Robin Denise Harris

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Green Party candidate, Florida House District 41

Public Service

Never held elective office.

Occupation

Green Party

Education

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Green Party candidate Robin Denise Harris, who has never held elected office, will be on the November ballot for state House District 41, facing the eventual Democratic winner from the Aug. 23 primary. No Republican is running for the newly redistricted area, which includes a sliver of Ocoee as well as the neighborhoods of Parramore, Orlo Vista, Oak Ridge and Washington Shores — a largely African American, mostly working-class community.

"I want to represent the people of Florida completely,” Harris wrote on her campaign website. “I have stood on frontlines with various marginalized communities to exhibit my loyalty and commitment to change.  Now, I'd like to bring that passion and energy to Tallahassee.  The cries and needs of the people should be inked in legislation and policies that will change circumstances. I am willing to amplify the Voices [sic] of those who have been most impacted.”

One of her top issues is quality, affordable housing, which she maintains is a “human right.” She said it also means limiting rent hikes and “providing safe shelter for the unhoused … Housing justice is not an option.”

Harris also advocates for healthcare, including a single-payer system or Medicare for All, “which promises to expand healthcare as a public service and provide every citizen with medical, dental, and vision services” that will lower out-of-pocket costs, lower prescription drug costs and end health disparities.

Another issue is improving community policing to “ensure the safety of African American lives. There must be an end to this community being disproportionately arrested, sentenced, and killed.” As a Green candidate, she is, of course, for protecting the environment through policies and practices that address water pollution, urban sprawl and deforestation that threaten wildlife. “We have to reverse our destructive practices, not just push the pause button,” she said.


Harris said that she would seek reparations for Florida’s Black and indigemous communities. “Whether through segregation, forced removal, or discriminatory systemic practices, the pathway to justice can only be paved with repair,” she said. “I will fight for social and economic policies that end ongoing systems of oppression, invest in Black and Indigenous communities, and advance our collective and distinct futures.”

In March, in a Facebook video post, Harris criticized President Joe Biden’s comments during his State of the Union speech about national and international issues such as policing, healthcare and human rights. In that post, she said that the country needs Green Party and relevant third-party candidates to run for office.


“I represent people of various intersections: poor, indigenous, Black, Brown, other ability [sic], just an array of things,” she said. “But as Greens we’ve got to become more relevant. We’re not relevant if our message is going to be … just mild.” She said she didn’t mind being a “spoiler candidate” because she wants to “spoil the whole damn system. And that’s the only way we’re going to get new and relevant legislation is by putting in people that’s willing to write … down what the real needs are.”

In 2018, Harris ran in the nonpartisan primary for Orange County Board of County Commissioners, District 6. She lost to Victoria Siplin, garnering only 25 percent of the vote.

— Dibya Sarkar