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Joint Initiative To Galvanize A Community Towards Political Action And Advocacy, July 10 – 23, 2008, Florida

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Free and open to the public political forums

The Urban League of Broward County has formed a joint initiative called Broward Votes to host a series of political forums co-moderated by political commentator and writer Joy-Ann Reid and South Florida Times Executive Editor, Bradley Bennett.  Broward Votes is comprised of seven organizations – the Urban League of Broward County and its Young Professionals Network, 100 Black Men of Greater Ft. Lauderdale, Jamaican Diaspora of Southern United States, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) South Florida chapter, the T.J. Reddick Bar Association, and the Caribbean Bar Association. “I am energized by the work that the Urban League will be organizing over the next few months to heighten the political awareness and civic engagement of Broward County residents in the local and state political races,” said Dr. Germaine Smith-Baugh, president and CEO of the Urban League of Broward County.

“Broward Votes will provide a sorely needed conduit of information from Broward’s candidates to the Broward community” said Gregory Haile, president of the T.J. Reddick Bar Association. All candidates have been invited and many have confirmed.  You don’t want to miss this debate. All of theSheriff’s candidates are expected to participate.  Sheriff Lamberti has already confirmed his participation in the July 10th debate, along with Wiley Thompson and S. “Shak” Dhanji.  Dr. Snipes and Ellen Brodsky are confirmed as well for July 10th.  “I am pleased to be a part of this collaborative initiative and to ensure the concerns of minority residents, including those of Caribbean descent, are heard” said Marlon Hill, Esq. of delancyhill P.A. representing the Jamaican Diaspora and Caribbean Bar Association.

Broward Votes will hold a series of political forums in July for local and state candidates to participate in. The July forums will be held at African American Research Library & Cultural Center, located 2650 Sistrunk Blvd., Ft. Lauderdale, Fl 33311.

Below are dates and times for political debates:

Thursday, July 10, 2008 6:00p.m.-9:00p.m. – Constitutional Offices
Debates: Sheriff, Supervisor of Elections Public Defender, Clerk of Courts, Property Appraiser, and 17th Circuit Court Judges

Thursday, July 17, 2008 6:00p.m.-9:00p.m. – Local Political Race
Debates: County Court Judges, County Commission (Districts 7 & 9) and School Board (Districts 5 & 9)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008 6:00p.m.-9:00p.m. – State Political Race
Debates: US Representative (District 23), State Senator (District 29), and State Representative (Districts 93 & 94)

Broward Votes will concentrate on electoral seats that encompass the central Broward region. Ft. Lauderdale is the largest city in Broward County with many of its residents considered living in poverty. “Central Broward is faced with many more challenges and obvious disparities and that is why Broward Votes is focused on these electoral seats” said Dennis Wright, president of the 100 Black Men of Greater Ft. Lauderdale. The 33311 zip code is characterized by the highest incidences of reported child abuse, highest number of percentage of at-risk youth with at-risk behaviors, including drug and alcohol abuse, and gang activity. The 33311 zip code is also characterized by the highest number of referrals to the Juvenile Justice System. NOBLE has joined this initiative with a focus on the Sheriff’s seat. “Safety is important to Broward County residents. If residents do not feel safe and there is a lack of cooperation by law enforcement, they will not work, live or play in certain communities” said Chief Andrew Smalling, president of NOBLE South Florida.

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Written by Staff Writer