LaVon Bracy Davis
Democratic Nominee, Florida House District 40
Never held elective office. Legislative appointee to the Florida Council on Arts and Culture
Senior Director of Community Programming at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
Howard University, BFA, Acting, 2001
Florida A&M University, College of Law, J.D., 2005
A longtime resident of Ocoee, LaVon Bracy Davis comes from a family that’s synonymous with Central Florida political activism. Her grandfather, Thomas A. Wright, was president of the Alachua County NAACP and marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. Her father, Rev. Randolph Bracy, Jr., who founded the New Covenant Baptist Church of Orlando, is president of the Orange County NAACP. Her mother, LaVon Wright Bracy, integrated Gainesville High School 10 years after Brown v. Topeka Board of Education ended segregated education. Her brother, Randolph Bracy, served as both a representative and a senator in the Florida Legislature and established the 1920 Election Day Ocoee Massacre scholarship fund. (He lost his primary bid for Val Demings’ open congressional seat to Maxwell Frost.)
Prior to joining the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center as the senior director of community programming, Bracy Davis served as senior attorney for the Department of Children and Families. She’s also a board member for the alternative middle- and high-school Pace Center for Girls. Her platform includes protecting voting rights, women’s reproductive freedom and affordable healthcare.
“Freedom fighting and speaking up, being that voice, being that advocate for people didn't just start with me, or even my brother,” Bracy Davis told VoxPopuli. “It’s something that is literally in my DNA.”
Here’s what she had to say on the issues:
SECOND AMENDMENT/GUN SAFETY
“I don't believe that citizens, normal citizens, should have military-style weapons in the home. There's no reason for it. You can protect yourself without a machine gun or a military-style automatic weapon.
“I think the red flag law that was signed into law a couple sessions ago was good, but it could have gone further. I think it's a good idea to do background checks and have judges be involved with folks that are purchasing guns. But even if you pass the background [check] or even if you go through all of the motions, I still believe that there's no reason for a military-style weapon in the home. That's not protection, that's combat. Unless there is an army knocking on your door, you can protect yourself without a machine gun.”
Bracy Davis also supports “repercussions for parents” whose children injure or kill someone with their firearm because it was not stored safely.
Number one, is boosting educators’ salaries, says Bracy Davis. That will bring new teachers into the profession and prevent veterans from leaving. She points to a teacher in her own family who left Orange County Public Schools for a teaching position in Texas because it came with a $27,000 raise. “She was working three jobs just to make ends meet as a teacher. That’s crazy. Teachers have to form the next generation from an educational perspective. They shouldn’t be concerned about How am I gonna eat tomorrow?"
“Quite honestly, the choice has always been there,” Bracy Davis said. “If a parent decides that they want their child to have a private education, take your child and put them in private school.
“But I believe in alternative education if it is funded separately and is not taking any money from our public schools. I don't believe in “reverse-Robin Hood" where you take money from the community, take money from public schools and put it into private hands — especially when some of these private schools don't support the LGBTQ community. Some of these private schools have racist agendas in which boys and girls can’t have locs in their hair or some of the more African-American-type hairstyles. Taking money out of the public school system and putting in some of these private schools limits freedom.”
“My opponent, he talks about choice, choice, choice and freedom, freedom. He's so big on choice when it comes to taking public school dollars and putting it into private education. But then when you talk about choice in terms of a woman and her body and her healthcare decisions, he doesn't believe in choice.
“The polls have showed nationwide that 65 percent of all Americans are pro-choice. And pro-choice doesn't mean that you would go have an abortion tomorrow. Pro-choice means it's none of my business. Pro-choice means, I am for women's healthcare, and I am for a woman being able to make decisions without legislators being in the room. The examination room is too small to have the whole government in the room with us.”
“I believe in the legalization of marijuana. We are putting way too much brain power and resources in the criminalization of marijuana. There are bigger fish to fry. I’d love to see some of those resources go to real issues as opposed to criminalization of marijuana. So I think it’s great what Joe Biden did. I’d love to see us do that on the state level. Quite honestly, I feel that marijuana is almost the same as alcohol.”
PINE HILLS REPRESENTATION
Republican candidate Nate Robertson has suggested that the majority Black Pine Hills neighborhood has been neglected by years of Democratic representation and that a Republican is better suited to work with the majority Republican legislature.
“I don't really understand his thought about not having any resources and not having a representative to represent these people, and this demographic and this district, but it's untrue. I can go back for 20 years and see who held this seat. My brother held this seat. Kamia Brown held this seat. Representative Geraldine Thompson held this seat and brought resources back into this space.
“I understand that the Republicans are the majority, but I don't believe that's a reason to give our vote away to someone who is a [Gov. Ron] DeSantis supporter, a [former President Donald] Trump supporter. I mean, there's a racist agenda behind DeSantis that if you ally with DeSantis, it makes me wonder where your support really is.”