Elections

Urgent and Important Community Conversation: Let People Vote

Let People Vote Town Hall 7-29

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

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.

 

Scott Exec Order
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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IMG_3783 Bbm ballot breakdown 2019

 


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.

Early voting locations 1118
  

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

Bbm ballot breakdown 2018-3
 

 


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! 

 

Va-va signature with butterflies

@vanessawbyers
 

 


Monday, July 30, 2018 is the Deadline to Register to Vote or Update Voter Information

 

Register to vote

Monday, July 30, 2018, is the deadline to register to vote or to update voter information for the upcoming August 28, 2018 Primary Election in Florida. If you are a registered independent voter and you want to vote for a Democrat or a Republican gubernatorial candidate in the Primary, you must change your Party affiliation by tomorrow also because Florida is a closed primary election state.

(from Florida Division of Elections)

Only voters who are registered members of political parties may vote for respective party candidates or nominees for an office in a primary election including a presidential preference primary election.

However, there are times when all registered voters can vote in a primary election, regardless of which major or minor political party they are registered or even if they are registered without a specific party affiliation:

  1. If all the candidates for an office have the same party affiliation and the winner of the primary election will not face any opposition in the general election (i.e. no write-in candidates have qualified), then all registered voters can vote for any of the candidates for that office in the primary election.
  2. If races for nonpartisan (i.e., free from party affiliation) judicial and school board offices, nonpartisan special districts or local referendum questions are on the primary election ballot, then all registered voters, including those without party affiliation are entitled to vote those races on the ballot.

At a general election, all registered voters receive the same ballot and may vote for any candidate or question on the ballot. If there are write-in candidates who have qualified for a particular office, a space will be left on the ballot where their name can be written.

Click here if you live in Miami-Dade County and here if you live in another Florida county.

Remember that you can vote by mail or you can early vote or you can vote at your polling site on August 28, 2018.

 


Chill, Chat & Chew with the Candidates, Wednesday, August 1, 2018

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Join me, my friend Andre Joyce, the owners and staff of Lil GreenHouse Grill, and other politically-minded individuals as we enjoy edgy neo-soul cuisine, complimentary hors d'oeuvres (courtesy of Lil GreenHouse Grill), and adult beverages 5pm-8:30pm, on Wednesday, August 1, 2018.

Chat with the candidates for office in the upcoming Primary Election. Your vote is your voice. Come through so you can be an informed voter. Don't miss Chill, Chat & Chew with the Candidates.

Thanks, VaVa!

Candidates

Circuit Court Judge - Renee Gordon

County Court Judge - Olanike "Nike" Adebayo

State Senator District 38 - Daphne Cambell, Jason Pizzo

State Representative District 108 - Joseph Beauvil, Roy Hardemon, Dotie Joseph

State Representative District 109 - James Bush III, Cedric McMinn

Miami-Dade County School Board District 2 - Brandon Alfred, Dorothy Bendross Mindingall

#chillchatchew #miami #politics #election2018


Congresswoman Frederica Wilson to Highlight the 6th Annual Pumps, Pearls and Politics

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The 6th Annual Pumps, Pearls & Politics forum presented by the Connection Committee of the Gamma Zeta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. This highly anticipated event will take place Saturday, July 28, 2018, at the Smith Conference Center at Florida Memorial University in Miami Gardens. Candidate meet and greets and light refreshments start at 11 a.m. and the program starts promptly at 11:30 a.m. Although this event is women-focused, men are welcome and strongly encouraged to attend.

Special guest, Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson, will provide closing remarks. Other panelists include Orange County Clerk of Court Tiffany Moore Russell; Miami Gardens Councilwoman Felicia Robinson; Quiana McKenzie, Regional Campaign Finance Advisor of Emily’s List; and Sally Boynton Brown former Executive Director of the Florida Democratic Party. Hot105's Jill Tracey will serve as moderator. 

Various topics facing our community will be discussed especially current policies and elections affecting women and minorities in South Florida. Tickets can be purchased online until midnight July 25th at http://pumpspearlspolitics2018.eventbrite.com. E-mail Dr. Natasha Allen at pumpspearlspolitics@gmail.com for more information.

 

 

Pumps

 

 


 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