Friday, July 19, 2024

PBCHRC Voters Alliance Endorsement for the August 20, 2024 Primary Elections

 Since 1988, the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council Voters Alliance (PBCHRCVA) members -- all volunteers -- have conducted more than 1,000 face-to-face endorsement interviews — and, during COVID, close to 100 interviews via Zoom and phone — of candidates seeking public office.

We do this to educate public officials, make endorsements and take action to elect people who will take steps to change laws and policies to provide equal treatment and equal benefits for the local LGBTQ+ community. As part of our efforts, PBCHRCVA has been working diligently for decades to identify more LGBTQ-supportive residents and get them registered to vote.

LGBTQ+ and allied voters have relied on our endorsements to elect candidates who, in turn, have enacted more than 150 laws and policies benefiting  the LGBTQ+ community. (There are probably more pro-LGBTQ+ laws and policies in effect in Palm Beach County than in all of Florida's other 66 counties combined!)

The Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections is now sending out Vote-By-Mail ballots for the August 20, 2024 Primary Elections. The ballot will include not only statewide races for U.S. Senate, but also local races for School Board Members and County Commissioners. So, this is a VERY important election

PBCHRC Voters Alliance recently interviewed close to two dozen candidates who will appear on the ballot for the Primary Election.

Here is our list of endorsed candidates:

Monday, July 15, 2024

Please do not vote (yet)

July 12, 2024


Since 1988, the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council Voters Alliance (PBCHRCVA) members -- all volunteers -- have conducted more than 1,000 face-to-face endorsement interviews — and, during COVID, close to 100 interviews via Zoom and phone — of candidates seeking public office.


We do this to educate public officials, make endorsements and take action to elect people who will take steps to change laws and policies to provide equal treatment and equal benefits for the local LGBTQ+ community. As part of our efforts, PBCHRCVA has been working diligently for decades to identify more LGBTQ-supportive residents and get them registered to vote.


LGBTQ+ and allied voters have relied on our endorsements to elect candidates who, in turn, have enacted more than 150 laws and policies benefiting  the LGBTQ+ community. (There are probably more pro-LGBTQ+ laws and policies in effect in Palm Beach County than in all of Florida's other 66 counties combined!)


The Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections is now sending out Vote-By-Mail ballots for the August 20, 2024 Primary Elections. The ballot will include not only statewide races for U.S. Senate, but also local races for School Board Members and County Commissioners. So, this is a VERY important election


This month, PBCHRC Voters Alliance is continuing to interview close to two dozen candidates who will appear on the ballot for the Primary Election. The last date for our endorsement interviews is July 17 -- which may be after your Vote-By-Mail ballots arrives in your mailbox.


Please hold off on voting and mailing in your ballots until after we have interviewed the remaining candidates and have made our endorsements. We will be emailing you about our endorsements in late-July


Thank you.


P.S..  For a complete list of endorsements made to date, click here.

ASK YOUR FRIENDS TO REGISTER TO VOTE

Registering to vote in Palm Beach County is SO easy! Click here to register to vote online!


The last day to register to vote -- or change political party affiliation for the August 20, 2024 Primary Election -- is July 22, 2024

UPDATING YOUR VOTER INFORMATION


If you have moved since you last voted, or if you want to change your party affiliation, you need to update your voter information. To do so, click here.


If you have been voting in Palm Beach County for ages, you may need to update your signature. For more information, click here and scroll down to Signature Update.

SIGN UP TO VOTE-BY-MAIL

As always, we are encouraging our supporters to Vote-By-Mail. Palm Beach County residents may request Vote-By-Mail ballots by clicking here.


Vote-By-Mail ballots are in the process of being sent out. To track your ballot, from the time it is sent to you until the time it is received by the Supervisor of Elections, click here.


The deadline to request a Vote-By-Mail ballot is 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 8, 2024. However, if you miss the deadline, you may pick up a ballot in person at any of the offices of the Supervisor of Elections until 5:00 p.m. the day before Election Day. To find the addresses of the offices, click here and scroll down to the bottom of the page.


EARLY VOTING


Early voting will he held from August 10 through 18, 7:00 a.m. through 7:00 p.m. daily. You can vote in person or drop off your Vote By Mail ballot at any Early Voting location during this time. You may vote at any of the 24 Early Voting locations throughout Palm Beach County.


For more information about Early Voting, click here. To find the Early Voting sites, scroll down to the bottom of the page.

THE LAST DAY TO CAST YOUR BALLOT


The last day to cast your ballot is Election Day, August 20, 2024. The polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. This is also the last day to return your Vote-By-Mail ballot.


On Election Day, you must vote at your assigned polling location. Some voting precincts have changed due to redistricting. To find out where to cast your ballot on Election Day, click here.


PBCHRC VOTERS ALLIANCE


JANIECE N. DAVIS

HUTCH FLOYD

MICHAEL DUQUETTE FOWLER

RAE FRANKS

G. JOSEPH GARCIA

DANIEL GIBSON

CHAUNCEY GRAHAM

RAND HOCH

BRADLEY JACKSON

EMMY KENNY

JASMIN LEWIS

MEREDITH OCKMAN TACHE

J.P. SASSER

GEMMA TORCIVIA

RHONDA WILLIAMS


If you have any questions about voting, please contact
the Supervisor of Elections Office
at (561) 656-6200 or
The Palm Beach County Human Rights Council Voters Alliance
is dedicated to electing candidates who will work to end discrimination
based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.  
 
Palm Beach County
Human Rights Council
Voters Alliance
Post Office Box 267
West Palm Beach, Florida 33402
(561) 358-0105

This paid electioneering communication, which is independent of any party, candidate or committee, is produced, sponsored and paid for by
the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council Voters Alliance, P. O.Box 267, West Palm Beach, Florida 33402

 

Monday, May 6, 2024

Four High School Students to Receive PBCHRC's 2024 Social Justice Awards

 

The PBCHRC Charitable Foundation has selected four graduating seniors to receive the organization's 2024 Social Justice Awards..The awards are presented annually to college-bound graduating seniors who have demonstrated interest in advocacy on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community.

 

The Palm Beach County Human Rights Council (PBCHRC) is Florida's oldest, independent, non-partisan, political organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. In 2015, the organization established the PBCHRC Charitable Foundation to fund educational scholarships and other charitable endeavors.

Lindsay Reese, who is graduating from William T Dwyer High School in Palm Beach Gardens, is in the Early Childhood Teacher Education Academy, where she earned her Early Childhood Professional Certificate (ECPC) and her Child Development Associate (CDA).


She is President of the school's award winning chorus where she has had the opportunity to teach students and conduct the school choir.


"My experience and involvement within the LGBTQIA+ community is significant to my character. In the world of classical music which is historically dominated by men, I hope to show that Queer women can make a large, positive impact."


This summer, Lindsay will commence her studies at Florida State University College of Music, where she will be studying Choral Music Education,


Following graduation, Lindsay plans to become a public school choral teacher and choir director.

Laura Susskind is graduating from Florida Atlantic University High School in Boca Raton.


Over her years as a student, she participated in basketball, baseball, cheerleading, ice hockey, martial arts, soccer, and many other activities. Laura never let her gender limit her activities -- even when she was the only female on the team!.


Laura is one of only three women -- and the only out LGBTQ+ person -- in the Fire Explorers Program.


Following graduation from Florida Atlantic University, she intends to become a firefighter.


"When I get into the fire service, my goal is to be who I am by being openly lesbian. I want to spread awareness and educate my peers about the difficulties and issues in my community."

Samaril Vellavoor, who identifies as queer and nonbinary, is graduating from Seminole Ridge High School in Westlake.


As a liberal, queer, person of color living among conservative-minded people in Loxahatchee Groves, Samaril has faced numerous challenges over the years. Yet, through hard work in their school's Advanced International Certificate of Education Program, Samaril has been successful academically. Through dual enrollment, they have earned college credits at Palm Beach State College.


Samaril has participated in the Youth Program at Compass LGBTQ+ Community Center and their school's Gender-Sexuality Alliance. Politically active, they have also volunteered with Democratic Socialists of America


They initially plan to attend Palm Beach State College with the hope of transferring a state university to study game arts. Samaril's ultimate goal is to work at a game studio.


"I want to be a role model for other LGBTQ+ people in the game arts industry. All people deserve to work and live comfortably without worry."

Katherine Yang, a passionate advocate for social justice and healthcareis graduating from Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts in West Palm Beach.


After her father had a stroke, she became involved with the American Heart Association as a "Teen of Impact", advocating for awareness and prevention of cardiovascular diseases.


Katherine also finds solace through dance and serves as Vice President of the school's Arts Club. In that role, she actively engages with younger members, nurturing their creativity and fostering mentorship relationships.


She will be attending Fordham University to study journalism, following which she plans to go to law school.


"As an aspiring journalist, I aim to use my education and platform to amplify voices, raise awareness, and advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and representation. Homophobia and discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community are pervasive issues that demand attention and action."

Created in 2015, the Social Justice Awards are administered by PBCHRC Board Member Jasmin K. Lewis, Chair of the PBCHRC Charitable Foundation's scholarship program.


Under Jasmin's leadership, the Foundation has awarded scholarships to more than two dozen students.

  

"Lindsay, Laura, Samaril and Katherine are amazing advocates and role models for local LGBTQ+ students," said Lewis. "The Foundation is proud to recognize their work by presenting them with the 2024 Social Justice Awards."

Saturday, February 10, 2024

President's Message - February 2024

Founded in 1988, the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council (PBCHRC) is Florida’s oldest, independent, non-partisan, political organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. We promote equality through education, advocacy, direct action, impact litigation and community outreach.


Over the past 36 years, our efforts have been responsible for the enactment of more than 150 laws and policies providing equal rights, protections and benefits for the LGBTQ+ community. For a list of the laws and policies enacted as the result of PBCHRC’s efforts, click here and select "Laws & Policies."


Frankly, back in the 1980s, I optimistically believed there would no longer be a need for our organization in the 21st century. I assumed that by now, our community would be protected by federal civil rights laws. However, despite the fact that bills have been introduced in Congress to protect our community since 1974, fifty years later, the Civil Rights Act has yet to be amended to provide statutory protection for LGBTQ+ Americans


To make matters worse, here in Florida, the LGBTQ+ community continues to be targeted by Governor DeSantis, the Republican controlled state legislature, the courts, and much of the media. Progress we have made over the past decades continue to be rolled back. Students, families with LGBTQ+ members, and especially transgender people are bearing the brunt of the efforts to ensure that the progress we have made is reversed.


So, PBCHRC continues to concentrate on Palm Beach County and our local municipalities. Our work never stops. 



VOTERS ALLIANCE


The success PBCHRC has had in enacting so many pro-LGBTQ+ laws and policies is directly related to our community’s consistent participation in electoral politics.


.Since 1988, the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council Voters Alliance (PBCHRCVA) members — all volunteers — have conducted more than 1,000 face-to-face endorsement interviews — and close to 100 interviews via Zoom and phone — of candidates seeking public office. We have done this to educate public officials and candidates, make endorsements, and take action to elect people who will take steps to change laws and policies to provide equal rights, protections and benefits for the LGBTQ+ community.


Municipal elections will be held throughout Palm Beach County on Tuesday, March19. If you know any LGBTQ+ supportive Palm Beach County residents who are not yet registered to vote, the deadline to register to vote in the March 19 elections is Monday, February 20. For more information about registering to vote, go to: www.votepalmbeach.gov/Voters/Register-to-Vote,


In an effort to suppress the vote, the Florida Legislature has enacted laws which cause Vote-by-Mail requests to expire at the end of the year in which a General Election is held. So, if you have not taken action, your vote-by-mail ballot request may have expired. To continue voting by mail, you may need to complete a new Vote-by -Mail ballot request. You may do this online easily at www.pbcelections.org/Voters/Vote-By-Mail.


In the alternative, you may request to vote-by-mail.



The vote-by-mail request must include your driver's license/Florida State ID number OR the last 4 digits of your social security number, whichever you provided when you registered to vote. (If you do not remember which you used, PBCHRC recommends you provide both numbers to ensure your vote by mail application can be processed.)


This year, PBCHRC set aside five nights to interview more than two dozen elected officials and candidates for public office in the municipal elections in Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Greenacres, Lake Worth Beach, North Palm Beach, Palm Beach, Royal Palm Beach, Riviera Beach, Wellington, and West Palm Beach. To date, we have made endorsements in the following races::


Boca Raton City Council (Seat C) - Yvette Drucker

Boca Raton City Council (Seat D) - Andrew Thomson


Delray Beach Mayor - Ryan Boylston

Delray Beach City Commission (Seat 1) - James Chard

Delray Beach City Commission (Seat 3) - Nicholas Coppola


Greenacres Mayor - Charles “Chuck” Shaw

Greenacres City Council (Dist. 1) - John Tharp

Greenacres City Council (Dist. 5) - Paula Bousquet


Lake Worth Beach Mayor - Betty Resch

Lake Worth Beach City Commission (Dist. 1) - Sarah Malega

Lake Worth Beach City Commission (Dist. 3) - Kim Stokes


Palm Beach Town Council (Group 3) - John David Corey


Riviera Beach City Council (Dist. 2) - Kashamba Miller-Anderson

Riviera Beach City Council (Dist. 4) - Julie Botel


Royal Palm Beach Mayor - Fred Pinto


Wellington Mayor - Michael Napoleone

Wellington Village Council (Seat 1) - Shelly Albright

Wellington Village Council (Seat 4) - CO-ENDORSEMENT

YOU MAY ONLY VOTE FOR ONE OF THESE CANDIDATES

Marcella Montesinos, Bob Margolis OR John "Jay" Webber 


West Palm Beach City Commissioner - Christina Lambert


For a list of more than 80 elected officials who were endorsed by PBCHRCVA and who currently hold office, go to: www.pbchrc.org/voters-alliance



                           PBCHRC CHARITABLE FOUNDATION


The PBCHRC Charitable Foundation is accepting applications for the 2024 PBCHRC Social Justice Awards – $2,500 college scholarships available to graduating LGBTQ+ high school seniors from Palm Beach County.


For further information concerning the Social Justice awards, click here.


For an application for the 2024 PBCHRC Social Justice Award scholarship, click here.


Applications are due no later than 11:59 p.m. on March 29, 2024. For further information, contact Jasmin Lewis at jasminklewis@gmail.com.


To review the biographies of the 20 Social Justice Award recipients and to learn more about the PBCHRC Charitable Foundation, click here:


The PBCHRC Charitable Foundation also provides need-based scholarships to LGBTQ+ college students through the Norman L. Stern and August R. Venezio Scholarships.


In addition, the Charitable Foundation has established the W. Trent Steele Legal Advocacy Award in recognition of Trent’s decades of pro bono work on behalf of PBCHRC as well as his work as a PBCHRC Board Member. The scholarship is available to LGBTQ+ and allied second and third year law students with ties to Palm Beach County. Please contact PBCHRC@gmail.com for further information.


Over the past twelve months, PBCHRC and the Charitable Foundation have made significant contributions to:


  • 451 Avengers - a local activist organization challenging library book bans in Palm Beach County,
  • ACLU of Florida Foundation, which works to create a Florida free of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, 
  • First Amendment Foundation, which watched over a legislative program to review, and reenact if warranted, each of the hundreds of exemptions to Florida's public records law, 
  • Lambda Legal, a national legal organization representing LGBTQ+ people and everyone living with HIV in court – and in the court of public opinion, 
  • MAP (the Movement Advancement Project), a nonprofit think tank working to create a thriving, inclusive, and equitable America where all people have a fair chance to pursue health and happiness, earn a living, take care of the ones they love, be safe in their communities, and participate in civic life,
  • PRISM, which works to expand access to LGBTQ+-inclusive education and sexual health resources for youth in South Florida,
  • Stonewall National Museum & Archives, which presents exhibitions on LGBTQI themes and public programs in South Florida and across the United States, and, 
  • Vita Nova, which is a safe bridge to independence for former foster care, LGBTQ+ and other homeless local youth through supportive housing, education, employment and life. 



                                             2024 WINTER FÊTE


On Saturday, January 13, 2024, more than 200 PBCHRC supporters partied the night away gathered at a private lakeside estate in Boca Raton for our annual Winter Fête. The event is held annually on the Saturday night of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday weekend to celebrate the anniversary of Florida’s oldest gay rights law currently in effect which was enacted by the Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners in January 1990.


Thanks to Sarah and Melissa Hassan, the hosts who underwrote our wonderful evening, our 2024 Winter Fête was our most successful fundraising event since our organization was founded in 1988.


ECP event Group and SandyJames Fine Food & Productions created a magical evening. Heavenly winged angels, clad in white greeted guests, who enjoyed passed hors d’oeuvres and acrobatic performances lakeside throughout the evening. As always, Echo Palm Beach donated sushi boats and Pernod Ricard donated Absolut Vodka and Mumm Napa Brut Prestige. First time sponsors Jill Sasso, Roe Manghisi and The Wine Wave donated the wines served throughout the evening.


Proceeds from the event fund a variety of PBCHRC’s initiatives, including the presentation of the organization’s Public Service Awards, which are scholarships given annually to college-bound high school seniors from throughout Palm Beach County who have demonstrated an interest in advocacy on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community.



Thanks go out to the Members of the 2024 Winter Fête Host Committee:

 

.Clerk of the Court Joe Abruzzo 

Altima Palm Beach

Steve Avila

School Board Member Alexandria Ayala and

Delray Beach City Commissioner Rob Long

State Senator Lori Berman

Paul Bernabeo and David Cohen

County Commissioner Mack Bernard and Shawn Bernard

James Berwind and Kevin Clark

Terry Bowie and William Feldkamp

Delray Beach City Commissioners Ryan Boylston

Sheriff Ric Bradshaw

School Board Member Karen Brill

Pamela Buchmeyer and Shellie Crandall

Castle Wealth Management

Nancy Chanin

Jim Chard

Congresswoman Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick

Gil Cohen and Paul Gervais

Compass LGBTQ+ Community Center

John David Corey and Miguel Rosales

Cornerstone Solutions

Alexcia Cox

David Crespo and Nicholas Coppola

David Daucanski and Bradley Gache

Joseph Paul Davis

Tennille DeCoste

Boca Raton City Council Member Yvette Drucker

ECP Event Rentals and Design

Daniel Eisinger

Peter Emmerich

Greenacres Mayor Joel Flores

Congressman Mark Foley and Ryan Ruark

West Palm Beach City Commissioner Christy Fox

Delray Beach City Commissioner Adam Frankel

Congresswoman Lois Frankel

Constitutional Tax Collector Anne Gannon

Oscar Garza

Charles and Michael Freeman-Grattendick

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Palm Beach County

Judge Rand Hoch (ret.)

Property Appraiser Dorothy Jacks

Elaine Johnson James

West Palm Beach Mayor Keith Jameds and Lorna James

Bill Jennings and Richard Triggs

Michael Judd and Ben Small

Richard Katzenberg and John Betz

Boynton Beach City Commissioner Aimee Kelly

Christina and Monte Lambert

Gregg Lerman

Supervisor of Elections Wendy Link

Rachelle and Jeffrey Litt

Lake Worth Beach City Commissioner Sarah Malega and Dawn Malega

Joseph Marino, Jr. and Anthony Sibilia

Mimi May

David Mooney and Philip Bianco

Wellington City Council Member Michael Napoleone

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP

West Palm Beach City Commissioner Joe Peduzzi and Erin Peduzzi

Greg and Jessica Ransom

Lake Worth Beach Mayor Betty Resch

H.G. Roosters

Paula Ryan and Clifford Hertz

Palm Beach County Mayor Maria Sachs

SandyJames Fine Food & Productions

Jill Sasso & Roe Manghisi

Arthur Schofield

Jeff Sophir and Jim Gielda

Eric Telchin and Logan Nolting

Andy Thomson

Don Todorich

Scott Velozo and Stephen Mooney

State Representative Katherine Waldron

West Palm Beach City Commissioner Cathleen Ward

West Palm Beach City Commissioner Shalonda Warren

A.J. Wasson and Randy Christensen

Dr. Donald Watren and Anthony Jaggi 

Palm Beach County Commissioner Gregg Weiss and Rebecca Weiss

Charles Williams



                                                           CURRENT INITIATIVES


PBCHRC is currently working to persuade: 


  • The local courts, prosecutors and public defenders to utilize the appropriate pronouns when addressing trans people with business before the courts, 
  • The Health Care District of Palm Beach County to provide trans-specific healthcare services to indigent patients, and 
  • The School District of Palm Beach County to cease doing business with Chick-fil-A and other companies that discriminate against LGBTQ+ people and other minorities. 


For more than three decades, the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council has worked diligently on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community. With your support, we will continue to do so in the years to come. As always, we will keep you posted on our progress. 


Judge Rand Hoch (retired), 

President and Founder 



A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE WITHIN THE STATE. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE. PBCHRC'S Registration Number is CH46486. To obtain registration information, you may consult the website or call 800-435-7352. 800-435-7352.