By Ryan Yousefi
Denise DellaPolla entered the commission race for the Parkland’s District 1 seat after making it official last Friday.
The election, set for November 3, is for the seat currently occupied by Commissioner Stacy Kagan, who is vacating it in her bid to become mayor.
DellaPolla said she’s jumping in the race to be the eyes, ears, and voice for the residents of Parkland and overseeing its growth while keeping the hometown feel. She explained the seat would not be a stepping stone for a higher office, adding that it would be “a labor of love” to be a city commissioner.
We first caught up with DellaPolla in April when both she and her daughter started a caravan to drive-by the homes of residents celebrating birthdays in Heron Bay — even getting the Broward Sheriff’s Office involved.
It is in Heron Bay she lives with Vince, her husband of 27 years, and their 10-year-old daughter Ava, a fourth-grader at Heron Heights Elementary School. They also have a son Matthew, who graduated from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2015.
Over the years, DellaPolla has worked as a volunteer at Heron Heights Elementary, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, and Mary Help of Christians. She earned her associate’s degree from Broward College and later became a certified substitute teacher at Heron Heights, where she said her greatest reward is seeing the smiles from students as they enter class.
“I will bring my life experience to the table, and I have the time that would allow me to be readily available to the residents and to truly listen to their needs, concerns, and ideas,” said DellaPolla.
With so much undeveloped land around Parkland, DellaPolla is looking to the future, finding it inevitable that one of Florida’s finest cities becomes more developed. This is the primary reason she is extremely passionate about running for city commissioner. She believes the city should be smart with how it handles the growth — never getting away from what makes Parkland the hidden gem that it is now.
“Residents can rest assured that I will be truly engaged with the community as well as approachable. I will listen to their needs and concerns and study the issues at hand,” she said.
What makes DellaPolla proud to be a resident is being able to drive down University Drive and along the way seeing a Catholic church, synagogue, and community church — all in a row.
“Diversity and inclusion are what speak volumes of who the residents are and why they all choose Parkland to call home.”
Among her most important life lessons is knowing that it’s essential to realize no one is always right and that being an active listener is most important.
She said, “There is always more than one version, and many perspectives are valid.”
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- Ryan Yousefi has lived in Coral Springs for over 30 years. He has worked as a writer for multiples outlets over the years, including the Miami New Times where he has covered sports and culture since 2013. He holds a Bachelor's Degree and a Master's Degree in Business Healthcare Management from Western Governors University.