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I had the pleasure of speaking to Guido Weiss recently despite his hectic schedule w the Aug. 18 election, just weeks away!
I loved seeing his Nonna-grandma on www.VOTEGUIDO.COM How many people running for Congress have their grandma standing by their side? ❤ Hi Nonna! 👊❤
I'm grateful for his time! I wish him the best of Luck!
*What did you gain in your military service as a Navy Security Force Officer?
My military service has taught me a lot about leadership. We are taught to never let fear stand in the way of making the right choice, and to lead with compassion. I was taught in the Navy that leadership means acting with integrity in public and private. My time in the Navy prepared me to run for office because I’m running against a powerful incumbent that dozens of community leaders told me they “fear,” but that didn’t change the fact that it was the right thing to do. Our community’s best interests are being ignored, and I recognize that compassionate leadership is lacking in Palm Beach County, so I am here to offer a solution.
*Tell me about your Congressional work on Indigenous rights?
Working for the State of Hawaii, Indigenous rights was a main focus of my work in Congress, and was one of the most fulfilling aspects. I was fortunate to work with the Native Hawaiian people, Native Alaskan, and Native peoples of the continental U.S. I worked to increase the amount of money that Native peoples could earn through sole-source contracts on Federal government projects from $22 million to $100 million. I also worked to represent Native people in their dealings with the federal government, and I worked to improve native housing, healthcare, and land preservation.
*How did serving as Legislative Director for Rep. Tulsi Gabbard mold you to qualify running for Congress? And what brought you to making the decision not to take donations from corporations? How do you see this decision has affected your opponent?
Working in Representative Gabbard’s office showed me the inner workings of Congress, but most importantly I learned the importance of responding to concerns of constituents. Rep. Gabbard flew back home every chance she got, and from morning till night was working with members of her community, doing workshops and Congress on your Corner to engage the community. I saw firsthand the qualities that a representative should have, and saw how her community respects her for those qualities. That experience shaped the kind of leader and representative I will be. Additionally, Rep. Gabbard does not take corporate donations. While I witnessed other representatives take money from a corporate donor one day and then vote in favor of a bill that donor wanted the next day, Rep. Gabbard doesn’t take campaign donations, and it was a completely different situation in her office because she would focus solely on what her constituents wanted. She definitely inspired me to not take corporate donations.
*What are 3 issues would you address immediately upon being elected? And why?
1. Systemic racism and community engagement. Not all representatives are equal - some spend every moment in their community when not in DC, while others only visit the areas that donate to their campaign or whose constituents vote in elections. In this congressional district, the constituent service office is actually in another district, in a building connected to a donor of Rep. Frankel. However, when you are a representative, you represent everyone in your community, whether they support you or not. Many minority and immigrant communities in my district and across the nation are ignored, unrepresented, and unheard. They have been left out of the political process for decades, and the protests we see now are a reckoning of how community disengagement disproportionately affects communities of color. As your representative, I will focus on building relationships with every corner of our district - regardless of their political party, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, disability, and I will represent their concerns in Washington.
2. Campaign finance reform. On almost every issue, from prisons, to the military, chemicals, health care, and finance, people’s voices are frequently drowned out by our campaign finance system. Currently, corporations spend thousands of dollars donating to politicians at every level of government, and that money buys votes or it buys silence on votes, meaning corporations have more say on politicians than voters do. Furthermore, the current system encourages a harsh Republican/Democratic divide. When in Congress, I will support legislation to transition our campaign finance system to a more publicly financed system and overturn Citizens United.
3.Green New Deal and Climate change. We are at a critical point in the climate change battle. Without serious action, generations to come will face the realities of global warming, including sea level rise, lower crop yields, increasingly frequent and increasingly intense natural disasters, and other detrimental effects of climate change. Unfortunately, Rep. Frankel has not joined efforts to transition our country off of fossil fuels through policy like the Green New Deal. I support the Green New Deal which will help us transition to clean energy use in South Florida and around the country including our vehicles, buildings, and infrastructure. It can also bring thousands of new jobs to Florida’s economy, as we could be the center of that green energy movement.
*3 reasons we should vote for you over vs. Congresswoman Frankel?
I do not take corporate money or donations, unlike Rep. Frankel who takes from Wall Street, polluting industries, weapons companies, pharmaceuticals and more. I will be able to represent you without being swayed by a corporate interest. I am leaning forward on issues like Medicare for All and aggressive environmental initiatives like a Green New Deal, while Rep. Frankel is not. It's time for new representation for this district that is actually in the district. Rep. Frankel spends time almost exclusively in communities that donate to her campaign, but I will be in every community, always. Rep. Frankel’s constituent service office is outside of our district in a building connected to a donor, while I will move our office to our district on day one.
*As Congressman, how would you be an asset in addressing the Covid-19 pandemic in District 21?
The number one complaint I receive from members of our community throughout COVID is that they reached out to Rep. Frankel’s office, asked for help and never got a response, so they felt they were unheard and left to fend for themselves as they struggled through unemployment applications. If I were representative, I would do everything in my power to ensure that my team is helping get our community every resource possible. I would have prioritized being available and in active service to our community. I would have hired extra staff to handle the surge of emails and calls asking for help and would have also coordinated volunteers to support contact tracers and be active members of their community even while quarantining.
*Would you support a coordinated community response to domestic violence? (A systemic, comprehensive approach by a committee that consists of: from the 911 operator, patrol, states attorney, advocates, to the local shelter etc which helps them know what the other system entities are addressing the domestic violence calls.)
Our society does not do enough to prevent and then address domestic violence. We do need to have a coordinated approach that includes prevention and awareness raising, justice for those who have suffered from abuse, as well as healing afterwards. And while in Congress I will support efforts to prevent domestic violence aggressors from being able to purchase or own guns, as they are statistically more likely to kill their partners. I will support funding and outreach for Domestic violence resources like social workers and the domestic violence hotlines. I will support better training for our first responders and other institutions to recognize and prevent domestic violence.
*What is your Nonna's advice about running for office?
I love this question, and my Nonna was so happy to hear people want to know her advice. Nonna had two pieces of advice from the beginning. Every time we speak she asks, “are you making signs? People need to see your name everywhere.” And second, she always says “don’t let them tell you no.” Nonna survived the Second World War in conditions that are hard for any of us to imagine, she has instilled in me that I must work against all odds to do what is right, and that we don’t have a moment to waste.
*Where would your district office be located if you won the election?
Our current office - where voters like you and me should be able to go to meet with our representative and receive the services that are our rights as Americans - is not in the district, and not easily accessible by public transportation. I would move our office into our district in a centrally located place that all members could easily access, and that has public transportation nearby as well as parking, bec ause I believe that everyone has the right to easily access their representatives.I would also work to ensure that this office that brings additional revenue to an area that needs it most.
Guido Weiss' bio from his site: www.voteguido.com
Guido is the only Democratic candidate who was born and raised in Florida’s 21st district. He grew up in Palm Beach County, and has four generations of family living here. He attended Palm Beach Central High School and graduated from American Heritage High School. Guido is also the first Congressional candidate in our district to refuse campaign donations from corporations because Guido believes in only being held accountable by the voters he represents.
LIFE IN THE COMMUNITY
Guido grew up in Wellington as one of four children. In his youth, Guido loved fishing, boating, and camping all around South Florida. He was a member of Boy Scout Troop 125 in middle and high school. While he still loves fishing and camping, he also enjoys martial arts, yoga, and cooking.
Guido graduated from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem with a Masters’ Degree in Middle Eastern studies and from American University with a Bachelor's degree in International Studies. He has also spent time studying in Russia, Jordan, and Israel to learn Russian, Arabic, and Hebrew.
Guido enlisted in the Navy Reserve in 2015 from Delray Beach. Guido spent his first few years as an enlisted Sailor, where he was trained in radars and navigation as an Operations Specialist and worked in military law enforcement, and later commissioned as an Officer. He has served in a unit as a member of a Navy Security Force.
SERVICE IN CONGRESS
Since 2016, Guido has worked in the United States House of Representatives as a foreign affairs and defense advisor, and most recently as a Legislative Director. Guido has worked in pushing the needle forward on many issues during his time in Congress, including: US-Israel cooperation, national security initiatives related to North Korea, indigenous rights, veterans’ health care, and environmental protections.