Caribbean Voter's Guide - New York, Florida, Texas, Georgia

I requested a list of Broward ballot recommendations from my friend Marlon Hill. He’s always in the thick of election activities, and spends much more time researching candidates than I do. We agreed on most, but I went a different way on a few. Please do your own research before you fill in your ballot. These are suggestions, not gospel. They do lean Democratic, and skew toward the interests of the Caribbean-American vote.

Here’s what he shared with me. (Posted here with permission)


Here are some other resources from our friends at SFLCN.com if this isn’t right for you:

Broward County – Caribbean Voter’s Guide

Miami-Dade County – Caribbean Voter’s Guide

West Palm Beach – Caribbean Voter’s Guide

Marlon’s Recommendations:

Vote by Mail Request (by Oct. 31):
Early Voting (Oct. 22 – Nov. 4):
Election Day:  Must go to your designated precinct, 7am to 7pm
US Senator: Bill Nelson
District 20: Alcee Hastings
District 22: Ted Deutch
District 23: Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Governor: Andrew D. Gillum/Chris King
Attorney General: Sean Michael Shaw
Chief Financial Officer: Jeremy Ring
Commissioner of Agriculture: Nikki Fried
State Senator (D34): Gary Farmer, Jr.
State House (D93): Emma Collum
State House (D98): Michael Gottlieb
State House (D103): Cindy Polo
State House (D105): Javier Estevez
County Commission (D2): Mark Bogen
County Commission (D4): Lamar Fisher
JUSTICES OF THE SUPREME COURT
Retain Justice Alan Lawson: YES
FOURTH DISTRICT COURT OF APPEAL
Retain Judge Burton Conner: YES
Retain Judge Jeffrey Kuntz: YES
Retain Judge Carole Taylor: YES
CIRCUIT JUDGE
Group 38: Stefanie Moon
Group 46: Tanner Channing Demmery
COUNTY COURT
Group 19: Jackie Powell
SCHOOL BOARD
District 1: Jim Silvernale
Broward Soil & Water Conservation
District 2: Richard Leys
FL CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS (Must pass by 60% statewide vote to be ratified)
YES: 3, 4, 9, 13
NO: on others
AMENDMENTS
#1:  Increased Homestead Property Tax Exemption: NO
Increases the amount of a home’s value exempted from property tax (Will force local governments to cut public services or raise local taxes)
#2: Limitations on Property Tax Assessments: YES
Makes the cap on non-homestead (2nd homes and commercial) property assessment increases permanent (Will continue to limit resources available for public services; Three South Florida property appraisers support the amendment and say a Yes vote will avert a sudden and largely unexpected tax crisis for more than 530,000 residential and business property owners in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties)
#3 – Voter Control of Gambling in Florida: YES
Requires voter approval of casino gambling (Removes authority to expand gambling from the legislature and returns it to voters)
#4 – Voting Restoration Amendment: YES
Restores right to vote for most people with felony convictions upon completion of sentences (Gives 1.5 million Floridians the right to vote after paying their debt to society)
#5 – Vote Required to Impose, Authorize, or Raise State Taxes or Fees: NO
Requires 2/3 vote of legislature to impose or increase tax or fee (Will tie the hands of future legislatures making it nearly impossible to address budget needs, such as teacher raises and natural catastrophes)
#6 – Rights of Crime Victims; Judges (multiple questions): NO
Adds a Marsy’s Law (victims’ rights) to state constitution, increases judicial retirement age; prohibits judges from deferring to admin agencies to interpret law (Victims’ rights already protected in the Constitution; Eliminates an existing provision that protects the constitutional rights of the accused)
#7 – First Responder and Military Member Survivor Benefits; Public Colleges and Universities: NO
Requires death benefits for first responders and military members, a supermajority vote for college fees, and adds state college system structure to constitution (3/4 majority vote to increase fees makes it very difficult to meet university needs)
  #9 – Prohibits Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling; Prohibits Vaping in Enclosed Indoor Workplaces: YES
Bans offshore oil and gas drilling and vaping in enclosed indoor workplaces (Concern for the environment overrides concern about putting vaping in the Constitution.)
#10 – State and Local Government Structure and Operation: NO
Prohibits counties from abolishing certain local offices, changes start date of legislative sessions, and adds an executive office and executive department to constitution (Takes away control granted to charter counties limiting ability to respond to local conditions)
#11 – Property Rights; Removal of Obsolete Provision; Criminal Statutes: NO
Repeals some obsolete language; repeals a provision saying that changes to a criminal statute are not retroactive (Impact of criminal statute portion is unclear and disputed. Other repealed provisions are already unenforceable or expired)
#12 – Lobbying and Abuse of Office by Public Officers: NO
Prohibits public officials from lobbying for compensation while in office and 6 years thereafter (Applied too broadly at local level; will not solve problems of money and influence in politics)
#13 – Ends Dog Racing: YES
Prohibits betting on dog races (Ends legal wagering on inhumane dog racing)
BROWARD COUNTY REFERENDA
#1:  Funding for Countywide Transportation System Improvements thru Levy of Surtax: YES
The penny sales tax will be used to improve Broward county’s transit and transportation system
#2:  Standards for Establishing County Commission Districts: NO
This is unnecessary as it is in the state constitution
#3:   Redistricting Procedures for County Commission Districts: NO
Not sure this really provides a solution to the redistricting issues; but a YES is okay as it can be seen as a good potential first step
#4 :  Broward County Affordable Housing Trust Fund: YES
This will establish an affordable housing trust fund. Broward County has one of the most severe needs for affordable housing in the state; the key will be ensuring that the money will be used as planned
#5:  Broward County Office of Inspector General’s Discretion to Commence an Investigation: NO
No need to expand IG role
#6:  Broward County Planning Council Revisions to Zoning Glossary and Public Hearings: YES
The clean up language is fine.  The Commission is sufficiently aware of the issues at one public hearing
#7:  Central Examining Boards Appointment of Alternate Members: YES
The CEBs are currently unable to be filled.
#8:  Board of Rules and Appeals Quorum Shall be the Majority of the Total Board Membership: YES
Allows the Board to do business when not all members have been appointed.
#9:  Posting of Notices, Agenda and Backup Materials No Later Than 48 Hours Prior to Meeting: NO
Not necessary in Charter.  The sunshine law already governs this situation.  Potential slowdown with getting items on agendas.  This is also a highly reactive amendment because of one workshop the City of Fort Lauderdale held without good notice.
#10:  Composition of the Independent Board That Nominates the County Auditor: YES
We have not been able to get the listed position appointed.
#11:  Composition of the Broward County Inspector General Selection Oversight Committee: YES
We have not been able to get the listed position appointed.
#12:  Housekeeping Amendment to Delete Ineffective or Unnecessary Language: Yes
These are all housekeeping matters to clean up the Broward County Charter

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