By: Sharon Aron Baron
Governor-Elect Ron DeSantis has appointed State Rep Jared Moskowitz to head up the Florida Division of Emergency Management which maintains statewide communications with county emergency officials ensuring that Florida is prepared to respond to emergencies, recover from them, and mitigate their impacts.
Since 2012, Moskowitz, 37, has been a Democratic member of the Florida House of Representatives, representing the 97th District, which includes Coral Springs, Tamarac, Sunrise and parts of Plantation.
Born in Coral Springs, Moskowitz is a graduate of Marjory Stoneman Douglas who graduated George Washington University with a bachelors in political science. He then attended Shepard Broad Law Center at Nova Southeastern University, receiving his Juris Doctor.
He went on to serve as an intern for Vice-President Al Gore, an assistant on Joe Lieberman’s 2004 presidential campaign, and in 2008 served as one of Barack Obama’s electors in Florida.
While attending law school, Moskowitz was elected to the Parkland City Commission in 2006 and was re-elected in 2010, serving until he resigned to run for the legislature in 2012.
While serving as a City Commissioner, Moskowitz supported efforts to make the city more eco-friendly by providing subsidies to households that purchase low-flow toilets and shower heads, energy-efficient air conditioners, and hybrid cars, noting, “We will literally issue them a check. We’re sick of waiting for the federal government to do something, so we’ve got to do what we can.”
Following graduation, he began as General Counsel for AshBritt Environmental as their Director of Government Relations and General Counsel.
Moskowitz has served as General Counsel for AshBritt Environmental, a preeminent disaster management company providing full disaster management services for over two decades, and has been responsible for building coalitions with local, state and federal government. He has managed contracts for such natural disasters as Hurricanes Sandy, Irma and Matthew.
In 2016, bill he sponsored along with State Senator Eleanor Sobel to build a Holocaust memorial on the grounds of the Florida Capitol complex.
During his tenure, he was the prime sponsor of anti-BDS legislation as well as strengthening the rights of sexual assault victims by ensuring that one-party records are admissible.
This year, Moskowitz received an F grade from the National Rifle association which he believed was because NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer held him personally responsible for the passage of the Marjory Stoneman Public Safety Act signed by Governor Scott in March. This was where he helped lead the charge, breaking with the caucus position after his moving speech on the house floor, which eventually went viral.
“She probably holds me personally responsible for that bill passing; that I rose to the moment,” said Moskowitz. “She probably looks to me as her main foe going forward.”
The Florida Division of Emergency Management is currently led by Wesley Maul, appointed under Rick Scott. The division plans for and responds to both natural and man-made disasters. These range from floods and hurricanes to incidents involving hazardous materials or nuclear power. The division prepares and implements a statewide Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan, and routinely conducts extensive exercises to test state and county emergency response capabilities.
He and his wife Leah have been married for seven years and are the parents of two sons, Max and Sam.
Florida State Senator Doug Broxson said, “As somebody who lost a home back in Hurricane Ivan, I know how devastated Floridians can be and feel immediately following a disaster. I applaud Governor-elect DeSantis for choosing a capable and caring leader in Jared Moskowitz to lead Emergency Management. Jared is tenacious and meticulous. He is an excellent choice to lead the division as we continue to help Floridians recover from Michael and Irma and will ensure Florida remains well prepared to handle emergency situations.”
State Representative Holly Raschein, representing the Florida Keys, added, “Governor-elect DeSantis has shown strong leadership in his selection of Jared Moskowitz to lead the Division of Emergency Management. Emergency Management is a non-partisan issue. It’s about keeping people safe before, during and after a disaster situation. Jared has the knowledge and expertise to ensure a quality response in these critical situations and Floridians can rest assured he will constantly look for ways that we can do better as long as he serves.”
Moskowitz was recently reelected and his departure will leave his seat open for a new State Representative. No date when a special election will be held.