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March 2017

A Community Conversation on Education

Opa-locka town hall on education

If you are really concerned about public education (and you should be), push away from your computer, put your cell phone done, and participate in this community conversation on education.  Opa-Locka Vice Mayor Joseph Kelley and Miami-Dade County School Board Member Dr. Steve Gallon III invite you to come out, 6 pm, Thursday, March 30, 2017, Sherbondy Village Auditorium, 215 Perviz Avenue, Opa-Locka, FL 33054. Get informed! Get involved! No excuses!

 

 

 


CALL TO ACTION: Proposed Energy Bill Bad for All Floridians

 

AARP Florida seeks your help in opposing a bill that is bad for all FPL customers. Please read. Share. Contact the committee members and ask them to vote NO.

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The proposed Utility Investment in Gas Reserves legislation (House Bill 1043) by Rep. Brodeur could cost residential ratepayers millions. If passed, this bill would set up a regulatory framework that would allow public utilities (Florida Power & Light, Duke Energy, Tampa Electric and Gulf Power) to invest in oil and gas exploration (which involves fracking) in other states and recoup the cost from residential customers.

Under this legislation, utilities would have to rely on natural gas to generate at least 65 percent of their electricity to be eligible to recover money from customers for such investments. Currently, Florida Power & Light is the only electric utility that uses that much natural gas.

Last year, the Florida Supreme Court rejected a move by Florida Power & Light to invest ratepayer money in a controversial Oklahoma natural-gas project. Justices ruled that the Florida Public Service Commission didn't have legal authority in 2014 to approve FPL's request to invest in the drilling and production of natural gas in what is known as the Oklahoma Woodford Gas Reserves Project.

If passed, this legislation would allow public utilities to charge you for the cost of risky investments. This is bad public policy and a risky business venture that would be funded by you, the residential ratepayers. This bill is up for a vote in the House Energy, and Utilities Subcommittee on Tuesday, March 28 at noon ET. Call the Representative on the committee today and tell them to vote NO!

 Tell your Representative:

  • Florida electric companies shouldn't be allowed to use ratepayer dollars to invest in risky natural gas reserve development (much less in Oklahoma).
  • FPL has already lost hundreds of millions of dollars on this venture that was struck down by the courts.
  • Gas exploration is the purview of private companies and developers, not investor-owned electric utilities.
  • We should not let a regulated monopoly use our electric bill as a source of financing for risky business ventures.  
  • We should not have to pay to support fracking in other states.
  • This is not allowed anywhere else in the country. 

 

 

 Call or email Representatives on the committee:

2017 House Energy & Utilities Subcommittee

Representative

Party

District

Phone

Email

Kathleen Peters (Chair)

(R)

69

850.717.5069

Kathleen.Peters@myfloridahouse.gov

Eric Eisnaugle (Vice Chair)

(R)

44

850.717.5044

Eric.Eisnaugle@myfloridahouse.gov

Lori Berman

(D)

90

805.717.5090

lori.berman@myfloridahouse.gov

Bryan Avila

(R)

111

850.717.5111

Bryan.Avila@myfloridahouse.gov

Kimberly Daniels

(D)

14

850.717.5014

Kimberly.Daniels@myfloridahouse.gov

Bobby DuBose

(D)

94

850.717.5094

Bobby.DuBose@myfloridahouse.gov

Nicholas Duran

(D)

112

850.717.5112

Nicholas.Duran@myfloridahouse.gov

Jason Fischer

(R)

16

850.717.5016

Jason.Fischer@myfloridahouse.gov

Erin Grall

(R)

54

850.717.5054

Erin.Grall@myfloridahouse.gov

Joe Gruters

(R)

73

850.717.5073

Joe.Gruters@myfloridahouse.gov

Stan McClain

(R)

23

850.717.5023

Stan.McClain@myfloridahouse.gov

Bobby Payne

(R)

19

850.717.5019

bobby.payne@myfloridahouse.gov

Sean Shaw

(D)

61

850.717.5061

Sean.Shaw@myfloridahouse.gov

Jackie Toledo

(R)

60

850.717.5060

Jackie.Toledo@myfloridahouse.gov

Frank White

(R)

2

850.717.5002

frank.white@myfloridahouse.gov

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


ICYMI: Andrew Gillum Is Running For Governor of Florida

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Miami-born, Jacksonville, and Gainesville raised Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum has declared his candidacy for governor of Florida. Gillum is going hard and smart in his appeal via social media. His ground game is strong too. He has garnered some high-profile appearances on television as well as speaking engagements with large organizations and endorsements from key influencers. 

Andrew Gillum could become the first black person elected governor of Florida. He is also an alum of my alma mater, THE Florida A&M University. Go Rattlers! 

Gillum has, no doubt, disrupted plans by many, to see former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham (daughter of former Florida governor Bob Graham) as the next governor of Florida. With her political and personal pedigree, she is seen as a strong traditional Democratic candidate. Gillum has charisma and experience. He is smart enough to appeal to all Floridians. Gillum brings an energy to the race that the Democrats need to win. He also should have been Chair of the Florida Democratic Party many years ago but let me not go there.

 

Stay tuned and buckle up. We'll address this race and others on the local, state and national level. 

Va-va sig 75x39

 @vanessawbyers

 

 

Photo: Florida Political Review


SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER DR. STEVE GALLON III TO SALUTE 5000 ROLE MODELS CLASS OF 2017 WILSON SCHOLARS AND RECOGNIZE SCHOOL SOCIAL WORKERS AND NATIONAL SOCIAL WORK MONTH

Gallon School Board Meeting

At the upcoming School Board Meeting on March 15, District 1 School Board Member and Role Model, Dr. Steve Gallon III, will salute 62 Miami-Dade County Public School students who comprise the 2017 graduating class of the 5000 Role Models known as Wilson Scholars. He will also recognize the invaluable contributions of school social workers and March, as National Social Work Month.

The 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project, founded in 1993 by then-Miami-Dade County School Board Member, Dr. Frederica S. Wilson, now a member of the United States House of Representatives. A dropout prevention program, the mission of the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project is to intervene in the lives of at-risk youth and provide them with alternatives to dropping out of school and self-destructive behaviors. The program pairs male students, ages 9-19, with successful professional adult mentors, who provide them with advice, guidance, and educational assistance.

This year, Wilson Scholars in Miami-Dade County include students from the following senior high schools: Booker T. Washington, Coral Gables, Coral Reef, Felix Varela, Miami Beach, Miami Carol City, Miami Coral Park, Miami Jackson, Miami Lakes Educational Center, Miami Norland, Miami Northwestern, Miami Palmetto, North Miami Beach, South Dade and William H. Turner Technical Arts. Since the inception of the program, over $10 million in scholarships have been awarded to graduating seniors.

The primary mission of the School Social Work profession is to enhance well-being and help meet the basic needs of all students, especially the most vulnerable or at-risk. School Social Workers embody the theme of this year’s National Social Work Month Theme, “Social Workers Stand Up!, and School Social Work Week on March 6-10, 2017, “Be The Change” by working with students, parents, schools, and local entities to improve and maintain a safe learning environment and empowering students to reach their academic and social/emotional potential.

For over 100 years, school social workers have provided services to students who face serious challenges to school success, including poverty, disability, discrimination, abuse, addiction, bullying, loss of a loved one, and other barriers to learning. School Social Workers also advocate ensuring equal rights for all students, including females, African-Americans, Latinos, people who are disabled, people who are LGBTQ and various ethnic, cultural and religious groups.

The next School Board Meeting is Wednesday, March 15, 2017, at 11:00 a.m., in the School Board Administration Building Auditorium at 1450 Northeast Second Avenue, Miami, FL 33132.


Gallon to Keynote North Miami Chamber Luncheon in March

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Miami-Dade County District 1 School Board Member Dr. Steve Gallon III, will be the guest speaker at the upcoming Greater North Miami Chamber of Commerce Business Networking Luncheon, Noon, March 22, 2017, at the Miami Shores Country Club, 10000 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami Shores, FL. Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 at the door. Click here to purchase tickets in advance.

 

 


Pastors and Principals Met to Address Spirituality and Violence

Rev Sharpton and Rep Wilson at Pastors and Principals Fighting Crime through Spirituality Summit
Rev. Sharpton and Rep. Wilson at Pastors and Principals Fighting Crime through Spirituality Summit

MIAMI, FL – To address the growing trend of gun violence and crimes against children, Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson (FL-24) hosted the Pastors and Principals Fighting Crime through Spirituality Summit on Friday, March 3, 2017, at Jungle Island.  More than 500 people, including 100 pastors, were treated to an inspirational message from National Civil Rights and Social Justice Activist Reverend Al Sharpton and House Assistant Democratic Leader Congressman James Clyburn (SC-6).  Miami-Dade Police Department Director Juan Perez, State Attorney Katherine Fernandez-Rundle, and Pastor Carl Johnson, spiritual leader for the Miami-Dade “My Brother’s Keeper” Initiative, and other community and faith leaders also addressed the audience on the urgency and ways in which they could work together to improve the lives of children.

Community activists, including members of Mothers of Murdered Children, principals, and students from schools that are most affected by gun violence, crime, and where children have been murdered were also in attendance.  “We have to reign in the senseless violence that is gripping our communities,” said Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson (FL-24).  “I am grateful that Congressman Clyburn and Reverend Sharpton issued powerful charges to our faith leaders as we transform places of worship into safe havens for our youth.”

The Pastors and Principals Fighting Crime through Spirituality Summit was the first step towards pairing schools with places of faith to ensure students have safety nets to keep them safe from danger and deter them from committing crimes.  In addition to being inducted as mentors in the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project, faith leaders pledged to complete several initiatives.  Among the commitments were the identification of male congregants to serve as mentors to boys, the transformation of church parking lots into basketball courts for students, the establishment of a weekly prayer conference call to prepare students for their upcoming school week, and the development of a character education curriculum for Sunday schools or youth ministries. 

Faith leaders will also reach out to parents of children living within a one-mile radius of their places of worship to engage parents in the necessity of spirituality as a component to eliminate crime in our communities.  The leaders also pledged to host an annual 5000 Role Models Youth and Mentors’ Day at their places of worship on June 4, 2017.

“Addressing gun violence is not a new commitment of Congresswoman Wilson or many of the faith leaders who are present today,” said Reverend Al Sharpton during his keynote address.  “But, there is no quick fix.  We’re burying too many of our children.  So, we have to work together collectively, strongly, and more diligently with the forces here today until we can bring a level of self-expectation to these young people.” 

The summit concluded with remarks from keynote speaker Congressman James Clyburn, who recognized the faith leaders’ role in developing boys into wholesome men who will make great contributions to our communities.  “We must still find a cure for cancer, cystic fibrosis, multiple sclerosis and other infirmities,” said Congressman Clyburn.  “I sincerely believe that each of these young people, if given the right experiences, could very well grow to be the person who makes these great discoveries.”

“These are babies and their futures are being stolen by gun violence,” said Congresswoman Wilson.  “It is going to take a village to keep our children safe.  Our faith leaders have accepted the charge to engage in this new initiative which will use spirituality as a method to reduce crime in our communities.”

 

Faith Leaders at Pastors and Principals Fighting Crime through Spirituality Summit
Faith Leaders at Pastors and Principals Summit, March 3, 2017 at Jungle Island.

 

 

 


Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce Hosts Annual Symposium and Business Leaders Luncheon

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Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce Executive Director G. Eric Knowles, left, and panelists at Chamber's Annual Symposium and Business Leaders Luncheon held on March 3, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Miami.

 

Miami, FL- How to Engage Elected Officials and Navigate the Legislative Process, was the premise for this year’s Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce Annual Symposium and Business Leaders Luncheon which was held on Friday, March 3, at the Hyatt Regency Miami. Former State Senator Dwight Bullard and Yolanda Cash-Jackson served as moderators. The symposium was comprised of two panels, one of local elected officials and the other of state elected officials.  

Panelists included State Rep. Barbara Watson; State Rep. Shevrin D. Jones; City of Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert; North Miami City Manager Larry Spring; City of Miramar Mayor Wayne Messam; Broward County Commissioner Dale V.C. Holness; Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief; Miami-Dade County Director of Small Business Development Gary T. Hartfield; and Broward County Director of Economic and Small Business Development Sandy-Michael McDonald

Several topics were addressed including the need for cities and counties to be better conduits for smaller businesses. Officials emphasized the importance of equity procurement studies in various municipalities and how small and black-owned businesses are not currently benefitting from the results of said studies. Many elected officials understand the value of the studies. However, one the obstacles of a successful disparity study is administering the studies seamlessly thus producing accurate results.  

Master of Ceremonies, Marlon Hill, introduced the keynote speaker, Florida Senate Minority Leader, Oscar Braynon, II. In his address, Senator Branyon provided a verbal guide on how to build a relationship and engage with your local officials.

The Annual Symposium & Business Leaders Luncheon is also an opportunity for the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce to recognize individuals and organizations who have made significant contributions to the community.  The following awards were presented: The Miami Dolphins - Corporate Business of the YearAlpha 1 Staffing Search Firm - Dexter Foster Small Business Organization of the YearSEOPW CRA  - Non-Profit Organization of the Year; Kareem T. Brantley of Bravis Advisors, LLC - Rising Star of the Year and Christie Grays, Director of Community Relations, Baptist Health South - Board Member of the Year.

“It is imperative that our community continues to seek information in order to navigate the legislative process, especially when it comes to benefitting small, women and black-owned businesses. My sincere thank you to all of the elected officials, sponsors and guests who participated in this year’s Symposium and Business Leaders Luncheon. We are already looking forward to next year’s event” said Gordon Eric Knowles, President/CEO, Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce.

 


Scholarship Opportunities available through Congressional Black Caucus Foundation

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Each year, the CBCF (Congressional Black Caucus Foundation) awards more than 200 scholarships to students across the United States. The CBCF has awarded scholarships to talented and deserving students for nearly three decades. Recipients demonstrate leadership ability through exemplary community service and academic talent, while other received need-based scholarships to reward their persistence in pursuing a quality education. The CBCF scholarship programs support current or upcoming college students across a variety of disciplines.

Please visit the CBCF website today for details. Some applications have an April 2017 submission deadline date. Don’t miss these scholarship opportunities.

 


GO SEE THIS MOVIE: I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO

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Working from the text of James Baldwin's unfinished final novel, director Raoul Peck creates a stunning meditation on what it means to be Black in America.

In 1979, James Baldwin wrote a letter to his literary agent describing his next project, Remember This House. The book was to be a revolutionary, personal account of the lives and successive assassinations of three of his close friends-Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. At the time of Baldwin's death in 1987, he left behind only thirty completed pages of his manuscript.

Now, in his incendiary new documentary, master filmmaker Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished. The result is a radical, up-to-the-minute examination of race in America, using Baldwin's original words and flood of rich archival material. I Am Not Your Negro is a journey into black history that connects the past of the Civil Rights movement to the present of #BlackLivesMatter. It is a film that questions black representation in Hollywood and beyond. And, ultimately, by confronting the deeper connections between the lives and assassination of these three leaders, Baldwin and Peck have produced a work that challenges the very definition of what America stands for.

Framing the unfinished work as a radical narration about race in America, Peck matches Baldwin's lyrical rhetoric with rich archival footage of the Civil Rights and Black Power movements, and connects these historical struggles for justice and equality to the present-day movements that have taken shape in response to the killings of young African-American men.
 
O Cinema, 90 NW 29th Street, Miami, FL 33127
SHOWTIMES
Fri, Mar 10th @ 7pm
Sat, Mar 11th @ 5pm
Sun, Mar 12th @ 5pm
Mon, Mar 13th @ 7pm
Tues, Mar 14th @ 7pm
Thurs, Mar 16th @ 7pm
 
 
 

Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson on direction of education under Trump and DeVos

 

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Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson released the following statement in response to President Trump’s Visit to Florida to Promote School Choice:

“I am very concerned about the direction in which President Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos want to take the nation’s education system. Earlier this week, in his first address before a joint session of Congress, Mr. Trump urged lawmakers to pass legislation to fund school choice programs. Today he and his education secretary traveled to my home state to tour Orlando’s St. Andrew Catholic School and hail it as an example of how voucher programs can benefit disadvantaged and minority children.

“What both the president and Secretary DeVos failed to acknowledge is that programs like the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship do not cover the full cost of tuition and other expenses that are required when one sends a child to private school, such as books and supplies, transportation, and extracurricular activities.

“More important, vouchers drain public school systems of badly needed funding. Some of the so-called private schools that accept vouchers lack accountability and have not demonstrated the kinds of academic gains that justify siphoning taxpayer dollars out of the public school system, leaving our most disadvantaged students even further behind in underfunded schools with even fewer resources.

“Since 90 percent of American students attend public schools, children in disadvantaged communities would benefit so much more if President Trump and Secretary Devos would focus on how to provide them with high-quality schools that are equitable to those attended by children in middle- and upper-income communities, instead of superficial alternatives like voucher programs.

“I am hopeful, however, that Secretary DeVos and the president will be willing to work with Democrats on ways in which we can strengthen our nation’s public school system, without focusing exclusively on superficial alternatives like school choice programs.”