Elections

#WeAreTheVote Festival, Sunday, March 8 at Miramar Amphitheater

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The #WeAre Foundation is a new non-profit organization that uses the arts and artists to bridge the gaps between us, and connect our communities to our collective voice and vote. They’ve created a space for us to come together by holding a free #WeAreTheVote festival to attract and create awareness around the importance of civic engagement, and help empower as many people as possible to make their voice count at the polls.

 

The festival is scheduled for Sunday, March 8, 2020, Noon - 8 PM, at Miramar Regional Park Amphitheater, 16801 Miramar Parkway, Miramar, FL 33027. The community festival with live entertainment, food trucks, voter registration, music and activities will celebrate everyone who pledges to vote. 

 

The co-founder of #WeAre Foundation, BRANDON VICTOR DIXON, will be available to meet and greet the public. You remember Dixon because he played lawyer Terry Silver on POWER. His body of work includes his roles as Aaron Burr in HAMILTON on Broadway, and Judas in NBC’s “Jesus Christ Superstar Live.” 

 

Representatives from HeadCount and the WeAre Foundation will be available to answer questions about local voter registration requirements and assisting with voter registration on-the-spot.

 

“The growing divisions in our politics and social interactions inspired us to build an ecosystem of citizens and organizations that can remind us all that the more we fight for each other, the less we have to fight for ourselves,” said Dixon. “In 2020 we will demonstrate the connective power of the arts to help communities realize the power of their voice and collective vote!"

 

HeadCount is thrilled to partner with the #WeAre Foundation in 2020. This partnership epitomizes our mission, bringing artists, volunteers, and communities together in the pursuit of positive social change. Together, we will reach thousands of voters and get-out-the-vote in 2020.

 

 

 


FL Democrats Out Register FL Republicans

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The Florida Secretary of State has closed the books on voter registration for the 2020 Primary and, for the first time this cycle, there is an accurate read of voter registration numbers in Florida.
 
Democrats have added more voters to the rolls than Republicans in the 2020 election cycle.
 
In 2018 (as of the October 2018 book closing): Democrats had a 263,000 registration edge over Republicans in Florida.
 
In 2020 (as of book closing reported today): Democrats have a 280,000 registration edge over Republicans in Florida.
 
While Florida Democrats have added 17,000 more Democrats to the rolls than Republicans so far this cycle, Florida Democrats are also in the midst of a massive voter registration effort in the state.
 
  • Upon launching voter registration efforts in July of 2019, Democrats were registering 28 voters per day. 
  • In February 2020, the Florida Democratic Party (FDP) averaged 482 registrations per day
  • FDP is currently on pace to collect an additional 150,000 registrations before the start of the general election in August.  

 

 

Early voting has begun in Florida’s 2020 Presidential Preference Primary

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Early voting starts today and goes through Sunday, March 15, in the Florida Presidential Preference Primary. Florida is a closed primary state so only Democrats can vote for Democrats and only Republicans can vote for Republicans.

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At stake are the state’s 248 Democratic delegates, of which 29 are superdelegates. Donald Trump has opposition but none of them is a threat to him being the Republican nominee. 

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Voting actually began weeks ago with the mailing of vote-by-mail ballots. Since that time, many of the Democratic candidates have dropped out of the race. Uninformed voters are likely to waste their vote if they are not aware of each candidate’s status. 

 

UPDATE 1: Here is a markup of an actual Democratic ballot. These are the active Democratic candidates as of the posting of this article. Amy Klobuchar is suspending her campaign. More candidates are likely to drop out after tomorrow’s Super Tuesday contests. Be informed. Share this information with your family and friends. 

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2019 Greater Miami Links Inc. Book & Author Event features author and political analyst Karine Jean-Pierre

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Karine Jean-Pierre

MIAMI - The Greater Miami Chapter of The Links, Incorporated will present its signature fundraising event Linked in Action Book & Author Luncheon on Sunday, November 17, 2019 at the JW Marriott Marquis in downtown Miami.  

This is the chapter’s fourteenth Book and Author event celebrating accomplished and talented authors such as Ambassador Andrew Young, Judy Smith, Terry McMillan, Natalie Baszile, E. Lynn Harris, Bebe Moore Campbell, Edwidge Danticat and others.
 
This year’s luncheon will feature author and political analyst Karine Jean-Pierre, whose book, Moving Forward: A Story of Hope, Hard Work, and the Promise of America, was released today and has been described as astute and insightful. It offers a blueprint for anyone who wants to have an impact on the political landscape. Both influential and inspirational, Ms. Jean-Pierre will have a powerful and timely message for attendees, all of whom will receive a copy of her thought provoking book.  
 
The Links, Incorporated, established in 1946, is an international, not-for-profit organization comprised of nearly 15,000 professional women of color in 288 chapters across 41 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of the Bahamas and the United Kingdom. It is one of the nation’s oldest and largest volunteer service organizations of women who are committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the culture and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry. 
 
The Greater Miami Chapter was organized in 1955 and has made significant contributions to the South Florida community and beyond through its transformational programming in five facet areas: Services to Youth; The Arts; National Trends and Services; International Trends and Services; and, Health and Human Services. 
 
Proceeds from the Linked in Action Book & Author Luncheon will be used to support the chapter’s charitable and educational programs and benefit The Links Foundation, Incorporated. 
 
Tickets are $150 per person. Doors open at 11:30am with a reception and auction. Please contact greatermiamilinksinc.org for more information.  
 

Urgent and Important Community Conversation: Let People Vote

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Amendment 4 is one of the most significant Florida constitutional amendments in our lifetime. Florida voters overwhelmingly supported restoration of rights for some returning citizens, formerly convicted felons who had served their time and completed probation. 

Unfortunately, shortly after the 2018 General Election, it was clear newly-elected Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and the Republican-led 2019 Florida Legislature had other plans. So, the Florida Legislature successfully inserted obstacles to the restoration of rights for many Florida returning citizens. In some cases, there are fines and restitution that must be paid before restoration. There is also a possibility that financial obligations can be waived and there are other means of satisfying requirements for rights restoration. Get an update on Amendment 4 and voter rights restoration in Florida. Don’t miss this important community conversation. Spread the word.  

Conversationalists:
Rep. Kionne McGhee, Minority Leader, Florida House, District 117
Senator Annette Taddeo, Florida Senate, District 40
Rev. Dr. Alphonso Jackson, Sr., Senior Pastor, Second Baptist Church
Desmond Meade, Executive Director, Florida Rights Restoration Coalition
Carlos Martinez, Public Defender, Miami-Dade County
Katherine Fernandez Rundle, State Attorney, 11th Judicial Circuit, Miami-Dade County

 

Let People Vote
Voting Rights Restoration Town Hall
6:30 PM Sharp
Monday, July 29, 2019
Second Baptist Church
11111 Pinkston Drive
Miami, FL 33176

For more information, call Juanita Olvera at (305) 256-6301.

 

@vanessawbyers

 

 


Trayvon Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, and Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert III vie for District 1 County Commission seat

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Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, broke local social media with the announcement of her run for the District 1 commission seat for Miami-Dade County (FL). She also garnered national attention from many media outlets as well as support from award-winning actress and talk show host Whoopi Goldberg from The View. Fulton’s decision disrupted plans of term-limited Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert III and his supporters. Gilbert was perceived as a shoo-in for the seat held by Barbara Jordan for the last 16 years. Jordan is ineligible to run again as term-limits kick in for the first group of county commissioners.

Fulton, a former long-time county employee, gained international notoriety because of the fatal shooting of her younger son, Trayvon. Since that horrible incident, she has become a community advocate, author, public speaker, executive producer, member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and received an honorary doctorate degree. Although this is Fulton’s first run for elected public office, she checks all the boxes that are most essential regarding electability criteria --- name recognition and likeability.

During his tenure as mayor, Gilbert has been faced with law enforcement, sexual harassment and personal controversies but he is also credited with the business growth of the City of Miami Gardens and the return of the historic Orange Blossom Classic football game. It is also noteworthy that Gilbert has amassed more than $400,000 between his campaign account and political committee. While he faces a formidable opponent in Sybrina Fulton, Gilbert is not likely to shrink into the background. This race will be a battle until the end. 

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Unfortunately, there are already signs that this race will likely be very negative. In social media exchanges, supporters of both candidates are trying to have the last word in a situation that will be decided by the voters of District 1 in August 2020. The public discourse is expected. Politics is a contact sport and Miami politics can be particularly dirty. Stay tuned; it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

 


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

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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.

 

@vanessawbyers

 

Related Link: Executive Order of Suspension 

 


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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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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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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@vanessawbyers