Paul Ryan to meet with top GOP donors in Palm Beach

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House Speaker Paul Ryan will touchdown in Florida this week to spend two days meeting with big-money Republican donors in Palm Beach.
The meetings will be held at the swanky Breakers resort and will focus on the path forward following the House of Representative’s failure to pass the American Health Care Act – sometimes called RyanCare.
"I will explain how it all still works, and how we're still moving forward on health care with other ideas and plans,” Ryan said in a call with donors. “So please make sure that if you can come, you come -- it will be good to look at what can feasibly get done and where things currently stand. But know this: We are not giving up."

Bipartisan Climate Caucus Reaches Thirty Four Members from Across the Country, Evenly Split between Democrats, Republicans

New members are Reps. Issa (CA-49), Vargas (CA-51), R. Davis (IL-13), McNerney (CA-09), Faso (NY-19), Suozzi (NY-03), P. King (NY-02), Lipinski (IL-03), Reed (NY-23), and Eshoo (CA-18).
(Washington) Reaching new heights, Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-22) and Congressman Carlos Curbelo (FL-26), the co-Chairs of the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus, welcomed ten new Members of Congress to the Caucus, increasing the total membership to 34 members evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans.
The newest members of the Caucus are Reps. Darrell Issa (CA-49), Juan Vargas (CA-51), Rodney Davis (IL-13), Jerry McNerney (CA-09), John Faso (NY-19), Thomas Suozzi (NY-03), Pete King (NY-02), Dan Lipinski (IL-03), Tom Reed (NY-23), and Anna Eshoo (CA-18).

The mission of the Climate Solutions Caucus is to educate members on economically-viable options to reduce climate risk and to explore bipartisan policy options that address the impacts, causes, and challenges of our changing climate. As determined by the co-chairs, the Caucus membership will consist of equal representation by Democrats and Republicans.

“Americans from across the political spectrum are demanding that Congress put politics aside to act on climate change,” said Congressman Deutch. “The remarkable growth and diversity of this Caucus sends a clear signal to the White House and the American people that Congressional Democrats and Republicans are ready to work together on paramount issues like climate change. I look forward to working with my Caucus colleagues to explore bipartisan legislative initiatives to address the growing challenges of climate change.”

“The interest our caucus has gained in the first few months of this new Congress shows there is a growing, bipartisan coalition of Members of Congress ready to find real solutions to climate change issues,” Congressman Curbelo said. “This caucus has such a diverse group of members and each brings unique perspectives to the table. We have a responsibility to our constituents and future generations to have productive discussions about market-based solutions, investments, and innovations that could mitigate the effects of climate change and make our nation more resilient. I’m thankful to these new Members for joining our efforts, and I look forward to our work together.”‎

"Fiscal responsibility and good stewardship of our natural resources don't have to be be mutually exclusive," said Congressman Issa. "Coastal communities, like mine in Southern California, are counting on us to come up with solutions that encourage a strong and vibrant economy, while also ensuring we are taking care of our environment. We shouldn't be forced to choose between unworkable new taxes or complete inaction. With the new administration and newly united government, I think we have an opportunity to take fresh look at this problem and see what we can be accomplished in a bipartisan manner. Our district is one of the most beautiful places in the nation. It's our responsibility to ensure we protect it for our children and grandchildren."

"Climate change is very real and its effects will impact humanity for future generations," Congressman Vargas said. "We must act quickly to develop policy solutions that address and alleviate the effects of climate change on our planet. I'm glad to join the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus to collaborate with my colleagues and draft practical legislation that effectively manages the threats of our changing climate."

“An all-of-the-above energy plan is what is best for our country’s future and I believe this caucus can help foster a productive, bipartisan conversation," Congressman Rodney Davis said. "From nuclear power, which is virtually carbon-free and powers half of Illinois, to coal, which provides one-third of our nation’s electricity, my home state of Illinois relies on multiple energy sources to be successful and I believe that must be at the heart of any climate discussions. I believe this bipartisan caucus will help ensure that as we discuss issues related to climate, we focus on solutions that are economically viable and recognize the progress we have already made.”

“I am pleased to join the Climate Solutions Caucus,” said Congressman McNerney. “It’s more important now than ever that we work together on a bipartisan basis – in Congress and across the country - to address our changing climate. The Climate Solutions Caucus provides a great forum for members of both sides of the aisle to discuss issues affecting their constituents and addressing a sensible path for increased clean energy sources and reducing carbon emissions.”

“Climate change solutions should be based on the latest scientific developments in the field that balance conservation with the urgent need for economic growth and jobs,” said Congressman Faso. “I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues from both sides of the aisle to find solutions that will address and mitigate the impacts of climate change so that we can pass on a clean environment and robust economy to the next generation.”

“Protecting our natural environment isn’t a partisan issue – it’s our shared responsibility," Congressman Suozzi said. "I’m honored to join my colleagues from both sides of the aisle on the Climate Solutions Caucus and look forward to working with them on addressing the impacts of climate change in my district in New York and around the nation.”

“It is imperative that Congress find bipartisan solutions which will not only improve our economy but alleviate the impacts of climate change and ensure America’s energy independence from violent and unpredictable regions," Congressman King said. "I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Climate Solutions Caucus.”

“I am very happy to be joining the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus along with my Republican colleague Rep. Peter King," said Congressman Lipinski. "As an engineer and senior member of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee, I have always been a strong advocate of finding innovative ways to address the problems facing our nation and the world, including climate change. During my time in Congress I have supported measures to combat climate change, including helping to introduce the bipartisan Raise Wages, Cut Carbon Act. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the caucus to find bipartisan climate solutions."

“As a supporter of an 'all of the above' energy approach, this caucus will help foster a beneficial, bipartisan conversation on the climate issues we face. We will work to find a sensible path forward regarding clean energy sources," Congressman Reed said.

"Global climate change is one of the most critical issues facing our nation and our planet,” Congresswoman Eshoo said. “Across the American landscape, including my Congressional District, people are experiencing the hottest years on record and enduring severe floods, wildfires and droughts. If we don’t take action now, the consequences will be irreversible. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Caucus to work on bipartisan solutions to this problem.”


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In keeping with an earlier executive order from President Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has threatened to withhold Justice Department grant funding from jurisdictions that refuse to disclose people's immigration status to the federal government. This policy targets the nation's approximately 60 "sanctuary cities," which include New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, and Boston, that have refused to cooperate with federal ICE deportations of noncriminal undocumented immigrants. Sessions' rule is at odds with the Constitution's Tenth Amendment and decades of case law that argue that the federal government cannot broadly withhold federal funding from local jurisdictions to force compliance with federal mandates. Even Trump advisor Rudy Giuliani recognized the constitutional limits to federal interference in local compliance with immigration. In 1996, he stated, "The Tenth Amendment provides that 'The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.' One right not granted to the federal government is the right of state and local governments to provide for the health and safety of their local communities."
Sessions hopes to bypass the Constitution by withholding funding only for local and state law enforcement. The decision to cut funding to local law enforcement in the name of improving public safety defies logic and deprives local law enforcement of money used to fight and prevent crimes that actually threaten Americans. While Sessions cites safety concerns to justify defunding sanctuary cities, a study of 2,492 US counties by the Center for American Progress and the National Immigration Law Center found that sanctuary counties are significantly safer and more economically prosperous than non-sanctuary jurisdictions. Multiple studies (including those by the University of Massachusetts, Northwestern, and the University of California) have also shown that first generation immigrants, regardless of their legal status, are less likely than native-born Americans to commit crimes. Threats to sanctuary cities also undermine local government and law enforcement's mission to build trust and protect the communities they serve. Despite claiming to dislike big government, the Trump administration and Jeff Sessions are interfering with state and local policy, violating the Constitution and undermining local governments' ability to protect their people.

Call this office:

U.S. Department of Justice

Why you’re calling this office:

This organization is driving legislation related to the issue.

Your script:

Hi, my name is [NAME] and I'm a citizen from [CITY, ZIP].
I'm calling to express my opposition to withholding law enforcement funding from sanctuary cities that do not release the names of undocumented people to the federal government. Defunding local law enforcement is an irresponsible and unconsitutional decision that will endanger public safety.
[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]


The GOP has been weighing the possibility of invoking the “nuclear option” in order to confirm Neil Gorsuch as the newest Supreme Court Justice. The nuclear option would permanently change the SCOTUS confirmation rules by requiring only a simple majority of votes (51) instead of the 60 votes historically needed to confirm a justice.

If the nuclear option is utilized, not only would Neil Gorsuch become the first SCOTUS judge in decades to be confirmed by fewer than 60 votes, but it would also set up the Supreme Court for more political partisanship. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) stated that the nuclear option “diminishes the true balance and effectiveness of the Senate.” By discarding the stipulation of a basic amount of bipartisanship for one of the most influential positions in the United States government, the Republican-dominated Senate would allow the continued erosion of our democracy. As Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has repeatedly said, "If the nominee can't get 60 votes, you don't change the rules, you change the candidate."

Call this office:

Bill Nelson D-FL

Why you’re calling this office:

This is one of your two Senators

Your script:

Hi, my name is [NAME] and I'm a constituent from [CITY, ZIP].
[IF Republican Senator: I'm calling to express my strong opposition to the use of the nuclear option to confirm Neil Gorsuch. It would set a dangerous precedent to remove the requirement for bipartisanship from Supreme Court confirmations.]
[IF Democratic Senator: I'm calling to urge the Senator to oppose the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch, and to filibuster if necessary. The GOP must be challenged to choose a more moderate nominee.]
Thank you for your time and attention.
[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]

Wilton Manors to fly transgender pride flag tonight at 6:30 PM

City of Wilton Manors will be raising the Transgender Flag tomorrow, Thursday, March 30th at 6:30pm at Jaycee Park on Wilton Drive, across from city hall, in observance of International Transgender Visibility Day.

Wilton Manors Florida- commissioners voted Tuesday night to fly the transgender flag on several days of remembrance. Friday, March 31, is International Transgender Day of Visibility. The flag will return to the city’s Jaycee Park in June, during Wilton Manors’ Stonewall Parade and Festival, on Aug. 19, Transgender Pride Flag Day, and again on Nov. 20, International Transgender Day of Remembrance.
Supporters said transgender people would take it as a cue that Wilton Manors is a safe haven and welcomes them.
“In policy and in symbolism we must speak up and out for the transgender community,” Commissioner Justin Flippen said.

Ron Mills Spoke during the public comment before the vote as a Co-Founder Of  TERI "Transgender Equity Rights Initiative"  Mills spoke about two Transgender activist who are no longer with us and who were pioneers in transgender activism ,Mills spoke about Diane Arnold a activist who came out from behind the shadows almost 20 years ago 

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Join Rep. Ted Deutch for an open house at his new Fort Lauderdale office

You're invited to join Rep. Ted Deutch for an open house at his new Fort Lauderdale office. Come meet Ted and learn about the constituent services his office provides.

House Ethics Leader Pushes For Examination Of Trump's Alleged Russia Ties

Rep. Ted Deutch, the top Democrat on the House Ethics Committee, is calling for an independent investigation into Russia's alleged ties to the Trump campaign and White House.

Listen Below


By now, most people have probably given up on their new year’s resolutions, but we haven’t!
The Broward Sheriff’s Office began 2017 making a healthier workforce one of its goals.
Sheriff Scott Israel tasked the Training Unit with developing a Performance Ability Test (P.A.T.), tailored to the physical needs of our law enforcement and detention deputies to help improve their ability to perform common tasks required by their jobs.
Since the beginning of the year, more than 1,000 deputies have been introduced to the P.A.T., and now Sheriff Israel is inviting media to join us in our quest for better health.
Meet Sheriff Israel at the obstacle course as he shows you the BSO P.A.T. and encourages you to test your own physical ability through the course.
1 p.m. Monday, March 27, 2017
Markham Park
16001 W. S.R. 84, Sunrise

“We designed the obstacles with input from deputy surveys and data from a job task analysis,” Sheriff Israel said. “By incorporating this physical measurement as a basic minimal standard for deputies, we are striving to improve their overall health and job performance.”
Deputies will have other opportunities to go through the course midway through 2017 before it is incorporated as a mandatory annual fitness qualification in 2018.
Since the introduction, deputies have been encouraged to improve their ability to maneuver through the course with the assistance of the BSO Training Unit and wellness interns from local colleges and universities.


Broward Sheriff’s Office traffic homicide detectives are investigating an afternoon collision between a Lexus and an Amtrak train in Oakland Park.
Just after 1 p.m. March 24, a Lexus driven by Charles Stringfield was headed east in the 1500 block of West Oakland Park Boulevard as the passenger train traveled north on the western track that intersects the road. As the train neared the railroad crossing, the crossing gates were in the down position. However, Stringfield’s vehicle had already come to a stop between the crossing gates and the stop bar. 
As the train began to go through the crossing, the Lexus drove into its path and was struck. Stringfield’s vehicle then hit the railroad stanchion. Engineer Walter Rozynski brought the train to a controlled stop just north of the railroad crossing.
BSO’s Oakland Park deputies and Oakland Park Fire Rescue responded to crash site. Stringfield was pronounced dead at the scene.
The investigation by BSO’s Traffic Homicide Investigations unit continues.

 Video From Channel 10 Miami


Wasserman Schultz on the failure of the Trumpcare bill

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) released the following statement regarding the failure of the Trumpcare bill after Republicans pulled it from consideration to avoid defeat:

“America’s seniors, women, children and families scored a major victory today. Trumpcare was a horrible bill from the start, and was only made worse the more it was amended. The lack of transparency, hearings and proper vetting was appalling. President Trump obviously didn’t do his homework, and Republicans are clearly at war with themselves. This defeat was earned and well deserved. 

More importantly, for millions of individual Americans, Trumpcare would have been devastating. It reduced coverage for millions, gutted benefits and massively increased costs, and added what amounted to an "age tax" for older Americans. It was the worst bill for women’s health in a generation. In fact, for the entire health care system, it would have been a nightmare. The solvency of Medicare would have been weakened, Medicaid would have been gutted, and safety-net hospitals would have been further burdened to truly distressing levels. Doctors, nurses, hospitals and nearly every major medical or health advocacy group opposed it, with good reason. 

Hopefully, Republicans will now reach out to Democrats to improve the Affordable Care Act in a serious, meaningful way. We’re more than ready to participate if it means truly improving our health care system.”

GOP’s new health-care Bill A Dismal Failure Plus Plus

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), via The Hill...unrestrained:
"The TrumpCare bill failed because of two traits that have plagued the Trump presidency since he took office: incompetence and broken promises. ...I have never seen an administration as incompetent as the one occupying the White House," the Senate's top Democrat told reporters."

House Speaker Paul Ryan pulled the GOP’s new health-care bill, after meeting with President Trump to tell him that Republicans didn’t have the votes to pass it. During a news conference, Ryan said it is a “disappointing day” and that Republicans will now “move on with the rest of our agenda.” In an interview with The New York Times, Trump reportedly blamed Democrats for the bill’s failure, predicting they would want to make a deal after “Obamacare explodes.” Earlier in the day, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes walked back his claim that communications from Trump and his transition team were collected incidentally by U.S. intelligence. TransCanada, the company behind the Keystone XL pipeline project, said the Trump administration granted them permission to begin construction, reversing an Obama administration directive.
GOP’s new health-care bill,

Video From Washington Post


Rep. Ted Deutch On GOP Healthcare Bill Failing

Speaker Ryan just canceled a vote on the GOP healthcare bill that was scheduled for this afternoon.

President Trump and Speaker Ryan should be ashamed of themselves for trying to force through a disastrous bill that would have ripped away health coverage from tens of millions of Americans, dramatically increased premiums, and severely cut Medicare and Medicaid. The American people spoke loud and clear; they do not support gutting their own health benefits in order to give massive tax cuts to health insurance companies. House Republicans need to start working with Democrats on real policy solutions that will benefit the American people.

A Message from Broward County Commissioner Tim Ryan

Ryan Report

The Marine Environmental and
Education Center is Now Open

The Marine Environmental and Education Center is Now Open 

The much-anticipated Marine Environmental Education Center (MEEC) is now open at the historic Carpenter House located at 4414 North Surf Road in Hollywood’s North Beach Park. The center is a collaboration between Broward County Parks and Recreation Division, which manages the park, and Nova Southeastern University, which will manage the MEEC through its Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography.

At the centerpiece of the MEEC is Captain, a juvenile green sea turtle originally found in the basin of Naval Air Station Mayport in Jacksonville in 2010. The turtle was injured after being struck by a boat.  She was treated and rehabilitated at a Georgia facility, but attempts to release her back into the wild were unsuccessful. Luckily she has a permanent home at the MEEC, where the former swimming pool on the Carpenter House property has been transformed and customized to accommodate Captain.

The facility also features a center with interactive displays on subjects ranging from sea turtle conservation to marine debris. Programs on such topics as "Dune Ecology" and "Turtle Care and Enrichment" will be offered daily, Tuesday through Saturday, at 10:30 AM and 3:30 PM. Beach walks will also be available, as well as opportunities to meet Captain and observe her as she feeds.

The mission of the MEEC is to provide outstanding marine education, interactive learning, and research with a focus on endangered sea turtles. The center will engage residents and visitors by increasing conservation awareness and action in a way that ultimately results in greater protection of our marine and coastal environments.

The MEEC is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday10 AM to 5 PM. Although admission is free, a $3/person donation for ages 3 and up is suggested to offset operational costs and support environmental outreach. Check here for the latest information.

Fire Station 23 Grand Re-Opening and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony is Saturday, March 25th

Fire Station 23 Grand Re-Opening and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony is Saturday, March 25th

The County, in partnership with the Broward Sheriff's Office, will host a Grand Re-Opening and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on Saturday, March 25th from 11AM to 2PM at Fire Station 23, 2200 SW 46th Avenue, in Broadview Park. The event is free and all residents are welcome to attend.
Event highlights include a Fire Safety & Emergency Preparedness EXPO, free food and family entertainment with a bounce house and music, free smoke alarms from Operation S.A.F.E., free emergency and hurricane preparedness kits and resource materials, tour of BSO Fire Engine and County Emergency Command Vehicle, art work by students from Meadowbrook Elementary, and a tour of the newly renovated fire station.
The renovations completed by the County will enable Broward Sheriff’s Office Fire Rescue firefighters to again be stationed at Fire Station 23 and respond quickly to calls in the Broadview Park community. A new agreement was also finalized between Broward County and the Peters Road Volunteer Firefighter Association (which owns the fire station) to facilitate the return of BSO firefighters.
The project involved approximately 2,500-square-feet of renovations. Improvements include creation of separate sleeping quarters, new restrooms, new air conditioning unit and water heater, overall ADA improvements, minor structural repairs, installation of a new fire alarm system, landscaping, a new driveway and painting. The County's total investment in Fire Station 23 is approximately $300,000.
Please join community leaders, residents, Meadowbrook Elementary students, and elected officials for the celebration and ribbon cutting ceremony welcoming BSO Fire Rescue back home to the Broadview Park community. If you are interested in attending this event, please RSVP or for more information contact Aretha Wimberly at 954-357-7794.

Go Native When Buying Plants in South Florida

Go Native When Buying Plants in South Florida

In subtropical South Florida, just about anything you plant in the ground has a good chance of growing, which is why so many plants classified as non-native, invasive, or exotic can thrive. Unfortunately, these types of plants can go wild in our yards, parks, and natural areas in addition to our roadsides and canal banks. The vast majority pose no serious threat, but some grow out of control competing with native vegetation and gradually displacing it, forever altering ecosystems that have developed over millions of years.
You can do your part simply by paying attention to what you grow in your own yard. The key is educating yourself on the types of plants you choose for your yard and how you cultivate them once planted. For help you can turn to Broward County Parks.
Several of our parks and nature centers regularly hold native plant sales emphasizing the right kinds of plants to grow in your home landscape. Gardening information and other activities are often offered at these events. Our Extension Education Section's Urban Horticulture Program runs Master Gardener Public Service Centers that you can call or visit for help with your gardening questions.
2017 Schedule of Native Plant Sales
All dates are Saturdays.
Mar. 25, 9 AM-1 PMFern Forest Nature Center 201 Lyons Rd. South, Coconut Creek 33063
Apr. 29, 9 AM-1 PMSecret Woods Nature Center 2701 W. State Rd. 84, Dania Beach 33312
Aug. 12, 9 AM-1 PMSecret Woods Nature Center 2701 W. State Rd. 84, Dania Beach 33312
Sept. 23, 9 AM-1 PMFern Forest Nature Center 201 Lyons Rd. South, Coconut Creek 33063
Nov. 4, 10 AM-2 PMQuiet Waters Park 401 S. Powerline Rd., Deerfield Beach 33442

$8 Million in Grants to Assist
Homeless Population

$8 Million in Grants to Assist Homeless Population
Broward County is continuously working toward ending homelessness. Recently the Broward County Homeless Initiative Partnerships was awarded a grant of more than $8 million by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) through the 2016 HUD Homeless Continuum of Care (CoC) Program Competition. The grant will help fund several projects that support Broward County’s goal and objectives in the “A Way Home” Plan to End Homelessness.
This award will serve homeless adult and youth clients, including individuals, families, veterans, those with mental, emotional and physical disabilities, those with substance abuse disorders, mothers and children including pregnant women, those who are “chronically” homeless and those who have co-occurring disorders.
The HUD CoC Program award will fund 18 renewal projects and one new CoC Planning project providing Supportive Services, Homeless Management Information System Support, CoC Planning, Transitional Housing, Rapid Rehousing, and Permanent Supportive Housing. These projects provide 690 permanent, 112 rapid rehousing, and 25 transitional beds (827 beds total) with related supportive services to Broward's homeless population. Additionally, these new funds will create 15 new permanent supportive housing beds for chronically homeless persons in partnership with Broward County Housing Authority and Broward Housing Solutions.
For more information, visit HIP's website and view the "A Way Home" Plan to End Homelessness.

Interested in Going Solar?

FL SUN - Broward County - GO SOLAR Florida

Broward Residents have a new simple, affordable way to “Go Solar” by adding solar energy equipment to their homes. Local residents have formed two solar co-ops, one for County residents who live east of US 441 and the other for residents who live west of US 441. The goal is to save money and make going solar easier, while building a network of solar supporters. Broward County, Go Solar Florida, and FL SUN are co-op sponsors of the new initiative.
FL SUN expands access to solar by educating Florida residents about the benefits of distributed solar energy, helping them organize group solar installations, and strengthening Florida's solar policies and its community of solar supporters.
Broward residents interested in joining either co-op can sign up at East Co-op or West Co-op. Joining a co-op is not a commitment to purchase solar panels. Once the groups are large enough, FL SUN will help the co-ops solicit competitive bids from area solar installers. Co-op members will select a single company for installations and will then have the option to purchase panels individually based on the installer's group rate. By going solar as a group and choosing a single installer, participants can save up to 20 percent off the cost of their system.
The next information session is April 25th at 5:30PM at Northwest Regional Library, 3151 North University Drive, Coral Springs 33065.

Opportunities to Serve on a County
Advisory Board and Committee

Opportunities to Serve on a County Advisory Board and Committee
Broward County Advisory Boards and Committees give residents an opportunity to participate in county government by providing their input, expertise, experience, and guidance on a variety of issues affecting our community. We are always seeking volunteers who are interested in public service. You can review our current Board and Committee vacancies today.
If you would like to be considered for a board appointment, please submit the following to my County Commission Aide, Pratima Raju at detailed resume, permanent address, phone number, email address and the board or committee on which you would like to serve. Residents who serve provide their board and the County with valuable insights, and their contributions to the community are greatly appreciated.

House LGBT Caucus Denounces Trump Appointment of Anti-Transgender Activist to Lead HHS Civil Rights Office

 The Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus denounced President Donald Trump's appointment of Roger Severino as the head of the Office of Civil Rights in the Department of Health and Human Services.

“Appointing Roger Severino is another warning shot to those of us fighting for civil rights in the Trump era,” said Transgender Equality Task Force Chair Joe Kennedy III (MA-04).  “Mr. Severino has built a career on demonizing the transgender community, stoking fear about transgender identity, and -- in particular -- undermining equal access to health care. It's clear the President has no intention of keeping the promises he made to LGBTQ Americans.

“In the midst of our fight to defend the Affordable Care Act, this appointment only energizes our opposition to Trump Care,” Kennedy continued.  “The ACA has provided lifesaving access to health care for transgender people, who face much higher rates of poverty and income instability.  A vote to gut both the ACA and Medicaid would compound the inequities the Trump Administration is already placing on the shoulders of transgender Americans.  This Task Force will hold them accountable every step of the way.”

Severino, the former head of the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at the Heritage Foundation, has been a longtime opponent of transgender equality in health care, military service, and access to public accommodations, referring to transgender nondiscrimination protections as a "radical social experiment." 

In 2015, during President Barack Obama's administration, the Department of Health and Human Services promulgated a rule pursuant to Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act ensuring that individuals cannot be denied access to health care or health coverage or otherwise be subject to discrimination because of their gender identity.

“UNITING BROWARD” Community Showcase

The Broward Sheriff’s Office invites you to celebrate diversity, safety and security at this year’s “UNITING BROWARD” Community Showcase, a free family-friendly outdoor festival.   The event is an exciting opportunity for law enforcement and residents to communicate, to better understand each other and to build long-term partnerships.

Uniting Broward will take place on Saturday, April 29th from 10:00 a.m. to Central Broward Regional Park located at 3700 NW 11th Place, Lauderhill, Florida 33311.  The celebration will include demonstrations from the Aviation Unit, K-9, SWAT Team, Fire Rescue, Bomb Squad and Police Athletic League Boxing Program. The event will also offer recruitment opportunities for anyone interested in joining the BSO team. 

Unpacking The SCOTUS Hearing

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Bernie Sanders Facebook Page Ran By Putin Cyber Warfare Group

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Maddow explained that the Russians are using information warfare to confuse, divide, distract, demoralize and ultimately defeat their rival.
The MSNBC host said, “When The Huffington Post did their dive on how Bernie supporters online got targeted in this Russia attack in part on a Bernie Sanders Facebook page called Bernie Sanders Lovers which says it is based in Burlington, Vermont. It is not based in Burlington, Vermont. It’s based in Albania, and nobody who’s not from Albania appears to have anything to do with that site. The important thing here is that Bernie Sanders page run out of Albania. It’s still there. It’s still running. It’s still churning this stuff out. Now. This is not part of American politics. This is not partisan warfare between Republicans and Democrats. This is international warfare.”

Rep's Deutch and Wassermann Schultz and Hastings urge hiring not be frozen at Social Security Administration

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The letter was signed by 50 Democratic house members including U.S. Reps. Kathy Castor, Charlie Crist, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Alcee Hastings, and Ted Deutch from Florida’s delegation.

 Tuesday morning urging him to exempt the Social Security Administration from the federal hiring freeze.
“On the campaign trail, you promised to not cut Social Security—particularly the benefits for our seniors. However, a hiring freeze does indirectly cut those benefits, by making it harder for workers and their families to access the benefits they have earned in a timely fashion,” the letter states.
The letter notes that SSA administrative budget has declined by 10 percent, while the number of beneficiaries has increased by more than 12 percent. This led to 64 field offices closing, a disability hearings backlog with an average of a 540-day waiting period, increased wait times at every point of contact, and extended durations for retirement and disability appointments. It also states that the SSA has instituted its own hiring freeze since last spring, and that a continued freeze will only make matters worse.
“We strongly urge you to exempt SSA from your hiring freeze so that the agency can direct surplus funding to ensure that the American people receive the first-class service they have already earned through a lifetime of hard work,” it states.

Why don’t people vote?

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It’s a little surprising that so many Americans don’t vote. Most are fairly interested in politics, notes Mert Moral. He’s a political scientist at the State University of New York at Binghamton. “If you look at survey data, you find more Americans are equally, if not more, engaged than their counterparts [in other countries],” he says. “They have bumper stickers. They talk about politics. They are interested in political topics at the local level.”
So why don’t people vote? Scientists have been looking into this. Below are four reasons they offer to explain why many people do not show up at the polls.

Why don’t people vote?

1) Registration takes work  In many countries, being registered to vote is automatic. If you are a citizen, you are signed up to vote. Not so in the United States. It is up to each person there to sign up, notes Barry Burden. He’s a political scientist at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. To register, someone must go to an official site, such as a library or a government office, then fill out paperwork. A 2012 Pew Research Center study reported that 51 million citizens — nearly one-in-four eligible to vote — had not registered.
Easier registration could mean more voting. Burden and his colleagues showed that during the 2004 and 2008 presidential elections, a “one-stop shop” where people could register and vote at the same time increased voter turnout. By contrast, making it easier for people to vote by letting them vote before Election Day (known as early voting), actually lowered the voting rate. The researchers published their findings in 2013 in the American Journal of Political Science.
2) Education  Data show that the single biggest predictor of whether someone will vote is whether they hold a college degree, Burden notes. College graduates make more money, on average. They are more likely to look for information about politics. And they are more likely to have friends who vote. People without a college degree, he says, are less likely to seek out political information. They also are less likely to have friends who care about politics or talk about voting.
3) Two parties may not be enough  The United States has two main political parties: Republicans and Democrats. Other political parties exist, such as the Green party and the Libertarians. Few people, however, vote for candidates of those “other” parties. This is because U.S. elections only reward what is known as “first past the post.” The one who gets the most votes wins.
In many other countries, such as the United Kingdom, people don’t vote for individuals. They vote for parties to sit in a Parliament. The party that dominates the Parliament gets to pick the Prime Minister. But even a non-dominant party can get one or more members in Parliament — if that party gets enough votes. “A party that got 25 percent of the vote could get 25 percent of the seats,” Burden says. “That’s very encouraging.”
In contrast, it wouldn’t matter if the presidential candidate for the Green party or the Libertarian party got 25 percent of the U.S. vote. If 25 percent wasn’t the highest percentage of votes, their candidate wouldn’t become president. No one else from their party would automatically get a seat in Congress either. Americans vote for candidates for particular, individual seats.
Line to vote
Voting can mean standing in long lines on Election Day.
Katie Hargrave/Flickr (CC-BY-2.0)
Americans also vote for Congressional candidates only in their particular geographical area. So a candidate from a third party would have to win the majority of votes from their particular area to get the seat in Congress. And many candidates from that party would have to win in many different areas to get enough seats in Congress to pass laws that reflect their party’s values.
Such minor-party candidates seldom raise much money to campaign. Meanwhile, the two big political parties tend to raise lots of money to help their candidates. So third or fourth parties can’t get organized and don’t put forward many (or sometimes any) candidates. After all, what’s the point of putting in a lot of effort if you have little chance of winning?
This promotes a system where candidates tend to be members of only the major political parties. And in a two-party system, voters might not find that either candidate represents their views. And where they don’t, Moral says, voters might just stay home.
“A third-party candidate can’t win an election here,” he says. So where they don’t like the Republican or Democrat running for office, Moral says, people may just not bother to vote at all.
4) Apathy and burnout   Who your friends are can affect whether you vote. “We use voting as a tool to transmit to others who we are,” explains Eyal Winter. An economist, he works at the University of Leicester in England and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel. Voting — and then telling others that you did, or publicly stating that you plan to — is a way to show loyalty to your social group and its values, he says.
But some people just don’t care about politics, which can lead to voter apathy. And if a social group doesn’t regard politics as very important, its members may not bother to vote, Winter notes. In fact, he says, one might argue that in terms of any one citizen, “it makes no sense to vote.” Only very rarely has a single vote changed the outcome of an election. And where that happened, it usually was only in very small, local elections.
Not only that, where elections occur often, people may experience voter burnout. “One of the things that makes the U.S. strange is that there’s a lot of elections,” says Burden. “We ask voters to make a lot of decisions.” Getting out to the polls can be a hassle. What’s more, learning about every single issue takes time. If people are asked to vote too often, or choose a position on too many subjects, they might just opt out of the whole process. “We have a complicated system and I think that produces fatigue,” Burden says.
There are many other reasons people might not vote — from anger at the government to concern that being a registered voter will make the government more likely to call them up for jury duty. What could change their minds?