Who is Jen Perelman for FL Congressional District 23?

Erick Mendez

Staff Writer

As voters will have their eyes on the 2020 election, it is my pleasure to interact with grassroots candidates running for Congress.

To provide some background, Jennifer Perelman is a first-time contender for Florida’s District-23, a position in the United States House of Representatives that has been held by long-time incumbent Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Beyond that, Jen is a wife, mother, attorney and co-chair of the juvenile justice committee for the Broward County League of Women Voters.

Engaging on the issues surrounding college-age voters, older demographics and new voters into politics, a conversation with Perelman is a reminder that issues begin locally.

On Medical and Recreational Marijuana 

“Drug usage is a health issue, not a criminal issue”. Perelman’s interest includes expunging the records of those convicted for drug offenses. “Non-violent drug offenders need to be released,” whereas for example Wasserman Schultz publicly calls marijuana a gateway drug.

On Net Neutrality

“Public Utility.” Net Neutrality in her view needs to be accessed publicly like a phone. There is currently no public access to a phone.

On Student Loan Debt

Perelman is a pro-tuition free public college. Her comments include “You can’t take out a reasonable loan only to pay [an] exorbitantly high interest.” “Public school needs to be free or at least according to [the] sliding scale.”

On the topic of the Democratic Primary

“You can only defeat someone like Trump that can rally a stadium with someone else that can rally a stadium. It will be Bernie Vs. Trump.”

On Mental Health

Perelman does not blame videogames. On the rise of anxiety and suicides, “We’ve never treated mental health as healthcare.” Mental health in her stance needs to be a priority and she would like to see the studies.

During our interaction, I shared my concerns about lacking a sense of community in today’s world.

According to Perelman, this is due to living in a time of misery. “We don’t value leisure because we are constantly working to live.” This was also in reference to a lack of a living wage.

On School Violence

“Kids are being born into stress and violence. What causes violence also causes depression.”

On Climate Change

On her approach to Climate Change, her response is to offer a profit incentive to fix climate change. “Why do we subsidize the fossil fuel industry, big sugar? As long as the fossil fuel industry is financed, the problem is not being solved.” The endgame must be to “create a policy that incentivizes good behavior.”

On the Topic of War

The conversation began and ended with one quote “War is not a jobs program.”

Perelman’s contest is to be featured in the Aug. 18, 2020, Political Primary to those who live in mapped sections of Broward County as well as Miami-Dade. Mapped portions within the cites of Sunrise, Plantation, Davie, Weston, Pembroke Pines, Dania Beach, Aventura and Hallandale are included in District-23. Certain areas are cut off in what is called gerrymandering.

To learn more about Perelman’s campaign, please see Jen2020.com. As of this time, the campaign needs 5000 ballot petitions filled out in order to get Perelman on the August Primary ballot. They must be completed and signed only by those who live in Florida’s 23rd District.

To find your district, use House.gov and punch in your zipcode under “Find Your Representative.”

Perelman refuses to take bribes from large corporations as a campaign fueling method but will instead accept $23 donations from each working-class individual.

Additionally, Feb. 22 will be the campaign’s launch day. The event will take place at Ingalls Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Online shows that have featured her include The Humanist Report with Mike Figueredo, and The Damage Report, a division of The Young Turks.

The Observer will attempt to contact Richard Mendelson, Republican candidate for District 23 for an upcoming issue.


Jen Perelman and volunteers gardening in the community. / 
Photos provided by Peter Hager, Campaign Manager for Jen Perelman.

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