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Candidate Forum will feature immigration and farmworker issues


Xavier Villacis Xavier Villacis

The Farmworker Association of Florida (FWAF) is holding a Candidate Forum this Thursday at the FWAF Main Office and Headquarters in Apopka at 1264 Apopka Boulevard. The Forum starts at 6:30pm. This is the third candidate forum held in Apopka this campaign season.

Each of the six candidates will present their platform, and then be asked questions by Moderator Xavier Villacis from Univision and by the audience. Most of the questions will be related to immigration and farm worker issues.

"I look forward to sharing my ideas regarding the future of Apopka with the Farmworkers Association of Florida's staff, volunteers, and families they serve, as well as understanding their concerns, and the expectations they have of their elected Commissioners," said Kyle Becker, a candidate for Seat #4.

Co-sponsors of the event are Hope Community Center, Florida Immigrant Coalition and MiFamilia Vote.

Alice Nolan is excited for the opportunity.

"I am very enthused about going out and speaking with the Farmworkers Association," said Nolan, a candidate for Seat #3. "They are a great organization and I like what they stand for."

According to its website, The Farmworker Association of Florida, Inc. was established by a group of farmworkers in Mascotte, Florida in 1983 to respond to the needs of the farmworker community in Central Florida. The founding purpose of the Association was to organize farmworkers more effectively in their struggle for better housing, wages, and working conditions. The FWAF has grown to be a statewide organization with more than 8,000 member families, and five locations throughout Central and South Florida.

Doug Bankson is eager to explain his platform and answer the FWAF's concerns.

"I'm looking forward to the opportunity to meet with the people and answer questions posed to us as candidates," said Bankson, who is running for Seat #3. "There are many challenges that face us and with thoughtful interaction we are all the better for it."

Commissioner Bill Arrowsmith points to the FWAF's importance to Apopka and the families it serves.

"They are an integral part of this community," said Arrowsmith, the Seat #4 incumbent. "I am interested in hearing their views."

Its mission and vision is to build power among farmworker and rural low-income communities to respond to and gain control over the social, political, workplace, economic, health, and environmental justice issues that impact their lives.

"We have diverse communities residing in our city," said Commissioner Sam Ruth, the Seat #3 incumbent. "It is critical for us as leaders to listen to them all."

Alice Nolan, Candidate Forum, Commissioner Sam Ruth, Florida Farmworkers Association, Kyle Becker, Xavier


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