Many South Florida residents left behind in the age of technology

The Miami Herald published an enlightening article on the disparity in internet access in the homes of South Florida residents: 3 in 10 in South Florida don’t have Internet. If this doesn’t underscore the absolute necessity of really addressing the digital divide, I don’t know what will.

You can’t get very many jobs nowadays without applying online and being contacted via e-mail, that’s just the way it is. If you have children, don’t cripple them by purchasing luxuries like video games and expensive clothing  if they don’t have the necessities. Internet access is a necessity.


We’re on Facebook

We're on Facebook!

Woo-hoo! We’ve just launched our new Facebook page for Blogging Black Miami to offer you another means of staying connected to us and each other. Feel free to “fan” us or “like” us, or whatever it is that Facebook is offering now. We’re excited by this opportunity to continue our mission of informing, educating, entertaining and engaging our readers. Smooches…


Bloggers of Color set to gather for largest conference ever



'Blogging While Brown' to be held June 18-19 in Washington, DC

Washington, DC --- At a time when many social media conferences are struggling with issues of diversity and inclusion among their speakers and attendees, the Blogging While Brown Conference continues to provide one of the largest lineups of Black social media experts and serves as one of the largest gatherings of Black bloggers each year. Since its launch in 2008 Blogging While Brown has grown to become the premier blogging conference dedicated to collaboration, education, and innovation among bloggers of color. 
Blogging While Brown 2010 will be held in Washington, DC, June 18-19, 2010 at the
Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Despite challenging economic times the conference has grown exponentially and this year's conference promises to be the largest ever

African Americans are embracing their roles as independent digital media content creators and are emerging as a burgeoning class of media owners.
"Blogging While Brown is a must-go to conference if you are looking for the next Black leaders in American culture. If you're a blogger who happens to be African American, this is the place to go to connect with and learn from those who have succeeded in the blogosphere," said Cheryl Contee of
Fission Strategy and co-founder of the blog, Jack and Jill Politics. Contee is a member of the Blogging While Brown Advisory Committee.
"For sponsors and media influentials, this is where the action is - look no further to find the next generation of influentials who already have strong, vital audiences who have flocked to build active, motivated communities online," Contee says.
Conference organizers predict that this year's conference will be the largest ever. "If the initial response to our Call for Ideas is any indication, this year's conference will be our largest ever," said Gina McCauley, the founder of the Blogging While Brown Conference.
This year the conference is once again expanding by adding a Blogging Day of Service. Conference organizers will be offering a FREE
Beginning Blogger Boot Camp aimed at non-bloggers in the local Washington, DC community. The Boot Camp will be held Friday, June 18 at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Public Library.
"It's our gift to our host community and a tangible manifestation of our goal to live in a world where everyone can blog," McCauley said.
Conference activities will kick off Friday morning with our pre-conference Beginning Blogger Boot Camp. Conference registration check-in begins Friday afternoon followed by our Friday night social event. Saturday will be a day filled with workshops, panels, case studies, and a town hall meeting. 
For more information and to register visit

WARNING: 809, 284 or 876 area code scam

Periodically, e-mails warning of a scam involving calls from the 809 area code circulate. The e-mails contend that there has been fraud associated with unscrupulous pay-per-call operators in that area code. However, the message contains some misinformation, especially the highly exaggerated cost of a phone call to the 809 area code, which is a legitimate area code for the Dominican Republic. Fortunately, this scam is less prevalent in recent years as a result of work done by AT&T to eliminate access to fraudulent pay-per-call operators.

This long distance phone scam causes consumers to inadvertently incur high charges on their phone bills. Consumers usually receive a message telling them to call a phone number with an 809, 284 or 876 area code in order to collect a prize, find out information about a sick relative, etc. The caller assumes the number is a typical three-digit U.S. area code; however, the caller is actually connected to a phone number outside the United States, often in Canada or the Caribbean, and charged international call rates. Unfortunately, consumers don't find out that they have been charged higher international call rates until they receive their bill.

AT&T offers the following information and tips:

  • Return calls to familiar numbers only. As a general rule, return calls from numbers that contain familiar or recognizable area codes. You may call your directory assistance or long distance operator to check the area code location.
  • Carefully read your telephone bill. Make sure that you only receive charges from your provider of choice. Ensure you thoroughly understand charges listed on your phone bill, have chosen to do business with all of the listed providers billing for those charges and have authorized additional fees invoiced. If your local service provider has changed, you will receive a final bill from the former provider and a notice of service disconnection.

If you believe that you have been scammed:

  • Contact the carrier with whom the charge originated, whose name and toll-free telephone number should be printed on the same bill page as the charge in question. Often, the problem can be resolved with a single phone call.
  • If the carrier with whom the charge originated does not agree to resolve the problem, contact AT&T. AT&T will work with you and the carrier to help remove fraudulent charges from the phone bill.

You may file a complaint online with the Federal Communications Commission about this and/or related phone scams.

Almost at my Twitter goal! Thank you! [VIDEO]

Woo-hoo! It's almost December and I'm just a few followers away from my goal of 2,000 by the end of the year. Thank you to everyone who has made this accomplishment possible. I've still set my sight on Top Twitterer Ashton Kutcher who's now at 4,028,795! Aarrgh!

I'm projected to be act over 2,100 but I'm fine with my own projection. I'd really appreciate your helping me increase my Twitter followers and make Mr. Kutcher nervous, okay?



Miami-Dade County Charter Review: Don't Sleep On This!

Miamidade_county_180pxseal_fullco_2 The review of the Miami-Dade County charter should be a top priority item for Blacks in Miami and surrounding municipalities. As Blacks have moved north to Broward County and out of state, the power of the Black vote has diminished significantly. The further division of Blacks into sub-groups ---Haitian, Jamaican, etc.-- weakens the Black vote even more. Let's not even get into Black Hispanics that are not fairly represented politcally and economically in Miami-Dade County. Well, let's not get into it now.

This is not a whine and cheese session; it's about being proactive. Another unfortunate reality is that too often, by the time issues such as these are made public, strategy sessions have alreay occurred and decisions made. Does that mean we just sit back and take it, I don't think so.

As citizens, we seem to have forgotten that it's "government of the people, by the people and for the people." We allow the powers that be to divide us into various ethnic and religious groups when the reality is that our challenges, as citizens, are largely based on economics more than anything else --- don't be fooled.

Anyhoo, check this space for updates on the charter review process. A very important hearing is scheduled for 6 PM, Tuesday, August 28th with the Joseph Caleb Center as one of the sites. Commendably, technology is being utilized to connect citizens via e-mail, webcast, etc. However, Blacks should attend the regional meeting at the Caleb Center to address this issue. There is nothing like people getting together and feeding off the positive energy of camaraderie. Let's not allow the sterility of the internet to keep us disconnected.

Spread the word about these meetings. Check this space later for more info on the charter review process and the folks charged with this awesome task.

From Miami Today:

Charter panel to suggest raises, term limits for commissioners

By Wayne Tompkins
   The Miami-Dade County Charter Review Task Force has drafted a preliminary recommendation that commissioners be paid a full-time salary and limited to serving two four-year terms.
   In addition, commissioners would be barred from outside employment while in office and would forfeit all pensions and salary if found guilty of "violating the public trust."
   Task force chairman Victor Diaz Jr., a Miami Beach attorney, said the recommendation is not final but designed to solicit public comment at a series of workshops.
   "We want to know if the public thinks, for example, that the term limits are too high or too low," Mr. Diaz said.
   Commissioners currently are paid $6,000 a year and are not term-limited.
   The 21-member board has been charged with reviewing the county's 50-year-old charter, the equivalent of a constitution. The body will make recommendations that ultimately will go before voters. The task force has until Oct. 31 to complete its work but has asked commissioners for a 90-day extension. [Continue reading...]

Press Release on revised public hearing process:

For Immediate Release:
August 21, 2007

Media Contact:
Marie Bertot

New Public Hearing Process For The Miami-Dade County Charter Review Task Force

Four Regional Locations Made Available for Public’s Participation
During Hearings on August 28 and 30, 2007

(Miami-Dade County, FL) --
As a result of overwhelming public interest and to encourage maximum community participation, the Charter Review Task Force changed the format for regional public hearings scheduled on Tuesday, August 28 and Thursday, August 30, 2007. The public hearings will be held at the County Commission Chambers and public participation will also be made available at the Joseph Caleb Center and West Dade Regional Library on August 28, and Miami Beach City Hall and Hialeah City Hall on August 30. The format for the regional meeting at the South Dade Government Center on Wednesday, August 22, 2007 will remain as originally planned due to the unavailability of the Commission Chambers.

This format will allow residents to participate in person, by watching on the internet (www.miamidade.gov/webcast) or Miami-Dade TV, and provide comments by e-mail at [email protected] or phone at 305-375-2055 or 305-375-2059 (only available during public hearings).

Participants at the four regional locations will be able to view the public hearing, and will be linked to the Task Force downtown via e-mail and phone. County personnel will be available at regional locations to assist individuals in communicating their comments. 

Free shuttle transportation will also be available from the four regional locations from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm for those interested in attending the public hearing at the County Commission Chambers.

For more information on the Charter Review Task Force and to provide public comments, please visit www.miamidade.gov/charterreview  or call 3-1-1.

When & Where

  • Wednesday, August 22, 2007, 6:00 pm
    • Charter Review Workshop & Public Hearing
      South Dade Government Center
      10710 SW 211th St. Conference Room 203
      Cutler Bay, FL 33189
  • Tuesday, August 28, 2007, 6:00 pm
    • Charter Review Workshop & Public Hearing
      Stephen P. Clark Government Center
      111 NW 1st St., Commission Chambers, 2nd Floor
      Miami, FL 33128
    • Regional Location - Via Remote Technology
      Joseph Caleb Center
      5400 NW 22nd Ave., Auditorium
      Miami, FL 33142
    • Regional Location - Via Remote Technology
      West Dade Regional Library
      9445 Coral Way, 2nd Floor Auditorium
      Miami, FL 33165
  • Thursday, August 30, 2007, 6:00 pm
    • Charter Review Workshop & Public Hearing
      Stephen P. Clark Government Center
      111 NW 1st St., Commission Chambers, 2nd Floor
      Miami, FL 33128
    • Regional Location - Via Remote Technology
      City of Miami Beach, City Hall
      1700 Convention Center Dr., Commission Chambers, 3rd Floor
      Miami Beach, FL 33139       
    • Regional Location - Via Remote Technology
      City of Hialeah, City Hall
      501 Palm Ave. Council Chambers
      Hialeah, Florida 33010

# # #


Stephen P. Clark Center
111 NW 1st Street Suite 2510 Miami, Florida 33128-1986
(305) 375-2836 Fax (305) 375-3968