Watch Live: It’s In Your Hands, Our 2020 Summer Conference

Welcome to the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus’s first-ever virtual Summer Conference, It’s In Your Hands, featuring an exciting lineup of national, state and local Democratic and LGBTQ leaders.



While there is no registration fee for this conference, will you chip in to fund our 2020 GOTV efforts? We will be turning out the LGBTQ community across Florida so we can turn Florida blue and win the White House! Use this button to make a contribution:

10 AM – 11 AM ET

  • Stephen Gaskill, president, Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus
  • Alfredo Olvera, president, Dolphin Democrats
  • A conversation between openly-LGBTQ Mayors Dean Trantalis of Fort Lauderdale and Jane Castor of Tampa
  • Brandon Peters, Director of the Voter Protection Department at the Florida Democratic Party with an update on voter protection efforts in Florida to counter Republican voter suppression

11 AM – 12 PM ET

  • US Rep. Ted Deutch
  • A panel discussion on the intersection of LGBTQ issues and communities of color moderated by LGBTQ State Representative Shevrin Jones, presumptively Florida’s first LGBTQ State Senator; with Representative-elect Michele Rayner, Florida’s first State Representative who is an LGBTQ Black woman; and Lake Worth Commissioner Omari Hardy and Angie Nixon, presumptive state representatives who defeated anti-LGBTQ incumbents in their primaries
  • Reggie Greer, Biden-Harris LGBTQ Vote Director

12 PM – 1 PM ET

  • Ella Coffee, Biden-Harris Florida LGBTQ Vote Director
  • Terrie Rizzo, Chair, Florida Democratic Party
  • US Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz
  • Fort Lauderdale Vice Mayor Steven Glassman
  • A panel discussion on issues facing the transgender community with Tatiana Williams, cofounder and executive director of Transinclusive Group and Nathan Bruemmer, Legislative Director of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus. Moderated by Nik Harris, Vice President of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus

1 PM – 2 PM ET

  • A conversation between openly-LGBTQ Florida State Representatives Carlos Guillermo Smith and Jennifer Webb on what’s at stake for the LGBTQ community in Tallahassee
  • Former presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg
Also appearing throughout the conference
  • Congressional challengers Phil Ehr (CD-01), Donna Deegan (CD-4), Jim Kennedy (CD-8), Dana Cottrell (CD-11), Alan Cohn (CD-15), Margaret Good (CD-16), Pam Keith (CD-18) and Cindy Banyai (CD-19)
  • LGBTQ State Legislative candidates Joshua Hicks (HD-11), Jared West (HD-41), and Ricky Junquera (HD-118)

Program Announcement: Summer Conference of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus

FLORIDA LGBTQ+ DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS ANNOUNCES PROGRAM FOR ITS FIRST-EVER VIRTUAL CONFERENCE ON SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 12

National Keynote Speaker Pete Buttigieg, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Rep. Ted Deutch, Mayor Dean Trantalis, Mayor Jane Castor, State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith and State Rep. Jennifer Webb Join Lineup

Biden Campaign, Florida Democratic Party, Congressional Candidates, LGBTQ State Legislative Candidates, and More

DELRAY BEACH FL – The Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus’s first-ever virtual Summer Conference, It’s In Your Hands, features an exciting lineup of national, state and local Democratic and LGBTQ leaders. The four-hour program, occurring online this Saturday, September 12 from 10am to 2pm ET, will run on the LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus’ website, lgbtqdems.org and will be followed by a Membership Meeting at 3pm.

As previously announced, former presidential candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg will provide the National Keynote. Joining Mayor Buttigieg among the confirmed participants are:

US Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz

US Representative Ted Deutch

A conversation between openly-LGBTQ Mayors Dean Trantalis of Fort Lauderdale and Jane Castor of Tampa

A conversation between openly-LGBTQ Florida State Representatives Carlos Guillermo Smith and Jennifer Webb on what’s at stake for the LGBTQ community in Tallahassee

A panel discussion on the intersection of LGBTQ issues and communities of color moderated by LGBTQ State Representative Shevrin Jones, presumptively Florida’s first LGBTQ State Senator; with Representative-elect Michele Rayner, Florida’s first State Representative who is an LGBTQ Black woman; and Lake Worth City Commissioner Omari Hardy and Angie Nixon, presumptive state representatives who defeated anti-LGBTQ incumbents in their primaries.

Reggie Greer, LGBTQ Outreach Director for the Biden-Harris campaign, and Ella Coffee, Florida LGBTQ Outreach Director for the Biden-Harris campaign

Terrie Rizzo, chair of the Florida Democratic Party

Openly LGBTQ Fort Lauderdale Vice Mayor Steven Glassman

Alfredo Olvera, president of the Dolphin Democrats, the Caucus’ Broward chapter

A panel discussion on issues facing the transgender community with Tatiana Williams, cofounder and executive director of Transinclusive Group and Nathan Bruemmer, Legislative Director of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus. Moderated by Nik Harris, Vice President of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus

Brandon Peters, Director of the Voter Protection Department at the Florida Democratic Party with an update on voter protection efforts in Florida to counter Republican voter suppression

Congressional challengers Phil Ehr (CD-1), Donna Deegan (CD-4), Jim Kennedy (CD-8), Alan Cohn (CD-15), Margaret Good (CD-16), Pam Keith (CD-18), and Cindy Banyai (CD-19)

LGBTQ State Legislative candidates Joshua Hicks (HD-11), Jared West (HD-41), Shawn Michael Williams (HD-78) and Ricky Junquera (HD-118)

It’s In Your Hands will be available online at lgbtqdems.org, the Caucus’ webpage, as the main site. There is no registration fee for the conference, but participants are encouraged to register at https://www.lgbtqdems.org/2020summerconference/

The conference is hosted by the Caucus’ Broward chapter, the Dolphin Democrats. It will be broadcast from the studios of Hotspots Media Group, the Caucus’ media partner.

Pete Buttigieg to Keynote Summer Conference of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus

Caucus’ First-Ever Virtual Conference Will Broadcast Online September 12

DELRAY BEACH FL — Former presidential candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg will provide the National Keynote to the 2020 Summer Conference of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus. Themed It’s In Your Hands, the conference will be broadcast online Saturday, September 12 from 10am to 2pm ET and is open press. The conference will be followed by a closed press Membership Meeting beginning at 3pm ET.

“COVID-19 keeps us from meeting in person, but we have a tremendous amount of work to do to change the direction of our country by electing Joe Biden and Kamala Harris,” said Stephen Gaskill, president of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus. “Our virtual conference features party leaders, issue experts, and campaign strategists who will inspire us, teach us, and guide us in our mission to defeat Donald Trump.”

The full program is still being finalized and more info will be released shortly. In addition to Mayor Buttigieg’s keynote, the conference will feature a session on voter protection efforts in Florida as a counter to Republican efforts to suppress the vote. Also on the agenda is a panel discussion on the intersection of issues facing the LGBTQ community and communities of color in the 2021 legislative session. This panel will be moderated by Senator-elect Shevrin Jones, featuring Representative-elect Michele Rayner, as well as Palm Beach County Commissioner Omari Hardy and Angie Nixon, both of whom are expected to win their races in November.

It’s In Your Hands will be available online on several sites, with lgbtqdems.org, the Caucus’ webpage, as the main site. There is no registration fee for the conference, but participants are encouraged to register.

The conference is hosted by the Caucus’ Broward chapter, the Dolphin Democrats. It will be broadcast from the studios of Hotspots Media Group, the Caucus’ media partner.

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Primary election day nets big wins for Democrats!

As Democrats on the national stage officially nominated Joe Biden for President of the United States, a number of local races resulted in big wins for Democrats in Leon County and throughout Florida. Here’s a recap of last night’s primary election results:

WINNERS

  • Jessica Yeary clinched a win against incumbent Andy Thomas in the race for Public Defender, Circuit 2. Capital Equality’s February candidate forum proved to play an integral role in this race.
  • Walt McNeil won re-election to a second term as Leon County’s sheriff
  • Dee Dee Rassmussen clinched victory and was re-elected to Leon County School Board, District 4
  • Jack Porter unseated incumbent Elaine Bryant to win election as Tallahassee City Commissioner, Seat 1

MOVING ON TO THE GENERAL ELECTION

  • Congressman Al Lawson defeated two Democratic challengers to advance to the General Election in November
  • Loranne Ausley was unopposed in the primary and now advances to the November election in a race for Florida Senate, District 3
  • Allison Tant defeated a Democratic challenger and now advances to the November election in a race for State Representative, District 9
  • Tiffany Baker advances to a November election in a race for Circuit Judge, Circuit 2, Group 4
  • Kelly Otte and Carolyn Cummings will face off in November to determine the next County Commissioner for an At-Large seat
  • Curtis Richardson will advance to the general election against challenger Bill Schack in a race for Tallahassee City Commission, Seat 2

NOTABLE WINS

  • Michele Rayner won election to the Florida House of Representatives, District 70, to become the first openly-LGBTQ+ Black woman to be elected to the House
  • Representative Shevrin Jones was victorious in a race for Florida Senate, District 35, becoming the first openly-LGBTQ+ Black candidate elected to the Florida Senate

These wins are encouraging, but there is much work yet to be done to ensure that Democrats win up and down the ballot this November! Congratulations to these winning Democrats! Onward to November!

Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus Congratulates Its Endorsed Candidates

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 18, 2020

DELRAY BEACH, FL – The Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus congratulates its endorsed candidates who won their primaries or advanced to the general election in November:

  • Shevrin Jones, Florida Senate, District 35
  • Angie Nixon, Florida House, District 14
  • Omari Hardy, Florida House, District 88
  • Michele Rayner, Florida House, District 70 (Unopposed in the general election)
  • Jacquelyn McMiller, Mayor of Fort Myers
  • Daniella Levine Cava, Mayor of Miami-Dade County

Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus President Stephen Gaskill issued the following statement on the Caucus’ endorsed candidates:

“It’s been an incredible primary night for Florida’s LGBTQ community. Michele Rayner will be the first Black lesbian in the Florida House. Shevrin Jones is another step closer to becoming the first openly LGBTQ state senator. Equality champions Angie Nixon and Omari Hardy defeated notoriously anti-LGBTQ incumbents. Jacquelyn McMiller and Daniella Levine Cava moved on in competitive local races. Our community is making history and electing champions who will represent everyone in their communities, including their LGBTQ constituents.”

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Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus Applauds Biden-Harris Ticket

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 11, 2020

The Caucus’ Women Leaders Laud This Historic Moment

DELRAY BEACH – The Biden-Harris ticket is a 2020 winner! The Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus has commended the Biden campaign’s progressive and far-reaching LGBTQ agenda. And now, with Senator Kamala Harris joining Joe Biden as his vice presidential nominee, the Caucus recognizes the historic steps the community can make when the Biden-Harris team takes office in January.

Beth McMillen, Treasurer of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus and founder of our Brevard County chapter, the Space Coast LGBTA Democratic Caucus:

“I cannot stress enough the need for our representation to accurately reflect the diversity of our country. Having a woman as the vice presidential nominee shows every little girl and boy that any opportunity is available to you, regardless of your gender identity. Even more important is to have representation at the table during the governing process. Men, who will never understand our needs and challenges, have been making decisions on women’s worthiness and rights for too long. More women in high office moves equality forward, which we need more than ever after years of the Trump administration and congressional Republicans chipping away at our rights.”

Sally Phillips, Past President of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus and former President and founder of the Hillsborough County LGBTA Democratic Caucus:

“Only 100 years ago – on August 18, 1920 – the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified, giving women the right to vote. We have come far since then, but not far enough. As the first and only woman elected president of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus, I know the significance of visibility, and how that platform allows you to take action. Black and Brown women are the key to this election, and Kamala Harris is the woman for this moment. When they’re elected, Vice President Harris will be President Biden’s partner in governing, helping to turn around our failing economy, develop a public health plan so we can beat back Covid-19, and reestablish the moral and ethical high ground we used to hold on the world stage.”

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LGBTQ+ Democrats Announce Congressional & State Legislative Endorsements

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 6, 2020

DELRAY BEACH, FL – Today the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus is announcing its next round of congressional and state legislative endorsements for the 2020 election. Our caucus membership and local chapters in Alachua, Hillsborough, Miami-Dade, Orange, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, and Sarasota counties have reviewed and endorsed the following candidates for the Florida Legislature. Our state caucus and chapter endorsement processes are continuing over the coming weeks.

U.S. House of Representatives

Candidate U.S. House District Chapter Endorsements
Pam Keith 18 Rusty Gordon LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus of the Palm Beaches

Florida Senate

Candidate Senate District Chapter Endorsements
Victor Torres 15 Rainbow Democrats (Orange)
Kathy Lewis 20 Hillsborough County LGBTA Democratic Caucus, Pasco County LGBTA Democratic Caucus, Rainbow Ridge LGBTA Democratic Caucus of Polk County
Amanda Linton 21 Hillsborough County LGBTA Democratic Caucus, Manatee LGBTA Democratic Caucus
Javier Fernandez 39 Miami-Dade LGBTA Democratic Caucus

Florida House of Representatives

Candidate House District Chapter Endorsements
Spyros “Speed” Chialtas 12
Jay McGovern 15
Yvonne Hinson 20 Stonewall Democrats of Alachua County
Kayser Enneking 21 Stonewall Democrats of Alachua County
Sara Zutter 25
Lee Mangold 28
Tracey Kagan 29
Ryan Morales 32
Samuel Vilchez Santiago 48 Rainbow Democrats (Orange)
Patricia Plantamura 66 Stonewall Democrats of Pinellas County
Jennifer Webb 69 Stonewall Democrats of Pinellas County
Drake Buckman 72 Stonewall Democratic Caucus of Sarasota County
David Fairey 73 Stonewall Democratic Caucus of Sarasota County
Lisa Stortstrom 74 Stonewall Democratic Caucus of Sarasota County
Kelly Skidmore 81 Rusty Gordon LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus of the Palm Beaches
David Silvers 87 Rusty Gordon LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus of the Palm Beaches
Omari Hardy 88 Rusty Gordon LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus of the Palm Beaches
Michael Tisdol 102 Miami-Dade LGBTA Democratic Caucus
Sarah McFadden 106
Annette Collazo 110 Miami-Dade LGBTA Democratic Caucus
Ross Hancock 111 Miami-Dade LGBTA Democratic Caucus
Clint Barras 120 Miami-Dade LGBTA Democratic Caucus

Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus President Stephen Gaskill issued the following statement on the Caucus’ endorsement:

“We have a rigorous endorsement process in order to identify the best candidates to represent the LGBTQ+ community. We are thrilled to make these endorsements along with our local chapters and support these candidates for Congress and the Florida Legislature because they are committed to full LGBTQ+ equality. We look forward to working with them to protect LGBTQ Floridians from discrimination and advance the cause of equality.”

Susan McGrath, Campaign Director of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus, highlighted the opportunities for Democrats:

“This is the strongest field of pro-equality Democrats running for office in Florida in recent memory. We have a real opportunity to flip a number of GOP-held seats in Congress and the Florida Legislature. Our community is proud to support so many equality champions and we look forward to working with them in Tallahassee and Washington next year.”

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It’s In Your Hands: 2020 Summer Conference

Saturday, September 12, 2020 at 10 AM – 2 PM ET

It’s our first virtual conference! Exciting speakers, panel discussions and trainings to win this critical election cycle! We’ll broadcast from the studios of our media sponsor, Hotspots Media Group. Hosted by our Broward chapter, the Dolphin Democrats.

We’ll announce a program shortly — check back!

There is no registration fee for this conference, but we will ask you to register. Stay tuned for that info!

Zoom Town Hall with Charlie Crist

We’re grateful for Rep. Charlie Crist talking with our membership about stopping coronavirus spread, supporting unemployed Americans, blocking oil drilling, protecting the Everglades, and turning Florida blue. Give it a watch!

Diversity Panel at Leadership Blue

Watch our “Diversity In Our Party and Our Caucus” panel at Leadership Blue. Keep watching for an engaging and important discussion moderated by our Vice President Nik Harris and Legislative Director Nathan Bruemmer, featuring activists Carson C Graham, Shani Angela, and Alfredo Olvera!

A Chartered Chapter of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus