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July 2012

Highlights of Miami Times Political Forum [VIDEO]

Thank you to for video highlights from the first night of the Miami Times Political Forum, July 26,2012, at the Historic St. Agnes Episcopal Church in Overtown. Pay attention. Do your research. Don’t be fooled by lies and half-truths. Get out and vote!



Word on the Street by Bunquisha Keylolo Brown


Residents allege a County Commissioner, who shall remain nameless, for now, has circumvented established procedure and overstepped an existing community board by reducing and reallocating funds for an existing and agreed upon project without consulting board members. The residents also allege said Commissioner will not meet with them and that official minutes have been falsified.


Concerned citizens in the black community want to know what City of Miami Police are going to do in the case of skateboarder Rene Betancourt who said he was attacked by black males when he actually ran into a wall while skateboarding in a parking garage.  

Some candidates for office in the upcoming Primary Election in August, are complaining that they have been excluded from participating in several local political forums. One candidate is threatening to sue.

Some FAMU alumni and faculty think Interim President Dr. Larry Robinson is an excellent choice to lead the University out of the current quagmire and on a permanent basis. He is described as progressive and forward-thinking. 



Legal troubles escalate for State Rep. Daphne Campbell


Daphne Campbell

Just as the August 14, 2012 Primary election goes into the home stretch, The Miami Herald reports State Rep. Daphne Campbell, D-108 and her husband Hubert Campbell have been hit with liens by the IRS totaling over $145,000.  Rep. Campbell is already under investigation for Medicaid fraud related to health homecare businesses she owned. Complaints about her home healthcare businesses and related criminal investigations led to the State cutting off funding and those businesses closing.

Campbell was elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2010. Her tenure as state representative has been mired in controversy because of her political position on issues and her personal business affairs. It is rumored that Democratic Party officials have asked her to consider stepping down. Hubert Campbell was convicted of mortgage fraud in 2007 and their son, Gregory, is also under investigation for Medicaid fraud.

Campbell is currently campaigning for re-election. It is likely this latest issue with the IRS is the death sentence for her re-election campaign but you never know which candidates the voters will elect until all the ballots are counted.  


President Barack Obama Endorses Congresswoman Frederica Wilson

Miami, FL – Friday, July 27, 2012, President Barack Obama released the following statement today supporting Congresswoman Frederica Wilson’s (D-Fla.) re-election to represent Florida’s 24th Congressional District.

President Barack Obama endorses Congresswoman Frederica Wilson
“Congresswoman Wilson has brought decades of experience to the U.S. Congress and fights every day on behalf of hardworking families to create an economy built to last. We need to keep Representative Wilson in Congress to continue to put Floridians back to work and to protect critical investments and programs like education, Social Security, and Medicare.  In stark contrast, Republicans in Congress will continue to pursue the failed policies of the past that crashed our economy and punished middle-class Americans. We cannot let them succeed, and that is why we need to re-elect Congresswoman Frederica Wilson,” President Obama said. 

In response to the President’s endorsement, Congresswoman Wilson stated, “As an early and enthusiastic supporter of President Obama, I am extremely honored and humbled by President Obama’s support.  President Obama provides us leadership that will move this country forward.  He believes we must grow our economy from the middle-class out and has a vision to restore middle-class security by investing in education, energy, innovation and infrastructure, and reforming the tax code.  His bold action to rescue the U.S. auto and financial industries saved millions of jobs and prevented another Great Depression, and the President’s healthcare reform means that thousands in my district have quality, affordable healthcare coverage they so desperately need.” 

Representative Wilson, who is seeking a second term in the House of Representatives, is a member of the House Foreign Affairs and Science Committees.  She is a former school principal, Miami-Dade County School Board Member, and former Member of the Florida House and Senate.  

“I have worked tirelessly on behalf of my constituents.  I have earned a stellar reputation for working across party lines and will continue that legacy in Congress. I sincerely thank President Obama for his support,” Wilson said.


Community icon, Rev. John A. Ferguson transitions

With extreme sadness we announce the transition of the legendary Rev. John A. Ferguson. He founded Second Baptist Church, one of the largest black churches in South Florida.

At the Miami-Dade County School Board meeting of August 23, 2000, he was memorialized by the naming of a school in his honor. This is how he is remembered on the website of John A. Ferguson Senior High School, Home of the Falcons.

Reverend John Alphonso Ferguson was born on July 23, 1923 in Miami, Florida. He graduated from Carver Senior High School in 1941 and served with the United States Navy for twenty-one years during World War II and the Korean Conflict. Reverend Ferguson is a graduate of Union Theological Seminary (1954) in New York City and Virginia Union University (1947) in Richmond, Virginia. He and his wife, Anita, have five children (three boys and two girls).

For the past thirty-one years, Reverend Ferguson has dedicated himself to the Second Baptist Church in Richmond Heights, which he founded in 1964. In addition to leading his growing community of parishioners, he has served to unite the multi-cultural population by serving on the Community Relations Board of Metropolitan Dade County. This board played an essential role in keeping the peace during the Liberty City riots of the 1980's, and the bringing of necessary resources to the community in the aftermath. The relationship between the different races in our county has had few moments more tumultuous than when Federal Judge Clyde C. Atkins ordered the desegregation of all public schools. Reverend Ferguson's leadership skills were tapped once again to serve on the School Desegregation Committee and assist with desegregation of all public schools.

Details of his Homegoing celebration are incomplete at this time. Rest in Peace, Rev. Ferguson.


Federal Judge Dismisses Case to allow Non Democrats to vote in Democratic Primary

by Christopher Norwood


Miami-Dade County’s primary election for state attorney will remain open only to Democrats, a federal judge ruled Wednesday — meaning the selection of the county’s top law enforcement officer will likely be decided by 525,890 voters. Twenty year incumbent Katherine Fernández Rundle is squaring off against Democrat Rod Vereen.

U.S. Judge William Zloch issued his ruling in a lawsuit filed by Republicans (Campaign Supporters of Kathy Rundle) who said they were being disenfranchised by the presence of two write-in candidates in the general election. The lawsuit, filed against Miami-Dade County and the secretary of state by voters Vincent Mazzilli and Armando Lacasa, asked a judge to open the August primary or move the race to the November general election ballot. But Zloch said because the write in candidates qualified as “candidates” under state law, they should be counted as opposition.

“The court will not consult a crystal ball to determine when and whether a given write-in candidate constitutes ‘real’ or mere illusory opposition,” Zloch wrote, adding that “they could” win even if was generally unlikely. “The court today will not declare that these candidacies are futile,” Zloch wrote.

“I had every bit of confidence that Judge Zloch would dismiss this frivolous lawsuit,” Vereen said Wednesday in a statement. “This charade has been a travesty for Democratic voters in Dade County. Kathy Rundle supported this lawsuit to deny Democrats the right to vote in a Democrat-only primary.”

This Democratic primary was her chance to share her vision with her party as to why she should be the Democratic nominee, but she has none so instead she has become a “Rogue” Democrat by filing this frivolous lawsuit and publicly campaigning (via her campaign website) to recruit Republicans to switch parties and instructing them, (and I quote) "This will not obligate you to vote for any other Democratic candidate in any future general election" (statement implicitly advocates for her supporters not to vote the Democratic ticket, from Barack Obama down to State House Seats).

If Kathy Rundle reacts like this when challenged within the Democratic Party, then imagine what is occurring at the Courthouse everyday where Real challenges of Life, Freedom and Family are in the balance. Martin Luther King once said, "The ultimate measure of a person is not where they stand in moments of comfort and convenience, but where they stand at times of challenge and controversy."

“There is a lack of Leadership in the State Attorney's Office, and we need a Professional Prosecutor as I will be and not a Politician”. Vereen states. On August 14th, Democrats will decide. 


Florida New Majority and partners Endorse Commissioner Barbara Jordan in District 1 County Race

Incumbent Barbara Jordan, Miami-Dade County Commissioner - District 1 with leaders of Florida New Majority and partner organizations


Miami, FL – On Saturday, July 20 at the Miami Gardens offices of UNITE HERE, a coalition under the umbrella of Florida New Majority (FNM,) made up of community organizations, faith-based leaders, and residents - officially endorsed Commissioner Barbara Jordan in her bid for re-election to the District One seat of the Miami-Dade County Board of Commissioners.

“I am humbled, really,” Jordan said, and “I’m more than honored to accept this endorsement. What you stand for is what I have stood for all my life … it gives me great pleasure to know that you recognize the work that I’ve done, and will continue to do.”

Standing behind Commissioner Jordan, and in front of a banner that read, “We Choose Freedom” dozens of hardworking volunteers from FNM, SEIU and UNITE HERE spoke about the important issues that concerned their families, including the need for good jobs, affordable healthcare and education.

“We support candidates who stand behind the tenets of the Florida Freedom Charter … a document, which is a vision for change,” Wendi Walsh, president of UNITE HERE said. Walsh added that, Barbara Jordan “has fought for those tenets every single day in her role as Commissioner” and that she is, “the right person to back as our first endorsement.”

Father Richard Aguilar of the Episcopal Church backed up the sentiments of the organizers, saying, Commissioner Jordan, “stands for education, for better jobs and housing for all.”

The endorsement rally was also the official launch of FNM’s ‘Our Florida, Our Vote, Our Freedom’ campaign. After the speeches, FNM’s Miami Regional Coordinator, Hashim Yeomans-Benford told the canvassers, volunteers and key invitees gathered to celebrate Ms. Jordan’s support of hardworking families, that teams would be “hitting the streets and talking with thousands of voters” immediately after the event, causing the volunteers to break into an impromptu chant of “Yes We Can.”

FNM, and like organizations such as Catalyst Miami, Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, WeCount, SEIU, 1Miami, Miami Workers Center, UNITE HERE, PICO, Sisterhood of Survivors and the Florida Immigrant Coalition, along with faith-based leaders, hardworking families and individuals have come together around the values and issues set forth in the Florida Freedom Charter, which lays out a framework to ensure every Floridian has the freedom to pursue the American Dream. The non-partisan document focuses on access to good jobs, healthcare, public education and transportation, along with the housing disaster that plagues our county, and civil rights.


FAMU hazing death suspect denied bond

Florida A&M University marching band member Caleb Jackson remains incarcerated in Tallahassee as Circuit Judge Frank Sheffield denied him bond. When Jackson was arrested in May for felony hazing in the Robert Champion case, Jackson violated probation on earlier charges.  

"It appears that the leopard hasn't changed its spots, so I've got to be consistent. He violated his probation. He's not entitled to a bond. I'm not going to grant him a bond," Circuit Judge Frank Sheffield said. Read more…

Grant Opportunities

Social Justice Groups

The Fund for a Just Society, a program of the Unitarian Universalist Association, provides grants to nonprofit organizations that address issues of social and economic justice. The Fund supports organizations that use community organizing to bring about systemic change leading to a more just society and mobilize with those who have been disenfranchised and excluded from resources, power, and the right to self-determination. The maximum grant amount is $15,000; however, most grants range between $6,000 and $8,000. Requests are reviewed two times per year; the next application deadline is Sept. 17. Visit to review funding guidelines.


Economic Literacy Initiatives

The Calvin K. Kazanjian Economics Foundation provides grants to programs with national impact that address the following issues: raising the public's participation in economic education and creating a demand for greater economic literacy; encouraging measurement of economic understanding; developing the application of new strategies for teaching economics, including online instruction; and helping disenfranchised youth or young adults with children learn to participate in the economic system. Requests are reviewed two times per year; the upcoming application deadline is Sept. 15. Visit to review the application guidelines.


Innovative K-12 Projects

The Kids in Need Foundation is dedicated to engaging students in the learning process by providing grants towards the purchase of supplies for students to participate in special classroom learning experiences. Grants, sponsored by retailers and education credit unions, help K-12 educators develop innovative learning opportunities for their students. The purpose of the grants is to provide support for classroom teachers who have innovative, meritorious ideas but lack the budget to bring them to life. Approximately 200 to 300 grants from $100 to $500 are awarded each year. The application deadline is Sept. 30. Visit to submit an online application.


K-12 Community Projects

Lowe's Toolbox for Education Grant Program provides grants of $2,000 to $5,000 to public K-12 schools and school parent-teacher groups associated with public schools throughout the United States that develop projects that encourage parent involvement and build stronger community spirit. Preference is given to funding requests that have a permanent impact such as facility enhancement (both indoor and outdoor) and landscaping/clean up projects. The fall 2012 application deadline is Oct. 12 (or once 1,500 applications are received). Visit to submit an online application. 


Innovative Contemporary Visual Arts Presentations

The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts fosters innovative artistic expression and the creative process by supporting cultural organizations that, in turn, support artists and their work. Grants are provided to curatorial programs at museums, artists' organizations, and other cultural institutions to originate innovative and scholarly presentations of contemporary visual arts. Projects may include exhibitions, catalogues, and other relevant activities. The next postmark deadline for proposals to the Foundation is Sept. 1, 2012. Visit to review the grant guidelines. 


*The above grant notifications provided courtesy of GrantStation and the Florida Association of Non-Profit Organizations (FANO).     



Source:  The Children’s Trust


Career Opportunities


Workforce Career Advisor 

The City of Miami seeks a workforce career advisor to be responsible for case management involving individual counseling, monitoring and motivating clients and assisting with the progress of clients in the fulfillment of their individual employment and training program service strategies. This is in accordance with South Florida Workforce policies and procedures. B.A. from an accredited college or university in Social Work, Human Resource Management, Public Administration or a related field; and six months experience required or an equivalent combination of training and experience beyond a Bachelor's degree in an aforementioned or closely related field. Apply online at


Grants Manager

Florida Grand Opera has an opening for Grants manager, a business development position. Candidates should have five or more years of non-profit development experience with a proven track record, and a B.A. degree. Tessitura experience is a must. Email resumes to Brendan Glynn at [email protected].


Donor Relations Manager

Florida Grand Opera seeks a Donor Relations manager, a business development position. A B.A. degree, preferably in the not-for-profit or performing arts world, working knowledge of special event planning, data management and desktop publishing software are required. The manager must also be available to work evenings/weekends. Email resumes to [email protected].


Director of Individual Giving 

The Florida Grand Opera has an opening for a director of Individual Giving, a business development position for a candidate with knowledge and experience with the South Florida philanthropic community. Candidates should have a minimum two years of development experience with knowledge of Tessitura or industry donor development software. Email resumes to Brendan Glynn at [email protected].


VPK Teacher (full or part-time)

The ABC Learning Center in Miami Shores seeks a full or part-time VPK teacher. Bilingual (English-Spanish) preferred and CDA required. For information call (786) 444-7532 or email [email protected].


Teacher & Assistant Teachers

Jiny's Learning Center in Hialeah Gardens has a number of positions open for preschool teachers and teacher assistants. Interested candidates should send resumes to [email protected] and/or call (305) 819-3004 or email.


Out-of-School Activity Leaders (part-time)

Magic City Kids, Inc., a non-profit organization seeks part-time activity leaders for its Out-of-School Academy for the upcoming school year. Eligible candidates must have a minimum of 40 hours in child care training working with school-aged children. Activity leaders will plan and facilitate activities for the after-school academy. Contact Tamika Robinson at (786) 402-3685 or email [email protected].  


Teaching/Office Staff 

The Cherry Blossom Learning Center's new location, in the downtown/Brickell area, seeks qualified teaching/office staff for different age levels.  Please E-mail resume or fax to 305-860-3304. Contact phone is (305) 860-3300 or email [email protected].   


Youth Prevention Specialist, Project Assistant, Classroom Facilitator - part-time

Hosanna Community Foundation, Inc. in Opa-Locka seeks to fill a number of positions youth prevention specialist/care coordinator (part-time); project assistant (part-time); and classroom facilitator (part-time). Certified teachers are preferred. Please send all resumes to [email protected] (305) 637-4404 for more information.


Source:  The Children’s Trust