Why I’m Running
Education is the single greatest force to solve problems in our society. My parents were educators, and now so am I. The long standing adage that “if you give a man a fish, he eats for a day, but teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime” holds true, but only if education is valued. We need to fund public education, so the electorate at large can be more knowledgeable and involved in identifying the real problems that stand in the way of progress, and elect leaders to solve those problems. District 39 is a part of the fastest growing area in Florida, and the 4th fastest in the country. Our new neighbors need education for their children, health care for their families, and efficient ways to get to work. Every day, traffic gets worse and worse, as commuters and tourists clash on I-4, 417, 429, and every other connecting road throughout the district. Since the roads here were widened in 2000, we have seen plans for high-speed rail come and go, while cars have filled those new lanes everyday.
I can no longer sit on the sidelines, shaking my head at Twitter, arguing with the television, yelling at podcasts in my car…IN TRAFFIC. I want to be able to look at my son and know that I did everything I could to make my community better. My name is Chris Cause and I am running for State Representative in District 39.
My legislative priorities are in line with the needs of the people of District 39. The citizens of Osceola and Polk Counties want to be able to travel to a good paying job, with reliable health care for their families, who attend highly effective and safe schools.
The current plans to alleviate traffic congestion from Routes 27 to 192 are decades away. We need solutions now. District 39 needs an infrastructure investment that matches its state-leading growth.
Florida is 44th in the country in per pupil spending and 46th in average teacher salary. The students and educators of Florida need more funding, not guns. We are creating the workforce of the future and we need to value education’s role in that investment.
The Sunshine State ranks 46th in the US in access to health insurance. As health care and pharmaceutical costs skyrocket, we need to expand access to health care to bring costs down for everyone.
Growing up in Wenham, a small town in Massachusetts, Chris learned the value of education and hard work from his parents, Frank and Grace. Both elementary school teachers, Frank and Grace often worked extra jobs to ensure that their children, Chris and Meredith, were able to live in the Hamilton-Wenham Regional School District, known for its excellent reputation. Chris and his sister both graduated from Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School and Chris went on to attend Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut.
Integrally involved in reshaping the university’s theater program, Chris was an inaugural member of the scholarship student executive board and was the only student to participate in all 16 theatrical productions during his four years as a student. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Arts, with a concentration in theater, and a minor in communications.
For years, Chris was a struggling actor working across the country. After eight years pursuing his craft in Los Angeles, he studied sportscasting at UCLA and began working steadily on the sidelines and in the play-by-play booth for high school and college football around Southern California. He eventually became a full-time sports anchor at KREX-TV in Grand Junction, CO. His salary was just $17,000 a year.
In 2007, Chris moved to Florida in the hopes of pursuing better opportunities and a higher income. He worked as an independent contractor for EA Sports, but the project was cut later that year just after his son, Zachary, was born. To make ends meet, Chris stayed home to care for his infant son, while seeking and then juggling part-time opportunities at both Walt Disney World and Universal Studios Florida. He then began working as an assistant golf professional and eventually ended up with five part-time jobs, none of which provided medical care. When the Affordable Health Care Act was enacted, Chris was finally able to access affordable health care for his family.
Chris went on to earn a certificate in Web Design and Development from Florida State University and became a program director for a software company in Orlando. But to Chris, the 2016 election changed everything. He spent election night teaching his son about the electoral process and doing what he had done himself as a teenager - coloring in the electoral map. By the next morning, that electoral map, and the ramifications that he knew were coming along with it, sent Chris into action.
In the hopes of helping to better his community, Chris made the decision to return to the foundation his parents built for him – education. He became a social studies teacher, at the Polk County Sheriff’s Regional Detention Center. He works throughout the year, teaching some of the most disenfranchised youth in the county.
Chris became an active member with the Polk County Democrats in 2018. He assumed leadership roles as Precinct Captain for Precinct 401 and then Sergeant-at-Arms for the Polk DEC. As Chris continues to seek ways to strengthen, support, and give back to his community, he hopes to represent his friends and neighbors of District 39 in the Florida House of Representatives.