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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 

 


Black Media Professionals Honored at Second Annual BOMA Awards

BOMA winners 2018
Black media professionals honored at 2018 BOMA Awards.

MIAMI – It’s not often that you’ll hear a faith-based economist quoting the rapper Drake or have the opportunity to sit in a room filled with 150 of South Florida’s most talented black media professionals, but that’s exactly what happened Thursday, September 20, at 11 a.m. when the Black Owned Media Alliance (BOMA) held the Second Annual BOMA Awards at Miami’s Hilton Airport Hotel.

Experts from various aspects of the industry came together to honor the multi-talented individuals who have dedicated their careers to not only authentically telling the African Diaspora’s stories, but also creating economic opportunities to build its wealth and strengthen its core.

WMBM’s Debra Toomer served as the Mistress of Ceremony and Dr. Lance McCarthy – a nationally recognized Faith-Based Economist and Investment Advisor with a specialty in Urban Development – delivered the keynote.

After giving some staggering statistics, McCarthy challenged the audience to implement the 3Cs of consciousness, currency and communications to enrich the Black community.

“We’ve had the DNA of black business owners since the beginning of time. We know black history, but not black business history. …We don’t need any more programs, we need projects. How do we put information out there continuously on black wealth? How do we create a platform to be able to move our agenda forward,” McCarthy asked.

“The sin is not being blind, the sin is not being deaf, the sin is not doing what God called you to do,” McCarthy continued, saying Drake got it right when he said “YOLO (You Only Live Once),” “God’s Plan” and “Started from the Bottom Now We’re Here.”

Honorees included: Teri Williams, President of OneUnited Bank as BOMA Champion of the Year; Bernadette Morris, Founder and Chairman of Sonshine Communications as BOMA Icon of the Year; Publix as BOMA Advocate of the Year; Sandy Walker, Publisher of The Gospel Truth, as BOMA Vanguard of the Year; Peter Webley, Publisher of Caribbean Today, as BOMA Visionary of the Year; and John Yearwood, Yearwood Media Group, as BOMA Luminary of the Year.

Award winners included:  Hip Rock Star, Marketing Firm of the Year; S.A. Nelson & Associates, PR Firm of the Year; WOW Factor, Advertising Agency of the Year; The Mosaic Group, Black Advertising Agency of the Year; Calibe Thompson, Blondie Ras Productions, Inc., Best TV Communicator of the Year; Lynda Harris, Independent Financial Advisor, Best Radio Communicator of the Year; Russell Motley, MIA Media Group, Best Print Communicator of the Year; Tracy Timberlake, Timberlake Ventures, Best Digital Communicator of the Year; LaShannon Petit, PRPL Miami, Best Social Media Communicator of the Year; David Muir, Photo/Video Journalist of the Year; and Arriale Henry, The Westside Gazette, BOMA Rising Star Award.

In addition to serving as the MC, Toomer received the President's Award for her commitment to excellent service and BOMA President Dexter Bridgeman received the first Spirit of Dexter Bridgeman Award, an annual award created in his honor as the organizing founder of BOMA.

Bridgeman said the organization was created in 2015 to address the disparity that exists in South Florida for black-owned media outlets when it comes to receiving viable economic and financial opportunities.

 


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

hot talk with jill tracey
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.

Campbell-Pizzo

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. 

Min. Brian Dennis on Hot Talk
Min. Brian Dennis speaks on behalf of State Sen. Daphne Campbell.
miami times poinciana industrial park
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.

Hb2767

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]

 

Hb 2767 status
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.
GAA
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

 

Va-va signature with butterflies

@vanessawbyers
 

 


Miami Deltas and City of Miami Police hold gun buyback TODAY

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The City of Miami Police Department, in conjunction with the ladies of the Miami Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, is holding a gun buyback event to reduce gun violence in the city.

The buyback allows anyone to surrender weapons anonymously in exchange for cash/gift cards, valued at $250 for rifles .223 caliber and higher (AK-47, AR-15, etc.) and at $50 cash/gift card for any firearm.

Bring your weapons to the Belafonte-TACOLCY Center, 6161 NW 9th Avenue, Miami, Florida 33127 on Saturday, June 16, 2018, between 10 AM and 1 PM. No questions asked!

 

 


 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.

2018 dem gubernatorial candidates

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.

alcindor and hernandez

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


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.”


UPDATE: Miami TV News Producer Fired for Racial Slur Caught on Video

Producer terminated
Miami's WSVN News Producer Robin Cross has been terminated following video of her using a racial slur.

Miami’s WSVN-TV Channel 7 News producer Robin Cross has been terminated. Cross was the subject of international media coverage as the woman caught on cell phone video yelling at her neighbor about vehicle  parking. Cross’s profanity-laced tirade ended with her using a racial slur in reference to the Black girlfriend of her neighbor’s son.

It is unfortunate and disappointing that WSVN allowed this story to linger for five days before taking action beyond suspension of Cross. It is also unfortunate that WSVN didn’t use this as a teachable moment and opportunity for healing via a community conversation about race. America will never be as great a nation as she can be until that very painful and shameful issue is addressed and overcome.

Thank you to everyone who contacted WSVN to voice their opinions regarding the situation. This is what happens when people unite. This is what happens when we are more than just keyboard soldiers. This is what happens when we take action.

 

#STAYwoke

 

Related Link:

Miami's WSVN-TV Ch. 7 Producer Caught on Video Using Racial Slur and Profanity [VIDEO] [EXPLICIT LANGUAGE]

 


Miami's WSVN-TV Ch. 7 Producer Caught on Video Using Racial Slur and Profanity [VIDEO] [EXPLICIT LANGUAGE]

Robin Cross
Robin Cross (Facebook)

WSVN-TV Ch. 7 producer Robin Cross was captured on video engaged in a spat with her neighbor, Robert Fenton. Cross drops the f-bomb several times and drops the n-bomb in referring to Fenton's son's girlfriend who is Black. Cross and the Fentons are white. This incident occurred in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

The younger Fenton is an attorney. He contacted WSVN with the video and an explanation of what transpired. He also demanded Cross be fired. After several days, it appears that Cross has been suspended (probably with pay) but not fired. Her racism is clearly on display. Saying the word "nigger" out loud in public appears to have been a liberating experience for her. 

Ch. 7 needs to do the right thing and terminate her employment now. Her future work product will not be perceived as objective. Her interaction with non-white fellow employees or subordinates will be strained at best. The leadership of the station will be considered racist also. The fact that Cross is still employed does not bode well for WSVN. The video is not well lit but Cross's words are loud and clear. Watch the video and judge for yourself. 

WSVN Producer Caught Using N Word from Gossip Extra on Vimeo.

It's very disappointing that WSVN has not already reported this story, condemned Cross's behavior and announced her termination. Bigoted folks like Cross are another reason why we must support Black media - newspapers, magazines, TV, radio and online. 

Here is contact information for WSVN:
WSVN-TV Sunbeam Television Corp 
1401 79th Street Causeway
Miami, FL 33141
Switchboard: (305) 751-6692
Newsroom: (305) 795-2777
News Director: Tony Gonzalez
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/7NewsMiami/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/wsvn

 


Miami-Dade County School Board Member Dr. Steve Gallon III Urges the extension of Temporary Protected Status for Haitian nationals

Dr. Steve Gallon III
Dr. Steve Gallon III



At today's regular monthly meeting of the Miami-Dade School Board, District 1 School Board Member Dr. Steve Gallon III will advance agenda item H-18, authorizing Schools Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho to urge Pres. Donald Trump and Secretary of Homeland Security John F. Kelly to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitian nationals for at least another 18-month period. 
 
TPS was granted to Haitian nationals who were in the U.S. as of January 12, 2010, the date of the devastating earthquake in Haiti. The U.S. has provided a safe haven to approximately 50,000 Haitians who have been unable to return to their home country because of insurmountable environmental obstacles, deadly diseases and violence. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) granted a six-month extension in TPS to Haitian nationals on Monday. The sad reality is Haiti will be in no better position to humanely receive and care for the more than 50,000 people affected, when the extension expires January 22, 2018.
 
The vast majority of these individuals has been in the US for at least 6 1/2 years, well before the 2010 earthquake, and has strong community ties including families with U.S.-born children. Haiti’s government is in no position to insure the safety to or assimilate these 50,000 Haitians, nor to make up for their remittances should they be curtailed by their deportation, and it remains unsafe to deport them. Their deportation would consequently tend to destabilize Haiti, which is contrary to the national security interest of the U.S.
 
DHS’s announcement extending Haiti’s TPS designation for six months, rather than the usual 18 months, sends mixed signals and omits significant facts.  The announcement stresses this is likely the last extension, that TPS holders should prepare their travel documents for return to Haiti, and that conditions have greatly improved. Further, the announcement also misleadingly states, “96 percent of people displaced by the earthquake and living in internally displaced person camps have left those camps.  Even more encouraging is that over 98 percent of these camps have closed.” This is misleading because many camps were forcibly closed due to regular, unchallenged, large-scale evictions by landowners, not because other housing had been found, which it had not been, or because residents had any place else to go.  This has been a huge problem in Haiti.  Even more significantly, several of the larger camps were reclassified by the Haitian government as "permanent housing," simply because the residents had attached so much salvaged building material to their shanties.
 
Recent leaked DHS efforts to demonize Haitians as criminals and welfare cheats as a means of justifying termination were reprehensible: inherently racist, such considerations are irrelevant since TPS is a humanitarian program, TPS recipients are ineligible for welfare, and criminals are ineligible for TPS.
 

The Miami-Dade County School Board Meeting starts 11 a.m., today, in the School Board Administration Building auditorium at 1450 Northeast Second Avenue, Miami, FL 33132. 

 

NAACP Releases Report Card: Florida Failing in Key Categories

NAACP_logo_2010

The NAACP Florida State Conference releases a statewide Economic Development Report Card upon examining the records of cities, counties, school districts and private sector organizations.

FORT LAUDERDALE— Adora Obi Nweze, President of NAACP Florida State Conference and Torey Alston, State Economic Development Chair released a statewide Economic Development Report Card after examining the records of leading public and private organizations over the last several months.

“I am excited to release this year’s Diversity Matters Report Card the records of public agencies from the Panhandle to the Florida Keys,” says Adora Obi Nweze, who also serves as a member of the National Board of the NAACP. “Diversity and inclusion continue to be a challenge in Florida and the NAACP will continue to sound the alarm for equality and fairness for all Floridians.”

The Diversity Matters Initiative examined the records of targeted cities, counties, school districts and private corporations statewide.  The NAACP Florida State Conference examined their records on employment, advertising and spending with minority, women and veteran-owned businesses.  The NAACP Florida State Conference conducts this review annually, proposes recommendations and releases its findings to the public. 

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“Our Diversity Matters Report Card is an annual investigation reviewing workforce diversity, local contracting expenditures and advertising budgets in urban, rural and suburban areas,” says Torey Alston, who led this statewide effort on diversity and serves as 3rd Vice-President of the NAACP Florida State Conference. “This year’s report card continues to show cities, counties, school districts, and private companies have diversity and inclusion as the last priority.  While there are some bright spots, there is still much work to be done ensuring diversity and inclusion is reflected in all aspects of government and the private sector.”

Here is the grading scale and methodology used for the report card:

Diversity Metric /Overall Total = Grade

  • A – Excellent (25% and higher): Meets and exceeds diversity and inclusion standards
  • B – Above Average (20% to 24%): Above average performance on diversity and inclusion standards 
  • C – Average (15% to 19%): Average performance on diversity and inclusion standards
  • D – Below Average (14% to 18%): Below average performance on diversity and inclusion standards
  • F – Failing (13% and below): Does not meet diversity and inclusion standards
  • *F – Not Reported

TOTAL

GRADE

#

PERCENTAGE

A

0

0.0%

B

5

12.5%   

C

1

2.5%

D

12

30.0%

F

22

55.0%

Total

40

 

Looking closer at the report card, none of the 40 entities evaluated received a total grade of “A.” Only five entities received a total grade of “B” --- Duval County School District, Hendry County School District, Miami-Dade County School District, City of Fort Walton Beach, and Manatee County Board of Commissioners. One entity, Osceola County Board of Commissioners, received a total grade of “C.” Thirty-four, or 85% of the entities evaluated, received a total grade of “D” or “F.”

There is significant room for improvement in the categories dealing with spending and advertising & marketing. No surprise, is the abysmal failing grade in those areas as several local individuals and organizations have complained of this disparity in contracting with black businesses for many years. All the entities received an “F” in the “Small, Veteran & Minority Business Spending” category except one. Miami-Dade County Board of Commissioners received a “D.”

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The NAACP releases report cards every year. Now that this report card has been released, it is crucial that organizations and individuals throughout Florida are relentless in demanding transparency and diversity in how the tax dollars in their respective communities are allocated and spent.