LGBTQ Legislative Outlook

We are gearing up for Florida’s Legislative Session that includes many new faces in the House and Senate and the first Democratic member of the Florida Cabinet in many years. Equality Florida’s Public Policy Director Jon Harris Maurer will share his insights on ways to get involved in Lobby Days, as well as providing updates on legislative goals, including advancing the Florida Competitive Workforce Act.

This meeting of the Capital Equality Democratic Caucus will be held on Wednesday, January 9, 2019, at 6:30pm, in Program Room A of the Leon County Downtown Public Library, Tallahassee, and is open to all Democrats.

Grab a friend and join us for an informative and entertaining session! We hope to see you there!

SAVE THE DATE! Winter Conference & Membership Meeting in Jacksonville

Details are coming together now but we wanted to be sure you Save the Date for our Winter Conference, which is scheduled for February 22-24, 2019 in Jacksonville.

We’ll have more information to announce shortly, including hotel information and how to register, but you won’t want to miss this exciting and informative weekend that brings together LGBT leaders from around the state. Our Winter Conference will feature appearances from elected officials, presentations on current and emerging issues, and social activities to meet Florida and national activists.

We will also host a Membership Meeting on Saturday, February 23 during the Conference to elect Caucus leadership for the next two years. Caucus members: please plan to attend this important meeting during the weekend!

And FYI — our bylaws state that you must be a member of the Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus at least 45 days prior to the election. While we encourage you to join your local chapter, you MUST be a registered member of the Caucus to vote in this election. Here’s a link to join or renew your membership — do it today!

Be sure to mark your calendar, and be on the lookout for more information!

Capital Equality Holiday Social

Join the Capital Equality Democratic Caucus as we celebrate the holiday season and the end of an active election year with cold drinks and delicious bites at one of our favorite local watering holes, Waterworks, 1133 Thomasviile Road, Tallahassee! The event begins at 6:30pm. Local Democratic leaders have been invited to celebrate with us!

LGBTQ Supportive Candidate Endorsements

The next meeting of the Capital Equality Democratic Caucus will be held on Wednesday, October 17, 2018, at 6:30pm. At this very special meeting, members will be approving our slate of endorsed candidates in Leon County and Tallahassee Democratic races! Candidates seeking endorsement by the Caucus have been invited to attend.

Responses from candidates to our endorsement questionnaire have been posted to our website. Please take a moment to review these responses before Wednesday’s membership meeting.

Click here to view candidate responses.

The membership meeting will be held at Krewe de Gras, 1304 North Monroe Street, Tallahassee, and is open to all Democrats.

Grab a friend and join us for an informative and entertaining session! We hope to see you there!

VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! Here’s Our Full Endorsement List

THE FLORIDA LGBTA DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS WANTS YOU TO #BRINGITHOME!

GAINESVILLE – The Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus, representing the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community to the Florida Democratic Party, is releasing its final list of endorsements for the 2018 general election. Our endorsed candidates are committed to supporting and fighting for equality for Florida’s LGBT residents. The Caucus has also taken positions on the Constitutional Amendments on the ballot.


“The momentum is on our side, the Blue Wave is real, and we’re ready to Bring It Home for the LGBT community and all Floridians,” said Terry Fleming, president of the Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus. “After two years of Donald Trump, eight years of Rick Scott, and 20 years of Republican rule in Tallahassee, voters want change that works for them, and not just the top one percent. Our endorsed candidates will do just that.”
Caucus members voted to support endorsed candidates and amendments during a series of membership meetings throughout the primary and general election process.


As a reminder, vote by mail ballots are already arriving, and the last day to register to vote is Tuesday, October 9.


Following are our endorsed candidates for statewide and federal offices, the Florida Legislature, and constitutional amendments.

Cabinet
Governor: Andrew Gillum

Attorney General: Sean Shaw 
CFO: State Senator Jeremy Ring

Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Nikki Fried

Federal
US Senator Bill Nelson

CD-1: Dr. Jennifer Zimmerman 
CD-3: Yvonne Hayes Hinson

CD-4: George “Ges” Belmont
CD-5: Rep. Al Lawson
CD-6: Nancy Soderberg 
CD-7: Rep. Stephanie Murphy 
CD-8: Sanjay Patel 
CD-9: Rep. Darren Soto 
CD-10: Rep. Val Demmings

CD-11: Dana Cottrell
CD-12: Chris Hunter
CD-13: Rep. Charlie Crist 
CD-14: Rep. Kathy Castor

CD-15: Kriten Carlson
CD-16: David Shapiro 
CD-18: Lauren Baer 
CD-19: David Holden
CD-20: Rep. Alcee Hastings
CD-21: Rep. Lois Frankel
CD-22: Rep. Ted Deutch 
CD-23: Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz

CD-26: Debbie Mucarsel-Powell

CD-27: Donna Shalala

State

House District 4: Rebecca Koelzer

House District 21: Jason Haesler

House District 28: Lee Mangold

House District 37: Tammy Garcia

House District 42: Barbara Cady

House District 47: Anna Eskamani

House District 49: Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith

House District 55: Audrey Asiuto

House District 59: Adam Hattersley

House District 60: Debra Bellanti

House District 63: Fentrice Driskell

House District 66: Alex Heeren

House District 69: Jennifer Webb

House District 71: Tracy Pratt

House District 72: Margaret Good

House District 76: David Bogner

House District 78: Parisima Taeb

House District 89: James Bonfiglio

House District 93: Emma Collum

House District 97: Jared Moscowitz

House District 98: Michael Gottleib

House District 103: Cindy Polo

House District 105: Javier Estevez

House District 106: Sara McFadden

House District 115: Dr Jeffrey Solomon

House District 118: Robert Asencio

Senate District 8: Kayser Enneking 

Senate District 16: Amanda Murphy

Senate District 20: Kathy Lewis

Senate District 22: Bob Doyel

Senate District 26: Catherine Price

Senate District 34: Gary Farmer

The Caucus SUPPORTS:

Amendment 3: Requires voter approval of casino gambling

Amendment 4: Restores voting right for felons who have served their time

Amendment 9: Bans offshore oil and gas drilling and vaping in enclosed indoor workplaces

Amendment 13: Prohibits betting on dog races

The Caucus OPPOSES:

Amendment 1: Grants an additional $25,000 homestead exemption for homes worth $125,000 or more

Amendment 2: Makes permanent what currently is a temporary cap of 10 percent on annual property value increases for vacation homes, apartments and commercial property, effectively limiting increases on tax bills. (2nd homes and commercial) property assessment increases permanent

Amendment 5: Requires 2/3 vote of legislature to impose or increase tax or fee instead of a simple majority

Amendment 6: Adds a Marsy’s Law (victims’ rights) to state constitution, increases judicial retirement age; prohibits judges from deferring to administrative agencies to interpret law

Amendment 7: Requires death benefits for first responders and military members, a supermajority vote for college fees, and adds state college system structure to constitution

Amendment 11: Repeals some obsolete language; repeals a provision saying that changes to a criminal statute are not retroactive

The Caucus took NO POSITION on:

Amendment 10: Prohibits counties from abolishing certain local offices, changes start date of legislative sessions, and adds an executive office and executive department to constitution

Amendment 12: Prohibits public officials from lobbying for compensation while in office and 6 years thereafter.

STATEMENT ON THE PASSING OF CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE APRIL FREEMAN

GAINESVILLE — April Freeman, candidate for Congress in District 17, died suddenly, her family announced today. She was officially endorsed by the Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus. President Terry Fleming issued the following statement:

“The sudden passing of April Freeman has saddened all of us. Her energy and focus has been on making life in Southwest Florida better for all, and her commitment to equality never wavered. Our thoughts are with her family, friends, colleagues and supporters at this difficult time.”

September Membership Meeting with Dot Inman-Johnson

The next meeting of the Capital Equality Democratic Caucus will be held on Wednesday, September 12, 2018, at 6:30pm. Our special guest is Former Mayor of Tallahassee Dot Inman-Johnson. She will be discussing the Progressive Leadership Council of North Florida, a coalition of local organizations working together to make our community stronger.

We will also be reviewing our endorsement policy and gearing up for the November election.

The membership meeting will be held at Milano Pizzeria, 514 W. Tharpe Street, Tallahassee, and is open to all Democrats.

Grab a friend and join us for an informative and entertaining session! We hope to see you there!

FLORIDA LGBTA DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS LAUDS GILLUM-KING TICKET

GAINESVILLE — The Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus, representing the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community to the Florida Democratic Party, applauds our gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum’s selection of Chris King as his running mate.

Caucus President Terry Fleming issued the following statement:

“Chris King is an outstanding running mate for Andrew Gillum, and shows his commitment to taking back Florida from the extremism of the Republicans and Ron DeSantis. Like all Democrats across the state, LGBTA Caucus members are ready to help Andrew Gillum bring it home in November to ensure equality, strengthen our civil rights, and return respect and common sense to Florida government.

“Chris King introduced himself to the Caucus at our 2017 Summer Conference with a powerful story about the discrimination his gay brother faced. Both Andrew Gillum and Chris King have deep personal experiences with the LGBT community, and they’ve shown their commitment to our issues throughout the campaign. We look forward to working with them to strengthen the LGBT community when they’re sworn in next January.”

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Commission and Mayoral Candidates LGBTQ+ Meet and Greet

Capital Equality is proud to present a very special Leon County Commission, Tallahassee City Commission, and Mayoral Candidate Meet and Greet event on Friday, August 10, 2018! We are inviting these important Democratic candidates into our local “safe space” to learn more about the needs of our community. Join us at 926 Bar & Grill, 926 W. Tharpe Street, Tallahassee, for a meet and greet beginning at 6:30pm followed by our usual monthly business meeting.

The mission of the Capital Equality Democratic Caucus is to foster good will between lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and ally members of the Democratic Party and the community at large. We seek individual freedom in the framework of a just society and political freedom in the framework of meaningful participation by all citizens.

Grab a friend and join us for casual conversation and an opportunity to learn more about these candidates.

FLORIDA LGBTA DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS ANNOUNCES PRIMARY ENDORSEMENTS

Support for Statewide Candidates, Federal and State Legislative Candidates

Membership Threshold Not Met on Gubernatorial Race

GAINESVILLE — The Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus, representing the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community to the Florida Democratic Party, announces its full list of endorsements for the August 28th primary election. Caucus membership voted on these endorsements at our Summer Conference in West Palm Beach on Saturday, July 28, and includes candidates and Constitutional amendments. The announcement was held to notify candidates.

In the state’s most watched election — for governor — no candidate received the required two-thirds vote of eligible voting members participating to receive the endorsement. Utilizing a successive voting process whereby the candidate with the least amount of votes was eliminated each round, the final two candidates were Andrew Gillum and Gwen Graham. Neither secured the two-thirds threshold to win endorsement.

Following is the full list of endorsed candidates this cycle:

Endorsed July 28, 2018:

Federal

CD-6: Nancy Soderberg

CD-7: Rep. Stephanie Murphy

CD-10: Rep. Val Demings

CD-12: Chris Hunter

CD-16: David Shapiro

CD-19: David Holden

CD-20: Rep. Alcee Hastings

Gubernatorial & Cabinet

Governor: No Endorsement

Attorney General: Sean Shaw

CFO: State Senator Jeremy Ring

Commissioner of Agriculture: No Endorsement

Legislative

House District 55: Audrey Asciutto

House District 89: James Bonfiglio

House District 115: Dr Jeffrey Solomon

House District 106: Sara McFadden

Previously endorsed and already announced:

Federal

US Senator Bill Nelson

CD-3: Yvonne Hayes Hinson

CD-5: Rep. Al Lawson

CD-8: Sanjay Patel

CD-9: Rep. Darren Soto

CD-13: Rep. Charlie Crist

CD-15: Andrew Learned

CD-17: April Freeman

CD-18: Lauren Baer

CD-22: Rep. Ted Deutch

CD-23: Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz

CD-27: State Representative David Richardson

State

House District 28: Lee Mangold

House District 37: Tammy Garcia

House District 49: Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith

In addition, the state Caucus endorsed candidates recommended by local chapters. These include:

Stonewall Democrats of Alachua County

Senate District 8: Kayser Enneking

House District 21: Amol Jethwani

School Board: Rob Hyatt

School Board: Tina Certain

Dolphin Democrats (Broward County)

Senate District 34: Gary Farmer

House District 92: Paulette Armstead

House District 93: Emma Collum

House District 96: Saima Farooqui

House District 97: Jared Moscowitz

House District 98: Andrew Dolberg

House District 105: Javier Estevez

Hillsborough County LGBTA Democratic Caucus

House District 59: Adam Hattersley

House District 60: Debra Bellanti

House District 63: Fentrice Driskell

Commissioner District 4: Andrew Davis Hillsborough

Lee County LGBTQA Democratic Caucus

House District 76: David Bogner

House District 78: Parisima Taeb

School District Seat 4: Debbie Jordan

Fort Myers City Council Seat 4: Christopher Pierce

Pasco LGBTA Democratic Caucus

County Commission District 2: Kelly Smith

County Commission District 4: Brandi Geoit

Stonewall Democrats of Pinellas County

Senate District 16: Amanda Murphy

House District 66: Alex Heeren

House District 69: Jennifer Webb

County Commission District 6: Amy Kedron

School Board District 6: Matt Stewart

Rainbow Ridge LGBTA Democratic Caucus of Polk County

Senate District 22: Bob Doyel

Senate District 26: Catherine Price

House District 42: Barbara Cady

County Commission District 4: Karen Cooper Welzel

School Board District 3: Sarah Fortney

Constitutional amendment positions approved by membership on July 28, 2018 are listed below. The Caucus had voted earlier to support Amendment 4, the Voter Restoration for Felons Initiative.

The Caucus SUPPORTS:

Amendment 3: Requires voter approval of casino gambling

Amendment 9: Bans offshore oil and gas drilling and vaping in enclosed indoor workplaces

Amendment 13: Prohibits betting on dog races

The Caucus OPPOSES:

Amendment 1: Grants an additional $25,000 homestead exemption for homes worth $125,000 or more.

Amendment 2: Makes permanent what currently is a temporary cap of 10 percent on annual property value increases for vacation homes, apartments and commercial property, effectively limiting increases on tax bills. (2nd homes and commercial) property assessment increases permanent

Amendment 5: Requires 2/3 vote of legislature to impose or increase tax or fee instead of a simple majority.

Amendment 6: Adds a Marsy’s Law (victims’ rights) to state constitution, increases judicial retirement age; prohibits judges from deferring to administrative agencies to interpret law

Amendment 7: Requires death benefits for first responders and military members, a supermajority vote for college fees, and adds state college system structure to constitution

Amendment 8: Establishes school board term limits; allows state to operate non-board established schools; requires civic literacy

Amendment 11: Repeals some obsolete language; repeals a provision saying that changes to a criminal statute are not retroactive

The Caucus took NO POSITION on:

Amendment 10: Prohibits counties from abolishing certain local offices, changes start date of legislative sessions, and adds an executive office and executive department to constitution

Amendment 12: Prohibits public officials from lobbying for compensation while in office and 6 years thereafter.

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