PARKLAND, FL- Lifelong Parkland resident Alex Zand recently announced his candidacy for Parkland City Commissioner, District 1. Zand, the Student Body Governor representing 20,000 students at Florida Atlantic University, will be graduating from FAU and wants to continue serving his local community.
Zand grew up in Parkland, attending both Park Trails and Heron Heights Elementary as well as Westglades and Stoneman Douglas. He has interned in a US Congressional Office and also served at a number of local charities, including Gift of Life Marrow Registry, Chabad of Parkland, Save A Child’s Heart, and the Jewish Federation.
Zand recently shared his thoughts about our local community in a Q & A session:
Can you give us a little of your background information?
I was born and raised in Parkland, Florida and have had the privilege of calling Parkland my home for over two decades. Throughout my youth, I was very involved throughout the Parkland community. I began my Parkland education at Park Trails Elementary and then later became a member of the first graduating class of Heron Heights Elementary. I was lucky enough to have attended four out of the five Parkland public schools from grades K-12. Throughout my summers, I attended multiple Parkland summer camps and played a variety of sports in the city. I have been a proud member of the Chabad of Parkland for over 13 years. My parents, Jamie and Bryan, own a Cruise Planners travel agency franchise where they help plan our friends and neighbors dream vacations. My little sister Liza is entering 9th grade and is very excited to begin attending my alma mater Stoneman Douglas high school. Parkland has been my home for so many years, and I just want to give back to this amazing community that has given me everything.
Have you ever been involved in the political scene before? Anyone in your family?
Throughout the past few years I have been fortunate enough to intern in a US Congressional office. I have also volunteered on political campaigns from the local and federal levels. Politics was never an interest of mine until a couple years ago when tragedy struck our community. During the aftermath, we were all trying to find something to help us grieve and something to help us move forward. With my political connections, I began my first political internship with the goal to make a difference wherever I could. Throughout college, I served as the Student Body Governor where I represented over 20,000 students. As the Governor, I was the primary account holder for two accounts totalling $50,000 along with helping allocate an $8.9 million budget.
What about the City Commissioner job interests you the most?
The main facet about the City Commissioner job that interests me the most is helping out my community. I have always had a passion for helping others, whether it’s volunteering and raising money for the Gift of Life Marrow Registry, Chabad of Parkland, Save A Child’s Heart, Jewish Federation, or helping found an organization dedicated to delivering food to immunocompromised and at risk families. One quote I live by is that “Helping one person might not change the world, but it could change their world” and I aspire to achieve that every day. I love our city and I want nothing more than to see us continue to thrive and be a top ranked city in Florida in every aspect.
What do you feel are the strengths and weaknesses of Parkland as a city right now?
Parkland has many strengths. Thanks to our amazing School Board members, the city of Parkland has amazing schools. Parkland has beautiful parks and competitive sports leagues. I have the amazing opportunity of seeing how beautiful our city is every time I go for a bike ride through the different parts of Parkland. With so many strengths, we are fortunate to have very little weaknesses. After speaking with many Parkland residents, a major concern which I share is controlling the growth of future development. The biggest weakness that I foresee happening in the future is a rapid increase in development on the west end of Loxahatchee Road that can lead to an influx of traffic, as well as overcrowding in our schools and parks.
What are your long term aspirations?
I want to be able to have the honor of serving the residents of Parkland for as long as I can. Whether it be as the City Commissioner for District 1 or higher office in the future, I want to remain an active member in the Parkland community.
Where do you see the City of Parkland in 10 years? What will be different? What is going to be needed?
In the next 10 years, I see Parkland continuing to be one of the premier suburban communities for multi generational families in South Florida. I see a city that has continued to flourish under the guidance of an amazing city commission. I see home values continuing to rise as Parkland will remain the best city to raise a family in South Florida. I see our children thriving in our safe and top-ranked schools. I see more and more of our kids playing community sports in our expanded parks, and a few more professional baseball players at the MLB level. I see growth in the active adult population in Parkland. Most importantly, I see the future of Parkland more prosperous, lively, and community-oriented than ever before.
Anything else you'd like to add? How to support your run for City Commissioner?
To contribute or volunteer on my campaign, please visit www.ZandForParkland.com. Parkland is the birthplace for March For Our Lives, an incredible organization formed to harness the power of young people across the country to fight for sensible gun violence prevention policies that save lives. March For Our Lives, much like my campaign, prioritizes the registration of young voters. It is vital that every eligible voter is registered to vote and exercises their right to do so. Lastly, people have said that they think I’m too young; however, I have the drive, passion, and most importantly the understanding for how Parkland functions. Parkland has had successful young leadership in the past, whether it be a 26-year old City Commissioner or a group of high school students who led a world-wide movement. We are the future, and the future is now. Dream Big. Start Small. Act Now.
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