Nora Patterson PortraitA Strong and Sustainable Economy – The sharp economic downturn that Florida experienced highlights the need to strengthen and diversify our economy. We should strive to be less heavily dependent on residential construction and development. While we welcome new residents, we must also make Florida attractive to new businesses and services.

We should capitalize on our unique assets throughout the state. In our region we have internationally acclaimed and thriving educational institutions in New College and the Ringling College of Art and Design. Mote Marine is a premiere research facility with strategic connections to the University of South Florida. State College of Florida is growing and providing great educational opportunities, as is our local branch of University of South Florida. Our technical training is excellent and improving. These outstanding cultural and educational resources give us a unique competitive edge. If elected, I will continue to work with business, financial and government leaders to develop and implement strategies for smart growth.

Budget and taxes – Florida is a low tax state and we should keep it that way. Our low tax burden adds to quality of life for residents and helps attract businesses with better jobs and better pay. Quality of life also depends on good infrastructure, roads, parks, libraries and the beauty and uniqueness of our landscape and natural areas. While in local office I successfully championed reduced tax rates both in the City of Sarasota and Sarasota County. Even in the difficult times of the recession, I worked with my fellow commissioners to keep in place tax rate cuts we enacted during boom times. I also advocated for and achieved improvements in our local road grid system, especially in new north/south thoroughfares. Working with our incredible volunteers, we expanded our prize winning library system, grew our park system -- including neighborhood parkland -- and we increased public access to the waterfront.

State of Florida – The State of Florida boasts beautiful amenities, the reason why many people live here. I understand, from years of public service as well as being a business owner and Realtor®, that people pick their homes and neighborhoods for specific qualities. Our state should respect the role of local government in protecting those qualities consistent with constitutionally protected property rights. I want to take that experience of working with my constituents at the local level, and bring it to the Florida State Senate as your representative and your voice.

Environment - Protecting the environment is important to preserving the quality of life in Florida. I supported our landslide local referendum for the purchase of environmentally sensitive land and park land. Throughout my years of service I advocated for the preservation of open space, natural beauty and environmental quality. If elected to the Florida Senate, I will continue to support effective and efficient planning and conservation measures that respect property rights and produce solid environmental results for all to enjoy.

Public Safety - Funding for public safety is of the highest importance and providing effective manpower in law enforcement should be prioritized. I learned in working with Teen Court, Boys and Girls Clubs, Girls Inc., and Community Youth Development, that a significant part of deterring crime in the future stems from giving youth healthy and stimulating alternatives in a positive environment. State funding to Boys and Girls Clubs was cut this past year and should be restored. That’s good sense and good use of taxpayer dollars.

Going forward - Our state and region have many challenges ahead of us. I know through my service on the Sarasota City and County Commissions that there is a need to apply common sense solutions to these challenges. Florida needs experienced and sensible leaders like our present senator from District 28, Nancy Detert. I believe I demonstrate these qualities and hope, if the voters so decide, to represent the area where I have lived, worked, and raised a family for 45 years, as your state senator.

Nora and John Patterson have made Sarasota their home since 1970. Nora served on the Sarasota County Commission for 16 years including three terms as the County Commission Chair. Previous to that she served 8 years on the Sarasota City Commission including a term as Sarasota Mayor. She has been a business owner, investor, Realtor® and teacher. She understands budgeting, finances, and the necessity for government to balance revenue and expenses on a sustainable basis. Nora enjoys the outdoors and understands the need to protect our environment. Nora has served as president or director of numerous non-profit organizations and has a deep knowledge of the people and places that make this a great region and state to live and work.

NORA PATTERSON is a positive force in her years of public service. If elected to the Florida Senate, she will continue to work for a healthy and diverse economy, sensible state policies on growth and development, and careful use of taxpayer dollars.