Current Affairs

 Florida’s Democratic Gubernatorial Candidates in First South Florida Debate Tonight

The first South Florida Gubernatorial Debate of the 2018 election cycle will be held this evening, June 11, at 7 PM EST at Miramar Cultural Center, 2400 Civic Center Place, Miramar, FL 33025. SEIU (Service Employees International Union) has partnered with several organizations to host this debate, dubbed the Florida Freedom Forum. Four of the five democratic candidates are scheduled to participate: Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, former U.S. Representative Gwen Graham, Chris King, and former Mayor of Miami Beach Philip Levine. Recently declared candidate, businessman Jeff Greene, is not scheduled to participate in this debate.

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If you are not one of those blessed with a ticket to watch it in person, not to fret, you can watch it online at the SEIU websiteor via their  Facebook page. There are also watch parties in TampaWest Palm BeachJacksonville, and Orlando. Join the conversation online by using the hashtag #FLFreedomForum.

PBS NewsHour’s Yamiche Alcindor, a Miami native, and WLRN Public Media’s Luis Hernandez will co-moderate the forum.

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Joining SEIU to host this event is a coalition of groups including Dream Defenders Action FundFlorida Immigration Coalition (FLIC) VotesNew Florida MajorityOrganize FloridaPlanned Parenthood Florida PAC, and Color of Change PAC


Miami’s Melissa Mitchell wins SPANX Illuminate-Her™️ Art Contest!

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Congratulations to Melissa Mitchell, winner of the SPANX Illuminate-Her™️ Art Contest! Melissa is an Atlanta-based, self-taught artist, who has a love of vibrant colors, unique shapes, and bold dark lines. Born and raised in Miami, she attributes her Bahamian heritage, melodic sounds and the colorful world around her as her greatest inspirations.  Her art has been featured around the world. Her unique head wraps, Abeille Creations, have adorned the likes of Lupita N’yongo featured in Vogue magazine. Melissa is a proud graduate of Florida A&M University and member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. Her art will debut on SPANX styles next Spring. Stay tuned! 


United State of Women is coming to Miami June 9 & 10 to Galvanize Florida

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The United State of Women (USOW) is coming to Miami on June 9 and 10 for a weekend of connecting with local allies, learning about the work being done in Florida and across the country, and training breakouts based on how women want to make an impact on this community, state, nation and perhaps world.

On the heels of the 2018 USOW Summit, USOW is convening communities across the country and equipping women with the tools they need to keep fighting for gender equity. 

The topics to be covered are:

•Running for Office, powered by VoteRunLead

•Grassroots Organizing, powered by Midwest Academy 

•Leadership, powered by Courtney A. Seard 

•Entrepreneurship, powered by BRAVA Investments

The weekend begins with a high-energy main stage session where participants will hear from local and national leaders. It also includes an Engagement Fair where attendees will be able to network with organizations making an impact in different areas of gender equality. Featured speakers include Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson and Valerie Jarrett, Former Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama and Chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls. 

Training of this magnitude would typically cost $1,000+. The cost to attend the Galvanize Program is $50, a scholarship application is available. Attendees are responsible for their own housing and transportation. If you need a hotel room, take advantage of the hotel block at the Hyatt Regency Miami.  

Register for Galvanize Florida here!

 

 

 


City of Miami Cop relieved of duty after kicking handcuffed suspect in the head [VIDEO]

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Social media was abuzz today as a video, posted on Facebook, showed a man face down on the ground being handcuffed by a City of Miami cop. As other cops gather, one officer, from a running position, kicks the suspect in the head.  As clear as day, a compliant, handcuffed person is on the ground and kicked in the head. The officer obviously didn't know he was being recorded on video. Don't they wear body cams? The fact that the officer felt comfortable enough to inflict brutality on the suspect is quite disturbing. This incident occurred this morning at the Culmer Place Apartments in Overtown.

As quickly as that video circulated, City of Miami Chief of Police, Jorge Colina posted a tweet indicating the video had been reviewed and the officer had been relieved of duty. Before we have a Kumbaya moment, understand that the police union is involved and they will protect their members. The State Attorney's Office has been contacted about this incident and the case must take its course. The video is so clear that it's challenging to even think of a defense. Hopefully, the suspect gets a great lawyer and sues the City and that officer.

We are still awaiting details on everyone involved. A lot of things happen behind the scene so #STAYwoke.

 

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Our Voices Matter --- We See You: Confronting the Adversity in Diversity

 
Adversity in diversity

By Carlos L. Malone, Sr.

Diversity in its definition is the inclusion of different types of people, such as people of different races, cultures, religion, groups and organizations. The idea of diversity is to create a world of different communities with different ideas and ideologies while at the same time creating equality of opportunities for all people regardless of their differences. The reality of diversity is a constitutional claim penned on pages of legally documented affirmations that ensures all are allowed a piece of the shared equity of education, employment, economics, etc... We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator (that would be God, not man) with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness... Now, this Declaration of Independence sounds good, but in reality, the implementation of this is conclusively prejudiced by the injustices that are often experienced by those whose skin pigmentations do not measure up to a racist status quo.

The adversity that I see in diversity is deeply rooted in the soil of the color code that gives negative life to the Color Conflict, the Color Consciousness and the Color Compromise. However, it is only the ideological ignorance that is embedded within the White Master mindset that believes that they alone can legislate without compromised prejudices, that which is best for dark-skinned people. When it comes to policy making, politics must not rule the roles of who is qualified and who is not. Racism in a robe and on the bench is a scary concept to people of color because public record proves over and over again that Black people don’t always get a fair shake. Diversity takes guts, but when there exists no guilty conscious concerning ruling right and fair regardless of race, the resistance will thicken and ultimately erupts in ways that are not always the best route for a community. Diversity is a beautiful thing if it stays away from the ugliness of racial disparity and dysfunction.

If the judicial bench in Miami-Dade County remains White in dominance, then diversity and equality become a false reality that is a premeditated lie that poisons the created intention of God for equal sharing in voice, vote and visibility. It is amazing that in most of the major sports, the bench is more white and the main players are black. In governance on every level of the judiciary, the bench is more white and the players who predominately face these judges are black in skin color. The difference between the two is that sports are a game, but the judiciary is no game, it is the most influential force and source of power in a city, state or nation. It determines the destiny of people who are pronged to do wrong by the nature of the human proclivity and in other cases their fall into human depravity.

It takes moral, ethical restraint, and discipline not to be a racist, because it is a generational disease that continues to reproduce itself from one generation to another. It is only the unethical excuses of those who choose to ignore its high level of systemic existence that allow this malfeasance to continue to escape without evacuation and execution. I will conclude this writing but definitely not this conversation by saying the following. Every White person is not a racist and every Black person is not a criminal and a source of unqualified judicial competence. The system must be racially fair, if not it is a false representation of the Constitution of The United States and to those of us who believe in God, it is a contradiction of his created intentions for the human race. Slavery is not dead. It has been redefined and redesigned through the process of a cosmetic application and corrupt camouflaging. We see you! We are committed to exposing the false idea that there is shared equity in education, employment, and economics.

I am a proud African-American man. I am pro-truth. I believe that we have qualified Black Men and Women throughout the state of Florida who can bear the competence, integrity and fairness that are mandated for those who sit on the Judicial Bench. My challenge to you is that we become true change makers and begin to make the right changes, not just for the sake of diversity but for the sake of human decency and fairness. #Ihateracism.

 

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Carlos L. Malone, Sr. is Founder/CEO of Rhema Apostolic International Network (R.A.I.N.), an apostolic training network. He is the author and publisher of several books and his recent book, ME, Your Life Transformation and Empowerment Guide, which is the first published and printed book under his own publishing company FireHeart Publishing.

Apostle Malone recently celebrated his 28th anniversary as the Servant Leader of The Bethel Church Miami and resides with his wife, Pamala, in Miami Florida.


Nelson secures federal funding for Floridians

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U.S. Senator Bill Nelson

 

Washington, DC – U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) announced that the $1.3 trillion spending package Congress unveiled last night includes funding for several projects and programs important to Floridians including: increased spending  to fight the opioid epidemic, additional funding for citrus greening research and significant funding for democracy programs in both Venezuela and Cuba, as well as provisions Nelson co-sponsored to address gun violence. 

Funding for the following Florida projects and programs sought by Nelson have been included in the federal spending package: 

·         $3.3 billion to fight the opioid epidemic and mental health crises. An estimated 2.6 million Americans suffer from opioid use disorder. In Florida alone, more than 5,200 people have died from an opioid-related event in 2016 – a 35 percent increase from 2015. Nelson requested additional funding for treatment, prevention and research. 

·         $67.47 million in total funding for citrus greening research and the Citrus Health Research Program. As citrus greening has hurt growers across Florida, Nelson has advocated for increased funding to study and address the problem to help the state’s citrus industry. 

·         $895 million for Kennedy Space Center to modernize launch facilities, more than doubling what the center received last year.  Nelson requested the increased funding to bolster work on launch and processing infrastructure needed for NASA’s initiative to explore deep space. 

·         $121 million for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to purchase a reliable backup for its aging hurricane hunter jet.  Nelson has been pushing for a replacement since 2015. The funding comes in the wake of several incidents over the last two years when the jet NOAA uses to gather hurricane measurements was grounded during hurricane season. 

·         $76.5 million in total funding to protect and restore the Everglades. U.S. Army Corps budget was also increased, allowing additional funding for Everglades restoration. 

·         $82 million to repair the Herbert Hoover Dike. U.S. Army Corps budget was also increased, allowing for additional funding for dike repairs. 

·         $279.6 million, a 14-percent increase, in funding to support Historical Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The four historically black colleges and universities in Florida—Florida A&M in Tallahassee, Florida Memorial University in Miami Gardens, Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach and Edward Waters College in Jacksonville – prepare over 16,000 students for careers in STEM, aviation, law, nursing and other fields. 

·         $250 million in federal funding for positive train control grants.  Positive train control technology will help prevent deadly crashes on our railroads. It’s critically important for those railroads that carry passengers, like Sunrail and Tri-Rail.  Nelson, the ranking member on the Senate Commerce Committee, pressed for the funding to help passenger railroads meet a federal deadline to install the lifesaving technology.  

·         $100 million for research and development program for automated vehicles. The SunTrax facility at Florida Polytechnic University is a qualified proving ground and will have the opportunity to benefit from the program. 

·         Restored and increased funds to $35 million for democracy programs in Venezuela and Cuba. Nelson requested Congress “redouble, not eliminate support for democracy and human rights” in Venezuela. The democracy programs support civil society organizations and promote human rights. 

·         Included $60 million for the Nonprofits Security Grant Program. The program helps certain non-profits harden their facilities against attack, such as organization like the Jewish Community Centers (JCCs) in Orlando and Miami and elsewhere. Nelson requested this funding after JCCs across Florida received a series of telephone bomb threats. 

·         Increased funding for the Holocaust Survivor Assistance Program to $5 million. Nelson requested $5 million in funding to provide long-term support and services for Holocaust survivors. 

 

The spending package included several provisions Nelson co-sponsored to address gun violence in Florida and across the country, including: 

·         Fix NICS Act. Nelson cosponsored this bipartisan bill, which requires federal agencies and states to develop implementation plans to upload to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) all information prohibiting a person from purchasing a firearm, rewards states who comply with these plans through federal grant preferences, and reauthorizes and improves programs that help states share information on criminal records with NICS, among other things. 

·         STOP School Violence Act. Nelson co-sponsored this bipartisan bill that would allow schools to access federal funds to invest in programs, training and technology to keep students safe. 

·         CDC Gun Violence Research. The spending package included language to clarify that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) can conduct research on gun violence.


Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson’s Statement on the Passage of the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2018

 

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Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson

 

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson issued the following statement on the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2018:

“Although I am extremely disappointed that a DACA fix was not included, I am pleased that Congress has finally passed the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2018 that President Trump signed today. After numerous temporary funding measures and unnecessarily stringent budget caps, this bill, although imperfect, funds several items that are critical to Florida and to the nation.
  

“In addition to rejecting the Trump administration’s cruel anti-immigrant agenda, the omnibus invests heavily in key priorities like child care, education, transportation and infrastructure, national security, affordable housing, public safety, election protection, medical and health care research, our nation’s veterans, and many other line items. These investments are certain to help boost job creation for America’s workers, economic growth, and support badly needed by those living in disadvantaged communities.

 

“Wins for Florida and District 24 include:

 

  • A 14 percent increase in funding for historically black colleges and universities, including Florida A&M, Florida Memorial University, Bethune-Cookman and Edward Waters College in Jacksonville
  • Additional funding for the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund spending target established by WRRDA 2014, which will benefit PortMiami

  • $250 million in federal funding for positive train control grants to prevent deadly crashes on Florida railroads
  • $416 million for Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants

  • Restored proposed administration cuts to Everglades restoration projects

  • $610 million increase for Head Start, a $2.37 billion increase for the Child Care and Development Block Grant Program and a $300 million increase in grants to Title I schools

  • $3.3 billion for Community Development Block Grants

  • $22 billion for public housing vouchers for needy populations, including the elderly, disabled, and persons living with HIV/AIDS

 

“I also was very pleased that I was able to insert in the legislation $10 million for support of a “multi-partner trust fund or other multi-lateral efforts to assist communities in Haiti affected by cholera resulting from the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti.”


UPDATE: Miami TV News Producer Fired for Racial Slur Caught on Video

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Miami's WSVN News Producer Robin Cross has been terminated following video of her using a racial slur.

Miami’s WSVN-TV Channel 7 News producer Robin Cross has been terminated. Cross was the subject of international media coverage as the woman caught on cell phone video yelling at her neighbor about vehicle  parking. Cross’s profanity-laced tirade ended with her using a racial slur in reference to the Black girlfriend of her neighbor’s son.

It is unfortunate and disappointing that WSVN allowed this story to linger for five days before taking action beyond suspension of Cross. It is also unfortunate that WSVN didn’t use this as a teachable moment and opportunity for healing via a community conversation about race. America will never be as great a nation as she can be until that very painful and shameful issue is addressed and overcome.

Thank you to everyone who contacted WSVN to voice their opinions regarding the situation. This is what happens when people unite. This is what happens when we are more than just keyboard soldiers. This is what happens when we take action.

 

#STAYwoke

 

Related Link:

Miami's WSVN-TV Ch. 7 Producer Caught on Video Using Racial Slur and Profanity [VIDEO] [EXPLICIT LANGUAGE]

 


Miami's WSVN-TV Ch. 7 Producer Caught on Video Using Racial Slur and Profanity [VIDEO] [EXPLICIT LANGUAGE]

Robin Cross
Robin Cross (Facebook)

WSVN-TV Ch. 7 producer Robin Cross was captured on video engaged in a spat with her neighbor, Robert Fenton. Cross drops the f-bomb several times and drops the n-bomb in referring to Fenton's son's girlfriend who is Black. Cross and the Fentons are white. This incident occurred in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

The younger Fenton is an attorney. He contacted WSVN with the video and an explanation of what transpired. He also demanded Cross be fired. After several days, it appears that Cross has been suspended (probably with pay) but not fired. Her racism is clearly on display. Saying the word "nigger" out loud in public appears to have been a liberating experience for her. 

Ch. 7 needs to do the right thing and terminate her employment now. Her future work product will not be perceived as objective. Her interaction with non-white fellow employees or subordinates will be strained at best. The leadership of the station will be considered racist also. The fact that Cross is still employed does not bode well for WSVN. The video is not well lit but Cross's words are loud and clear. Watch the video and judge for yourself. 

WSVN Producer Caught Using N Word from Gossip Extra on Vimeo.

It's very disappointing that WSVN has not already reported this story, condemned Cross's behavior and announced her termination. Bigoted folks like Cross are another reason why we must support Black media - newspapers, magazines, TV, radio and online. 

Here is contact information for WSVN:
WSVN-TV Sunbeam Television Corp 
1401 79th Street Causeway
Miami, FL 33141
Switchboard: (305) 751-6692
Newsroom: (305) 795-2777
News Director: Tony Gonzalez
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/7NewsMiami/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/wsvn