I am proud to running for Florida State House of Representatives, District 19, as we come together to restore decency and humanity to our country.
My background: I grew up in the safe, working class, small town of Keystone Heights. My beloved father grew up in an orphanage and joined the navy when he was 17. He passed away suddenly when I was 12. My mother is in her nineties and lives with me. Mine was a simple and meager upbringing and we learned to value individuals over wealth or material things…my parents were wonderful role models for the democratic ideals of Fairness, respect, and acceptance. The youngest of four kids, I was the first to attend college, earning a Bachelors, Masters and Doctorate in Educational Leadership.
I taught school followed by serving as a school principal and spent the last five of 35 years as an Education Supervisor at Florida State Prison and New River CI helping inmates earn GED diplomas. These experiences expanded my perspective and helped me connect with people of all cultures, races and life status.
When we have victory in November, we are going to put behind us a season of low expectations or actually no expectations of people and mainly our president. We hear it called accountability these days, but its actually low expectations. Last week we heard ‘we are better than this’ echoed by many at the democratic convention. I do believe that we are better than this, which is why I am running for this office. The recent pandemic and race-related tragedies serve as a wakeup call for the equal rights of all Americans regardless of race or socio-economic status.
I worked at an alternative school and a student Ill call victor came into my office waving his report card and crying because he received all F’s. Now he was very smart so this not at all reflective of his academic ability. He said, Ms. Dugger you said I would be successful at this school because of the good teachers, but only one teacher at this school really cares about me. I said that is not true Victor, but why do you say that? He said because she is the only teacher who did not let me put my head down. Repeat.
The sad thing is Victor was right. We had let him down. Do you remember your favorite teacher? We all do and it was always a teacher that made us work hard and who believed in us, helping us in turn believe in themselves.
By the way, our president announced recently that teachers are essential workers. Well I have news for him. We are all essential and I mean ALL. We need to hold ourselves and each other accountable to become a part of the solution. To improve race relations, to improve the schools in Putnam County, to steer more of our students to our local college, to create better jobs so parents don’t have to work 2-3 jobs, to improve and protect the environment so our own kids and future generations will get to enjoy this beautiful state of ours.
We can be better than this and I thank you!
Please vote Kim Dugger, Fl House District 19