Thursday, May 26, 2016

"Ban the Box" Ordinance Under Consideration in Broward County

 Broward County may soon join other governments across the country and "ban the box." The phrase refers to removing the checkbox on employment applications that ask if the person has a criminal record.  
"This is one area where the County can show leadership in terms of how we deal with folks who might have had some issues in the past who now want to live a full life and be productive.  There are 70 million Americans who have had some issues with the law whether it be arrest or conviction," said Commissioner Dale V.C. Holness who brought the issue forward.  
"We are lucky we have a progressive County Administrator, a progressive County Commission and a staff that is alert to the difficulties that people have gone through in the past," said Mayor Marty Kiar.
The proposed ordinance, if passed, would mean that Broward County government would not inquire about an applicant's criminal history and would not ask for authorization to conduct a criminal background check, until the person selected as a finalist for the job.  
"I think this is a good measure.  This ordinance, if passed, means a person will never be asked about their background.  I support this and I hope my fellow commissioners support this as well," said Commissioner Mark Bogen, who co-sponsored the proposed ordinance.  
"I think the box needs to be banned on the front end.  I have no issue with that whatsoever.  I believe in second and third chances and evening the playing field.  But at some point in time there is a background check and that's not eliminated from here," said Commissioner Lois Wexler. "I would like to work on the language of this though, to ensure that the background check occurs before the very end of the process."
"I do think the simplest way to do this is to ban the box and require a background check on every applicant. That's a very simple solution," said Commissioner Beam Furr.   
The proposal also means that Broward County would not advertise positions with a statement that an individual with a criminal record may not apply for a position, or that the County prohibits people with a criminal record from applying for a job. If an applicant is a finalist for a position and a background check reveals a criminal history, the person would be given an opportunity to respond and offer mitigating circumstances. 
The "Ban the Box" ordinance would not apply if in conflict with federal or state law and some positions would be exempt from the new hiring practice. 
Members of the public who wish to voice their opinions on the proposed ordinance can do so on June 14th at 2 p.m. at the Broward Governmental Center, 115 S. Andrews Ave., Room 422 in Fort Lauderdale.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016



The Broward Sheriff’s Office and Miami-Dade Police Department will jointly co-host the 31st National Conference on Preventing Crime in the Black Community.

The three-day conference, sponsored by Attorney General Pam Bondi in conjunction with the Florida Consortium of Urban League Affiliates and Derrick Brooks Charities, will present a variety of related activities between May 25 and May 27 at the Hyatt Regency Miami hotel.
Sheriff Scott Israel will provide remarks at a luncheon scheduled between noon and 2 p.m. on Friday, May 27. BSO is also sponsoring a session on Gang Prevention and Identification for teens and chaperones between 8:30 and 10 Friday morning.
The conference allows law enforcement officers, faith-based and community leaders, local and state government professionals and educators to come together to share ideas and discuss crime prevention strategies. One of the major focuses of the program is finding alternatives to violence among young people.
For a full schedule and detailed information about the conference, please visit

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Gov. Scott Ceremonially Signs Legislation to Help Floridians Affected by Mental Illness and Substance Abuse

Today, Governor Rick Scott ceremonially signed Senate Bill 12 which creates a coordinated system of care to better help state agencies and local organizations work together to best treat Floridians affected by mental illness and substance abuse. This legislation will also help ensure individuals have every opportunity to receive services and support regardless of how they enter the behavioral healthcare system.

Governor Rick Scott said, “I am honored to ceremonially sign this important legislation today during Mental Health Awareness Month, and I look forward to seeing these changes implemented in our behavioral healthcare system. We need to do all we can to support the individuals and their families who are affected by mental illness and substance abuse, and this legislation is a great step forward to achieving that goal. I would like to thank bill sponsor Senator Rene Garcia, Senator Bill Galvano, Senator Jeremy Ring, Representative Gayle Harrell, Representative Kathleen Peters and every legislator who supported this significant bill.”

Last year, Governor Scott also signed two executive orders to create pilot programs in three Florida counties to help determine how to better deliver mental health treatment services to those who need it most. These pilot programs are focused on providing treatment in communities instead of institutions, and help address the fragmented system of care across the state. The executive orders also created a collaborative partnership between the Department of Corrections, Department of Children and Families, the Department of Juvenile Justice, Department of Health and the Agency for Health Care Administration to implement best management practices to improve mental health services in Florida. 

Department of Children and Families Secretary Mike Carroll said, “Governor Rick Scott and our partners in the Legislature have made a tremendous commitment to mental health and substance abuse services in Florida. The passing of this important bill will make services more accessible for individuals in crisis and help develop a more coordinated approach in delivering those services. Ensuring that individuals and families have access to the help they need is crucial to the mission of the department.”

Senator Rene Garcia said, "This legislation is a landmark for those Floridians dealing with psychiatric illness and substance use disorders, for the healthy and robust public discussion, engaging all stakeholders that led to its crafting and passage. For far too long, people struggling with these diseases have remained hidden in the shadows of stigma and prejudice. This legislation shines a light on an epidemic public health issue, and provides a path forward. SB 12 creates the structure for an integrated and efficient system of behavioral healthcare that will, when fully implemented, provide effective access to necessary treatment across the state.”

Senator Bill Galvano said, “This bill creates strong partnerships across multiple agencies and organizations to make sure our entire state is working together to help those who are affected by mental illness and substance abuse. I am honored to have played a role in passing this important Legislation and I appreciate the support of my fellow Legislative members and Governor Scott.”

Senator Jeremy Ring said, “SB 12 shows that we are committed to helping the Floridians and their families who suffer from mental health and substance abuse. I am thankful to Governor Scott and my fellow Legislators for making this issue a priority in our state.”

Representative Gayle Harrell said, “I appreciate the work of Governor Scott and the Legislature to pass this significant legislation and enhance treatments for Floridians affected by mental health and substance abuse. We will continue to fight on behalf of the individuals and families who most deserve our care and support.”

Representative Kathleen Peters said, “I am thankful for Governor Scott signing SB 12, which creates a comprehensive plan for delivering behavior health services to the Floridians who need it most. This is the first step to ensuring Floridians suffering from mental illness or substance addiction can improve health, and professional and personal relationships while growing towards their full potential.”

"Speak Frankly" Lunch With Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and special guest Former Congressman Barney Frank

Image result for debbie wasserman schultz for congress logoImage result for barney frank and debbie wasserman schultz

You’re Invited To

"Speak Frankly"

Lunch With


Debbie Wasserman Schultz

and special guest

Former Congressman Barney Frank

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

12:00 p.m.

Campaign Headquarters

8230 Griffin Road, Davie, FL 33328

To RSVP, please contact Jodi Davidson

954-260-0447 or

Paid for and authorized by DWS for Congress

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Do You Have A Couch to spare

FDP field organizers are arriving and need a place to stay. We have organizers that arrive Sat May 21st and would hate to have them homeless 
Our immediate need is West Broward (Weston are if possible) and North Broward. (Deerfield, Coconut Creek, Pompano )
​Please also let me know if you also have space for the future with dates and location  
Please respond to me asap if you can help
Thanks  Ron Mills 954-394-4980

Monday, May 02, 2016

Happy Hour for Hillary Wednesday, May 4th, 5 - 7 pm

HappHoufor Hillary
Join us for some fun at
Date: Wednesday, May 4th5 - 7 pm
Location: 2449 Wilton Dr.
Wilton Manors, FL
While at Happy Hour, please sign up to volunteer at the Stonewall event - to recruit voters and future volunteers for Hillary

Date: June 18, 2016
Contact Ken Evans

Friday, April 29, 2016

Wasserman Schultz Stands Up for LGBT Americans


Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz
EQUALITY Act Presser – Transcript
Thursday, April 28, 2016

“We cannot sit back and just wipe our hands and say good job, it’s time to move on, because as Congressman Cicilline so accurately said, there is so much left to do, so many rights that are still not won.

“And then we watch them unraveling after the wonderful decision that’s been handed down, which was the right decision. We have bigoted, narrow-minded individuals who want to unravel and roll back that progress and roll back those rights.

“So we have to stand vigilant. We see what happened in Mississippi and in North Carolina. It is absolutely unacceptable. There is no right to discriminate. We can’t possibly codify discrimination into state, local, or federal law.

“We are asking for something very simple – the chairman of the judiciary committee to grant a hearing so that there can be a discussion about the proliferation of these laws and we can start to make sure that the overwhelming sentiment, which has become very clear of Americans across this country, which is that discrimination can be held against no one anywhere in the United States of America.

“We can stop that in its tracks and say enough, no further. We need to make sure that we continue the progress we’ve been making. Thank you very much. 

It is my pleasure to introduce Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney.”

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Commissioners Accept Initial Plans for New Convention Center Hotel and Expansion

Rendering of proposed Convention Center Hotel
Rendering of proposed Convention Center Hotel

Broward County Commissioners are moving forward with the process to expand the 

Broward County Convention Center and build a Convention Center hotel to attract more business to the area.

Developer Matthews Southwest Holdings presented plans for a twenty-four story, 800 room convention center hotel suitable for an AAA 4-diamond rating that would include retail space, restaurants, an intermodal transportation area and plenty of open space to take advantage of the Intracoastal Waterway. The hotel would meet requirements to be LEED Gold certified.

The initial plans provide a starting point to move the project forward with revisions expected throughout the process. Commissioners voiced various concerns about the design, parking availability, transportation, traffic flow and financing of the project.

"There are many aspects to this project.  We're building a hotel and expanding our convention center. As we move forward, we'll gather more information and make decisions accordingly," said Mayor Marty Kiar.

"Moving this project forward and building an iconic hotel and world class convention center is our stated goal. This is a good start," said Vice Mayor Barbara Sharief.

"We're doing this to attract convention business from other parts of the country and potentially the world. People do attend conferences throughout the year and we know that we're losing about $100-million annually as a result of not having a convention center hotel," said Commissioner Stacy Ritter.

"You got a lot of this right," said Commissioner Lois Wexler. "The one part that needs work is the financial piece. There are many more opportunities that we can pursue to make it more palatable."

"As you hope to achieve an iconic site, I think to make it a destination you'll want more than just a hotel and convention center. You'll want to continue business throughout the year, not just the tourist season. I think you'll really want to make it appealing to local folks. Your ideas are fantastic, I would just like to see more of a public component, especially along the waterway," said Commissioner Tim Ryan.

"When it comes to the design, there's more on the positive side than not. Transportation is going to be a big issue, because the goal is to get cars off of 17th street," said Commissioner Chip LaMarca.

"There will be a tremendous amount of economic activity and jobs created from this project. I would like to see enough outdoor space for events that will bring more people to the area. As we move forward, we'll want to look at every avenue to make sure we get this completed for the people of Broward County," said Commissioner Dale V.C. Holness.

"I look forward to working with the developer and moving the project forward with the flexibility to make changes as we gather more information and finalize the design and financials associated with the hotel and expansion. This is a good start," said Commissioner Mark Bogen.

"I know that we're looking for an iconic building and I don't think this design is iconic. As we progress, we might have to take a second shot at a different design. I think this is good, but you've shown us other work that I thought was better," said Commissioner Beam Furr.

Commissioners will discuss the project again on May 10. Once the design plan is finalized, developers estimate that construction could begin in 2018 with a soft-opening in August 2020.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Wilton Manors to consider extending transgender health benefits for employees on April 26th

On Tuesday, April 26th, at the request of Commissioner Julie Carson, following a vote to authorize the permanent display of the Rainbow Flag on Wilton Manors symbolizing the diversity and pride and of the LGBT community and welcome LGBT tourism, the commission will discuss a motion to consider extending its employee health plan to cover the currently excluded needs for transgender employees or a transgender family member of a city employee.  Below are links to the agenda item.  The meeting begins at 7pm and the public is permitted to provide public comment for up to 3 minutes at the beginning of the meeting, but not at the time of the specific agenda item.  There may be some push back from 1 or 2 members of the city commission and some members of the public who would object to increasing the city budget to rightly address the needs of any potential employee, or their family member who needs access to this critical health benefit.  If you are the head of an LGBT organization, please attend and provide public comment on behalf of your organization to demonstrate the positive impact this health coverage.  Please also invite any of your staff or employees who are also personally affected by this issue.  If you are not located here and can't make it to the meeting, please provide Commissioner Carson with a letter of support on the importance of this coverage.  While the Rainbow Flag goes up in my wonderful city, I envision flag to be a welcoming symbol of pride for all communities that fall under the LGBT umbrella.

a. Discussion: Gender reassignment benefit options (Human Resources)

Michael Emanuel Rajner, BSW

Twitter: @MichaelRajner

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Eight South Florida high schools landed among the top 100 nationwide


Eight South Florida high schools landed among the top 100 nationwide in rankings by U.S. News & World Report. The schools are in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties. Two Broward County schools made the top 250: Weston’s Cypress Bay High was No. 243 and Pompano Beach High was 250. Both were listed among the top 25 in Florida.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Gov. Rick Scott holds event in honor of Holocaust memorial bill

Gov. Rick Scott held an event in Broward today that included a ceremonial bill signing related to building a Holocaust memorial in Tallahassee.
“The Holocaust is a stark reminder that evil exists in the world,” Scott said at the David Posnack Jewish Community Center in Davie.
There were several Democratic politicians and activists at the ceremony which is unusual for an event with the Republican governor, but this bill had wide bipartisan support: passed the Florida Senate unanimously and all but one House member voted for it.
Bill sponsors included State Sen. Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood, who spoke at the JCC. Several additional Democratic legislators spoke including State Representatives Katie Edwards and Jared Moskowitz of Broward and State Sen. Maria Sachs of Palm Beach County.
Scott also gave the governor’s freedom award to Norman Frajman, a local Holocaust survivor who as a teenager survived four concentration and forced-labor camps. Frajman’s parents and younger sister died in the Holocaust and he now speaks to school groups and colleges about his experience.
Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera spoke about his recent visit to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial in Israel. He quoted Elie Wiesel, an author who wrote the book Night about his experience in a concentration camp: “Never shall I forget that night, that first night in the camp.”

Source Miami Herald

Photo Bina Fink 

Friday, April 15, 2016

Help elect Florida’s first openly gay Latino lawmaker

You are cordially invited.....

Tuesday, April 19th

6:00PM – 7:30PM

At the beautiful home of 
 Chuck Loring 

844 North Victoria Park Road
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304

Honorary Hosts 
Fort Lauderdale Commissioner Dean Trantalis
Representative Joe Geller
Representative Evan Jenne
Representative Shevrin Jones
Representative Richard Stark

Event Chairs 
Scott Bennett • Rodney White & Michael Williams • Phillip Dearborn •
Chuck Loring • Frederic Potvin & Brent Kelleher • Charles Hindmarsh

Event Hosts
Michael Rajner • Alix Ritchie & Marty Davis • Ron Mills
Dick Schwarz & Tom Massey • Meryl Friedman • Ken Evans
Jason King • Stratton Pollitzer • Dina Heffernan • Row Iliescu
Todd Delmay & Jeff Delmay

(Maximum contribution allowed per person or corporation - $1,000)

Interested in serving on our Host Committee?
Email to learn more

*UPDATE ON THE RACE - House District 49 leans Democratic in a Presidential election year. After a very strong fundraising push over the summer, both of Carlos' Democratic challengersdropped out and the Republican incumbent has decided to run in a different district rather than face Carlos. A brand new GOP opponent recently entered the race to challenge Carlos, and we need all hands on deck in support of his campaign. Carlos has the endorsement of Equality Florida PAC, Victory Fund, Florida Professional Firefighters, 14 House Democrats, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, and several more elected officials and community leaders. 


Thursday, April 14, 2016



Broward Sheriff’s Office Special Victims Unit detectives arrested a Coconut Creek police officer today on one count of custodial sexual battery and two counts of lewd and lascivious molestation.


BSO Case Number: 11-1604-002989
PIO Number: 16-4-14
Date: April 14, 2016
Time: 4 p.m.
Place of Occurrence: Coconut Creek
Jurisdiction: Coconut Creek


  • Two males, believed to be 13 years old at the time of the incident


  • Daniel Rush, 26, male, Coconut Creek

Description of Incident:

Broward Sheriff’s Office Special Victims Unit detectives arrested a Coconut Creek police officer today on one count of custodial sexual battery and two counts of lewd and lascivious molestation.

The officer, Daniel Rush, was taken into custody at approximately 4 p.m. at the Coconut Creek Police Department.

The accusations first came to light on Sunday, April 10 when one of the victims handed another parishioner a note while attending worship services at a church in Pompano Beach. The note included claims of sexual misconduct.

On Monday, April 11, the parishioner went to the BSO Pompano Beach district office to report the incident and turned the victim’s note over to a deputy. The case was assigned to the Special Victims Unit for further investigation.

Detectives spoke with the victim and learned that the allegations occurred in Coconut Creek. Coconut Creek PD was contacted and requested that BSO continue the investigation.

During an independent interview of the victim with staff at the Nancy J. Cotterman Sexual Assault Treatment Center, detectives learned that the sexual offenses occurred last year. A second victim was later identified. The second victim was interviewed Wednesday and told investigators Rush fondled him. Rush admitted to knowing the boys but denied the allegations.

Rush is the co-founder of a mentoring organization, Men of Virtue & Ethics. Due to the group’s association with other churches, detectives are concerned there may be more victims. If you have information about additional victims or believe your child may be a victim, you are urged to call BSO Special Victims Det. Ann Suter at (954) 321-4240. If you wish to remain anonymous, you may contact Broward Crime Stoppers at (954) 493-TIPS (8477) or online at
INVESTIGATORS: SVU Det. A. Suter, CID & Lt. R. Lorber, Sgt. S. Erdelyi, CID Pompano Beach, Coconut Creek

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s Campaign at Home