Paid for by Jack Izzo for City Commissioner District 5
Here’s a little about myself.
I came into this world September 13th, 1973, in Brooklyn, New York and was delivered by my grandfather, Dr. Mastronardi. My parents, John and Carla, both came from large Italian families.
They tried their best to provide but were struggling to make ends meet in the big city, so, when I was 3 years old, they packed up the car with everything they had including my brother and me and headed to South Florida, leaving behind all their family.
Florida in the 70’s was no picnic for them and they still had to struggle, but things were much easier without snowy winters and the complications that come from that.
They both found jobs that put a roof over our heads, food on the table, and clothes on our backs. Most of my clothes happened to be hand me downs from my brother but it never bothered me.
As kids, we didn’t realize it then, but they were making the ultimate sacrifice leaving the big families behind to start a better life for our nuclear family in South Florida.
My mother always made sure my brother and I were raised with manners, respect, and good family values, which I am grateful for and carry with me to this day.
Those values taught me the importance of family, friends, and community. We always gave back, especially to the community, whenever possible.
My brother and I were into sports and for years always volunteered helping other kids in the neighborhood and in the parks and recreation department.
When I was in high school, I joined a church group for teens called Campus Life. We had meetings every Wednesday night and on the weekends, we would donate our time by serving the community – helping the elderly, feeding the homeless, or just being there for someone in need.
Then in 1992, we were hit by Hurricane Andrew which devastated south Florida.
My uncle, Thomas, who was a contractor and humanitarian and had done a lot of disaster relief work around the country, asked if I wanted to volunteer in South Miami to help clean up and get lives back to normal. I signed right up and he picked me up the next morning at 4am. I remember the ride going south on the turnpike, as we got closer it looked like a war zone complete with the National Guard everywhere.
I remember that first day like it was yesterday and still have vivid memories of the area.
Over the next 3 weeks while I waiting for my high school to reopen, I worked effortlessly day and night, sleeping in tents, sometimes sleeping out in the bed of a pickup truck to help so many families get their homes and lives back to gather again. When I had to return home and get back to school, the feeling of gratitude from these people and families who treated you like part of their own family as you helped them through hard times was indescribable. I continued helping out down there for the next few months on the weekends and even started a school organization that volunteered to help.
After high school I started college, where I figured I wanted to be an Electronic Engineer due to my love of electronic gadgets and do-dads. My older brother, John, who was also in college, was struggling to work while maintaining his studies, so I made a choice to help him with his dreams and I joined the work force so I could help him pay for school to make he could graduate. The day he graduated from Saint Thomas University is one of the best memories in my life knowing, one of the proudest moments for both of us. He was going to start his career as a special needs teacher.
Rather than go back to school after that, I continued working. After a few construction jobs, wouldn’t you know it, I got lucky and landed a job with an electronic-based company doing home automation, IT, and other various aspects of the electronic industry. I worked and took every opportunity available to learn and progress my career, taking certification after certification, advancing my knowledge of the industry. I worked in many different areas within the industry and with several companies.
Before long, I realized I was suddenly in demand and had my pick of companies to work for.
I was approached by a large company that wanted me to take over and run their day to day operations, sales, project management, etc. I was put in charge of a huge endeavor, running and selling multimillion dollar contracts. It was an incredible experience and taught me quite a few new skills, many of which I believe will help me with my current political aspirations.
In 2004 tragedy hit home and my brother, John, passed away of a heart attack at the age of 33. After that day, I knew I had to live life for the both of us. I did some soul searching and eventually, I knew I had to go out on my own and try my luck at running my own business.
I started a company and have been running strong since. I didn’t stop helping out, not for a second. In New Orleans after Katrina I was on the ground helping by getting radio towers back up for first responders to communicate with each other. I never stopped since, helping in times of disasters when people are needed the most.
If you haven’t met me yet, I have been told I have an easy going, easily-approachable personality. I even tried my hand at stand up comedy – just amateur night at the old Uncle Funny’s. I’ve been an emcee, hosted events with hundreds of people, both for corporations and charity groups.
I’ve even been known to sing a few songs at a karaoke night – mainly Frank Sinatra songs. I am Italian, after all.
I am Hollywood homeowner and resident who has a loving fiancé, Monique, and 2 beautiful children, John and Ani, who are my world.
My son is about to turn 2 years old and my daughter is 8 and attends St. Bernadette’s Catholic School. I’m an active member in the Church’s men’s club.
Wow, I’ve never really put my life down on paper. Sorry if I rambled.
All that said, the real point is that I have real world, real life experiences in a wide variety of areas, and I’d like to bring those experiences to the table for the City of Hollywood. I believe I can help our fair city grow and prosper while still making sure our residents – from every district, but especially my home district – have safe neighborhoods that they can be proud of.
I come from an extremely large family, My grandmother raised 9 children and some strays all by herself While working nume jobs to keep food on the table. My mother raised my brother and myself as a single parent And we struggled as kids growing up but she taught us right from wrong and how to be gentlemen and respectfull of others. My brother John was my best friend and was my hero. He dedicated his life to teaching special needs children and I never knew the impact he truly had on those children till his passing in 2004. After He passed life was never the same to me but I dedicated my live to trying to be half the man he was and helping others They way he would. I would not be where I am today if it weren't for the love and encouragement of my fiancé – my rock – Monique Hernandez our two beautiful children Anellianda (Ani) and John (JonJon) and my loving mother, Carla, who I strive to make proud.
I have lived in South Florida for over 40 years and during that time, I have had the opportunity to live in several local cities in the tri-county area, giving me a chance to experience what each had to offer. I can truly say that Hollywood is the best city in which to start a family and raise children. With a healthy mix of large and small businesses, a beautiful beach and downtown area, and thriving, safe neighborhoods, the city I live in is truly home to me.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."
-- Declaration of Independence | July 4, 1776
It's a matter of priorities. Our priorities are being ignored by career politicians that treat politics as a business and serve their big money donors interests when elected. This will not change until "We the People" no longer consent to be governed by career politicians corrupted by the corrosive influence of big money politics.