Melissa S. Myers
Democratic candidate, Florida House District 40
Never held elective office.
President/Director of Recruiting, Just Write Inc
University of Miami, Certificate, Legal Assistant/Paralegal, 2022
University of South Florida, Certificate, Functional Assessment Rating Scale, 2008
University of South Florida, Certificate, Children's Functional Assessment Rating Scale, 2008
Melissa S. Myers of Ocoee, a community activist and long-time small business owner of a staffing firm, is seeking the Democratic nod in the Aug. 23 primary for the open seat in state House District 40 that includes Ocoee, Pine Hills, Clarcona and College Park. She will face off against LaVon Bracy Davis. Neither have held elective office.
Still, Myers is no stranger to politics. She managed Ocoee City Commissioner George Oliver III’s re-election campaign in 2020, advocated for fair wages for the Ocoee Professional Firefighters Union, Local 3623, and partnered with the Ocoee Police Department to bridge gaps with the community. She said she has championed women dealing with domestic violence, partnered with churches to provide food for people and supported greater opportunities for small businesses.
On her campaign website, Myers said she would fight for better healthcare for senior citizens, more resources for those suffering from mental health issues, better career training and development programs, year-round affordable youth programs and more assistance for “returning citizens,” which is the acceptable term for those who have served their time in prison.
But, in a recent WESH-2 News debate with Bracy Davis, Myers emphasized affordable housing as the top priority if elected to Tallahassee. She also said she has a 90-day plan in which she would advocate for career development and creation of a task force that would examine senior issues. She later added in the debate that the low affordable housing inventory should be addressed first before any attempt is made to attract businesses with high-paying salaries.
In the debate, Myers also said that she would champion abortion rights. “No woman should be told what to do with their bodies. Hands down. Elected officials aren’t telling a man … what to do with their bodies so they shouldn’t tell a woman what to do with theirs,” she said, adding that she would champion women’s birth control options.
On gun laws, Myers said she is licensed to carry a gun, but she didn’t want her Second Amendment right to be taken away because a government failed to enforce extensive checks “to prevent premature gun ownership.” For example, she said if someone is approved to obtain medical marijuana or has a mental health issue then they shouldn’t be allowed to purchase firearms.
While Bracy Davis said she wanted Medicaid expansion in Florida, Myers said she would support it only if it made financial sense and wouldn’t irreparably harm the program’s payouts and longevity.
When asked about new state laws — namely the “Stop WOKE Act” that would set limit workplace diversity training programs that discuss race, gender, and discrimination and the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law that bans classroom disucssion of sexual orientation and gender identity in grades K-3 — Myers said she agreed with Bracy Davis that their history cannot be erased.
“We, as African-Americans, have been ridiculed for our skin color. We have been ridiculed for the sizes of our noses and our lips, made to feel that we’re not beautiful or we;re not deserving of certain things. And our children need to be educated on their true history,” she said.
In the debate, Myers said Bracy Davis accepted donations from political action committees, special interest groups and lobbyists that also supported DeSantis and other Republican candidates. “Whose side are you really on? What promises did you make to get these donations?” asked Myers.
“Because, normally, when you receive a donation from a campaign that’s a handshake to say you’re on the same page.” Bracy Davis responded that she didn’t know what Myers was referring to, but her “people’s campaign” has more than 200 people who’ve given small-donor contributions up to $40 and that she couldn’t be bought. “My positions are firm. This community knows me. They know what I can do.”
Myers has received numerous endorsements, most notably from the International Association of Fire Fighters and Ocoee Fire Rescue.