other state by 250 roads.
The average person is paying from $300 to $1000 a month. The mean income for district 27 is $35,000 a year, that being said many cannot pay their tolls, their driver’s license may be revoked and their insurance leaving them with the choice of losing their job, driving with a license or confronted even more congested roads.

Action
As your congresswoman I will work with officials from all levels of government to establish a unified system, work towards reducing and or eliminating the number of tolled roads, (especially Federal roads) and establish a system so that those that cannot pay their fees all at once can have a payment plan to avoid their licenses being suspended.

Housing

Miami has a major crisis when it comes to affordable and workforce housing and it only adds to our traffic woes as many are forced to move far from their place of employment. Among U.S. metro areas, Miami ranks among the 10 most expensive, just after cities in southern California and Phoenix, with only 22 units per 100 in need. Private-public \sector partnerships and programs such as the The Plaza at the Lyric in Overtown. In my early days as a social worker I struggled with the issues but today the Homeless trust reports that there are 3,200 residents in homeless shelters and approximately 1200 are homeless in the streets, of that an average of 30% are families with children. We cannot leave it exclusively in the hands of the government. Those that can find rent are demanded to pay three months’ rent and must report earnings of 30% of their income. The average rent for a family of four is $1800 and many cannot afford it. It is reported that by bankrate.com that 62% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck with one paycheck from being on the street.

Action
As your congresswoman I will work towards creating a coalition between the public and private sector to include workforce housing for teachers, police, Veterans and other service industry professions as well as seniors. We must work with developers to include Affordable and Workforce housing projects in high-density areas near our urban core. To address the plight of those that are living paycheck to paycheck. I am proposing the development of a hardship rental insurance similar to the FHA ( Federal Housing Administration) insurance. It would not be a government program rather a private insurance similar to a rental insurance with the regulations similar to the FHA hardship insurance clause. The insurance would pay up to three months of rent.

Health Care

Recognizing that district 27 has more residents registered in Obama care than any other district in the nation lets you know that there is a need and it is a priority including pre condition. With premiums going up over 15% or deductibles rising to $3000 or more immediate attention must be given to revamp the not so Affordable Care Act. Our Republic is very unique, and each state has a different demographic and need. There is no way one affordable healthcare option provided by our government could ever suffice in this country. But the current private system is also not working for the forgotten middle class.

Action
We need to definitely allow for more competition across state lines and give more power to the individual states to decide their own programs including when it comes to Medicare and Medicaid. We must also put in place strict parameters to prevent the abuse that is rampant in our welfare systems, where almost 100 billion of dollars have been attributed to fraud. In addition a technology aspect should be considered to open up competition with an app to determine who may provide the best client centered care at the most affordable cost.