The Yellow Dot Motorist Medical Information Program

Yellow Dot Decal

The Yellow Dot Motorist Medical Information Program (Yellow Dot Program) will officially launch in Broward County on February 1.

The Yellow Dot program is designed to assist Broward County residents and first responders in the event of an automobile crash or other medical emergency involving the participant's vehicle.

The program can help save lives during the critical moments after an accident. 

Broward Mayor Marty Kiar and Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue Fire Chief Anthony Stravino will hold a joint news conference on Monday, February 1st at 11 a.m. at Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue Station 32 located at 3400 SW 4th Ave. in Fort Lauderdale to explain program details and locations where the material is available to the public. 
"This program will save lives by providing vital information to first responders when accident victims may be unable to communicate for themselves. Enrollment in this program is voluntary, quick and easy and it's now available in Broward County," said Mayor Kiar.

"We support Mayor Kiar's passion for the Yellow Dot program and recognize that any tools that can assist our responders in rendering emergency medical care will prove beneficial," Sheriff Scott Israel said.

A Yellow Dot decal displayed on the rear windshield or in a clearly visible location on a motorcycle alerts emergency responders to look for the Yellow Dot pamphlet in the vehicle's glove compartment. The information provided on the pamphlet is designed to help emergency responders decide how to treat a person who may be unconscious following an accident. 

2016 Advocacy Day at Florida’s Capitol

2016 Advocacy Day at Florida’s Capitol

FL: Advocacy Day at the Capitol

There is nothing quite like hearing nearly 100 people chanting, “Pass the Buck” outside of Florida’s Capitol on a rainy morning!

On Thursday, January 21st, volunteers and staff from all over the state came to Tallahassee to ask Florida’s legislative leaders to make the fight against cancer a priority. After a rally on the steps of Florida’s Historic Capitol, asking the legislature to "Pass the Buck" and support an increase in the cigarette surcharge, our team visited with legislative offices and the Governor’s office. ACS CAN volunteers were making three primary requests: 

  • Increase Florida’s Cigarette Surcharge by $1 (Senate Bill 758 by Senators Clemens and House Bill 335 by Representative Stark) 
Increasing the price of cigarettes will reduce tobacco consumption, decrease the state’s health care costs from tobacco-related disease and generate additional funding to invest in our health care system.

  • $2.6 million for the Mary Brogan Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program 
The Mary Brogan Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program provides lifesaving cancer screenings for medically underserved women between the ages of 50 and 64 who have

  • Continue investing in Florida’s biomedical research programs - $30 million 
For budget year 2015-16, we ask that both the James and Esther King Biomedical Research Program and the Bankhead-Coley Cancer Research Program are funded at $15 million apiece and that, as prescribed by law, program funding allocations are determined on a peer-reviewed, competitive grant basis.

ACS CAN volunteers secured a number of cosponsors for our cigarette surcharge bills during their visits! Thank you, Representatives Hazel Rogers (D – Lauderhill), Daphne Campbell (D – Miami Shores), Reggie Fullwood (D- Jacksonville), Lori Berman (D - Boynton Beach), Jared Moskowitz (D – Coral Springs), José Javier Rodríguez (D – Miami) and Senators Dwight Bullard (D – Cutler Bay), Jeremy Ring (D – Margate) and Chris Smith (D – Fort Lauderdale) for supporting our lifesaving tax initiative.

Thank you to those volunteers and staff who were able to join us! Never doubt that your efforts make a difference. To see more pictures from the day search hashtags #FLCancerLobbyDay #FundMaryBrogan and #PasstheBuckFL on your favorite social media outlet.

Updated information on the ACS CAN’s legislative priorities can be found at and you can follow the upcoming 2016 session action in real time on Twitter @ACSCAN_Florida

Commissioners Ban Fracking in Broward County

 County Commissioners unanimously banned any type of hydraulic and acid fracturing, known as "fracking", to extract oil and gas from the ground in Broward County.  The vote comes as the Florida Legislature contemplates a series of bills that would stop local governments from regulating the practice.

"This is about protecting our water supply and environment," said Commissioner Beam Furr, who brought the ordinance to the Commission for a vote.  "We're discussing a ban on fracking today and at the same time state lawmakers are discussing taking away our authority to do so.  We must ban this now."

Fracking involves the pumping of huge amounts of water, sand and chemicals into the ground using extreme pressure to recover oil and gas deposits.  Oil and gas companies are not currently required by federal or state law to disclose formulas used in fracking. 

"This is Tallahassee once again trying to take away the authority of local elected officials who represent the people who live in Broward County.  This is a critical issue for us.  If necessary, I'm in favor of pursuing appropriate legal remedies to enforce this ordinance," said Broward County Mayor Marty Kiar. 

Dozens of people attended a public hearing to tell Commissioners they opposed fracking and spoke in favor of the ordinance to ban the controversial practice. An application to drill an exploratory oil well in the Florida Everglades, just west of the city of Miramar is currently under review by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. 

Public and private water utilities across Broward County rely entirely upon groundwater sources, including the Biscayne and Floridan Aquifers for drinking water supplies.  The Floridan Aquifer alone is the source of drinking water for ten million residents.

Many of the chemicals used during the fracking process have resulted in thousands of documented cases of water contamination and adverse effects on human health and the environment in the United States.  

Mad Hatter's Tea Party at Stranahan House March 5

Don’t be late for this very important date! Join the Stranahan House for its Annual Mad Hatter’s Tea Party on Saturday, March 5 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. along the banks of the New River. Delight in an assortment of finger foods, music and tea with Alice in Wonderland characters including Alice, the White Rabbit, the Mad Hatter, the Queen of Hearts and more.  

“The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party is definitely one of our most popular events of the year,” said April Kirk, executive director of the Historic Stranahan House Museum. “We invite guests of all ages to wear their most extravagant and outrageous hats as they enjoy finger sandwiches, cookies, cakes and tea while mingling with their favorite characters under the canopy.”

Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for children 12 and under. Advanced registration is required for this event and seating is limited. For more information and ticket sales, call 954-524-4736 or email Tickets can also be purchased online at

About Historic Stranahan House and Museum
The Stranahan House was built in 1901, when Broward County was no more than a bleak southern frontier supposedly unsuited for human habitation. The existing residents were the Seminoles who traveled down the New River to Frank Stranahan’s trading post to do business. Over the years as Fort Lauderdale grew and developed, the house became a post office, boarding house, restaurant and home to the “Founding Father” and “First Lady” of Fort Lauderdale – Frank and Ivy Stranahan. Today it stands as the oldest house in Fort Lauderdale and an epicenter of Broward County’s long and fascinating history.

Editorial Board: "Florida faces many tough problems. Abortion rights is not one of them."

An editorial in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel criticized efforts by Florida lawmakers to restrict women's access to safe and legal abortion. On January 19, a piece of legislation mirroring Texas' controversial anti-abortion bill HB 2 was passed out of a Florida House committee panel. A January 20 editorial by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel rebuked the Florida Legislature for "squandering time" with political "grandstanding" about women's safety while pushing for new regulations on clinics that have "nothing to do with safety or quality, either."
The editorial board's criticism comes as evidence mounts that HB 2 has had a deleterious effect on the health and safety of women in Texas. The editors noted that Planned Parenthood says that if Florida passes similar legislation, the organization "might have to close some of its 16 clinics in Florida," depriving women not only of the ability to obtain safe and legal abortions, but also of access to a wide variety of health care services. The editorial board argued that the legislation shows that 43 years "after the landmark Roe v. Wade case made abortion legal nationwide, ending abortion remains a goal of the Florida Legislature." From the South Florida Sun-Sentinel (emphasis added):
In what has become an annual ritual, the Legislature is again trying to place barriers in front of women who seek an abortion.
This time, they're going after the state's 65 abortion clinics, trying to make it harder for them to stay in business by making them comply with the tougher regulations placed on outpatient surgery centers and hospitals.
HB 233, sponsored by Rep. Carlos Trujillo, R-Miami, would force abortion clinics to make costly renovations. Some of the regulations have nothing to do with safety or quality, either. Rather, they have to do with the width of hallways, the size of closets and even the color of wall paint.
If the bill passes, Planned Parenthood said it might have to close some of its 16 clinics in Florida. In Texas, it says about 20 clinics closed after a similar law there passed three years ago.
Forty three years after the landmark Roe v. Wade case made abortion legal nationwide, ending abortion remains a goal of the Florida Legislature.
Last year, for example, the Legislature passed a law requiring women to wait 24 hours after visiting an abortion provider before having the procedure. A lawsuit has placed that law on hold. There's legitimate concerns that forcing women to visit a clinic twice, and force those who don't live nearby to find a place to stay overnight, creates an undue burden.
The year before, lawmakers passed a law prohibiting abortions after a fetus might be considered viable, possibly at 23 weeks, unless the mother's life is at risk.
The list goes on.
We send folks to Tallahassee to represent us, to do the critical business of the state and to spend tax money wisely. Yet every year, we watch them try to score political points with their base by chipping away at a woman's right to choose.
Florida faces many tough problems. Abortion rights is not one of them.

Coastal Commissioners head to Tallahassee to push for Designated Beach Funding

Displaying Beach Renourishment CLM.jpg

Commissioner Chip LaMarca at beach renourishment project underway in Broward County

 County Commissioners from the panhandle to South Florida are joining forces in Tallahassee this week to drive home the significant role that beaches play in our state's economy.

Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca and coastal commissioners from throughout Florida will join the Florida Shore and Beach Preservation Association for meetings with state lawmakers to encourage designated funding for beaches using money earmarked for the environment with the passage of Amendment 1.

"Our beautiful beaches are our Florida brand and keeping them healthy drives Florida's economy. Beaches bring tourists who spend billions of dollars in our state every year.  We are asking that $50 million be placed into a beach fund annually to be used to maintain beaches throughout Florida. That is but a small portion of the $648-million available in the Land Acquisition Trust Fund approved by voters. The office of Economic and Demographic Research reports confirm that the statewide beach management program generates a positive return on investment (ROI) of 5.4 for each dollar invested in our beaches. Beach renourishment and shore protection is an ongoing process and there must to be money available to keep our coastal areas in pristine condition," said Commissioner LaMarca.

The group is also asking that economic impact be among the list of parameters used to determine which beaches receive priority funding.

Meetings are planned with Florida Senate President Andy Gardiner, Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives Steve Crisafulli, Senators Alan Hays, Tom Lee, and Jack Latvala and State Representative Ben Albritton. 

Amendment 1 funds the Land Acquisition Trust Fund using money generated from an excise tax on documents.  The money is set aside for a variety of environmental purposes including the improvement of Florida beaches and shores. 

Seminole Tribe of Florida and the Historic Stranahan House Museum Present “Native Reel Cinema Fest”

Wes Studi is “Ronnie BoDean” in Steven Paul Judd’s film

Seminole Tribe of Florida and the Historic Stranahan
House Museum Present “Native Reel Cinema Fest”

 The Seminole Tribe of Florida, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Seminole Paradise, and the Historic Stranahan House Museum present South Florida’s first “Native Reel Cinema Fest” during the Annual Seminole Tribal Fair and Pow Wow on Friday, February 5 at 5:30 pm and Saturday, February 6 at 5:00 pm at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. The free screening of Steven Paul Judd’s film “Ronnie BoDean,” starring Wes Studi, will be presented in conjunction with an interactive session with the director. This event will help provide the platform of showcasing Native American talent through film.

“Native Reel Cinema Fest” will spotlight on native short films by Kiowa/Choctaw director and writer Steven Paul Judd. Wes Studi stars as the eponymous Ronnie BoDean, a larger-than-life outlaw who must shake off an epic hangover and use his considerable street knowledge to take on his greatest challenge yet – babysitting. Judd’s film presents the first Native American “anti- hero” allowing for a new opportunity to explore the culture’s representation in films. The film was financed by a successful Kickstarter campaign.

Judd is known primarily as a filmmaker; yet he’s also a prolific visual artist whose mashups of Native experiences and disposable American pop culture are sly and often downright funny. His creations include paintings, prints, poster art, photography and t-shirt designs.

The evening will include the presentation of the film accompanied by two of Spencer Battiest’s music videos also directed by Judd – “Love of My Life” and “The Storm”.  Battiest is an American Indian singer-songwriter, musician, producer, and actor from Hollywood, Florida. In 2013, Spencer became the first American Indian artist to sign with Hard Rock Records. His music release song "The Storm" garnered his first music video win as a musician. The music video was filmed entirely on the Seminole Reservation in Florida highlighting historical tribal land, ancestry and culture. The song was written as a tribute to the Seminole tribe of Florida, and homage to his parents, grandparents and tribal leaders. Battiest will join Judd during the Q&A session.

Everett Osceola
The event is coordinated by Seminole Tribal Members and film co-producers,Everett Osceola and Oliver Wareham, with the support of April Kirk. Osceola serves as the Cultural Ambassador for the Seminole Tribe and is an educator sharing the importance of the Seminole culture as instilled by his family. Wareham serves as an Official Commissioner for Seminole Gaming and is a photographer and storyteller sharing the beauty of the Seminole culture through images and the spoken word. Kirk is the Executive Director of the Historic Stranahan House Museum and a painter. The team envisions bringing a larger multi-day Native American Film Festival to South Florida in the future - which will become the only one of its kind on the southeastern coast.

The portrayal of Native Americans in film has been fed by stereotypes, however, a growing number of pictures have portrayed indigenous peoples of the Americas in a more historically accurate light. In recent years, the growth of Native Americans in all avenues of the film industry has been substantial. There are only a few Native American film festivals in America, all of which take place in the mid and west coast of the country, with the exception of the Native American Film and Video Festival. The “Native Reel Cinema Fest” goal is to focus on films that can provide an in depth look into Native cinema in America.

The Seminole Tribe and the Stranahans have a long and mutually respectful relationship. Collaborative efforts between the two strive to bring an awareness and appreciation of Seminole Culture and how it has positively impacted the lives of areas first settlers. Programs work to preserve, interpret, and promote the two histories to residents and visitors alike.

Last year the Seminole Tribe and Stranahan House partnered under the leadership of Osceola and Kirk to bring “Seminole Cinema Night” to the Historic Stranahan House Museum. This was the first-ever local screening of the 1958 film, “The Exiles” produced by director Kent MacKenzie. The documentary, which was lost for nearly 50 years and restored in 2008, follows three Indian Americans who have left their reservations to live in downtown Los Angeles’ Skid Row. The film reveals the complex social issues faced by these young teens and highlights many challenges that still exist today.

"They say pictures are worth a thousand words,” said Everett Osceola. “Native Reel Cinema Fest gives you the opportunity to experience our journey through our words and images.”

Native Reel Cinema Fest
Friday, February 5th at 5:30 pm and Saturday, February 6th at 5:00 pm
Film Screening, Music Videos, and Q&A
Tickets: Free and Open to the Public
Location: Paradise Live at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino One Seminole Way, Hollywood, Florida 33314

For information, please contact:
Everett Osceola, Seminole Tribe of Florida Cultural Ambassador
April Kirk, Historic Stranahan House Museum Executive Director

For interviews, please contact Everett Osceola at or 954.393.7757.

Seminole Tribe of Florida
Known as the “Unconquered” Seminole Tribe of Florida, because the Tribe never signed a peace treaty with the U.S. Government, the Seminoles are one of the most admired and successful Indian Tribes in North America.  The Tribe’s seven casinos, including the Seminole Hard Rock Hotels and Casinos in Tampa and Hollywood, Fla., are among the most financially profitable casinos in the world. The Tribe also owns Hard Rock International, with a total of 212 venues in 69 countries, including 162 cafes, 23 hotels and 11 casinos. More than 4,000 members of the Seminole Tribe live on and off reservations in many parts of Florida. Today’s Seminoles are often entrepreneurs and college graduates, including many who work in tribal economic enterprises or in tribal government.

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida, located minutes from Fort Lauderdale’s world-famous beach, features a AAA Four Diamond resort with 469 luxury rooms and suites, award- winning restaurants, high-energy nightlife, a lagoon-style pool and Beach Club, a Hard Rock-inspired spa, and premium meeting and convention space. As South Florida’s premier entertainment destination, Seminole Hard Rock hosts top-name acts at its 5,500–seat Hard Rock Live concert arena and offers more than 100 table games, 2,000 of the most popular slots and a stand-alone poker room. Fine dining options include Council Oak Steaks & Seafood, the resort’s signature steakhouse, and Kuro, a luxe and socially vibrant restaurant offering new- style Japanese cuisine. The resort also features contemporary and casual eateries, including Blue Plate, the hotel’s 24-hour, diner-inspired restaurant; Constant Grind, a gourmet coffee and pastry shop; and the ever-famous Hard Rock Cafe - Hollywood, part of Hard Rock’s 162 globally recognized rock ‘n’ roll restaurants.

Historic Stranahan House Museum
Stranahan House is the oldest and most historic surviving structure in Broward County. Originally the Trading Post of the New River Settlement, the wood frame structure has served as a community center, boarding house, restaurant, and home of the City of Fort Lauderdale’s Founding Family, the Stranahans. Today the building stands as a museum preserving the history of the Stranahans, the Seminoles, and the first settlers of Fort Lauderdale. The mission of the museum is to tell the story of the birth of our community through the lives of two extraordinary people and the homestead they created and to serve as an enduring legacy for historic preservation.

Democrats Could Take Florida Senate Back In 2016

Senate diagram 2014 State of Florida.svg

The GOP in Florida has lost a major battle they should never have had a chance at winning in the first place. A judge for the Leon Circuit has ruled in favor of district maps drawn up by voters’ groups, and not the GOP-controlled legislature. These maps give Democrats a new chance at capturing the state’s Senate in upcoming elections by making districts competitive again.
The House is another story, because Republicans dominate Florida’s House by a huge margin. Right now, they hold the Senate by a 26-14 margin, despite the fact that registered Democratic voters outnumber registered Republican voters in the state. Judge George Reynolds rejected the state Senate’s maps as partisan, saying:
“While the Senate maintains that the selection of Senate Map 1 was without partisan intent and that all safeguards were taken to insulate staff from outside political influence, it is difficult to infer anything other than impermissible partisan intent in the selection of Senate Map 1 based on its political performance.”
Gerrymandering has been losing a lot of ground around the nation, particularly in the wake of a little-known Supreme Court decision earlier this summer that upheld Arizona’s citizen redistricting commission. Arizona’s legislature sued in federal court after the commission drew Arizona’s new districts, claiming the Constitution doesn’t give them that authority. It was a 5-4 decision, but the Court sided with the independent commission, which paved the way for other states to create their own independent commissions to combat the scourge of gerrymandering.
“Safe districts” are a major problem for voters and the population because they give one party a distinct advantage over the other for years at a time. States end up with disproportionate representation in their legislatures and in the federal government. Florida is a prime example of this, with more Democratic voters than Republican voters, but far more Republicans controlling the state.
Safe districts can cause two massive problems that seem contradictory: The first is to make legislators lazy, because they don’t have to fear serious challenges from the opposition. However, it can also make them more extreme politically, because they fear primary challenges from their lunatic fringes. This is part of how the GOP’s lunatic fringe, a.k.a. the Tea Party, took over. Republicans screwed themselves with their gerrymandering efforts, because they created hyperpartisan districts for themselves, some of which were way too far right. When you create entire districts for your lunatic fringe, your lunatic fringe takes over.
Florida’s new maps—one for the House and one for the Senate—will be drawn by the League of Women Voters of Florida and Common Cause Florida. These two groups spearheaded the four-year long war against the Republicans’ own redistricting plans. The court rejected those plans as illegal under a voter-approved ban on gerrymandering.
State Sen. Joe Negron, of Stuart, seems to think that the Senate should cut its losses with this, although others are reviewing the judge’s decision and seeing if there might be a way to appeal to the state Supreme Court. Negron thinks that the people of Florida will continue to elect “principled” Republicans in spite of the new maps.
Florida’s Supreme Court has struck blows to nearly every one of the legislature’s redistricting challenges, so if they do appeal, they can probably expect to be shot down yet again. Negron might actually be a voice of reason for the GOP on this. It’s time for them to give it up and find real, honest ways to reach voters.
That requires real work on the party, though, which is too difficult for them.
Earlier in December, Florida’s Supreme Court approved the independently-drawn Congressional district map, which was also far less gerrymandered than previous maps. It will hurt some Republicans and also some Democrats, but helps to end the “safe district” problem at the federal level, too.