Government & Law

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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It's voting time! No excuses. Let's Go!

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Citizens of Wakanda, election season is upon us. Primary election day is August 28, 2018. If you are registered to vote in Florida, remember that you can vote by mail, vote early at any early voting site in your county or vote at your precinct on election day. See relevant information on the Miami-Dade County Elections site

Please see these resources from the League of Women Voters: BeReadyToVote.org and Vote411.org. Remember that the people who run things are those who vote. Blacks in Miami-Dade County are not expected to vote in significant numbers as long as Barack Obama is not on the ballot. Don't get mad, just vote. Wakanda Forever! 

This is how we should roll up in the polls to vote. #SquadGoals

Hidden figures

 Always remembering this:

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Choosing not to vote
 

 

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Judicial Candidate Forum, Mon. Aug. 6 at New Birth

GSCBWLA Judicial Candidates Forum 2018

The Gwen S. Cherry Black Women Lawyers Association (GSCBWLA), the Dade County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the South Florida Chapter of the National Action Network, the League of Women Voters, the ACLU of Florida, and the Miami Chapter of Jack and Jill of America are hosting a free community Judicial Candidates Forum on Monday, August 6, 2018, at 6:00 p.m. at New Birth Baptist Cathedral of Faith International, located at 2300 Northwest 135th Street, in Miami, Florida 33167. 

All of the Miami-Dade County judicial candidates, who will be on the August 2018 Primary Election ballot, have been invited to this Forum.  During the August Primary Election, there will be two (2) contested circuit judge seats and five (5) contested county court seats on the ballot.  In addition to presenting the candidates, we will also be presenting a Judicial Candidate Resource Guide for voters. 


CALL TO ACTION: Murder of Markeis McGlockton and Florida's Stand Your Ground Law

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BALTIMORE  — The NAACP Florida State Conference calls on the U.S. Department of Justice to open an immediate investigation and immediately intervene into the murder of Markeis McGlockton.

 “We know the misapplication of this horrendous idea of a law of standing your ground was an excuse to allow George Zimmerman to get away with murdering a young Trayvon Martin; and now it’s being used as an excuse for the murder of Markeis McGlockton –a loving father who only sought to defend his family,” said NAACP Chairman and Florida native Leon W. Russell.

The alleged killer, Michael Drejka, was not arrested or charged by Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri based on the Sheriff’s acceptance of his claim of the right to kill McGlockton according to the “Stand Your Ground” law. The case has been referred to the State’s Attorney who will determine whether Drejka’s excuse for murder will be accepted or if he will be charged? Regardless of the State Attorneys decision, the National Office of the NAACP joined the NAACP Florida State Conference and the NAACP Clearwater, Florida Branch in demanding the Department of Justice step in and investigates this killing.

“In cases like this, where local law enforcement fails to protect its citizens equally, it is the duty of the Department of Justice to step in and provide those protections,” said NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson. “We call on Jeff Sessions to do his job and to forcefully and clearly counter the growing attitude among many that its open season on Black lives.”

The Florida NAACP has continued to monitor the case and stand firm in its call for justice.  “This law must be changed. How many more black men and women have to die based on this inhumane law.” said Adora Obi Nweze, NAACP Florida State Conference President and National Board member.

“We’ve got to fight back against this law, it’s basically a license to target and kill Black people,” said Marva McWhite, NAACP Clearwater Branch President.

The NAACP will participate in a rally on Sunday against the killing that features the Rev. Al Sharpton.


Hot Talk and Civics Lesson on Last Sunday’s Episode of Hot Talk with Jill Tracey

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Last Sunday night's episode of Hot Talk with Jill Tracey was the personification of HOT. It was LIT! Click Jill's photo to listen. The fireworks start about 56:15.

Last Sunday night’s episode of Hot Talk with Jill Tracey was smoking hot and took an odd turn when the anticipated discussion between the candidates in the upcoming Florida Senate District 38 race, incumbent Daphne Campbell and challenger Jason Pizzo, turned into a bickering session and civics lesson but not the way one would have anticipated.

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Campbell was a no-show. She sent Brian Dennis to serve as her surrogate. Dennis said her son fell and hurt himself and she decided to stay home with him. Maybe not the best move and does not convey the best message to her constituents but that's what was said. Dennis, a minister, is a well-known community activist and columnist for The Miami Times. After the explanation of Campbell’s absence, there was some levity regarding children being closer to their mother. Then, as Dennis was asked about Campbell’s platform, the conversation went downhill rapidly. Dennis accused State Rep. Roy Hardemon of not giving Campbell credit for the $2 million in funding garnered for the Poinciana Industrial Park. Dennis said the bill was vetoed but Campbell brought it back. He also referenced a Miami Times article on the funding that features Hardemon, Dr. Mae Christian, author of the bill and “Broadway” Cuthbert Harewood, a local businessman and community organizer. Dennis took issue with Campbell being excluded from the photo and media coverage regarding funding for the industrial park. 

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Min. Brian Dennis speaks on behalf of State Sen. Daphne Campbell.
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From left, "Broadway" Cuthbert Harewood, Dr. Mae Christian and State Rep. Roy Hardemon in photo from the March 22, 2018 edition of The Miami Times show the $2 million appropriation for the Poinciana Industrial Park in the 2018-19 State Budget. Min. Brian Dennis said Senator Daphne Campbell helped secure the funding but was not credited by Hardemon and was unfairly excluded from the photo.

Hardemon called in to give his take on the Poinciana Park funding issue and the bill that was approved during the last Legislative Session. Christian also called in. She reiterated that she is the author of the bill. She said she doesn’t have a problem with Campbell and accused Dennis of trying to cause trouble. The bickering denigrated to the point that Christian called Dennis a liar. She went on to disclose that the money has not been received. It was supposed to be handled by the City of Miami but the property on which the transport center is to be built is in Miami-Dade County. Christian said they have been unsuccessful in getting a meeting with County budget director Jennifer Moon-Glazer. She also mentioned other funds of more substantial amounts that Dennis should be looking into rather than only focusing on the $2 million for the Poinciana Industrial Park.

Jason Pizzo interjected with an analogy that basically explained that both chambers of the Legislature (House and Senate) are required to get a bill passed. A bill beginning with HB identifies it as a House Bill and SB means a bill originated in the Senate. Dennis promised to provide Jill with e-mails supporting his position. He also promised to look into the status of the funding. Community activist Tangela Sears also called in. She explained that Legislators in different chambers do not share publicity with the sponsors of their companion bills. It’s not a slight to the legislator in the other chamber, that is just the way things are done.

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Without getting caught up on who got the credit for funding, there are indeed questions that need to be answered about the process and the funding for the Poinciana Industrial Park Intermodal Logistics Center. Researching myfloridahouse.gov shows that there might be some validity to the points Brian Dennis made. Hardemon’s HB 2767 indicates "indefinitely postponed and withdrawn from consideration" on March 10 but included in the Appropriations Act, or State Budget, on March 11. That seems strange. Please note that there is no indication of a companion "Senate Bill" for Hardemon’s House Bill but Senator Campbell did submit a Local Funding Initiative Request via Senate form 1203. Folks more knowledgeable in the legislative appropriations process are following up on what happened.  [Download FY2018-19_S1203]

 

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Highlighted language of the history of HB 2767 shows it was indefinitely postponed and withdrawn from consideration on 03/10/2018 but included in the State Budget on the following day.
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This is how the funding for the Poinciana Industrial Parl Intermodal Logistics Center is listed in the State 2018-19 General Appropriations Act (State Budget). Please note that the original request was for $25 million.

 

Here is a link to the show. Please take the time to listen to the entire show as it shares crucial information about the New Florida Vision PAC and the push to elect Andrew Gillum governor of Florida, the grand opening of Jonathan Spikes’ AFFIRMing Youth Center, comments on Pumps Pearls & Politics 2018 and other important topics. The heated discussion starts about 56:15 of the recording after Jill introduces the folks in the studio.

At the end of the day, most people will listen to the July 29, 2018 episode of Hot Talk because of the bickering. Let’s look at it as a teachable lesson and a learning opportunity. Most of us have a lot to learn about the detailed machinations of our government and laws. Let’s take the time to do so and hold our elected officials responsible for communicating with us about the laws they approve or disapprove. It is also crucial to note that the original funding request for the Poinciana Industrial Park Intermodal Logistics Center was for $25 million. How effective will the project be for $2 million? Or will it be another project in which funds are squandered in the Black community? #STAYwoke

 

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 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


United State of Women is coming to Miami June 9 & 10 to Galvanize Florida

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The United State of Women (USOW) is coming to Miami on June 9 and 10 for a weekend of connecting with local allies, learning about the work being done in Florida and across the country, and training breakouts based on how women want to make an impact on this community, state, nation and perhaps world.

On the heels of the 2018 USOW Summit, USOW is convening communities across the country and equipping women with the tools they need to keep fighting for gender equity. 

The topics to be covered are:

•Running for Office, powered by VoteRunLead

•Grassroots Organizing, powered by Midwest Academy 

•Leadership, powered by Courtney A. Seard 

•Entrepreneurship, powered by BRAVA Investments

The weekend begins with a high-energy main stage session where participants will hear from local and national leaders. It also includes an Engagement Fair where attendees will be able to network with organizations making an impact in different areas of gender equality. Featured speakers include Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson and Valerie Jarrett, Former Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama and Chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls. 

Training of this magnitude would typically cost $1,000+. The cost to attend the Galvanize Program is $50, a scholarship application is available. Attendees are responsible for their own housing and transportation. If you need a hotel room, take advantage of the hotel block at the Hyatt Regency Miami.  

Register for Galvanize Florida here!

 

 

 


NAACP and Black Greek-Letter Organizations Mobilize for Voter Engagement, Join Webinar TONIGHT!

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Register NOW for tonight’s webinar as the Divine Nine collaborate with the NAACP to effect positive change via voter engagement. During its annual public board meeting in New York City earlier this year, the NAACP announced several key partnerships designed to expand the reach, impact and effectiveness of the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organizations.

The NAACP signed agreements with announced partnerships with the NNPA: The Black Press of America; the National Pan Hellenic Council (NPHC); the African-American Institute, and The Links, Incorporated. As part of an overall strategy, the NAACP will shift resources towards mobilization efforts for the 2018-midterm elections and beyond.

“Working with partners remains a critical part of unifying the Black community as we prepare to make our voices heard at the polls and on ineffective public policies,” said NAACP National Board Chairman Leon W. Russell. “These groups have answered the call to work with us to expand membership and our ability to educate our community on the need for aggressive civic engagement.”

“These partnerships are part of our strategic plan to unite the various strands of our community into powerful forms of operational unity,” said NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson. “We have come to understand that elections have consequences and if the consequences of the most-recent presidential election means we recognize the need for greater unity among people and organizations of color; then we are moving in the right direction,” added Johnson.

Calling all members of the Divine Nine - Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated; Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated; Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated; Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated; Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated; Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated; Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated; Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated and Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Incorporated to join tonight’s webinar. Register at https://www.anymeeting.com/AccountManager/RegEv.aspx?PIID=ED54D888884C3A . 

As the NAACP strategically rolls out this mobilization and voter engagement plan, the North Carolina Legislature has already witnessed the power of the NPHC as the NC Divine Nine gathered recently for Legislative Day. As, Delta Sigma Theta member Terry Spicer wrote: “Hundreds in the majestic and powerful Colors of the Divine Nine were a sight to behold!”

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Gathering of members for the North Carolina Divine Nine Legislative Day. Photos: Terry Spicer (Facebook)

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MOU between the NAACP and NPHC (leaders of black greek-letter organizations).

 

 

 #OurVotesMatter

 

 

 

 

 


Nelson secures federal funding for Floridians

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U.S. Senator Bill Nelson

 

Washington, DC – U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) announced that the $1.3 trillion spending package Congress unveiled last night includes funding for several projects and programs important to Floridians including: increased spending  to fight the opioid epidemic, additional funding for citrus greening research and significant funding for democracy programs in both Venezuela and Cuba, as well as provisions Nelson co-sponsored to address gun violence. 

Funding for the following Florida projects and programs sought by Nelson have been included in the federal spending package: 

·         $3.3 billion to fight the opioid epidemic and mental health crises. An estimated 2.6 million Americans suffer from opioid use disorder. In Florida alone, more than 5,200 people have died from an opioid-related event in 2016 – a 35 percent increase from 2015. Nelson requested additional funding for treatment, prevention and research. 

·         $67.47 million in total funding for citrus greening research and the Citrus Health Research Program. As citrus greening has hurt growers across Florida, Nelson has advocated for increased funding to study and address the problem to help the state’s citrus industry. 

·         $895 million for Kennedy Space Center to modernize launch facilities, more than doubling what the center received last year.  Nelson requested the increased funding to bolster work on launch and processing infrastructure needed for NASA’s initiative to explore deep space. 

·         $121 million for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to purchase a reliable backup for its aging hurricane hunter jet.  Nelson has been pushing for a replacement since 2015. The funding comes in the wake of several incidents over the last two years when the jet NOAA uses to gather hurricane measurements was grounded during hurricane season. 

·         $76.5 million in total funding to protect and restore the Everglades. U.S. Army Corps budget was also increased, allowing additional funding for Everglades restoration. 

·         $82 million to repair the Herbert Hoover Dike. U.S. Army Corps budget was also increased, allowing for additional funding for dike repairs. 

·         $279.6 million, a 14-percent increase, in funding to support Historical Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The four historically black colleges and universities in Florida—Florida A&M in Tallahassee, Florida Memorial University in Miami Gardens, Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach and Edward Waters College in Jacksonville – prepare over 16,000 students for careers in STEM, aviation, law, nursing and other fields. 

·         $250 million in federal funding for positive train control grants.  Positive train control technology will help prevent deadly crashes on our railroads. It’s critically important for those railroads that carry passengers, like Sunrail and Tri-Rail.  Nelson, the ranking member on the Senate Commerce Committee, pressed for the funding to help passenger railroads meet a federal deadline to install the lifesaving technology.  

·         $100 million for research and development program for automated vehicles. The SunTrax facility at Florida Polytechnic University is a qualified proving ground and will have the opportunity to benefit from the program. 

·         Restored and increased funds to $35 million for democracy programs in Venezuela and Cuba. Nelson requested Congress “redouble, not eliminate support for democracy and human rights” in Venezuela. The democracy programs support civil society organizations and promote human rights. 

·         Included $60 million for the Nonprofits Security Grant Program. The program helps certain non-profits harden their facilities against attack, such as organization like the Jewish Community Centers (JCCs) in Orlando and Miami and elsewhere. Nelson requested this funding after JCCs across Florida received a series of telephone bomb threats. 

·         Increased funding for the Holocaust Survivor Assistance Program to $5 million. Nelson requested $5 million in funding to provide long-term support and services for Holocaust survivors. 

 

The spending package included several provisions Nelson co-sponsored to address gun violence in Florida and across the country, including: 

·         Fix NICS Act. Nelson cosponsored this bipartisan bill, which requires federal agencies and states to develop implementation plans to upload to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) all information prohibiting a person from purchasing a firearm, rewards states who comply with these plans through federal grant preferences, and reauthorizes and improves programs that help states share information on criminal records with NICS, among other things. 

·         STOP School Violence Act. Nelson co-sponsored this bipartisan bill that would allow schools to access federal funds to invest in programs, training and technology to keep students safe. 

·         CDC Gun Violence Research. The spending package included language to clarify that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) can conduct research on gun violence.


Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson’s Statement on the Passage of the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2018

 

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Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson

 

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson issued the following statement on the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2018:

“Although I am extremely disappointed that a DACA fix was not included, I am pleased that Congress has finally passed the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2018 that President Trump signed today. After numerous temporary funding measures and unnecessarily stringent budget caps, this bill, although imperfect, funds several items that are critical to Florida and to the nation.
  

“In addition to rejecting the Trump administration’s cruel anti-immigrant agenda, the omnibus invests heavily in key priorities like child care, education, transportation and infrastructure, national security, affordable housing, public safety, election protection, medical and health care research, our nation’s veterans, and many other line items. These investments are certain to help boost job creation for America’s workers, economic growth, and support badly needed by those living in disadvantaged communities.

 

“Wins for Florida and District 24 include:

 

  • A 14 percent increase in funding for historically black colleges and universities, including Florida A&M, Florida Memorial University, Bethune-Cookman and Edward Waters College in Jacksonville
  • Additional funding for the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund spending target established by WRRDA 2014, which will benefit PortMiami

  • $250 million in federal funding for positive train control grants to prevent deadly crashes on Florida railroads
  • $416 million for Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants

  • Restored proposed administration cuts to Everglades restoration projects

  • $610 million increase for Head Start, a $2.37 billion increase for the Child Care and Development Block Grant Program and a $300 million increase in grants to Title I schools

  • $3.3 billion for Community Development Block Grants

  • $22 billion for public housing vouchers for needy populations, including the elderly, disabled, and persons living with HIV/AIDS

 

“I also was very pleased that I was able to insert in the legislation $10 million for support of a “multi-partner trust fund or other multi-lateral efforts to assist communities in Haiti affected by cholera resulting from the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti.”