You might not think of it this way, but unity is an action word. It’s not enough to simply say we should be unified. It’s about actively taking the time to listen to people who have different lived experiences than yours. It’s about seeing someone struggling and asking how you can ease their burden. It’s about expanding your definition beyond people who live in your immediate neighborhood, beyond people who look just like you. Our main goal throughout and beyond this campaign is to make Hillsborough County itself a strong community, but we can’t have community without unity for all. We need to bridge the gap in between the different neighborhoods in Hillsborough so that we can create safer spaces for houseless individuals within the community and provide more opportunities for equality for our disadvantaged neighbors. We realize that with unity we can change the landscape of our county because together we will never fail.
Diversity starts with representation, inclusion, empowerment, and intersectionality. This campaign believes that everything about you, whether it’s your culture and your heritage, where you came from and where you are now, everything that is uniquely you is important. It makes you invaluable to the growth and success of this county. Too often those qualities that make you who you are - your gender identity, your neurodivergence, your visible or invisible disability, the color of your skin, or any number of other things can cause people to overlook you. That’s why we firmly believe intentionally creating spaces and fighting for those who are impacted, and intend to shine a bright light on those who are often ignored or forgotten. This will strengthen the community as a whole, because endeavoring to promote inclusivity and understanding will show everyone that Hillsborough County is stronger because of its diversity.
This campaign is ultimately about making progress by moving Hillsborough County forward in a positive manner. We believe that to see real achievements happen within this county, within this state, within this country, we must keep climate change at the forefront of every discussion. Local government must accept that climate change is real, and actively implement measures to mitigate the damage we as humans have already caused. We will move to instate policies that address and respect climate change. The effects of climate change can be found everywhere in our lives. Residents of Hillsborough County currently experience health conditions like eczema and worsening levels of asthma because of diminished air quality and sustained increases in heat and humidity. When natural disasters occur, low-income communities are disproportionately affected, whether it’s because of financial inability to evacuate, losing their hourly-wage income when businesses close, suffering longer without power, to not being able to use public transit which might be their only mode of transportation . In a disaster, it is often the poor, ill, and the elderly who suffer the most in both the event and aftermath. We have failed to do our part to acknowledge climate change, and we are suffering because of the neglect of years past. This campaign is committed to the progress of this county: we vow that we will not allow the government to refuse to protect its citizens from the harmful effects, both physical and economic, wrought by climate change.