Broward County Elections Supervisor Dr. Brenda Snipes Suspended Without Pay by Gov. Rick Scott

Scott and Snipes

On Friday, November 30, 2018, twelve days after embattled Broward County Supervisor of Elections (SOE), Dr. Brenda Snipes, submitted her letter of resignation — effective January 4, 2019 — Florida governor and US Senator-elect Rick Scott issued an executive order suspending her from office. Scott’s Order cites reasons for the suspension; prohibits Snipes from receiving any pay or allowance; and appoints her replacement, Peter Antonacci.

 

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Page 5 of 5 of Executive Order filed by Florida Governor Rick Scott suspending Broward Supervisor of Elections Dr. Brenda Snipes and naming her replacement, Peter Antonacci.

 

Scott could have allowed Snipes to leave her position quietly, but no. Snipes has not been publicly humiliated enough for him; Scott wants her punished. During the midterm elections, Snipes became the face of election fraud, corruption and incompetence depending on to whom one spoke. After Scott quickly accused Snipes of fraud, without any proof, Republicans, the far right and some Democrats called for her to be jailed or fired. Snipes was accused of sabotaging Senator Bill Nelson, whom Scott defeated, and also being a double agent working for the Republicans.

Dr. Snipes and her legal team held a press conference yesterday. It was attended by a few black elected officials, some black ministers and several black women dressed in red as identified by mainstream media. For the record, the ladies in red and Snipes are members of Delta Sigma Theta, a black Greek-letter sorority. During the press conference, attorneys Burnadette Norris-Weeks and Michelle Austin Pamies refuted the claims outlined in Gov. Scott’s executive order. The suspension of Dr. Brenda Snipes is on the verge of becoming a one-dimensional racial issue when it is that and more. The suspension of Brenda Snipes is a power play. For whatever reason, white critics of Gov. Scott’s executive order were conspicuously missing.

 

Not condoning any missteps by Snipes and her staff, recognize what’s at play by targeting her and heavily-Democratic Broward County. The new Broward SOE has the power to easily suppress the vote just in time to deliver Florida and the presidential election to Donald Trump and other down-ballot Republicans in 2020. The SOE determines the early voting sites, hours, precinct staffing, etc.

Lest we forget, Dr. Brenda Snipes was appointed SOE in November 2003 by then Gov. Jeb Bush. She was subsequently elected in 2004 and overwhelmingly re-elected in 2008, 2012 and 2016. Does Gov. Scott not respect for the will of the people of Broward County? If the people were not satisfied with her performance, there were several opportunities to elect one of her opponents. As a candidate on the ballot, Scott really should not have made the inflammatory and potentially slanderous statements about her.

The immediate suspension of Dr. Snipes by Gov. Scott placed the final decision on her removal from office on the agenda of the Florida Senate and prolonging this unpleasant situation. Gov. Scott’s decision to suspend Dr. Snipes after she had already submitted her resignation demonstrates poor leadership. Suspending Dr. Snipes and withholding her pay is the height of pettiness and maliciousness.

 

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Related Link: Executive Order of Suspension 

 


Thankful in 2018

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No doubt many will gather today to eat, watch sports, talk and just enjoy each other's company. Today is Thanksgiving Day in America. Like most holidays celebrated in this country the history of the holiday has been forgotten. In some ways that's not a bad thing as many Native Americans were killed and this land taken from them. We can't pretend that we are unaware of the truth. To them, this is a day of mourning. So, let's just give thanks for family and friends today and everyday. 

To everyone who subscribes to this blog and follows us on social media, we are grateful. Thank you.

Happy Turkey Day! 

 


TODAY is ELECTION DAY! Let's Get Out and Vote!

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This has been a very exciting election season in Florida thanks to the excitement of the campaign of Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum. According to conventional wisdom and many political folks right here in Miami said he didn't stand a snowball's chance in Hell of winning because he didn't have any money. They aligned themselves with other candidates and Gillum kept on pushing. I'm not surprised. As I wrote on this blog when he announced his candidacy and have told many friends, there is something special about Andrew Gillum. Well, the world has come to see that and his energy and personality are carrying the Democratic ticket in Florida.

I'm proud of the folks in Miami who have taken the time and energy to educate voters not just about the historic campaign of Andrew Gillum but also what's at stake in this election. There were many forums, sessions and radio shows on the candidates for office, charter amendments, referenda, and constitutional amendments as well as that humongous, confusing ballot Florida voters are faced with in this General Election. 

Shout out to my buddy Andre Joyce for his insistence on the Chill, Chat & Chew conversations that we hosted at Lil Greenhouse Grill in Overtown. A special thanks to all of the candidates who participated and to our conversation starters Christopher Norwood, Jessica Garafola and Tony White. Thanks to Nicole Gates, Chef Karim Bryant and their team at Lil Greenhouse Grill for their always delicious food, great atmosphere and awesome service. Not matter the outcome of the election, we are going to continue our conversations on various tops from relationships to finances and other topics never too far away from civic engagement and improving our community.

A number of political and entertainment celebrities visited South Florida to encourage people to vote. The importance of this election has registered with many because the number of folks taking advantage of early voting surpassed all expectations. 

Everyone has to do their part by voting. If you can't vote, you can make sure someone else does. This is serious. Public education, health care, judicial appointments and jobs depend on our vote. Some folks will be happy when they wake up tomorrow. Others will be quite sad. No matter the outcome. Let's remain engaged in our community and help make it better for us and future generations.

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Local columnist and retired educator Vennda-Rei Gibson transitions

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Vennda-Rei Gibson

Shock and tremendous sadness overcame many in Miami’s Black community upon learning of the death of Vennda-Rei Gibson, long-time columnist for The Miami Times highly-anticipated weekly record of community social events and celebrations, The Social Whirl. 

An avid reader and prolific writer, Gibson was also a retired Miami-Dade County Public Schools educator. She was a proud alumna of Tennessee State University and Miami Northwestern High School, a member of the Dade County Chapter of The Links, Incorporated; Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Just Us and other organizations. 

Gibson’s family and friends will celebrate her life via the following schedule:

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2018

The Historic St. Agnes Episcopal Church
1750 NW 3rd Avenue
Miami FL 33136

6 PM - Memorial Services
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
The Links, Incorporated 
Just Us, Inc.

7 PM - Litany Service

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER, 10, 2018

The Historic St. Agnes Episcopal Church
1750 NW 3rd Avenue
Miami FL 33136

 

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Related link: Celebrating the Birthday of Bea Hines and the Birth of Miami's Black Scribes

Miami's Black Scribes

 

 


Souls to the Polls Sunday! Last Day to Vote Early!

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Today is the last day of Early Voting in Miami-Dade County. Many churches have collaborated to encourage voting via a “Souls to the Polls” initiative that includes a march and a rally. Several celebrities are in South Florida to maximize voter turnout for Democratic candidates. 

Here are the locations of early voting locations. Get in line by 7 pm; don't leave until you vote.

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Here are the Blogging Black Miami candidate endorsements for the 2018 General Election. Download it and take it with you to the polls.

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White Man Goes On Vulgar Racist Rant at Dunkin' Donuts on Miami Beach [VIDEO] ***WARNING: NSFW***

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A video was posted to YouTube two days ago showing a white male customer hurling profanity and racial slurs at a young Black female employee of Dunkin Donuts/Baskin Robbins at 341 W 41 Street (Arthur Godfrey Road and Sheridan Avenue) on Miami Beach, Florida. The video was posted by Veronica Timpanaro.

Apparently, the male customer was upset that he was not served as soon as he entered the store. The lone employee was serving a female customer and a young child but that did not matter to him. It was bad enough that he exhibited such disgusting behavior, but he also did it in the presence of a young child.

When he couldn't have his way after dropping f-bombs, he proceeded to drop n-bombs at the employee, threatened her and even called her a coon. He's a really classy guy. There's a very clear picture of his face and him throwing up his middle finger. Prayerfully, social media will work its magic and identify him. Then, the Miami Beach Police need to arrest him for disorderly conduct, ethnic intimidation and other charges. 

 

Racist, hateful behavior cannot become the new normal for America! 

 

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Miami Kappas Get Out the Vote Saturday 10/27

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The men of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity will be hosting voter mobilization and education events across Florida on Saturday, October 27. The Miami Alumni Chapter’s event will be held at Miami Dade College North Campus, 3:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Come out and learn more about the ballot, cast your vote and fellowship with the brothers of the frat so nice they had to name it twice. Don’t miss the free food, entertainment, games and much more. For more info, visit #ItsAKappaPartyFL on Facebook! 

 

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A Moving Art Installation featuring South Florida’s Black Residents is set to tour the streets of Liberty City and Little Haiti

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MIAMI, FL - A South Florida photographer known for documenting Florida’s historically black neighborhoods is bringing her work back to the people she photographed  with a mobile photography installation.  Johanne Rahaman, creator of BlackFlorida, will unveil her latest exhibit, ‘From the South to the Southernmost- Liberty City to Little Haiti’ on a visible mobile LED screen truck that will tour these neighborhoods on Saturday, October 13, from 4:00pm to 9:00pm. Inspired by the relationships and familiarity to the people and the areas, Rahaman chooses to bring the exhibit to the streets instead of showing at an art gallery which can be considered to be “white spaces” and too “exclusive” for many.  This show is one of several more similar shows to follow in different neighborhoods.

The exhibition will feature images of community events Rahaman documented between 2015 and 2016 such as: Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parades in Liberty City and the monthly ‘Big Night in Little Haiti’ community festival along with the popular Rara processions.  The mobile show will also incorporate a musical score using music Rahaman curated while photographing inside the homes, churches, businesses and streets.  “While the visual show engages, the music will entertain and drive the pace of the exhibit”, says Rahaman. “I prefer to collaborate with a DJ from the communities that I'm featuring, who will curate a playlist that compliments the story of that community.”  ‘From the South to the Southernmost’ will begin at NW 7th Avenue and NW 79th Street, criss-crossing the streets and avenues to 54th Street, then across 54 Street to Little Haiti

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‘BlackFlorida’ is a photographic archive showcasing the nuances of rural towns and inner cities throughout Florida.  BlackFlorida is also one of 43 projects awarded The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Knight Arts Challenge 2017.

 


Chill, Chat & Chew Part 2: General Election Edition, Today at 5:30 p.m.

Get informed. Get election ready. Get involved. 

Florida’s historic upcoming General Election will bring with it a voluminous ballot with candidate races, an unprecedented number of constitutional amendments with some amendments including multiple bundled issues; a school board referendum; County charter questions as well as questions regarding various municipalities and communities. This evening’s Chill, Chat & Chew Part 2: General Election Edition will help you get Election Ready and give you the tools to educate your family, friends and neighbors.

CCC2 candidates

We are excited by the participation of several local candidates: State Rep. Dist. 108 - Dotie Joseph and Riquet Caballero; Mayor, City of Opa-locka - Dottie Johnson; Circuit Court Judge - Vivianne del Rio and Renee Gordon; City of Miami Gardens Council Seat 2 - Reggie Leon and Seat 4 - Katrina Wilson-Davis.

CCC Experts

We are also pleased to announce our conversation leaders: Teo Noboa from Miami-Dade County Elections Department; Christopher Norwood of Norwood Consulting Group; Jessica Garafola, Legislative Aide to State Rep. Shevrin Jones; and Antonio "Tony" White, 1st Vice President - United Teachers of Dade (UTD). They will share their expertise by covering a number of important topics to make sure everyone who attends is an informed voter.

You can ask questions about the voting process, get information so you can stop skipping the ballot questions about retention of judges, discuss those confusing and controversial constitutional amendments; the school board referendum to help give our teachers a raise and much, much, more.

As a reminder, this event is not a debate. It is designed to be conversational and informative. You are encouraged to bring your sample ballot.

You already know that the food is great at Lil Greenhouse Grill. (Thank you Nicole Gates and Chef Karim Bryant for the complimentary hors d’oeuvres.) Come out to get informed, network with old and new friends, and ask questions of your candidates.

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Scenes from Chill, Chat & Chew with the Candidates (Part 1) August 1, 2018

 

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TODAY is the LAST DAY to Register to Vote in November!

Last Day to Register

Today is the last day to register to vote or change your voter information (address, Party affiliation, etc.) in the November 2018 General Election. If you are eligible to vote, you can submit an application in person or online as long as you know your Social Security number and have a valid Florida driver's license or ID card.

Register online:

The least stressful way to register is online. You can use a computer, a mobile phone, or any device with internet access. Go to registertovoteflorida.gov. The deadline is 11:59 p.m. today. Please don’t wait until that time to start the process.

Register in person:

If you are more comfortable registering to vote in person, there are several locations you can visit today. Please call to confirm their voter registration hours.

Make sure everyone in your family who is eligible to vote actually registers AND votes. Surely you’ve heard several times that your vote is your voice. You’ve also likely heard how important these midterm elections are to our state and our nation. It’s all true. Stay tuned for more information.

 


L.E.A.D Nation's South Florida Youth Summit Returns for Sixth Year

 

David Banner and Jasmen Rogers to Keynote while Jawan Strader Hosts ‘Cocktails & Conversations’ Kickoff

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MIAMI – The 6th Annual South Florida Youth Summit (SFYS), presented by L.E.A.D Nation in partnership with the Knight Foundation, will take place October 18-20 under the theme “Youth and Justice.” Grammy award-winning music producer, recording artist, philanthropist, speaker, actor and activist David Banner will serve as the keynote speaker for the adult-only kick-off event, Cocktails & Conversations. He will be joined by Jasmen Rogers-Shaw, Political Strategist, and Emmy award-winning journalist, NBC 6 anchor and host of Black Voices Jawan Strader will serve as the night’s host.

The Summit is the brainchild of State Representative and L.E.A.D. Nation co-founder Shevrin Jones. It is designed to provide knowledge-based enrichment activities in an interactive setting to empower youth to live up to their full potential.

"We are excited about the 6th Annual South Florida Youth Summit. Looking at the direction of our nation and our communities, the time is now that we not only encourage our youth, but we empower them – empower them to do more and greater than they can imagine, to be the change they want to see and be,” Jones said.

The Summit targets students in grades 6-12 and provides experiential learning in 6 focus areas:

  • STEM Education (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)
  • Leadership Development
  • Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Financial Education
  • Youth Violence Prevention
  • Childhood Obesit

The weekend of activities will begin with Cocktails & Conversations featuring Banner and Rogers-Shaw on Thursday, October 18 at 7 p.m. at the Miramar Multi-Service Complex, 6700 Miramar Pkwy in Miramar. The Leaders In Training (LIT) Youth Rally is scheduled for Friday, October 19, 9 a.m. until noon at Broward College’s South Campus, 7200 Pines Boulevard in Pembroke Pines. The goal of LITis to groom high school students to be effective advocates for issues they believe in. The finale will be the Youth Summit on Saturday, October 20, from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.  at Miami Dade College North Campus. Students will participate in a full-day of seminars, workshops and panel discussions designed to teach them strategies in creating positive and innovative social change in their communities.

For more information about the Summit and LEAD Nation, visit www.leadnation.org.

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Prairie View A&M University to Receive $1 million in grants and gifts to Launch African-American Studies Initiative

PVAMU's $500,000 Mellon Foundation Grant matched by anonymous donor gift

 

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PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas, PRNewswire/ -- The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU) a grant of $500,000 to support its efforts to establish an African-American Studies Initiative which will be housed in its Marvin D. and June Samuel Brailsford College of Arts and Sciences. Inspired by the Mellon Foundation award, an anonymous donor pledged an added $250,000 to help fund this Initiative. This generous donation is eligible for a $250,000 university match, bringing the total support for the Initiative's launch to $1 million.

The project, Enhancing the Humanities at PVAMU Through An African-American Studies Program Initiative, is designed to selectively infuse African-American Studies content throughout the university's liberal arts offerings. The initial concept for the program was conceived when Prairie View President Ruth J. Simmons called for the creation of an African-American Studies program in her first campus-wide address. Having directed Afro-American Studies at Princeton and Chaired the African-American Studies Department Visiting Committee at Harvard, President Simmons expressed surprise and disappointment that, given the University's cultural legacy, it did not have a formal program in African-American Studies.

The Enhancing the Humanities at PVAMU through an African-American Studies Program Initiative 

The primary intent of the proposed program is to infuse PVAMU's STEM focused university with curricular content and programming that emphasizes the centrality and benefit of the Humanities and Social Sciences in undergraduate education. Funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, along with additional gifts and donations, will allow faculty to revise and expand existing courses in the PVAMU Core Curriculum, in addition to developing new courses within and across the disciplines, to form and propose an African-American Studies Program (AAS).

The Initiative will provide an interdisciplinary study of the experiences of people of African descent in America and abroad. Scholarly activities will provide students, faculty and the PVAMU community with a fundamental understanding of the social, economic, cultural and historical issues framing the contribution of African-American communities in America.

To ensure the success of the Initiative, highly respected scholars will work with a select cohort of PVAMU faculty to act as advisors, assist in establishing program priorities, review core course themes and hold public lectures and workshops reflecting their respective fields in African-American Studies.

"By strategically embedding African-American theme-based courses within the core curriculum, all students will have an opportunity to select courses that expand their academic interests while enhancing their engagement in the humanities," explained James Palmer, interim provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs.