“I believe that only in America can a little black girl, the daughter of a maid and a janitor, growing up in the south in the ’60s, have such an amazing opportunity. No one can make me give up on America.”
Val Demings rose from humble beginnings to achieve the American Dream. She was the first person in her family to attend college, became a social worker and then a police officer, rising to become Orlando’s first female Police Chief, where she drove down violent crime by 40 percent.
Now, Chief Demings is running for U.S. Senate to fight for every Floridian to have that same opportunity to live the American Dream.
Jobs and the Economy
Raised in a two-bedroom, A-frame home in Jacksonville, the youngest of seven children, Val Demings grew up knowing the value of a job and a dollar. Her parents, Elouise, a maid, and James, a janitor, did all they could to support their children and instill in them the meaning of hard work. As a teenager, Val worked flipping burgers to help support her family.
Now, as a Member of Congress, Val Demings works to ensure anyone willing to work hard can find a job that does more than just pay the bills — a job that can help build a better life for your children. That’s why she worked with Republicans and Democrats to deliver relief funding for Florida’s small businesses during the pandemic, and why she championed a bipartisan infrastructure bill that will create thousands of new, good-paying jobs in Florida.
Chief Demings believes that every American deserves access to high-quality, affordable health care. She knows that every day, too many Floridians are choosing between seeing the doctor or filling a prescription, and paying the utility bill or the rent. That’s why the Chief will fight to lower the cost of prescription drugs, and stand up the special interests who want to undermine protections for people with pre-existing conditions like diabetes or asthma.
During this global pandemic, Demings has been a leader promoting the vaccine as the single best tool we have to keep each other healthy, and to keep our economy and schools open.
Housing is simply too expensive for too many Floridians. From Pensacola to Key West, Floridians are struggling to pay the rent or mortgage. Many others can’t save nearly enough to afford a down payment on a home of their own. Chief Demings knows this is unacceptable, and in the U.S. Senate she will work to address the unaffordability of housing in Florida. That’s why she’s worked to cut middle class taxes, and fought for increased funding for affordable housing in the federal budget.
Here in Florida, our environment is our greatest treasure and our most important economic engine. Florida’s natural beauty, beautiful beaches, and clean air and water fuel our tourism-based economy. Chief Val Demings takes threats to our environment seriously, because they are threats to Floridans’ jobs and way of life. That’s why she opposes offshore drilling off Florida’s coasts, and why she has delivered funding to combat the toxic algae that impacts our shores and waterways. Chief Demings knows the threat of climate change is real, and that’s why she supported the bipartisan infrastructure bill which will fund billions of dollars of climate change-resistant infrastructure in Florida and create thousands of new jobs.
As a former 27-year law enforcement officer, Chief Val Demings is a no-nonsense, tough-on-crime leader who knows how to keep our communities safe. As Orlando Police Chief, Val Demings oversaw a 40% drop in violent crime. In Congress, the Chief has fought to increase funding for our law enforcement officers, so communities across Florida can have the resources they need to hire more officers and keep us all safe.
Chief Val Demings believes we must keep our homeland safe with every tool at our disposal, from our economic might to our unparalleled military strength. In Congress, the Chief is a member of the vital Homeland Security Committee and Intelligence Committee, and has visited conflict zones overseas. She knows strong national security starts with the smart use of American power overseas. Demings supports leading our allies to solve international challenges, such as terrorism, before they impact Americans at home.
Demings also knows that Florida is the world’s 15th largest economy, with trade links across the world and especially across Latin America and the Caribbean. What happens outside our borders directly affects our economy, and in the U.S. Senate, the Chief will work to make sure international trade is always fair and benefits Florida workers.