Tom Valeo grew up in a middle-class family from Wellington, Florida. During the Great Recession of 2008, his parents worked hard to make ends meet. By applying three simple rules, they got through.
1) Work Hard, 2) do all the good for as many people as you can, and 3) have faith in what you believe in.
Since then, Tom has lived by these three principles.
In 2016, Tom became the first member of his family to graduate from college and dedicated his life to learning why good people struggle to get by.
For the last six years, Tom has worked as a staff member in the Florida Legislature. By meeting people from all across Florida, he has concluded that everyone simply wants to work hard and care for their families.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Tom was one of many working on unemployment cases across the state. After watching Floridians struggle from a failed unemployment system, he hoped that the Florida Legislature would step into action. But sadly, the Legislature failed to act.
Now Tom is running to make sure those who struggled aren't left behind. Because fighting for affordable housing, public education, public safety, and a reemployment system that works aren't political, they are necessary pillars to living out the American dream.
This campaign is about organizing a coalition of people behind a platform that speaks to the kitchen-table issues of everyday people.
Tom currently lives in Wellington, FL with his fiancée, Sarah.
Homeownership is about more than just having a place to live. It's about your dignity and self-worth. No one should have to choose between paying their rent or buying groceries. Yet, with skyrocketing home prices, inaction on rent control, and uncontrollable homeowners' insurance rates, too many families have to make these choices.
Every student deserves access to free quality education. And every teacher deserves access to the tools that will help them succeed. This is accomplished by creating an environment that allows teachers and administrators to organize and ensures school boards have the authority to keep their schools safe. Florida's education system should do right by every single student and teacher it serves.
When our first responders have all the tools they need, our communities are stronger and safer. Unfortunately, cuts to public services have often left first responders to respond to social challenges that they have not been trained for—everything from homelessness to mental health crises and the opioid epidemic. We have a responsibility to do better for our communities.