Who am I?

Born and raised in Liberty City, Florida, Taj’s love for the community and leadership were shaped at an early age. Whether attending city and county council meetings with his grandfather or being actively involved at neighborhood watch meetings with his grandmother, Taj knew early on his calling to be a public servant was inevitable.
Taj attended Howard University in Washington, DC, where he was active on campus and in the community. In 1996, he volunteered for then President Bill Clinton’s campaign for re-election. He also served on various local council and advisory board campaigns in the District of Columbia. On campus, he served as a member of various organizations, such as the Florida Democratic club and the Floridian’s club. These organizations sponsored events geared toward social and community awareness of students on campus. In May of 2000, Taj was awarded a degree of Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Public Administration.
The love for his community brought him back to Miami where his commitment to serve is deeply rooted. As an educator for over twelve years he has served in various Miami Dade County Public Schools, including Arcola Lake Elementary, Miami Edison Middle, Miami Northwestern Senior High and Miami Edison Senior High School. While at Northwestern, he was instrumental for organizing community events such as “Mock funerals”, a program that was designed to bring attention to the impact of violence and guns in the community. As Director of Athletics at Miami Edison Senior High, Taj was part of a group of administrators and educators who turned the failing school, into a learning community that has earned a grade of “B” for two years consecutively. Presently, Taj is Dean at Horace Mann Middle School which is located in the Miami Shores/ El Portal area. His tenure there has led to the organization and mobilization of Turkey and Toy Drives for the holidays. His vision is to address the social and emotional needs of the students and their family within the learning community. Taj’s ideology and approach to life, “tempering theory with reality” has led to his ability to connect to the people in which he serves.
Taj is married to Hasina S. Echoles, M.S., SLP and together they have three beautiful children. His belief in family and community has led him to the understanding-

To whom much is given, much is required….

Why am I running?

I am running to protect the rights and interests of each resident in District 108. I share in the belief that "our community" deserves to be represented by an individual who will put the needs of its constituents at the forefront of representation.

As an individual who lives and works in district 108, I have developed unforgettable bonds with scores of families, community leaders and stakeholders within our community. All of whom have expressed the need for their elected officials to be held accountable for their actions.

My Goals

I am committed to making your voice heard in Tallahassee. Like you, I want to play an active role in making our community and district a better place. If you share in this vision, I urge you to connect with me and help make it happen! Together, we can make a meaningful difference-- for our families, our communities and our district.

I am inspired to run for office for one simple reason. I believe wholeheartedly in "servitude" and the meaning it holds for me as a husband, father and educator. This ideal will hold true if you elect me as your representative. I am asking to be held accountable for all that I represent and all that I do.

I am a dissatisfied constituent running for this office to bring desired and much needed change to our district, change that our current representative has failed to do. As a vested member of my community, I am answering your call for effective and accountable leadership.

"Hold Me Accountable"

My DFA Values

If elected to represent district 108, my top three 3 policies goals are presented below:

I intend to address the full, adequate and equitable funding of public schools. In doing so, I will actively engage members of our society to address the social and emotional needs of our children. As an educator, I am a proud and long-standing member of the United Teachers of Dade. In addition, I actively support, campaign and rally around the Dade Coalition for Education and Economic Justice. These grassroots initiatives have given me the opportunity to educate voters about legislation that support "vouchers" and the privatization of our educational system. It is my goal to introduce legislation that addresses the need to support public education and its students.

(2)I intend to support and address the expansion of Medicaid and the 1.2 million Floridians it serves. I am a proponent of the Democratic party of Miami-Dade County and their ongoing efforts to expand Medicaid. My weekends are devoted to grassroots organizations such as UP-PAC whose sole purpose is the enlightenment of this issue to the masses. It is my goal to support legislation and sit on sub-committees that will address this dire need. After all, Medicaid serves our most valued assets; our children, our senior citizens and our working poor.

(3)I intend to support legislation that will examine raising the state of Florida's minimum wage. Currently, Florida has a higher minimum wage rate than the federal average. However, this will change as President Obama is pushing for the federal minimum wage to approach $10.10 per hour. This initiative coincides with President Obama noting that an individual who works a full time job should not raise a family in "poverty." It is my goal to address the needs of the working poor in the state of Florida though enacting "quality of life" initiatives and shedding light on the day to day struggles of our financially strapped families.

My Campaign is People Powered!

I wish to represent District 108, a vast landmass that embodies the heart and soul of a melting pot of culture and ideals. Within every community lies the hope of a better tomorrow. My campaign is an effort to unite the people of District 108 through community involvement, awareness and solidarity. My campaign is an effort to secure a better future for my family and the families of the constituents I wish to represent. My campaign is an effort to embody life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Every door my campaign knocks on, is a door opened to opportunity. Every block my campaign walks, is a step towards bonding a community. Every individual my campaign corresponds with via email, text, phone or face to face conversation, becomes engaged and vested in the process of "accountability." My campaign is more than a "catchy" slogan but a real progressive grassroots campaign designed to ...
Hold Me Accountable

Voice support

Supporters:

  • Jade Donaldson
  • Rosie Justilien
  • Tangela Bennett
  • Claudienne Hibbert
  • Dione Jones
  • Jeannine Dibenedetto
  • Tameka Payton
  • amari bryant
  • Frances Gained
  • Denoff Johnson
...and 8 more.


About the Endorsement Process

The driving force behind all DFA endorsements is our members. We recognize that all politics is local and that what is considered progressive in Los Angeles may be very different from what's considered progressive in Louisville. For this reason, DFA does not have a litmus test of specific progressive positions for which a candidate must stand. Our endorsement is heavily weighted based on these questions:

• Will the candidate move the progressive movement forward in their community?
• Does the candidate have substantial support from our local members?
• Do the candidate's positions and policies fit into the broader progressive movement?
• Is the campaign people-powered and the candidate working to win?

If you have questions, or want to let us know about a candidate in your neighborhood, please call us at (802) 651-3200 or email us at [email protected] .

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