How Rep. Dana Young plans on spending her Summer “vacation”

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State Rep. Dana Young was back with her family in Tampa the day after Session ended, where she hugged her kids, kissed her husband and pet her dog. The Young family spends as much time as possible outdoors and in Boca Grande, and just returned from a week in the Abacos, snorkeling and exploring. 

These are vacations well-deserved for the second-term legislator, who passed far-reaching legislation in 2012 and 2013 relating to protecting Florida’s precious groundwater resources, and who puts all of her energies into the bills she chooses to sponsor and support.

Back in the district, Young stays active with community events, including hosting a quarterly “Coffee with Dana”, which are well attended open forums… the coffee and pastries don’t hurt.  And with a two-year term, Young sees herself as always on the campaign trail.

She will be reading a combo of biographies and fun fiction this summer, including a bio on former governor Reubin Askew and a few David Baldacci novels. She is anxiously awaiting the next book in the Game of Thrones series, and will be watching the new Superman movie soon — all before getting back up to Tallahassee this fall, where she looks forward to another productive Session with Speaker Weatherford.

By September, Young will be in full gear and is already working on drafting legislation to have it ready to file early.

Here is how Rep. Dana Young is spending her Summer “vacation”, in her own words:

How long did you linger, if at all, in Tallahassee after Sine Die?

I was back in Tampa with my family the day after Session ended.

Legislative accomplishment of which you are most proud?

I am very selective re: which bills I file, and am proud of them all. The two bills I passed in 2012 and 2013, relating to protecting our precious groundwater resources by incentivizing alternative water supply projects, are probably the most far-reaching and have largest public importance and benefit.

Which one of your legislative colleagues surprised you for the better this past session? Why?

I have always been impressed by my friend and colleague, Rep. Larry Metz. He has an amazing legal mind, and we are fortunate to have him. He carried several extremely complex bills this year, and did it beautifully. I just learned that Rep. Metz was named the Florida Chamber’s “Most Valuable Legislator.” Very well-deserved!

What’s the first thing you did when you returned back to your district?

Hugged my kids, kissed my hubby, pet my dogs!

What do you do to communicate to your constituents what occurred during the legislative session? Newsletter? Town hall meetings? What else?

I keep my constituents up to date on session with weekly email newsletters. We do several community events as well. I host a quarterly “Coffee With Dana” event, where we have an open forum Q&A. We usually get over 50 people! Datz coffee and pastries are on me.

When you are not busy being a lawmaker, how will you spend your time this July, August and September?

My kids are out of school June and July, so we spend as much time as we can enjoying the outdoors. We love Tarpon fishing in Boca Grande! We start Legislative Committee Weeks in September, so August will be spent getting back into the swing of the school year and gearing up for Committee Weeks.

Do you plan on hitting the campaign trail in the coming months? If not, why not?

With a two year term, I am really always on the “Campaign Trail.” I meet with constituents on a regular basis and actively participate in a wide range of community events. Good Communication is the most important aspect of maintaining a close relationship with the people I represent.

Any personal vacation plans?

We just got back from a week in the Abacos, snorkeling and exploring with the kids. We spend as much time as we can in Boca Grande. Hopefully, we will be able to squeeze in a trip to visit my mom and dad in North Carolina!

Any good books on your Summer reading list?

I read constantly – a combination of biographies and fun fiction. I just finished the biography of former governor Reubin Askew. A few David Baldacci novels. Anxiously awaiting the next book in the Game of Thrones series (as I KNOW you are, Peter!).

Summer movies you are looking forward to seeing?

I just saw Ironman 2 with the kids, which was fun. Looking forward to the new Superman movie.

Legislative committee meetings begin again during the week of September 23; Too soon? Or are you eager to get back to Tally?

I thoroughly enjoy serving in the Legislature, and I am looking forward to another productive Session with Speaker Weatherford. By September, I will be in full gear for committee weeks. I am already working on drafting some legislation to get it ready to file early.

What do you think will be the top priorities during the 2014 Legislative Session?

I think the 2014 Session will continue to be very focused on creating a better business climate and improving our education system. Pension reform will almost certainly be back. An additional issue that will be center-stage is the work of the House and Senate Select Gaming Committees, as we take a comprehensive look at gaming and its regulation here in Florida.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.