Fair Districts Florida Redistricting Amendment OK’ed for Ballot

Congratulations to everyone who worked to make this happen by gathering signatures. Now, we just have to make sure it passes.

From: Ellen Freidin <Ellen@fairdistrictsflorida.org>
Date: Fri, Jan 22, 2010 at 4:20 PM
Subject: We are on the ballot!
To: david@bluebroward.org

Phenomenal news! I want you to know before it becomes public that we just received notice from the Division of Elections that, thanks to the hard work and donations of thousands of people who care about our state, our amendments will be on the ballot!!! This is a huge accomplishment and it would not have happened without you!

We cannot thank you enough. Below is the press release we’ll be sending out.

Our work is not over though. Now we must let all Floridians know about the importance of voting for the FairDistricts amendments. We’ll be laying out our plan for victory for our supporters soon, but first we need to staff up and transition from petition gathering to a full-fledged campaign.

Can you chip in whatever you can afford to help fund the transition?

Let’s win this!


January 22, 2010

Redistricting amendments on the ballot: Florida voters earn historic chance to vote to stop politicians from rigging districts

After November passage voters will choose elected officials – not the other way around

Tallahassee, FL – Today, Floridians took a giant step towards ending the incumbent and political party protection plan that masquerades as legislative and Congressional redistricting. The non-partisan group FairDistrictsFlorida.org gathered more than 1,650,000 petitions signed by Florida Republicans, Democrats and Independents from the Panhandle to the Keys. As a result, today the Secretary of State certified Constitutional Amendment 5 for the November 2, 2010 ballot, and is expected to soon certify its partner, Amendment 6. Florida voters now have a powerful opportunity to stop legislators from rigging and manipulating district boundaries in order to stifle competition while perpetuating their own political power.

“These critical reforms will finally end the legalized conflict of interest that allows legislators to design their districts and those of Congress for their own political purposes,” said Bob Milligan, who was elected State Comptroller during the Lawton Chiles and Jeb Bush administrations.

Under our present system, there are no rules that limit legislators from drawing districts to favor themselves or their parties. Districts in Florida are bizarrely shaped, often meandering for hundreds of miles or from coast to coast. Communities are carved up so that voters living in the same neighborhood are often represented by different members of Congress or state representatives.

As a result, incumbent legislators almost never lose their re-election bids. Only three (out of 140 up for election each cycle) were defeated in the last six years. How could this happen? Because legislators draw up their own districts for one purpose: to ensure that they stay in office!

Former Governor and U.S. Senator Bob Graham said, “Florida’s legislators are choosing their voters instead of voters choosing their representatives. There are presently no rules to stop this self protection plan. And when this happens, the voters don’t have a real choice! These amendments will change that.”

With voter approval in November, Amendments 5 and 6 will establish constitutional rules that will:

  • Prohibit politicians from designing districts to favor themselves or their parties;
  • Require them to make the districts compact and community based; and
  • Make it impossible for legislators to draw districts to diminish the ability of minority voters to elect representatives.

“I am so happy that the voters of Florida will finally have the opportunity to vote to put these fairness standards in the Florida constitution. These amendments provide new protections for all voters and especially minorities,” added Representative Perry Thurston of Broward County.

State Representative Darren Soto, Orange County, said, “Today’s certification bodes well for achieving fair districts in the state of Florida. I think that these new protections will be very popular with my constituents as well as all of the voters of our great state.”

For additional information and the exact language of Amendments 5 and 6, please visit www.FairDistrictsFlorida.org.


pd.pol.adv. Paid for by FairDistrictsFlorida.org, 2665 South Bayshore Drive, Suite M-103, Miami, FL 33133
Contributions to FairDistrictsFlorida.org are not deductible as charitable contributions for Federal tax purposes.

The CAPITOL STEPS at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Jan 20-24

I think we all need a laugh at the expense of our politicians about now.

Come see the CAPITOL STEPS at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts

Tickets available now at http://www.browardcenter.org/capitolsteps

Date(s): Wednesday, 1/20/2010 –
Sunday, 1/24/2010
Tickets: $35, $25

Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop warns, "The Capitol Steps will cause your sides to split!"

Don’t miss the insightful, irreverent and always amusing humor of Capitol Steps, the talented band of former Senate staffers who satirize the people and places that employed them. Known for their hilarious musical skits of Capitol Hill personalities and current events, their 27 albums and sold out shows keep audiences on both sides of the aisles laughing out loud. They put the MOCK in democracy, and are even funnier than Congress! You’ve seen and heard them on NPR, NBC, PBS, and ABC. Now see them live!

Capital Steps

Congratulations Volunteers: Over 6000 Names in Support of Health Care Reform!

Had to share this email from Alan Ehrlich. Congratulations to all the volunteers on this remarkable achievement. Whatever happens in Washington, they can say they did their part.

From: Alan G. Ehrlich pan1@comcast.net
Date: Sat, Nov 7, 2009 at 5:19 PM
Subject: Over 6000 Names in Support of Health Care Reform!

As I write this to you, the members of the House of Representatives are debating the health care bill and getting ready to vote. We are urging everyone to call Representative Ron Klein, at the following toll-free number, 866-713-7303, and ask him to support the health care legislation (including the public option!) Congressman Klein has been feeling heat from those opposed to reform, so he needs to hear from supporters!

We started collecting commitments to support President Obama’s health care reform proposals and asking our Broward County neighbors to promise to call our representatives and senators at the beginning of the summer.
To date, we have collected over 6000 names at the Courthouse and Library right here in West Broward!
With these kinds of numbers in support of reform, members of Congress are going to be able to vote according to the wishes of their constituents.

Our events will continue this week. Pick one or two and come on out and help! All of these health care reform events can be found by going to the following link, www.my.barackobama.com, logging in , clicking on “Find Events”, and plugging in your zip code; then you can sign up. You can also let me know when you can join us.

Monday, November 9th:
Starting at 11:30 AM, until 1:30 PM – We will be collecting pledges of support for health care reform at the West Regional Courthouse at the intersection of Pine Island and Broward. Please join us out there!

Wednesday, November 11th:
Starting at 11:30 AM, until 1:30 PM – We will be collecting pledges of support for health care reform at the West Regional Courthouse at the intersection of Pine Island and Broward. Please join us out there!
Starting at 6:30, until 8:30 PM at the AFL-CIO office at 1700 NW 66 Avenue (near Plantation High School) in Plantation
– This will be one of the last OFA organizational meetings before Congress votes on the final health insurance reform bill. PLEASE COME OUT to find out what OFA is doing in Broward County and how we can all help to make sure that health insurance reform becomes a reality within the next few weeks! Call Robby Donaldson at 954-632-9574 for more information.

Friday, November 13th:
Starting at 11:30 AM, until 1:30 PM- We will be collecting pledges of support for health care reform at the West Regional Courthouse at the intersection of Pine Island and Broward. Please join us out there!

Saturday, November 14th:
Starting at 11:00 AM and going on until 3 PM – We will be collecting pledges of support for health care reform in front of the West Regional Library behind the Courthouse at the intersection of Pine Island and Broward. Please join us out there!

Please continue to write or call Senator Nelson (954-693-4851) about supporting the public insurance option!

Revamping health care is not an evil socialist plot to take away American rights. It’s a patriotic movement to guarantee them!

Alan Ehrlich

The Atlantic’s Andrew Sullivan on Activists and Obama

Andrew Sullivan has an interesting take on why it makes sense for activists to pressure Obama to hang tough on the public option. Key quote:

What part of “we” in “we are the ones we’ve been waiting for?” does the Beltway still not understand? And why has it taken this long for the Obamaphiles to tackle their leader. He’s the follower, for Pete’s sake, remember? The people who voted for him are the leaders.

In a follow-up, this sometime conservative writes about how liberal activists are different from the Tea Party crowd in their intellectual honesty:

Because the time to pressure your establishment is when it is in power. Back in Bush’s first term and well into his second, a few of us actually did stand up to the unconservative spending and borrowing, the unconservative Federal Marriage Amendment, the illegal torture regime, and the unconservative recklessness with which both the Afghan and Iraqi wars were waged. Funny thing: none of the tea-partiers were with us. In fact they were mainly cheerleading a trillion dollar war based on false pretenses long after its bankruptcy was exposed.

In Memorium: Julie Hamlin

Jack Shifrel just alerted me to this (The Sun-Sentinel also has a story about Julie’s passing):

Julie Hamlin, who had been President of the Hallandale Beach Democratic Club, suddenly & unexpectedly passed away last week. Julie was a terrific person and a committed communty activist who was admired and respected by everyone in her community & beyond. Losing her so prematurely is a very sad loss.



Positive Images Florida Annual Luncheon, October 24

This isn’t a partisan organization, but it is one you may want to consider supporting. I understand they’ve seen a lot of their grants and other funding sources dry up in this economy.

Please join us! We would also appreciate it if you would forward this notice to your friends. You can also share this notice with your friends online by clicking these links for Facebook and Twitter or posting a link to www.positiveimagesflorida.com/Events on any other networks you may participate in.

Positive Images Florida Annual Luncheon

Saturday October 24th 12 p.m.


Dear Friends;

This year we are celebrating our 12th year by having a Gratitude Luncheon, on October 24, 2009 at the Tropical Acres Restaurant, located at 2500 Griffin Road, Fort (west of I-95). The tickets are $40.00. Raffle Tickets are $1.00 each, 6 for $5.00. First raffle prize is a Storm Tracker; Second prize; one piece Alligator Luggage, and Third Prize a makeover. Will you help today by either attending the gratitude luncheon, purchasing a raffle ticket or sending a tax deductible donation of whatever you can, $1, $5, $10, $25, $50, $100 or more. If you wish you can donate online at http://www.positiveimagesflorida.com/Donate.

We are deeply grateful to your support over the years since we were established in 1997. We have been able to serve approximately 10,000 individuals either by dressing them for interviews, counseling them or providing transitional housing. We want to continue providing those services; however, we cannot do it by ourselves.

This is a very challenging time for our country and as well our local community. We know that we will weather the economic challenges that surface in our lives. As we witness lean times all around us, it is important to remember that we live in an abundant universe. We are opening ourselves to divine ideas and see new paths to prosperity opening before us. However, we know that we cannot just wait until the universe opens and provide.

Positive Images is primarily supported by volunteers, donations and grants. Many of the grants we have had in the past are non-existent; however, the individuals we serve are in more need than ever because of the economic downturn. In 2004 we began to see this downturn and had to reduce our expenses through staff layoffs and freezes on hiring. Each year the economic situation has worsened. We are faced with very tough choices and we need your help. We know that it will require courage and commitment on your part to give in a time of economic uncertainty. But we know that as you give, so you will receive and we know that blessings will flow to you as a result of your giving.

We are grateful for all you have done and continue to do for us. With your help we will continue to transform lives.


Georgia Foster, Executive Director

Board of Directors

Sharon Hallback President
Judith Simonson Vice President
Andrea Allman Secretary
Bryan Favors Treasurer
Valerie Pelligrini, PhD, Member

Our signature event is October 24, 2009 at Tropical Acres, in Hollywood, around 12:00 noon. Luncheon will include a scrumptious menu, fashion show by Havalin Productions, Testimonials from our clients, raffle items and lots of fun!

Get Directions to Tropical Acres on Google Maps

Positive Images Enterprises Inc.

2700 W. Oakland Park Blvd., Suite 21
Oakland Park, Florida 33311
Phone: 954-484-1824

Sen. Bill Nelson on his vote for the public option

Bill Nelson wants everyone to know that he cast a vote in favor of a public option for health insurance in the Finance Committee and is hoping for it to make it into the final bill that will be presented on the Senate floor. Since he was much more noncommittal in his earlier statements on this issue, I think the people who called and wrote his office over the past few weeks made a difference.

Dear Mr. Carr:

I’m writing you because I know that you’re interested in health care reform.

There’s been a lot of confusing information flying around about the latest developments on health care reform. Most of the media is declaring as dead the idea of a public insurance plan. They’re wrong.

A public insurance plan may be down, but it’s not out.

As The New York Times reported on Wednesday, the Senate Finance Committee rejected two Democratic proposals to create a government insurance plan to keep private insurers in check.

Leadership tells me one of those plans, by Senator Schumer, still has a shot at being included in the final bill. And that’s the plan I voted for. I believe it offers help for consumers through fair competition to private insurers.

While it was defeated in the committee by 13-10, Senator Schumer promised right after the vote he’ll keep fighting to get his proposal in the broader health care bill. He’ll have my continued backing.

We’re going to keep fighting to make health insurance available and affordable for all Americans.

Senator Bill Nelson