Saturday, June 27, 2020

Palm Beach County Human Rights Council Voters Alliance Endorsements - 2020 - Updated August 19, 2020

The Palm Beach County Human Rights Council Voters Alliance endorses candidates who support LGBTQ initiatives and privacy rights.

Endorsements of candidates are made upon consideration of: 

  • How a candidate has voted on LGBTQ issues 
  • How a candidate has supported the Palm Beach County LGBTQ community

The following candidates on the November 6, 2020 ballot have been endorsed by The Palm Beach County Human Rights Council Voters Alliance for election or re-election in 2020:

President - Joe Biden
Vice President - Kamala Harris
U.S. Congress (Dist. 18) - Pam Keith
U.S. Congress (Dist. 20) - Alcee Hastings  
U.S. Congress (Dist. 21) - Lois Frankel 
U.S. Congress (Dist. 22) - Ted Deutch  
Florida Senate (Dist. 29) - Tina Polsky
Florida Senate (Dist. 31) - Lori Berman
Florida House of Representatives (Dist. 81) - Kelly Skidmore
Florida House of Representatives (Dist. 85) - Jim Carroll
Florida House of Representatives (Dist. 86) - Matt Whilhite
Florida House of Representatives (Dist. 87) - David Silvers
Florida House of Representatives (Dist. 88) - Omari Hardy
Florida House of Representatives (Dist. 89) - James Bonfiglio 
Florida House of Representatives (Dist. 90) - Joe Casello 
Florida House of Representatives (Dist. 91) - Emily Slosberg
Sheriff Ric Bradshaw
Tax Collector - Anne Gannon
Palm Beach County Commission (Dist. 3) - Dave Kerner
Palm Beach County Commission (Dist. 5) - Maria Sachs
Palm Beach County Commission (Dist. 7) - Mack Bernard
Port Commissioner (Group 1) - Wayne Richards
Port Commissioner (Group 2) - Katherine Waldron
Port Commissioner (Group 3) - Jean Enright
Circuit Court Judge (Group 30) - CO-ENDORSEMENT 
    You may only vote for one of the following
    Jamie Goodman OR Adam Myron 
Palm Beach Soil and Water Conservation Supervisor (Group 4) - Rob Long

The following elected officials endorsed by The Palm Beach County Human Rights Council Voters Alliance currently hold office:

U.S. Congressman Ted Deutch
U.S. Congresswoman Lois Frankel
U.S. Congressman Alcee Hastings

Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Nikki Fried

State Senator Lori Berman

State Senator Bobby Powell
State Senator Kevin Rader

State Representative Joe Casello

State Representative Al Jacquet
State Representative Tina Polsky
State Representative David Silvers
State Representative Emily Slosberg
State Representative Matt Willhite

County Commissioner Mary Lou Berger

County Commissioner Mack Bernard
County Commissioner Dave Kerner
County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay
County Commissioner Hal Valeche
County Commissioner Gregg Weiss
County Commissioner Robert S. Weinroth

Clerk of the Circuit Court Sharon Bock

Constitutional Tax Collector Anne Gannon
Property Appraiser Dorothy Jacks
Public Defender Carey Haughwout
Sheriff Ric Bradshaw
State Attorney Dave Aronberg
Supervisor of Elections Wendy Sartory Link

School Board Member Marcia Andrews

School Board Member Frank Barbieri
School Board Member Karen Brill
School Board Member Barbara McQuinn
School Board Member Debra Robinson
School Board Member Chuck Shaw
School Board Member Erica Whitfield

Port Commissioner Joseph Anderson

Port Commissioner Blair Ciklin
Port Commissioner Jean Enright
Port Commissioner Wayne Richards
Port Commissioner Katherine Waldron

Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey Dana Gillen
Circuit Court Judge Jaimie Goodman
Circuit Court Judge Dina Keever-Agrama
Circuit Court Judge James Martz
Circuit Court Judge Lisa Small

County Court Judge Ted Booras

County Court Judge Marni Bryson
County Court Judge  Frank Castor
County Court Judge Edward Garrison
County Court Judge Debra Moses Stephens
County Court Judge Ashley Zuckerman

Palm Beach Soil and Water Conservation Supervisor Rob Long

Palm Beach Soil and Water Conservation Supervisor Michelle Sylvester
Palm Beach Soil and Water Conservation Supervisor Eva Webb

Boca Raton City Mayor Scott Singer

Boca Raton City Council Member Monica Mayotte

Boynton Beach Mayor Steven Grant

Boynton Beach City Commissioner Justin Katz
Boynton Beach City Commissioner Ty Penserga
Boynton Beach City Commissioner Christina Romelus
Boynton Beach City Commissioner Woodrow Hay

Delray Beach City Commissioner Adam Frankel

Delray Beach City Commissioner Shirley Johnson

Greenacres City Councilwoman Paula Bousquet

Greenacres City Councilwoman Judith Dugo
Greenacres City Councilman Jonathan Pearce

Haverhill Town Council Member Ray Caranci

Lake Worth Beach Mayor Pam Triolo
Lake Worth Beach City Commissioner Andy Amoroso
Lake Worth Beach City Commissioner Omari Hardy
Lake Worth Beach City Commissioner Scott Maxwell
Lake Worth Beach City Commissioner Herman Robinson

North Palm Beach City Council Member Darryl Aubrey

Palm Beach Town Councilwoman Julie Araskog

Palm Beach Town Councilman Lew Crampton
Palm Beach Town Councilwoman Danielle Hickox Moore

Palm Beach Gardens City Councilmember Rachelle Litt Palm Beach Gardens City Councilmember Mark Marciano

Palm Beach Gardens City Councilmember Chelsea Reed

Riviera Beach City Councilwoman KaShamba Miller-Anderson

Royal Palm Beach Village Mayor Fred Pinto

Royal Palm Beach Village Councilwoman Selena Samois

Wellington Village Councilman John McGovern

Wellington Village Councilman Michael Napoleone
Wellington Village Councilwoman Tanya Siskind

West Palm Beach City Commissioner Christina Lambert

West Palm Beach City Commissioner Cory Neering
West Palm Beach City Commissioner Kelly Shoaf

Northern PBC Improvement District Member  Ellen Baker

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.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Palm Beach Post: Advocates celebrate Supreme Court’s LGBTQ ruling

By Wayne Washington
June 16, 2020
Monday’s civil rights ruling was a game-changer, said retired judge Rand Hoch, founder of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council.
Civil rights advocates and political officials in Palm Beach County hailed Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that employers can’t fire workers because of their sexual orientation or their gender identity.
The 6-3 ruling, issued during Pride Month, is seen as a major step forward for gay, lesbian and transgender workers, who, before Monday, could legally get married on one day - and get fired because of their sexual orientation or gender identity the next.
“Justice,” U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton, tweeted after the ruling was issued. “The freedom to marry. The freedom to work. The freedom to be LGBTQ. Happy Pride Month.”
Gaby Guadalupe of the ACLU Foundation of Florida said: “At a moment when we are witnessing so much injustice in the world, today we celebrate this court decision that clarifies for the first time that LGBTQ people are protected from employment discrimination from coast to coast, including in states and cities that have no express protection for LGBTQ people in their own laws.”
Some state and local governments, including ones in Palm Beach County, had already prohibited employers from firing workers because of their sexual orientation or their gender identity.
About 60% of Florida’s population, including the state’s biggest cities, have enacted local ordinances that ban discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Floridians at work, in housing, restaurants, hotels and other public accommodations.
Still, efforts to enact a state law that would accomplish the same goal have been frustrated annually at the state Capitol, where conservative Republicans have held control for more than 20 years.
Advocates, though, said Monday’s ruling is focused on banning discrimination in the workplace. Federal and state laws are still needed to expand civil rights laws to bar discrimination against LGBTQ people in housing, restaurants, hotels, health care and other areas.
“We still need Florida to pass comprehensive... sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination protections,” said Jon Davidson, attorney for Freedom for All Americans, an LGBTQ advocacy organization.
While advocates say more needs to be done, Monday’s ruling was a game-changer, said retired judge Rand Hoch, founder of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council, which publicly advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer rights.
“No longer will an LGBTQ worker’s rights be determined by their zip code,” Hoch said.
For Hoch and other advocates, the ruling was a long time in coming.
“Today’s Supreme Court ruling is colossal,” Hoch said. “I have waited 46 years for this day to arrive.”
The ruling, stemming from a case in Georgia, highlighted the sweeping change in public acceptance of - indeed, its demand for - LGBTQ rights.
Pride rallies, including one held this past weekend in New York, have produced massive, diverse crowds. Liberal politicians, celebrities and some businesses make clear their support for LGBTQ rights.
But many evangelical Christians oppose LGBTQ rights, and their opposition has been embraced by conservative Republicans, including those in the Trump administration.
The court’s ruling centered on an interpretation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination “because of sex.”
Justices had to determine if that phrasing included sexual orientation and gender identity.
A trio of dissenters - Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh - argued that Congress did not mean to include lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual or queer people when they debated and passed the law.
“The Court tries to convince readers that it is merely enforcing the terms of the statute, but that is preposterous,” Alito wrote. “Even as understood today, the concept of discrimination because of ‘sex’ is different from discrimination because of ‘sexual orientation’ or ‘gender identity.’”
Six justices, including conservatives Neil Gorsuch and Chief Justice John Roberts, disagreed.
“Today, we must decide whether an employer can fire someone simply for being homosexual or transgender,” Gorsuch wrote for the majority. “The answer is clear. An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex. Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids.”
Gorsuch was President Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee, and his decision to side with the court’s liberals added to the stunning nature of the ruling.
Trump’s authority to nominate conservative judges - and the prospect that they would issue rulings opposing business and environmental regulations, abortion rights and LGBTQ rights - has been a fundamental aspect of traditional Republican support for Trump, who was initially viewed warily by many in the party.
But Supreme Court justices with lifetime appointments don’t always rule the way their supporters want or expect, a fact Trump and conservative Republicans were reminded of with Monday’s decision.
Judicial Watch, a conservative activist group, said the Supreme Court “undermined the rule of law today.”
“In expanding the ban of sex discrimination in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include sexual orientation and gender identity, the court engaged in an abuse of power by legislating from the bench,” the group said in a statement. “There has been a years-long battle by left to change federal law to bar discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. But the Supreme Court today short-circuited the democratic process and rewrote the law without a vote of Congress but by a vote of six unelected judges.”
U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach, said the ruling was about extending workplace protections to LGBTQ Americans that have been enjoyed by other citizens.
“No one should live in fear of losing their job because of who they love or who they are,” Frankel said.
USA TODAY-Florida Network Capital Bureau staff writer John Kennedy contributed to this report.

Monday, June 15, 2020

VICTORY! Supreme Court grants federal job protections to LGBTQ workers

"From this day forward, every LGBTQ person in the United States working for an employer with fifteen or more workers will be protected from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. No longer will an LGBTQ worker's rights be determined by their Zip Code." 

                       Judge Rand Hoch (ret.)

Here's what USA Today just released

Supreme Court grants federal job protections to gay, lesbian, transgender workers

WASHINGTON - A divided Supreme Court further advanced the cause of LGBTQ rights Monday, ruling that a landmark civil rights law barring sex discrimination in the workplace applies to gay, lesbian and transgender workers.

The decision was written by Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump's first nominee to the cour. He was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and the court's four liberal justices. Associate Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh dissented.

"An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex," Gorsuch wrote.

The ruling came in three cases, involving two gay men and a transgender woman, from Georgia, New York and Michigan. The cases, heard in early October, are among the most significant on the court's docket this term.

The challenges from the fired workers picked up where the same-sex marriage battle left off in 2015, when the court ruled 5-4 that states cannot bar gay men or lesbians from matrimony. What was different this time was the court itself: The author of four major opinions expanding gay rights, retired Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, has been succeeded by the more conservative Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

The three plaintiffs were Gerald Bostock, a former child welfare services coordinator from Georgia; Donald Zarda, a former New York skydiving instructor who died at 44 in 2014 but was represented by his sister and former partner; and Aimee Stephens, a former funeral home worker from Michigan who is transgender, and who died March 12. 

At issue: the text of a 1964 civil rights law barring employment discrimination based on sex, and whether that term should be understood to include sexual orientation and gender identity.

Lawyers for the two gay workers said they were fired for dating men, while female employees were not. Lawyers for their employers said they were treated the same as if they were female employees who dated women.

Twenty-eight states have little or no workplace protections for the LGBT community. About 4.5% of the U.S. population, or roughly 11 million people, identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer; 88% of them are employed.
Federal appeals courts have been split on the question since 2017, when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit became the first to rule that gay men and lesbians should be covered by the decades-old federal civil rights law.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit ruled for Zarda in 2018, but the 11th Circuit, based in Atlanta, ruled against Bostock. The 6th Circuit, based in Cincinnati, ruled for Stephens.

Congress has debated the issue for decades but "repeatedly declined to pass bills adding sexual orientation to the list of protected traits" under the law, the Justice Department told the justices. The Democratic-controlled House passed the Equality Act last year, but the Republican-controlled Senate has not considered it.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

"We are Rooster's" Fire Recovery Fund

On the night of May 19, 2020, fire struck H.G. Rooster's, Florida's oldest bar serving the LGBTQ community. Fortunately, no one was injured as the bar was shut down to limit the spread of coronavirus. Unfortunately, the damage was extensive.

Roosters 5/19/20
Roosters 5/19/20

Rooster's is more than just another gay bar, it is iconic. Moreover, since 1984, Rooster's has been the heart of the West Palm Beach LGBTQ community. For more than three decades, Rooster's has been incredibly supportive of numerous organizations serving the LGBTQ and HIV AIDS communities.  SmartRide, Compass, Palm Beach County Human Rights Council, the Metropolitan Community Church of the Palm Beaches, and so many nonprofit organizations have benefited from the generosity of Rooster's management and staff.

Equally important is Rooster's commitment to helping individual members of the LGBTQ community in their times of need. Whether it was raising money to help people who had lost their jobs or homes, had incurred medical or funeral expenses, or just needed a boost, Rooster's and its loving cadre of entertainers and staff always were there, time after time, to lend a hand. Over the past three decades, Rooster's has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to help those in need. As individuals and as a community, we can always count on Rooster's.

With everything going on in the world these days, another bar might just call it quits. But not Rooster's. Owner A.J. Wasson is committed to rebuilding, repairing and reopening Rooster's before year's end.  But that could cost more than $100,000 - and without insurance to help cover these costs, we are counting on you.
Now, more than ever, we need to give back, so that we can make new memories, partying and celebrating our special occasions at Rooster's for years to come.
To help keep Rooster's in our lives, please make a donation. Whether you contribute the cost of a few drinks or the cost of a new electrical system, your gift will be greatly appreciated.

Please click here
to donate to the
"We are Rooster's" Fire Recovery Fund
GoFundMe appeal 
organized by Melissa St. John.

Thank you for your generosity.

Stay safe and keep healthy

The Board of Directors
Palm Beach County Human Rights Council


The PBCHRC Voters Alliance has endorsed former State Representative Kelly Skidmore, a Democrat, for election to the Florida House of Representatives for District 81.

We rarely endorse candidates until after qualifying ends," explanied retired judge Rand Hoch who heads the PBCHRC Voters Alliance.  "When we do, it is for extraordinary candidates with a history working on behalf of the LGBTQ community. Kelly Skidmore is one of those extraordinary public officials."

For decades, no Florida legislator would agree to introduce a bill to add "sexual orientation" and/or "gender identity" into Florida's Fair Housing Act and the Florida Civil Rights Act. 

In 2007, PBCHRC asked newly-elected State Representative Kelly Skidmore to intrododuce a bill to add "sexual orientation" into the two statewide anti-discrimination laws. Skidmore promptly agreed and worked diligently to get co-sponsors for her bill. Newly-elected State Senator (now Congressman) Ted Deutch filed the companion bill in the Florida Senate.  As expected, neither bill received a hearing in committee. 

The following year, Skidmore's bill included both "sexual orientation" and "gender identity". As expected, the bill went nowhere in the House, but it opened the door. 

That year, the Deutch bill was reintroduced, including only "sexual orientation" as part of PBCHRC "Two Bills Strategy". With the support of then-State Senator Jeff Atwater (R-North Palm Beach), the bill passed the Senate Commerce Committee with bi-partisan support. That is the ONLY time in Florida History that a gay rights bill in Florida passed in a legislative committee.  Howeveer, the bill did not reach the Senate Floor.  

In 2009, both the Skidmore and Deutch bills included both "sexual orientation" and "gender identity".  However, the bills, rebranded as the Florida Competive Workforce Act, have never pass -- even in legislative committee -- since then.

In addition to Skidmore's legislative efforts and advocacy on behalf of the LGBTQ community, she has also been a visible presence at Pride events in Palm Beach County and has participated in numerous events sponsored by Compass and PBCHRC..
"As the first legislator in Florida history to introduce legislation to prohibit discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations based on both sexual orientation and gender identity, Kelly Skidmore has earned the unified support of the LGBTQ and allied community," said Hoch. "Kelly Skidmore not only meets the PBCHRC Voters Alliance endorsement criteria, she has done so for more than a dozen years."

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.

The Palm Beach County Human Rights Council Voters Alliance.
Post Office Box 267
West Palm Beach, Florida 33402

PBCHRC Board Member Jasmin Lewis has been elected to serves as a delegate to the 2020 Democratic National Convention

Once again, the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council  will be well-represented at the Democratic National Convention.

PBCHRC Board Member Jasmin Lewis was recently elected to serve as a delegate to the Convention, representing Vice President Joe Biden.

A Mississippi native, Jasmin moved to Palm Beach, Florida in 2014. She is currently employed as a secondary English teacher in the School District of Palm Beach County. In conjunction with teaching, she also serves as a co-sponsor for the Gay Straight Alliance (GSA). Jasmin was selected and graduated from the High Impact Teacher Corps in 2019, one of few teachers across the State. 

Jasmin is passionate about progressive policy change and is committed to building inclusive networks were women and minorities are present at the table. She believes that this can be accomplished through the development of authentic relationships with those in varying intersectionalities. 

Former PBCHRC Vice President and Board Member Deidre Newton, who serves as the Democratic State Committeewoman for Palm Beach County, will be part of the Florida delegation as well.

The Florida delegation will include key PBCHRC supporters, starting with Terrie Rizzo, who serves as Chair of both the Florida Democratic Party and the Palm Beach County Democratic Executive Committee. PBCHRC supporters Rolando Barrero, LGBTQ Consumer Advocate Nik Harris, Palm Beach Gardens Vice Mayor Pro Tem Rachelle Litt, Palm Beach County Soil and Water Conservation Board Chair Rob Long, Michelle Oyola McGovern, and Michael Emanuel Rajner were also elected delegates include.

Over the years, the Democratic National Committee has relied on PBCHRC  to help shape the party's platform. 

In 2004, Newton was tapped by John Kerry's presidential campaign to serve on the Platform Committee. PBCHRC research assistant Michael Ira Thayer was recruited by the Hillary Clinton campaign to serve on the Platform Committee in 2008. PBCHRC President and Founder served on the Platform Committee in 2016 at the request of the Clinton Campaign.

The Democratic National Convention the Democratic National Convention will be held the week of August 17, 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

P.S.  As soon as PBCHRC Voters Alliance is made aware of an openly-LGBTQ Republican from Palm Beach County who has been included in the Florida delegation to the Republican National Convention, we will let you know.

Awaiting The Court's Ruling On The Palm Beach County Conversion Therapy Bans

Conversion therapy is a discredited counseling practice by which therapists and other health care providers seek to change a person's sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression through aversion treatment. The practice repeatedly been shown to harm LGBTQ+ youth.

We can not allow this barbaric practice to continue in Florida -- or anywhere else. 

Knowing there was no chance of anyone convincing the Florida Legislature to enact a law banning conversion therapy statewide, and inspired by a conversion therapy ban enacted by the City of Miami Beach, in 2016, the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council began a two year campaign to ban conversion therapy throughout Palm Beach County.

Miami Beach First Assistant City Attorney Rob Rosenwald, West Palm Beach Assistant City Attorney ZoĆ« Panarites, PBCHRC Board Member Trent Steele, and I carefully drafted a model ordinance to ban conversion therapy. We sought and received input from our colleagues at SAVE, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and the Southern Poverty Law Center.  

On November 7, 2016, West Palm Beach became the first local municipality to enact the model ordinance, banning conversion therapy on youth throughout the city. Over the next eleven months, similar conversion therapy bans were enacted in Lake Worth, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Riviera Beach, Wellington, Greenacres, and Boca Raton.

PBCHRC shared the model ordinance with Alachua and Broward Counties, as well as the City of Tampa, all of which enacted virtually identical ordinances banning conversion therapy. 

Our local campaign culminated on December 19, 2017, when Palm Beach County enacted the first countywide conversion therapy ban in Florida

Immediately after the ban took effect, Liberty Counsel, an anti-LGBTQ hate group, filed suit in federal court on behalf of two therapists seeking to nullify the bans on conversion therapy for minors enacted by Palm Beach County and the City of Boca Raton. The plaintiffs argued that they should be allowed to continue to practice conversion therapy.  

In 2019, Judge Robin Rosenberg of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida denied Liberty Counsel's motion for preliminary injunctions. As a result, young LGBTQ+ people in Palm Beach County remain safe from the psychological abuse caused by conversion therapy. 

Having lost, Liberty Counsel has appealed the order to the U.S. District Court of Appeal for the Eleventh Circuit. Briefs were filed and oral argument was held in February. We expect the appellate court ruling in the near future.

As mentioned above, the City of Tampa enacted a conversion therapy ban utlizing the PBCHRC model on April 6, 2017. Liberty Counsel immediately filed suit to nullify the ban. Unfortunately for LGBTQ+ youth, this time Liberty Counsel prevailed. Judge William Jung of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida struck down the ban, making it legal for conversion therapy practitioners in Tampa to once again "treat" LGBTQ+ children with their quackery. 

The City of Tampa appealed the ruling to the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Although briefs have been filed, no date has been set for oral argument.  Therefore, a decision is no expected until later this year or early next year.

PBCHRC invites you to join a Virtual Town Hall sponsored by the National Equality Action Team (NEAT)
The event will be held at 7:00 p.m. the evening after the appellate court decision is announced. NEAT's presenters will provide their analysis of the court's ruling. Since the court does not give notice when it issues decisions, specific details about the Town Hall will be sent out immediately following the ruling.

Interestingly, the panel of presenters does not include any of the attorneys who co-wrote the ordinances being challenged in court. Nor does the panel include any of the attorneys who argued the cases at the before Judge Rosenberg or the three judge panel of the Eleventh Circuit. Most significantly, none of the boots-on-the-ground activists involved in organzing to get the conversion therapy bans at issue enacted were invited to be on the panel. Still, the Virtual Town Hall may provide an interesting perspective on the future of conversion therapy ban across the country.

Click here to RSVP 
to attend the Virtual Town Hall.

Even if you can't attend, RSVP to receive a recording of the event.
Stay safe and keep healthy.
Judge Rand Hoch (ret.)
President and Founder
Palm Beach County Human Rights Council

Co-Sponsors of the Virtual Town Hall

Daniel S. Hall Social Justice Award recipient Endora Guillaume marches to demand change

The Board of Directors of the PBCHRC Charitable Foundation is so proud of  2020 Daniel S. Hall Social Justice Award recipient Endora Guillaume.

More than 100 people march through downtown West Palm

By Hannah Winston
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
June 3, 2020

WEST PALM BEACH - Endora Guillaume, 18, stood on the stage of Meyer Amphitheatre on Tuesday, holding a sign with dozens of names of black men and women killed by police.

She told the crowd of protesters in downtown West Palm Beach that they may be here marching in solidarity over the killing of George Floyd last month, but this isn't the first person to die at the hands of law enforcement.

She told those in the crowd that they must educate themselves and continue pushing for change for everyone.

"George Floyd is not the only story you should know," she said.

About 200 people marched in downtown West Palm Beach Tuesday, similar to other demonstrations around the county and the world in recent days in protest of the killing of 46-year old black man by a white police officer in Minneapolis.

Guillaume, who just graduated from Park Vista and is headed to Howard University in the fall, said she was excited to see so many diverse people standing in together for the same cause.

One among them she was proudest of was her 16-yearold brother, Tristan.

She said, like many others who watched the video of the officer kneel down on Floyd's neck until he couldn't breathe, her brother was moved to march and demand change.It's a change she said she's happy to see has reached a global audience.

"It's really a collective power," she said. "It's got a now. If I go on my Twitter people are all posting the same video, they're seeing the protests were seeing."

The march began downtown, near City Hall and the Palm Beach County Courthouse and took the protesters all over the city from the railroad tracks and the on-ramp Australian Avenue, with city police and the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office helping to block intersections.

Evagelia Angelakopoulos thinks that with several deaths of black men and women, like Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, so fresh in everyone's minds it has brought everyone together for a bigger cause.

"And I urge the young people to go out to the polls as much as they are at the protests," she said.

The crowd chanted "Hands up! Don't shoot!" and held signs reading "silence = compliance," "I understand I will never understand, however, I stand," and "police reform now." Their efforts won them cheers along the way from people in their apartment balconies and mechanics outside a tire-repair shop.

They stopped at Okeechobee to take a knee, then headed into Rosemary Square, where employees at the Publix Super Market came outside to watch and to raise a few fists in solidarity.

"We love you, Publix!" one marcher shouted.

As they marched on to the police station, they said they would not stop until they got justice. West Palm Beach Deputy Chief Rick Morris stopped by to talk with the crowd and said he supported their peaceful protests "I love you guys, I support youguys,andpleasestaysafe," he said, getting a hug from one of the men who led chants with the crowd.

As the march moved on, one supporter of President Donald Trump tried to taunt marchers, more than 100 strong at that point, from behind a police car. A marcher let him know his U.S. flag with Trump's face on it was upside down, prompting laughter from the crowd.

At Meyer Amphitheatre some of the marchers climbed onto the stage and spoke of their fears in dealing with police agencies and the question they want answered: When is it going to stop?

"I'm an African-American female. Every time I get stopped, every time I get pulled over, every time I see a cop, I'm shakinginfear.I'mscared,"one marcher said into a megaphone. "Am I going to die for a day? Am I going to be arrested today? Am I going to be the next Black Lives Matter victim?"

Those gathered in front of the stage then shouted out the names of people who have died in police custody. Some speakers reminded them of the fall's elections and the need to vote.

Sara Stearns, 19, said coming from a multinational background, she wasnt sure where she fit into the conversation. But continuing her advocacy after attending the March for Our Lives Rally in Washington, D.C., she said she knew she had to come out.

She's hopeful, but said she knows they need to change things know with her generation.

"There's not going to be any more time for us to fix this," she said.