Orlando Weekly Voting Guide 2020: Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor races

click to enlarge Photo by Dave PlotkinSplit Oak Forest Wildlife and Environmental AreaVibert "Issa" WhiteOccupation:There are four "groups" up for election to join these unpaid county Soil and Water Conservation board seats: Groups 1, 2, 3 and 5. Everyone in Orange County can vote in all of the Soil and Water groups.The Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisors have some limited abilities to fine polluters, but the seats are often treated as stepping-stones to higher office by aspiring politicians.Occupation: TeacherActive in the SEA teachers’ unionOne of two Group 1 candidates endorsed by the Orange County Democratic PartyFocuses on protecting local wetlands and rural areas from development; educating and engaging with the public on the importance of conservationOccupation: Substitute teacher, studentOne of two Group 1 candidates endorsed by the Orange County Democratic PartyWants to bring a progressive voice to the board to speak out against climate change, pollution, injusticeOccupation: Realtor, member of Casselberry Chamber of CommerceEndorsed by Mayor of Casselberry Dave HensonWants to increase community engagement with the Board, increase partnerships with other agenciesOccupation: Sustainment engineerEndorsed by the Orange County Democratic PartyServes on Orange County Disability Advisory Board and MetroPlan Orlando Community Advisory Committee, and is an active member of the Central Florida Chapter of the National Federation of the BlindAdvocate for environmental education, life cycle sustainment, soil and water conservation management and green initiativesOccupation: Project managerInvolved with the start-up of a local textile recycling company“Pledges to bring more awareness, education, partnerships and sustainability to the Orange County Soil and Water Conservation District Board”Occupation: Student at UCFOne of two Group 3 candidates endorsed by the Orange County Democratic PartyWorked for Orange County Board of County Commissioners and Commissioner Emily BonillaEmphasizes working on issues of overdevelopment, drinking water quality, eco-friendly initiativesOccupation: Biology professorOne of two Group 3 candidates endorsed by the Orange County Democratic PartyEmphasizes conservation issues, a science-centric approach and more transparency with the public(Nonpartisan)Occupation: Professor, Seminole State CollegeWants to increase transparency and public engagement with the BoardFocuses on accountability, budget, conservation, infrastructure improvementsTechnology and telecommunications backgroundVeteranWants to focus attention on maintenance of existing systems, thereby reducing overall cost and allowing use to be proactive, rather than reactive. "No Flint here! "Occupation: Executive assistantEndorsed by the Orange County Democratic Party and state Rep. Anna EskamaniPriorities include curbing pollution, promoting sustainability, stricter regulations on polluters, and protecting parks and wetlands