Paul Wiggins Jr., 37, is a fourth generation descendent of a Homestead pioneer family who now lives in the Keys Gate community.
“My great-grandfather patented the Monroe avocado in the 1930s, now the largest commercially grown crop in Florida,” he said. “I still have that patent. It reminds me where I came from.”
“I love this city,” said Wiggins in an interview this week. “With Jon (Burgess’) term expiring, it’s the perfect opportunity to represent my town.”
Wiggins works with his cousins at the family nursery business, Plant Life Farms.
“When you work with trees and plants, you think in the long term, not the short term fix,” said Wiggins. “I want to focus on what the town will look like forty years from now.”
“My biggest priority is jobs,” he continued. “The nursery business has seen unbelievable growth – it’s had a $2.8 billion economic impact in Dade County alone. Agriculture can’t expand inside town but it does provide jobs that feed into the city.”
“You need a business friendly person on Council and that’s me,” Wiggins said. “Tax subsidies could be offered to bring business to the City – and help alleviate traffic issues by not traveling outside the area for work.
It could be self-sustaining.”
Wiggins is a member of the Dade County Farm Bureau, past president of Florida Nursery Growers and Landscapers Association (FNGLA), active with the Tropical Resource Education Center (TREC), and a member of the Homestead/Florida City Community Relations Board.
“I support the police and think we need more officers,” Wiggins said. “Their job is very difficult. They need the correct equipment to do the job, too.”
“And I’m all in for more parks,” he said. “Maybe the land by the old baseball stadium could be left as a pinelands and bring back the nature canopy. It should have walking trails, using the land for people to enjoy, not just more baseball fields.”
“I especially would like a mountain bike trail,” he continued. There are only three in the County – in Opa-locka, Key Biscayne and North Miami. Mountain bikers don’t like the same trail every time and this could draw them here and see what Homestead has to offer.”
“I support the Greenway Trail between Biscayne and Everglades Parks, too,” he added.
“The Community Relations Board held two essay contests and it was amazing to read those essays,” Wiggins said. “One of the winners had a hand-written essay because he didn’t have a computer. Well, he won one. It was deeply
affecting. I want to get more resources to help our students.”
“The focus for Homestead should be on infrastructure, too,” said Wiggins. “Fort Lauderdale had a pipe burst that shut down the city for two days. Look at the problem in the long term. With all the homes on the east side, we need systems that can supply them all for many years.”
Wiggins graduated from local schools, has an associate degree from Miami-Dade College, and studied engineering at FIU.
For more information on this Council candidacy, email Wiggins at PaulWigginsJr2019@