Rep. Val Demings, Nadine Smith at Winter Conference

REP. VAL DEMINGS, NADINE SMITH SPEAKING AT SATURDAY COCKTAIL RECEPTION OF OUR WINTER CONFERENCE

Equality Florida’s Nadine Smith to Receive Caucus’ Lifetime Leadership Award

Sen. Annette Taddeo, Commissioner Ken Russell, Rep. Michele Rayner Speaking at Conference

Turn It Up, Turn It Out!

The 2022 Winter Conference of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus at the Hilton St. Petersburg Carillon Park will feature US Senate candidate Rep. Val Demings as a speaker at the Saturday Evening Cocktail Reception, the main event of the conference. Equality Florida’s Nadine Smith will receive the Lifetime Leadership Award from the Caucus at the reception on Saturday, February 12.

“Turn It Up, Turn It Out!” runs Friday, February 11 through Sunday, February 13. The in-person event with a virtual livestream option brings together activists, allies, advocates, candidates, elected officials and policymakers for a weekend of planning to turn Florida blue in 2022.

This Friday, January 21, is the LAST DAY for early registration and ticket prices and the LAST DAY to reserve a room at a reduced ate in our hotel block.

The Winter Conference at the Hilton St. Petersburg Carillon Park is a spacious venue to allow for ample social distancing with covid protocols in place during all portions of the programming. We will require proof of vaccination or a recent negative covid test to enter, and encourage wearing a mask. The conference is open to all registered Democrats.

We’ll announce a full program shortly, but here’s some of what you can expect:

Friday, February 11
Welcome Reception
Hosted by the Stonewall Democrats of Pinellas County
— Sen. Annette Taddeo

Saturday, February 12
Continental Breakfast
Morning Session / Afternoon Session

The program (still in development) includes:

State Rep. Michele Rayner
Sam Alleman, LGTBQ+ Coalition Director, Democratic National Committee
Lucinda Johnson, Chair, Pinellas Democratic Executive Committee
— AND MORE!

“Erasing LGBTQ+ Voices in Schools and Libraries” — a panel discussion on Republican censorship efforts in Florida

“Is Florida Leading the Way in Anti-LGBTQ+ Legislation?” — a panel discussion on efforts in Florida and state legislatures around the country to send us back into the closet

“Expanding the Rainbow: Attracting Diverse LGBTQ+ Democratic Activists” — a panel discussion examining ways to increase diversity among our chapters and the state caucus

Also:

— Supreme Court Outlook
— Presentation from our Diversity Committee
“Communicating to Win” Training Session from Sarah Hummell, former DCCC political and GOTV director (sponsored by The Sexton Group)
— AND MORE!

Lunch and Keynote Speaker
St. Pete Mayor Ken Welch (invited)

Membership Meeting (no cost, but separate registration)

Evening Cocktail Reception (separately ticketed)
— US Senate candidate Rep. Val Demings
— Equality Florida’s Nadine Smith receiving the Lifetime Leadership Award

Sunday, February 13
Farewell Drag Brunch (separately ticketed)
— US Senate candidate Commissioner Ken Russell

*Welcome Reception, Saturday Continental Breakfast and Saturday Lunch included in registration fee. No fee for the Membership Meeting, but separate registration is necessary. Saturday Evening Cocktail Reception and Sunday Drag Brunch are separately ticketed.

Registration and Tickets

Conference: Registration for in-person and virtual attendance is $35 through January 21. After then and on-site registration is $45.
Click here to register for in-person or virtual attendance.

Saturday Evening Cocktail Reception: Tickets for our premiere event for in-person and virtual attendance are $125 through January 21. After then and on-site tickets are $150.
Click here to register for in-person or virtual attendance.

Farewell Drag Brunch: Tickets are $50 through January 21. After then and on-site tickets are $60.
Click here to register for in-person attendance.

Membership Meeting: There is no charge to register for the Membership Meeting.
Click here to register for in-person or virtual attendance.

The membership meeting is open to all Democrats but voting is only available to active members of the state caucus. Click here to renew your caucus membership for 2022.

*All registration fees and tickets are non-refundable.

Hotel Reservations
Our hotel room block is open for reservations. The special room rate is $174 per night (that’s in high season!). There is no charge for parking, and there are no resort fees. These rates are available until the room block is gone, or through January 21. Click here to book your room.

The Winter Conference of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus is open to all registered Democrats.

Sponsorships

Click here to review our conference sponsor opportunities.

Thanks to our Presenting Sponsor Happening Out Television Network

 

LGBTQ+ Dems Endorse in Broward County Special Elections

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 30, 2021

DELRAY BEACH, FL – Today the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus is announcing its endorsements for the upcoming Broward County special elections on January 11.

After a careful review of the candidates, our local chapter, the Dolphin Democrats, has endorsed Dr. Rosalind Osgood for the Florida State Senate, District 33. The state caucus is echoing this endorsement.

The Florida LGBTQ Democratic Caucus has also endorsed Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick for the U.S. House of Representatives, District 20.

Caucus President Stephen Gaskill issued the following statement on the endorsements:

“Both of these candidates are established allies who understand the issues facing LGBTQ+ individuals. They will fight tirelessly in Tallahassee and Washington, D.C. to move Florida and America closer to full equality, and that’s why they deserve the LGBTQ community’s full support and vote on January 11.”

# # #

2022 Winter Conference: Turn It Up, Turn It Out!

Are you ready, Florida — Turn It Up, Turn It Out! It’s the 2022 Winter Conference of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus at the Hilton St. Petersburg Carillon Park, February 11-13!

We’re gearing up to fight like hell for Florida, and our Winter Conference will get you charged up like nothing else. You know what to expect — fascinating presentations, thought-provoking discussions on major and emerging issues, nationally-known speakers, state and local candidates — and YOU — activists and allies who know what’s at stake in this election.

Florida plays a major role in the direction of the country. Democrats have a story to tell and a positive message of successful actions that are pumping up the economy, ensuring diversity and equality, turning back the pandemic, and preserving our democracy.

While we hope to see you in person, we will also stream the conference virtually. The Winter Conference at the Hilton St. Petersburg Carillon Park is a spacious venue to allow for ample social distancing with covid protocols in place during all portions of the programming. We will require proof of vaccination or a recent negative covid test to enter, and encourage wearing a mask.

We’ll announce a program shortly, but here’s what you can expect:

Friday, February 11
Welcome Reception*
Hosted by the Stonewall Democrats of Pinellas County

Saturday, February 12
Continental Breakfast*
Morning Session*
Lunch and Keynote Speaker*
Afternoon Session*
Membership Meeting (no cost, but separate registration)
Evening Cocktail Reception (separately ticketed)

Sunday, February 13
Farewell Drag Brunch (separately ticketed)

*included in registration fee

Registration and Tickets

Conference: Registration for in-person and virtual attendance is $35 through January 21. After then and on-site registration is $45.
Click here to register for in-person or virtual attendance.

Saturday Evening Cocktail Reception: Tickets for our premiere event for in-person and virtual attendance are $125 through January 21. After then and on-site tickets are $150.
Click here to register for in-person or virtual attendance.

Farewell Drag Brunch: Tickets are $50 through January 21. After then and on-site tickets are $60.
Click here to register for in-person attendance.

Membership Meeting: There is no charge to register for the Membership Meeting.
Click here to register for in-person or virtual attendance.

*All registration fees and tickets are non-refundable.

Hotel Reservations
Our hotel room block is open for reservations. The special room rate is $174 per night (that’s in high season!). There is no charge for parking, and there are no resort fees. These rates are available until the room block is gone, or through January 21. Click here to book your room.

The Winter Conference of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus is open to all registered Democrats.

Thanks to our Presenting Sponsor Happening Out Television Network

 

Virtual Meeting with Senator Annette Taddeo

Join the Capital Equality Democratic Caucus for a Virtual Meeting featuring Senator Annette Taddeo, candidate for Florida Governor.

Log on to Zoom and join us to learn more about Senator Taddeo’s priorities and vision for Florida.
The event will stream live on Zoom on Wednesday, December 8, 2021, beginning at 6:30pm, and is open to all Democrats.

Registration in advance is required. Click here to register.

Statement on Transgender Day of Remembrance 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 20, 2021

DELRAY BEACH, FL – According to the Human Rights Campaign, 2021 is the deadliest year on record for transgender and gender non-conforming people. Four transgender women have been killed in Florida so far this year:

  • Alexus Braxton was killed on February 4 in Miami
  • Keri Washington was killed on May 1 in Clearwater
  • Royal Poetical Starz was killed on October 2 in Miami Gardens
  • Jenny De Leon was killed on November 2 in Tampa

Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus President Stephen Gaskill issued the following statement for Transgender Day of Remembrance:

“Transgender Day of Remembrance is a time to remember those who lost their lives for being their authentic selves. We must use this day to raise awareness, provide support, and ensure acceptance of our transgender community. LGBTQ+ Floridians and our straight allies must recommit ourselves to continue fighting the rhetoric and the actions that have taken the lives of so many in the transgender and non-binary community, particularly transgender women of color.

“The Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus is proud of our transgender members, Board members, officers, and those throughout the community. We know there is much more work to be done to protect the lives and dignity of our transgender community. Transgender Day of Remembrance reminds us of the violence that took their lives, but provides us with an opportunity to reflect on the fullness of the lives they lived. It is our hope that their memory and legacy spurs us all into action.”

# # #

Join us virtually on Wednesday and learn more about our postcard writing campaign to local voters!

Join the Capital Equality Democratic Caucus for a Virtual Meeting on Wednesday, November 17, 2021, beginning at 6:30pm. We’ll be discussing plans for the upcoming year, Florida’s special and regular legislative sessions, and our effort to increase voter turnout with the help of a personal postcard writing campaign!

Click here to download the meeting agenda.

The meeting is open to all Democrats. Registration in advance is required.

Congratulations to our 2021 Endorsed Candidates

Congratulations to our endorsed candidates who won yesterday! We were proud to echo the endorsements of several of our local chapters: Miami-Dade LGBTA Democrats, Stonewall Democrats of Pinellas County, and Rainbow Democrats.

In Miami-Dade county, Dan Gelber was overwhelmingly reelected Mayor of Miami Beach. Raquel Pacheco is heading to the runoff for Miami Beach Commissioner, Group 1.

In Pinellas county, Ken Welch for Mayor was elected Mayor of St. Petersburg. Four of our endorsed candidates were also elected to the St. Petersburg City Council:

  • District 1: Copley Gerdes
  • District 2: Brandi Gabbard
  • District 4: Lisset Hanewicz
  • District 8: Richie Floyd

In Orange county, Regina Hill also won her race for Orlando City Commissioner, District 5.

LGBTQ+ Dems Slam Anti-LGBTQ+ Attacks on Broward School Board

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 29, 2021

DELRAY BEACH, FL – The right-wing smear machine is in full swing against Broward School Board Member Sarah Leonardi for organizing a field trip to a Wilton Manors restaurant so school kids could learn how a restaurant operates. Energized by the Fox News right-wing echo chamber, this manufactured controversy is the next step in the Republicans’ demonization of Florida’s school boards, and a direct attack on their curriculum. Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus President Stephen Gaskill issued the following statement:

“Our schools and school boards are under enough pressure as it is without manufactured and bogus issues generated by perpetually aggrieved Republicans, Trumpers, and Q-Anon followers looking to spout off on social media. The intent of this so-called controversy is to undermine the authority and independence of Broward Schools, which teach about the role of the school and the student in the community. To assume there is something shameful about visiting a popular and successful LGBTQ-owned business in the heart of the neighborhood is a classic homophobic and transphobic ploy out of the right-wing playbook. We support Broward Schools, School Board Member Sarah Leonardi, and the decision to take these kids on a field trip approved by their parents.”

# # #

LGBTQ+ Dems Endorse in Miami-Dade & Orange County Races

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 19, 2021

DELRAY BEACH, FL – Today the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus is announcing its endorsed candidates for the 2021 municipal elections in Miami-Dade and Orange counties. After a careful review of the candidates, our local chapters, the Miami-Dade LGBTA Democratic Caucus and Rainbow Democrats, made the following endorsements that the state caucus is echoing:

Miami-Dade County

  • Dan Gelber, City of Miami Beach Mayor
  • Raquel Pacheco, City of Miami Beach Commission, Group 1
  • Quinn Smith, City of Miami Commission, District 3

Orange County

  • Regina Hill, Orlando City Commissioner, District 5
  • Nicolette Springer, Orlando City Commissioner, District 3

Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus President Stephen Gaskill issued the following statement on the state caucus endorsements:

“Our county chapters are immersed in their communities and through these local ties, they are well positioned to identify the best candidates who will show up every day for LGBTQ+ residents. We are thrilled to echo the Miami-Dade LGBTA Democratic Caucus and Rainbow Democrats in endorsing these candidates for Miami-Dade and Orlando municipal elections. We believe they will move their communities closer to full equality.”

Susan McGrath, Campaign Director of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus, highlighted the diverse endorsements:

“We are proud to endorse this diverse slate of pro-equality Democrats who will listen and always fight for the rights of marginalized people. We look forward to working with them to bring our communities together and ensure every Miami-Dade and Orange County resident can live their life free of discrimination.”

Javier Estevez, Region 9 Director of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus, celebrated the Miami-Dade endorsements:

“All three candidates we endorsed impressed us with their thoughtful answers to our questionnaire and commitment to LGBTQ+ equality in the state of Florida. They understand that municipal positions are incredibly important as we push back against attacks on our community coming from Florida’s state legislature and governor.”

Matthew Inman, President of the Rainbow Democrats, celebrated the Orange County endorsements:

“Both of the candidates we endorsed are established allies who understand the issues facing LGBTQ+ individuals and who have bold ideas for how we protect people from discrimination. We look forward to working with them to build in even more mechanisms that will protect the LGBTQ+ community in the City of Orlando.”

# # #

Virtual Meeting and Voter Turnout Project

Join the Capital Equality Democratic Caucus for a Virtual Meeting focused on a community-driven Voter Turnout Project! Using postcards to reach voters in a local precinct, we will be encouraging vote-by-mail ballot requests to help boost Democratic turnout before Election Day.

Log on to Zoom and join us to learn more about this socially-distanced opportunity to make a difference from the comforts of home. A huge thanks to Barry and Darwin for sponsoring the first sets of postcards! Shout out to Robin and Linda for already volunteering to write 100 postcards!

The meeting will stream live on Zoom on Wednesday, October 13, 2021, beginning at 6:30pm, and is open to all Democrats.

Registration in advance is required.

A Chartered Chapter of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus