To get to further know your ~casual and fun~ PBCYD board members, we are introducing a new feature here on the YD Review called "Beyond the Bio." We will be interviewing each of our six board members with interview questions curtailed to their personality/interests so you can get to know who they are beyond their official bio. First up: resident powerhouse and Madam Vice President, Alexandria Ayala!
By: Alex Heathcock
1) You were born in Puerto Rico. What is your favorite memory of your childhood in Puerto Rico?
Our family’s property is in Sabana Grande, PR up in the mountains. Our house is just under my grandparent’s. I spent such a happy childhood growing up being so close to them- helping my grandpa with the roosters, with the avocado trees or just swimming in their pool. That cherished abuela y abuelo time are some of my favorite memories.
2. How do you feel about the Trump Administration’s response to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria? What do you think needs to be improved on?
Ummm….could definitely have been handled better. I’m personally not a fan of the paper towel toss...I think blame lies more on the longstanding dysfunctional relationship between PR and the US than any one individual though and those implications are political, social, economic, etc. However, given that there were natural disasters in both Texas and Florida and the situations were handled wildly differently, I question efficiency. I think it’s a much deeper problem than one singular issue but a step in the right direction would be discussing a more equal division of resources from federal agencies to Puerto Rico. For example, Puerto Rico's Medicare reimbursement rates for doctors are roughly 40 percent lower than states in the US. There are urgent issues that need bipartisan conversations and solutions.
3. You moved to the United States when you were 7. Tell us something you love about your US hometown, Palm Springs.
I love the diversity of Palm Springs, kind people from countries all over the Caribbean and South/Central America live here so it’s common to hear 5 different languages spoken on any given corner. Also, being 10 minutes from the beach never hurts!
4. What made you decide to get involved politically?
I very happily ended up in politics and public service after I went to college thinking I’d become a nurse and quickly realized I didn’t quite have that skill set! I was in my 2nd year at University of Central Florida during the 2012 presidential election when I was seeking a major change. That election particularly interested me because 2008 had already been such an important, pivotal moment in history and 2012 felt like a moment where we’d either continue progress or change course completely. At the time, the University of Central Florida College Democrats were super active on campus by registering voters, hosting rallies with guests such as President Bill Clinton and Governor/Congressman Charlie Crist, bussing students to the polls. That service and activism spoke to me. I always wanted to help people and this way my way to do that. Best decision I made yet and I truly love what I do.
5. If you could have dinner with one politician, living or deceased, who would it be and why?
Definitely President Obama and Michelle. That’s two but I think it’s a fair request. As stated above, his 2012 campaign and inspiring message were the catalyst for my own political involvement and the way he inspired people in this country to get involved captivates me.
6. You attended college at UCF. What is your favorite memory of being a UCF student?
I absolutely love being a UCF Knight. Best experience of my life! Favorite memory has to be traveling to Arizona with the UCF Marching Knights and the football team for the 2014 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. Which we won!!
7. What was your favorite on or off campus hang out spot at UCF during your college years?
Does the band practice field count? haha
8. What is your favorite alcoholic beverage?
Tequila anything. The watermelon jalapeno margarita from El Camino is heavenly.
9. Red or white wine?
Rosé all day!
10. What is the strangest and/or funniest way you’ve been asked out on a date?
One of my college boyfriends made and wore a t-shirt that asked me to be his girlfriend, it was hilarious
11. What is your favorite cuisine?
Mexican...or Greek...or seafood
12. What is your favorite food item from said cuisine?
Anything with avocado
13. If you could eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
14. What is your favorite music genre?
15. Best concert you’ve ever attended?
Coldplay and Taylor Swift
16. Anyone involved with the PBCYDs knows you’re a huge Taylor Swift fan. What is your favorite Taylor Swift song and why?
Blank Space. So funny, relatable and clever. I love the practice of owning the criticism thrown at you and being in charge of creating your own narrative.
17. Favorite Taylor Swift music video?
You Belong With Me because I also sat on the bleachers. #bandnerd
18. What is your favorite TV show?
House of Cards
19. What is your favorite quote from said TV show?
20. Who is your favorite character on that TV show?
Claire Underwood. I also really like(d) Tom Yates. #spoileralert
21. What character do you think you’re most like on that show?
Sometimes Frank, sometimes Claire
22. If you had to compare President Trump to a TV show character, who would it be?
23. What is your favorite movie?
500 Days of Summer
24. What is your favorite scene from a movie?
Hmmm...a Tarantino moment for sure. Hard to pick between the Django dinner scene or the Inglorious forest baseball bat scene.
25. What is your favorite movie franchise?
The Marvel movies are pretty epic
26. Where is your favorite place to go out to eat in Palm Beach County?
Ugh this is too tough. I’m a giant foodie who loves trying new things and there are so many amazing places opening up every day in PBC.
27. We know that you love a good acai bowl. Where is your favorite place to grab one in Palm Beach County?
28. Where is your favorite place to hangout in the county that’s not at home?
Various coffee shops. Common Grounds, SEED, Subculture WPB/Delray, Johan’s.
29. What is your go-to Subculture Coffee order?
Iced latte with almond milk, add spiced brown sugar
30. Brunch or dinner?
31. Favorite Lilly print?
Guac & Roll!
32. Who is someone that inspires you in local politics and why?
Commissioner/State Rep. Dave Kerner. He’s accomplished so much so young, always stood by his principles and been able to work with multiple groups to get good things done for his constituents. Also, he’s always extremely approachable and encouraging of young people in politics.
33. Where can we find you hanging out on the weekends?
The streets of PBC, registering people to vote!
34. Where is your favorite place that you’ve traveled to?
I haven’t traveled nearly as much as I hope to yet.
35. Where would you like to travel to in the future?
Italy is my #1 destination followed by Australia because Koalas
36. What fictional place do you wish you could travel to?
37. What issues are you passionate about in our current political climate?
Women’s equity and US PR relations
38. Do you want to run for office someday?
39. What do you see yourself doing in five years?
The beauty of this career is that it’s full of ever changing opportunity. I can see myself doing a variety of things. I know it will involve continuing to be the best public servant I can be and uplifting marginalized voices.
40. What is your favorite part about being a board member for the Palm Beach County Young Democrats?
The opportunity to engage with the thousands of other brilliant, driven, inspiring young dems across this county and great state. It gives me hope to know such amazing people, which then fuels my path forward towards a future where government and politics are exciting, positive words and not things we stay out of!