A.J. D’Amico: ‘A Lot of This Isn’t Really Political. It’s Trying to Make Life Better.’

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By Giselle Balido

September 8, 2022

Citing the “tremendous mismanagement” of its government, this young millennial is working to address the economic collapse, rising inequality, and growing climate change affecting Floridians now.

A.J. D’Amico is a young man with a mission. From an early age, the 28-year-old Cuban American who grew up shuffling between his parents’ house and his grandmother’s place in east Hialeah, was aware of the many uncertainties facing his generation: economic collapse, rising income inequality, and a worsening environmental crisis that marks Florida as ground zero for climate change.

That is why he is running for the Florida House of Representatives HD 113, which includes Brickell, and the Roads, Shenandoah, Silver Bluff, Little Havana, and Edgewater neighborhoods of the City of Miami as well as the entire Village of Key Biscayne. 

“Floridians are feeling the effects of tremendous mismanagement of our government,” D’Amico, who began his career as an intern and then legislative aide in the Florida Senate, told Floricua.

“What I think [Floridians] want is a government that’s effective, a government that works for the most amount of people. And right now, we’re not seeing that.”

A Vision for Today

What he sees, and what Florida is facing after more than 20 years of a Republican-led government, is a state where rent prices are prohibitive and the cost of property insurance is exorbitant, especially affecting older residents on a fixed income. Also, despite almost a million Floridians lacking healthcare coverage, Gov. Ron DeSantis has consistently refused to expand Medicaid.

RELATED: Just the Facts: Florida Ranks 45th in Tax Fairness, 41st in Access to Health Care, 2nd in Mass Shootings.

The first thing D’Amico says he will do if elected, is file a Medicaid expansion bill to “negotiate how we can expand healthcare coverage for the most amount of working people who desperately need it.”

D’Amico will also sponsor an infrastructure investment bill that will counter “the effects of climate change that we are already seeing,” like the sea level rise that not only lowers property values but can also force people out of the impacted areas. Other lesser-known effects include worsening allergy symptoms, increased risk of skin cancer, and heart disease promoted by pollutants.

But that is not all. D’Amico points out that climate change is impacting Floridians’ pocketbooks right now.

That’s because stronger storms fueled by global warming” lead property insurance carriers and property insurers to flee the state, and not even offer insurance options,” adds D’Amico.

RELATED: Climate Change Has ‘Irreversibly’ Impacted Florida’s Environment and Economy

“My district includes Little Havana, which is a very working-class neighborhood, and it faces a lot of risk when it comes to climate. I have constituents who are older and on a fixed income, and they are paying seven or eight thousand dollars in property insurance every year. When it comes to how we are treating the people who work and live and call Florida home,” says D’Amico, choosing his words carefully, “that is not dignified.”

Serving From the Heart

Ask A.J. D’Amico why he runs as a Democrat in a red-leaning state, and his answer goes back to that one word: “dignified.”

“The reason I am a Democrat is because certain values that transcend politics align very well with the Democratic party, like compassion, empathy, community service and respect for others, and valuing the human dignity of all people,” he says. “To me a lot of this isn’t really political. It’s trying to make life better for a lot of people.”



  • Giselle Balido

    Giselle is Floricua's political correspondent. She writes about the economy, environmental and social justice, and all things Latino. A published author, Giselle was born in Havana and grew up in New Jersey and Miami. She is passionate about equality, books, and cats.



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