One of the most controversial legislative sessions in Florida, in recent memory, has concluded and the Connection Committees of Gamma Zeta Omega Chapter and Alpha Alpha Beta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated are presenting a virtual legislative wrap-up on key bills from the 2021 Legislative Session. The event is scheduled for 6:30 p.m., Thursday, June 10, 2021, via Zoom.
The Connection Committee is the civic engagement arm of Alpha Kappa Alpha. For this community presentation, they have joined forces with the Miami-Dade Branch of the NAACP and the Miami-Dade Chapter of the Florida A&M University National Alumni Association.
Panelists are State Senator Jason Pizzo (Dist. 38); State Rep. Dotie Joseph (Dist. 108); State Rep. Christopher Benjamin (Dist. 107); and State Rep. Felicia Robinson (Dist. 102). Dr. Cassandra Arnold and Dr. Tisa McGhee will serve as moderators.
Key bills to be covered include:
HB 1: Combating Public Disorder
SB 90: Elections
HB 7051: Law Enforcement and Correctional Officer Practices
HB 7045: School Choice
HB 1463: Department of Economic Opportunity
Don’t miss this opportunity to get informed. A well-informed citizenry is vital to our survival as a democracy. To register, visit http://akagzo.org.
The Canvassing Board met this morning to certify the May 11, 2021 Regular Election for the City of North Miami. Mary Estimé-Irvin was officially declared the winner of the District 3 Councilperson race. A recount of the votes in the District 2 race is scheduled for 10 AM, tomorrow, May 15, 2021, at the Miami-Dade County Elections Department.
The Canvassing Board members for North Miami are Vice-Mayor Dr. Alix Desulme, Councilman Scott Galvin, and Councilwoman Carol Keys.
Medina Explicitly Calls Out Kevin Burns for Fraudulent Voting Activity
North Miami — Dr. Hector Medina, a candidate for North Miami City Council District 2 alleges there was significant fraudulent voting in the latest municipal election. Medina narrowly missed the runoff race, placing third, and specifically calls out second-place candidate Kevin Burns for fraudulent activity.
Burns, a former North Miami mayor, is in a runoff race against Kassandra Timothe, scheduled for June 1, 2021. Medina will present evidence of fraudulent voting to the Canvassing Board this morning and ask them to postpone certification of the election results until after an investigation has been conducted.
The basis for Medina’s protest is the following, verbatim:
● There were 19 votes cast in the election by voters who only very recently registered as having an address in the City of North Miami. Upon visual inspection on May 13, the addresses where some of those who voted claim to be living appear vacant. As such, there is a strong likelihood that at least some of these voters participated in a coordinated vote fraud scheme facilitated by one of the candidates and/or their campaigns.
● There were 12 votes cast by mail from voters that have been identified as “Deceased” by the NGPVAN VoteBuilder voter database that was used by my campaign. While this database is not perfect, the high number indicates a very high probability that one or more votes were mailed back on behalf of a deceased voter, in violation of Florida law.
● Combined, the number of potentially fraudulent votes identified is up to 31, which exceeds the number of votes by which the unofficial count suggests I was eliminated or defeated from this race.
● In addition to these specifically identified votes, a statistically improbable number of voters cast their ballots by mail in Precinct No. 148. Data from the Supervisor of Elections suggests at least 348 ballots were cast by mail in this precinct, a nearly 75% increase on the 200 votes by mail that were cast in the regular municipal election in this precinct just two years ago. The lion’s share of that vote-by-mail spike is clustered in four high-rise buildings with shared mail facilities susceptible to mail ballot theft. By comparison, the total number of mail-in ballots received in 2021 vs. 2019, when all of the city’s districts are averaged, only went up around 21%.
● Further suggesting foul play, I was verbally informed by the Supervisor of Elections staff that 50 ballots cast by mail in the District 2 council race were rejected due to a signature mismatch, a figure that accounts for just under 6.4% of all absentee ballots returned. By way of comparison, the rejection rate for signature mismatch issues during the 2020 election was around 0.12%, about one voter out of every 833. Using common sense and rudimentary probability, it’s obvious a rejection rate of 6.4% is a statistical near impossibility. The idea that one out of every 16 voters who mailed their ballot back in this North Miami election somehow forgot how to sign their name is absurd. It is impossible to look at this outlier and not call it out for what it is: convincing evidence that there was a coordinated effort by one of the campaigns to sign and handle absentee ballots on behalf of the voters, in violation of Florida law.
“Kevin Burns does not think the rules apply to him. From failing to pay his debts to business partners and little old ladies, to deciding he just wasn’t going to file campaign finance reports, it’s clear he thinks following the law is for schmucks,” said Dr. Hector Medina, “We now see clear evidence that his campaign likely rigged the election in his favor with fraudulent mail votes. This is not just of concern to me and my campaign, but to every voter in North Miami who wants ethical and honest government. We cannot let Kevin get away with this.”
Incumbents Philippe Bien-Aime and Mary Estimé-Irvin were re-elected in Tuesday’s City of North Miami municipal elections. Bien-Aime won overwhelmingly and returns to the City’s mayoral seat. Estimé-Irvin returns to the District 3 council seat after narrowly avoiding a runoff race against three opponents.
Mayor Philippe Bien-Aime and Councilwoman Mary Estimé-Irvin were re-elected to their positions.
Kassandra Timothe and Kevin Burns are in a runoff for the District 2 Council seat.
In the seven-candidate race to fill the open District 2 seat, former City of North Miami public information officer, Kassandra Timothe was the top vote-getter and is in a run-off with former City of North Miami Mayor Kevin A. Burns who narrowly edged Hector Medina for the number two spot in that race.
The District 2 run-off is June 1. Vote-by-Mail ballots will be mailed, Tuesday, May 18. Early voting is May 24 - May 30.
If you live in the City of North Miami Council Seat 2 voting district and are eligible to vote, exercise your right. Only 16 % of the city’s 34,084 registered voters turned out in the last race. Conventional wisdom dictates that turnout percentage will be smaller for the upcoming runoff election. If you don’t vote, don’t complain.
At noon tomorrow, Saturday, January 9, 2021, the Florida Democratic Party will elect a state chair and other officers.
1. A Democrat has not been elected governor of Florida in almost three decades, and the result of the 2020 general election was the most embarrassing losses in recent history. The Democrats lost two congressional seats, lost three seats, and two open seats in the Florida Legislature, lost the presidential race by 375,000 votes, and possibly permanently removed Florida from the “swing state” category to red.
2. As expected, current State Chair Terrie Rizzo bore the brunt of the blame and did not seek re-election. Six individuals declared their candidacy for State Chair — former City of Miami Mayor Manny Diaz; DNC (Democratic National Committee) member Nikki Barnes; Environmental Caucus Chair Dr. Janelle Christensen; former State Representative and Alachua County Party Chair Dr. Cynthia Moore Chestnut; Orange County Party Chair Wes Hodge; and Hillsborough County Party Chair Ione Townsend.
The candidates have participated in a series of forums and interviews. The online conversations between party faithful and supporters have been fast, furious, eye-opening, and informative. The chair is just one of the offices to be determined. There must also be a vote on the first vice-chair, secretary, treasurer, and DNC members.
3. Because of a gender-balance requirement in the organization’s arcane by-laws, the chair and vice-chair must be of the opposite gender, as is the same for the secretary and treasurer. That requirement also adds an interesting element to campaigning and political wheeling and dealing. It also helps to understand why some endorsers who are also candidates line-up on certain teams.
4. As of this writing, Nikki Barnes, Wes Hodge, and Dr. Janelle Christensen have suspended their campaigns. All three have endorsed Dr. Chestnut.
5. If elected, Dr. Cynthia Moore Chestnut could make history as the first Black person elected to lead the Florida Democratic Party. Being the first is not new to her. Dr. Chestnut is the first Black woman elected to the Gainesville City Commission; the first Black woman elected Mayor-Commissioner of Gainesville, the first Black woman elected to the Florida House of Representatives from Alachua, Marion, and Putnam counties, and the first Black woman elected to the Alachua County Commission.
Dr. Chestnut, a Tallahassee native, is well-known throughout the state of Florida. She is a graduate of Florida A&M University, Florida State University, and Nova Southeastern University. She is also a member of The Links, Incorporated and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.
She is a life-long Democrat and proven leader who is uplifting but doesn't tell you what you want to hear just to get your support, and genuinely welcomes everyone to the “Big Tent” the Democrats like to brag about.
Dr. Cynthia Moore Chestnut embodies the “magic” that so many outside our community seem to have just discovered, but we see every day. The nation has seen it in Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and Stacey Abrams. Democrats can win again if it returns to its grassroots and listens to the voters. Tomorrow’s Florida Democratic Party election will determine the political trajectory of Florida. Stay tuned for the results.
It's finally here! It's Election Day! From the presidential race to other races on the federal, state and local level, TODAY is our LAST DAY to voice our choices in this election cycle. Every election is important and every vote counts. This year is truly important as our country has definitely gone in the wrong direction over the last almost four years.
Please refer to our recommendations and make sure you vote for people who will represent you. Even if the candidate you support is not victorious, it's crucial to hold the people who are elected accountable. Check out an excerpt from The Bakari Sellers Podcast. It was a conversation between Sellers, Angela Rye and Andrew Gillum. A few choice adult words are used so consider yourself warned. The bottomline is we, as voters, have a responsibility to make sure our elected officials are representing us and not just themselves.
Some folks are apprehensive about the aftermath of the election if Trump loses. He has signaled to White nationalist organizations to be disruptive and violent so we need to be aware but not fearful. The polls will close at 7 p.m. tonight. Get out and vote. Our lives truly depend on it.
Perhaps the Black community in Miami is on the precipice of a political and cultural revolution. Perhaps this generation of millennials will usher in a resurgence of Black unity and Black power reminiscent of Miami’s past. On Sunday, November 1, 2020, the men of the Beta Beta Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated, executed a community caravan to bring awareness of the importance of the using the right to vote to effect change for our people and the community at large.
For this ambitious project, the fraternity partnered with Florida Memorial University, South Florida’s only HBCU. Before the fraternity members and their supporters set out on their journey, there was a ribbon-cutting ceremony that included dignitaries from the university’s Board of Trustees.
As the attention-getting caravan, with full escort, rolled into the first of four stops, the early voting site at the Miramar Branch Library & Education Center, the energy was immediately apparent. The featured speaker at that location was the honorable Wayne Messam, mayor of the City of Miramar and member of the Beta Beta Lambda Chapter. The fraternity distributed t-shirts and bottled water to early voters waiting in line.
The excitement continued at the next stops, the early voting sites at the North Dade Regional Library in Miami Gardens and the North Miami Library. The caravan concluded at the Joseph Caleb Center early voting location, in the City of Miami, with messages from community leader and past chapter president, Pierre Rutledge and current chapter president Michael Grubbs.
More than 200 people in 70 vehicles participated in the caravan. At each of the stops, hundreds of voters and onlookers were educated on “A Voteless People is a Hopeless People,” a national program of Alpha Phi Alpha since the 1930’s when many African-Americans had the right to vote but were prevented from voting because of poll taxes, threats of reprisal, and lack of education about the voting process.
“Yesterday...I looked into the eyes of children and our seniors across South Florida and saw the impact of the Beta Beta Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated, "Alpha Train" Road to the Polls. It offered hope and meaning to a community struggling to believe in the Democratic process within our country. We endeavored to wake up South Florida and let our name, example and action(s) lead the way,” said Taj Echoles, chair of Beta Beta Lambda’s Alphas In Action Task Force, the civic engagement arm of the chapter.
About Beta Beta Lambda Chapter (adapted from Chapter's website):
Beta Beta Lambda Chapter has been an active part of the Greater Miami community since its inception on November 19, 1937. Like many chapters across the country, it was established by men with a common interest in improving the community through education and public service.
The chapter’s founding members are Felix E. Butler, MD, Nathaniel Colston, MD, Ira P. Davis, MD, Aaron Goodwin, MD, Frederick J. Johnson, Samuel H. Johnson, MD, Leo A Lucas, and William H. Murrell, MD. Under the leadership of Solomon C. Stinson, Ph.D., the chapter was incorporated in the State of Florida as a legal entity on November 30, 1978. Under the leadership of Earl H. Duval Ph. D., the Beta Beta Lambda/Alpha Foundation was created and incorporated on September 25, 1995.
Beta Beta Lambda Chapter and its subsidiaries are providing leadership through its many service activities such as Alpha Outreach, Project Alpha, Alpha-Dade Youth Sports Program, Alpha/Big Brothers & Big Sisters Partnership, Sankofa Project, Knights of Gold, Boy Scouts Troop 1906, Alpha/Head Start Partnership, Voter Education Project, and Scholarship Award Program.
Miami, FL — This year’s November general election ballot includes six questions proposed to amend Florida’s constitution. The Miami-Biscayne Bay (FL) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, wants to make sure the community is informed when ballots are cast on these important issues. In partnership with the Miami-Dade and South Dade Branches of the NAACP and the Miami-Dade National Pan-Hellenic Council, The Links will present a virtual issues forum, “WE THE PEOPLE: Get the FACTS Before Voting on Florida’s Constitutional Amendments!” The forum is scheduled for 6:30 PM-7:30 PM ET, Wednesday, October 14, 2020 and will be broadcast on Facebook Live and Zoom.
The program will be moderated by Bobby Henry Sr., publisher of The Westside Gazette, Broward County, Florida’s oldest and largest African American owned and operated newspaper.
Joining Henry for a spirited discussion and deep dive into the amendments are:
Yolanda Cash Jackson, Shareholder, Becker & Poliakoff, and member of the Greater Miami (FL) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated;
Donald Jones, Professor, University of Miami School of Law; and
JoLinda L. Herring, Shareholder, Bryant Olive Miller, and member of Miami-Biscayne Bay (FL) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated.
“Voting is one of our most important responsibilities as American citizens, we should be sure we are informed when we exercise that right,” said Miami-Biscayne Bay Chapter President Georgia H. McLean. “The goals of this forum are to make sure we have dissected each proposed amendment and that each attendee logs off informed and ready to vote.”
The forum is scheduled for 6:30 PM-7:30 PM ET, Wednesday, October 14, 2020 and will be broadcast on Facebook Live and Zoom. Click here to register in advance. Submit questions, in advance, to email@example.com.
Winfrey To Discuss Her New Initiative “OWN Your Vote” with NAACP President and CEO and Other Key Leaders in the Fight for Voting Rights, Focused Specifically on Mobilizing Black Women to Vote
WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 22, 2020) – Oprah Winfrey and OWN have joined together with the NAACP and national voting rights leaders to host “OWN Your Vote: Our Lives Depend On it,” a virtual conversation aimed to inspire and equip thousands of voters and community leaders with specific steps they can take to register to vote, request their absentee ballots, and mobilize voters throughout their community. Slated to take place on September 24, 2020, at 8:00 PM EST, the hour-long conversation will include remarks from leaders in the fight for voting rights, including Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, Stacey Abrams (Fair Fight), Minyon Moore (Power Rising), Tiffany Dena Loftin (NAACP Youth and College), Judith Browne Dianis, and other key leaders. Join this conversation by visiting bit.ly/OprahZoom and registering today!
“We are excited to work with OWN, Ms. Winfrey and other key voting rights leaders as we engage our members, activists, and community leaders around the country about the importance of this election and their vote,” said Derrick Johnson, president and CEO, NAACP. “Her voice during this critical time when communities not only need reassurance in their ability to affect change but encouragement and enlightenment on how to do so with clear impact cannot be overstated.”
As the nation reels from the effects of COVID-19, racial injustice, and voter suppression, OWN Your Vote seeks to shed light on the solution through a bipartisan registration and a get-out-the-vote campaign aimed at providing OWN’s audience of Black women with tools and resources to overcome voter suppression in the November election. The pro-social campaign connects people to urgent political actions and gives their concerns a powerful microphone by placing a spotlight on crucial community issues.
“OWN is proud to partner with the NAACP and prominent voting rights leaders to hold this important conversation to energize and engage our community to vote this November,” said Tina Perry, president of OWN. “This is a critical time in our history to come together and raise our voices.”
Along with shedding light on why this moment is paramount for Black women to use their voice, Ms. Winfrey will also moderate a panel discussion that will bring attention to barriers to voting, what everyone should know about this election, and how they can overcome voter suppression in their community.
The OWN Your Vote campaign has been informed by a study OWN conducted with over 700 Black women of voting age to identify critical issues affecting them. The political impact tracking study determined that affordable health care and racism/discrimination are the two most relevant issues to Black women this election season.
OWN Your Vote Partner Organizations include:
Advancement Project National Office
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated
AME Church Social Action Commission
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated
Fair Fight Action
Higher Heights Leadership Fund
Joseph and Evelyn Lowery Institute for Justice and Human Rights
The Kapor Center
The King Center (Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, Inc.)
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
The Links, Incorporated
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF)
The Southern Area of The Links, Incorporated presents the second in a series of Surviving, Thriving and Mobilizing and the New South Virtual Town Hall Meetings! On Thursday, September 24th at 9 PM EST, witness "Politics, Faith & Media: Harnessing the Collective Power of When We All Vote." Joining the one hour 15 minute discussion will be one of the most powerful men in politics, House Majority Whip Rep. James Clyburn, renowned activist and faith leader, Bishop William Barber and journalist/talk show host Roland Martin. The meeting will be shown live via Facebook telecast, on the Southern Area Website (www.salinksinc.org) and via Youtube.