My name is Kelly Johnson and I'm running to serve District 65 in the State House. I’ve lived in Pinellas County my entire life, and I am ready to fight to win it back for all of us.
This district is my home. I was the second of three children born to Virginia and Dean Johnson, who dedicated their adult lives to serving the students of Pinellas County as public-school teachers. I graduated from Dunedin High School, went on to study at St. Petersburg College, and received my bachelor’s degree at Clearwater Christian College. I've seen firsthand the changes to the environment, businesses, and people here. I know from personal experience how critical it is to not only look like a representative for this region, but to act like it.
I would never have called myself a politician, but my background and experience has shaped me into someone that is not willing to pass this down to our children. I have spent most of my adult life caring for children – my own as well as several youth in the area who call me “mom” to this day. I’ve served as a middle school basketball coach, a middle school soccer coach, and an elementary school flag football coach. I’ve led youth groups based in my home for more than 15 years and have served in many areas of ministry helping some of the most vulnerable of our community: the homeless, the women, the seniors, and the youth. I’m even a published author, with 10 books published to date, including self-help books, teen novels, and a children’s adventure series.
Most recently, my fight has taken me advocating for the hundreds of thousands of Floridians who are without jobs or income. I went through this myself, and it was this firsthand experience that gave me the opportunity to link arms with the masses and discover how the state government has not been working for average Floridians.
District 65 needs well-rounded leadership to propel it into the future. In a post-COVID economy, I will push hard for legislation that makes sense and protects the environment. I have signed onto and fully support the Florida Climate and Economic Defense Initiative. I will work to make our streets and schools safer and have worked alongside domestic violence nonprofits developed an initiative to get guns out of the hands of repeat domestic violence offenders. I support common sense gun laws that prioritize safety while ensuring law-abiding gunowners retain many of their rights. I will strive to help pull more Floridians out of poverty by developing ways to increase income and lessen the burden on the welfare system. I will protect healthcare and support expanding our current system. I will support programs that create pathways to homeownership. I will continue to work with the people to ensure that discrimination has no place in our future.
This year your vote will shape our post-COVID world. Make sure you cast it for the person who is ready and willing to fight to bring common-sense reforms to our environment, our economy, our healthcare and our schools.
What I'm Fighting For
As a lifelong Floridian, I have seen firsthand how the most vulnerable in our communities are not provided fair and equal access to resources.
I’m fighting for a Florida that is safe and sustainable for all.
Economy & Jobs
In contemporary society, economics is not simply determined by supply + demand. It is most affected by institutions + Politics.
A wealth tax on the top 0.1% of households would raise an estimated $4.35 trillion over the next decade.
One in 6 Americans have medical debt.
Median earnings for full time workers in 1979 were $43,680.00. In 2018 median earnings for full time employees were $45,708.00...however the nation's economy tripled in size over that span of time so where did the earnings go???
The present system is not working! With an estimated 46% of Floridians living in an ALICE HOUSEHOLD the system is not just not working, it's downright criminal. ALICE (asset limited, income constrained, employed) housholds are working households 1 payheck away from absolute disaster.
Kelly will fight hard to implement a higher minimum wage, push for more programs to create the dream of home ownership, and work to restore countervailing power and a possible UBI that will help Florida moving forward. Her mission is to see that no Floridian is left out of the ability to sustain a houehold well and to live out their best version they can of the American Dream.
Health & Families
I will push for an expansion of the Affordable Care Act
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, over 20 million Americans have acquired health care coverage and the uninsured rate has been cut almost in half.
More than 2.3 million young adults are among the newly insured because the Affordable Care Act allows them to stay on their parent's insurance until age 26. Discrimination based on pre-existing conditions is now illegal. And the plans are economical, with nearly 8 in 10 Americans who recently shopped in the marketplace could get it for less than $100.00 per month.
The Affordable Care Act has also allowed states to expand Medicaid to help even more Americans get covered.
Women should have access to affordable and safe reproductive care, and the right to choose what they do with their bodies.
Kelly is committed to reducing the number of terminated pregnancies by expanding reproductive education, adoption services, and mental health counseling.
Paid family leave is essential for all Floridians.
Pre-existing conditions should be covered and we should take steps to protect these insurance premiums
Everyone should have access to affordable, quality health care
Expand ACA, don't replace, make reforms to provide more access to more Floridians
Human activity is the dominant cause of observed climate change over the past century (climate.gov 2020).
Global warming is causing sea levels to rise, an increase in wildfires, severe storms, droughts, and other extreme weather events that threaten the very existence of human life.
It is estimated that $500,000,000,000 will be lost in annual economic output by the United States by the year 2100. 99% of all coral reefs on Earth will be lost. Wildfires will annually burn at least twice as much forest area in the western US than was typically burned by wildfires in the years preceding 2019. More than 350 million people will be exposed to deadly heat stress by the year 2050. A risk of damage to $1,000,000,000,000 of public infrastructure and coastal real estate in the United States.
We must work together to;
Achieve net-zero green house gas emissions
Implement a carbon tax to directly punish polluters.
Create good, high-wage jobs and ensure prosperity and economic security for all people of Pinellas.
Invest in the infrastructure and industry in Pinellas to sustainably meet the challenges of the 21st century.
Invest in renewable energy sources.
Secure access to clean air and water, healthy food, nature, and a sustainable environment for all people
Once and for all eliminate offshore oil drilling and fracking
We must work hard to make the schools safer for all.
One of the biggest concerns the youth have today is their safety in school. This is a real issue. With events like the Parkland shooting in the minds of the students they just don't feel like their safety is a top priority.
As a mom of 8 kids and with over 29 years experience of serving children I know that scared children do not perform well. We can't educate and effect these students without first prioritizing their safety.
We need a ban on assault rifles, and we do not need to arm teachers. Unfortunately my opponent voted to keep assault rifles and arm teachers. He comes from a prosecutor background so perhaps this is the solution-more weapons. But with my experience with children and education, I do not side one bit with my opponent.
We need gun owners accountable to their weapon. Period. Guns must be locked up and kept from getting into the wrong hands. in 2017 almost 900 people were injured by accidental gunfire and 22 people were killed. These shootings would have been prevented had the weapon been locked up. Bottom line, you own it you are responsible for it...even if it gets in the wrong hands.
Currently our teachers are learning how to avoid shooters in socially distanced shooter drills. The situtation is dire. We need gun control laws and we need them yesterday.
News and updates
Keep up with Kelly Johnson for Florida
Here's the latest from us, including updates and announcements.
MOTHER JONES- "Republicans Broke Florida’s Unemployment System. Could It Cost Trump the Election?"
October 12, 2020at12:00 AM
Kelly spoke with Hannah Levintova about her journey within the Florida unemployment system and now her experience running for state office.
WASHINGTON POST - "The pandemic is creating a new crop of political candidates: Unemployed workers," writes Eli Rosenberg
August 24, 2020at5:00 AM
Kelly spoke with Eli Rosenberg about her decision to jump into the District 65 House of Representatives race, propelled by a frustration with the unemployment system and desire to mold a future Florida her children could be proud of.
AP article featured in the New York Times-"Florida Democrats running to boost Biden from the bottom up"
Kelly was featured in an article written by Bobby Caina Calvan of the Associated Press and landed a spot in the New York Times. Calvan details Kelly's bid for office and gives a little background on how she got into the race. Kelly was mentioned along with several candidates as the Democratic push for Florida heats up!
THE GUARDIAN – “Covid-19 jobless crisis presents problem for Republicans in solid-red Florida,” writes Dierdra Funcheon
Kelly was featured in a profile by Dierdra Funcheon in Capital and Main, co-published by The American Prospect and The Guardian. Funcheon details Johnson’s frustration with the state government’s lack of response to the unemployment crisis, and her decision to run for office to change that.
FLORIDA POLITICS: “Democratic House candidate raises funding to target GOP leadership”
Kelly Johnson was one of several Democratic candidates across the state that received donations from Bob Lynch, candidate for House District 116. According to reporting by Jacob Ogles, Lynch has also donated to Lisa Stortstrom (House District 74) and Katherine Norman (Senate District 23).
Kelly appeared at a protest on Bayshore Boulevard, advocating for the Floridians who are frustrated with the current unemployment system. You can join the fight at Action Group for COVID-19 Unemployment.
WFLA: “Unemployed Floridians protest over the failure of state to process claims”
Kelly Johnson was among over a dozen protesters that took to Bayshore Boulevard to make their voices heard. Frustrations are high, as countless Floridians have still not received their unemployment benefits.