Candidate Name: Cindy Banyai
What office are you running for?
Florida Congressional District 19
With which party are you running for office?
November 3, 2020
Why are you running for office?
I’ve spent the last decade working with organizations and listening to our community. I’ve worked diligently to bring out the voice of the people living in Southwest Florida and deliver that message to decision-makers. Sadly, that message keeps being ignored. Now, I am ready to take that knowledge and be the decision-maker lifting up the voice of the people. We will no longer be ignored.
I am qualified to serve and committed to our community. I live here. My kids were born here, go to school here. I built my business here helping organizations become more efficient and effective. I will not sell out my values and our community to enrich big companies, big donors, and the political elite. I will work to craft policy to families are healthy and safe, to make sure there are good jobs and strong local businesses, and our beloved Florida environment is clean.
What is the biggest issue facing your community and how do you propose helping?
The biggest issue facing out community is our water. We are a coastal community and we rely on clean, healthy water for our businesses and our recreation. Over the past few years we have been afflicted with the double whammy of red tide in the Gulf and blue-green algae in the river. There are complex reasons for these problems, but people play a role. We need to hold polluters accountable to stem harmful runoff into the river. We need more research on the harmful health effects from the red tide and blue-green algae. And we need more action on climate change because global environmental issues, such as desertification and rising temperatures, also play a role. I propose strengthening the role of the EPA in oversight, in conjunction with the states, to hold polluters accountable; more research, data-collection, and public transparency on the related health issue; and aligning with global partners on climate actions such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement.
How do we fix the partisan divide in our country and start working together again?
Build trust and engage. Americans have been drifting apart for years and our communities have as many physical as psychological barriers. We increasingly see those we disagree with as the enemy, pushing us further apart. We spend less time with people different from ourselves than ever before. In the short term, we can start talking and engaging with each through social clubs and activities like softball. This will begin to build the trust that has eroded between people. In the long-term, we also need to take a serious look at our community design and move away from the cul-de-sac and gated community models that keep us physically separated, building instead closer and more open living spaces that have public transportation. We also need to be more serious about ending gerrymandering, which puts a political incentive on polarization.
Who is your hero?
Robert Putnam – his work on social networks and community has driven my work for almost 2 decades
What are your hobbies?
What is the most recent book you read?
Reinventing You by Dorie Clark
Do you have any kids/pets/talking houseplants?
Mom to 3 native Floridians (Ani -10, JT – 6, Evie – 2), 2 kitties – Jack and Yogi. 1 surviving houseplant
How can our readers get involved in your campaign?
Be a social media champion by liking and sharing our posts, donating, volunteering, and joining the mailing list on my website.
What question do you wish we’d asked, and what is your answer?
What is a unique thing about you that sets you apart from other candidates?
Answer: I used to be a professional boxer. This really toughed me up and prepared me to get through anything. So, when I say I am ready to do the hard work and fight for the people of Southwest Florida, I’m for real. Ding Ding.
Post created from answers submitted by candidate to our Meet the Candidate survey.
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