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!

LGBTQ Democrats Call for Statewide Stay At Home Order

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 18, 2020
DELRAY BEACH, FL – Yesterday marked the fourth day in a row that Florida has reported more than 100 new deaths from the coronavirus, and COVID-19 cases have surpassed 10,000 for six the of the last seven days. With the coronavirus pandemic spiraling out of control in Florida, the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus is calling for the following measures to curtail community spread of the virus:
  • An immediate, statewide, four-week stay at home order to reduce transmission and allow for this wave to decrease. A statewide public mask requirement should be paired with this order.
  • reassessment deadline after the four-week period to determine if the stay at home order should continue and if schools can reopen safely. This decision making should be based on science and hard metrics, not arbitrary deadlines, or political influence.
  • An extension of unemployment benefits and the moratorium on evictions to protect unemployed workers during this difficult but necessary step.
  • State and local actions that promote voting by mail and make it as easy as possible for voters in both the primary and general elections.
Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus President Stephen Gaskill issued the following statement on the Caucus’ call for bold action:
“The LGBTQ+ community has been fighting HIV for 40 years and through that struggle, we have learned the importance of government taking big, bold actions instead of patchwork solutions. We need that same mindset now as we continue to battle the coronavirus. Inaction by our political leaders means that more families will needlessly suffer, and more people will die, just as it was in the early days of the HIV crisis.
“There’s no road map for how we got here, nor is there one to get us out. We’re facing a public health crisis, an economic crisis, and a crisis of confidence due to the absence of leadership in Washington and Tallahassee. Our community is fearful for Florida, and for the country right now. That’s why we are demanding bold action based on science and not an arbitrary political timetable.”
Dr. Alexys Hillman, a physician and at-large board member of the Emerald Coast Equality LGBTA Democratic Caucus in Escambia county, highlighted the medical necessity for bold action:
“The healthcare system in Florida is becoming dangerously close to being overwhelmed in many communities. COVID-related hospitalizations and deaths are rising alongside skyrocketing case counts, and if we don’t stop the spread now, we will find ourselves in a situation where medical professionals have to make impossible decisions between patients, as was seen in New York and Italy earlier in the pandemic.
“Forcing every school to open next month is irresponsible given our current trajectory of the virus spreading. That puts students, educators, and families at risk, and a growing body of evidence now shows lung damage in asymptomatic children and adults. This is in addition to the very real risk of heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots due to COVID-19, which would add to the burden of a society where heart disease and strokes are already the leading and fifth leading causes of death, respectively.
“Even for survivors of such events, the recovery and functional limitations afterwards are no small matter. The risk of persistent disability is real and will have long term economic impacts on our health care system and social safety net. The science is clear that when virus transmission is as high as it is in Florida, bold policy actions are needed to stop suffering and preserve human life – the most important duty of any medical professional.”
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Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus Endorses Slate of Legislative Candidates

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 16, 2020

DELRAY BEACH, FL – Today the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus is announcing its next round of state legislative endorsements for the 2020 election. Our local chapters in Broward, Escambia, Hillsborough, Miami-Dade, Orange, Palm Beach, and Pinellas counties have reviewed and endorsed the following candidates for the Florida Legislature. These and many of our other chapters are continuing the endorsement process over the coming weeks before the primary.

FLORIDA SENATE

Candidate Senate District Chapter Endorsements
Linda Stewart 13 Rainbow Democrats (Orange)
Tina Polsky 29 Dolphin Democrats (Broward)
Shevrin Jones 35 Dolphin Democrats (Broward)
Miami-Dade LGBTA Democratic Caucus
Jose Javier Rodriguez 37 Miami-Dade LGBTA Democratic Caucus

FLORIDA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Candidate House District Chapter Endorsements
Dianne Krumel 2 Emerald Coast Equality (Escambia)
Chris Cause 39 Rainbow Ridge LGBTA Democratic Caucus of Polk County
Jan Barrow 40 Rainbow Ridge LGBTA Democratic Caucus of Polk County
Jared West 41 Rainbow Ridge LGBTA Democratic Caucus of Polk County
Barbara Cady 42 Rainbow Ridge LGBTA Democratic Caucus of Polk County
Anna Eskamani 47 Rainbow Democrats (Orange)
Carlos Guillermo Smith 49 Rainbow Democrats (Orange)
Nina Yoakum 50 Space Coast LGBTA Democratic Caucus (Brevard)
Rainbow Democrats (Orange)
Joan Majid 51 Space Coast LGBTA Democratic Caucus (Brevard)
Lloyd Dabbs 52 Space Coast LGBTA Democratic Caucus (Brevard)
Phil Moore 53 Space Coast LGBTA Democratic Caucus (Brevard)
Scott Hottenstein 57 Hillsborough County LGBTA Democratic Caucus
CL Townsend 58 Hillsborough County LGBTA Democratic Caucus
Andrew Learned 59 Hillsborough County LGBTA Democratic Caucus
Julie Jenkins 60 Hillsborough County LGBTA Democratic Caucus
Jessica Harrington 64 Hillsborough County LGBTA Democratic Caucus
Stonewall Democrats of Pinellas County
Jim Carroll 85 Rusty Gordon LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus of the Palm Beaches
Jim Bonfiglio 89 Rusty Gordon LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus of the Palm Beaches
Linda Thompson Gonzalez 93 Dolphin Democrats (Broward)
Jasmen Rogers-Shaw 95 Dolphin Democrats (Broward)
Christine Hunschofsky 96 Dolphin Democrats (Broward)
David Williams Jr 102 Dolphin Democrats (Broward)
Cindy Polo 103 Dolphin Democrats (Broward)
Miami-Dade LGBTA Democratic Caucus
Robin Bartleman 104 Dolphin Democrats (Broward)
Javier Estevez 105 Dolphin Democrats (Broward)
Miami-Dade LGBTA Democratic Caucus
Franccesca Cesti-Brown 115 Miami-Dade LGBTA Democratic Caucus
Ricky Junquera 118 Miami-Dade LGBTA Democratic Caucus

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

“Our chapters each have rigorous endorsement processes, in order to identify the best candidate to represent the LGBTQ+ community. We are thrilled to echo our local chapters and endorse these candidates for the Florida Legislature because they are committed to full LGBTQ+ equality. We look forward to working with them to finally pass the Florida Competitive Workforce Act, 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 the Florida Legislature in recent memory. We have a real opportunity to flip a number of GOP-held State House and Senate Districts. Our community is proud to support so many equality champions and we look forward to working with them in Tallahassee next year.”

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Virtual Candidate Forum – Leon County Commission, At-Large

Capital Equality is proud to partner with the Leon County Democratic Party and local Democratic clubs and caucuses to share a summer series of Virtual Candidate Forums every Saturday afternoon through August 25th! These virtual events will provide you with an opportunity to learn more about the Democrats hoping to secure your vote!

The fifth candidate forum will feature Leon County Commission, At-Large, candidates Robin Colson, Carolyn Cummings, Scott Flowers, Jeff Hendry, Danielle Irwin, Kelly Otte, and Melissa Villar this Saturday, July 11th, beginning at 1pm. You can watch via Facebook Live at the Leon County Democratic Party’s Facebook page.

Virtual Candidate Forum Information

LGBTQ+ Democrats Endorse Joshua Hicks, Angie Nixon, and Ben Marcus

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 1, 2020

JACKSONVILLE, FL – Today the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus is announcing its next round of state legislative endorsements for the 2020 election. After a comprehensive review process, the Caucus membership voted to endorse the following candidates for the Florida House of Representatives:

  • Joshua Hicks, District 11
  • Angie Nixon, District 14
  • Ben Marcus, District 16

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

“We are excited to endorse Joshua Hicks, Angie Nixon, and Ben Marcus for the Florida House of Representatives because they are strong candidates who are committed to full LGBTQ+ equality. We look forward to working with them to pass the Florida Competitive Workforce Act, protect LGBTQ Floridians from discrimination, and advance the cause of equality.”

Phillip Perry, Jacksonville resident and Communications Director of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus, highlighted the choice for voters:

“With Jacksonville just having passed its Human Rights Ordinance, now is the time to elect more equality champions to finish the job in Tallahassee. We will elect the first openly gay legislator from Northeast Florida, and we will send two more equality champions to Tallahassee, while defeating anti-LGBTQ incumbents in the process.”

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Advisory: Rainbow Joe Biden Caravan in Five Florida Cities

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 27, 2020

Grassroots Caravan Event Organized by Biden Supporters

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – In recognition of Pride Month, LGBTQ+ Leaders, Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus members, and Joe Biden supporters have organized a Rainbow Caravan across Florida on Saturday, June 27 at 6 PM.

Mayor Dean Trantalis is participating in Fort Lauderdale and Mayor Teri Johnston is participating in Key West. The Caravans will meet at 6 PM tonight at the following locations:

KEYS
Smathers Beach
2601 S Roosevelt Blvd
Key West, FL 33040

MIAMI BEACH
Miami Beach High
2231 Prairie Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33139

BROWARD
Fort Lauderdale City Hall
100 N Andrews Ave
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

ORLANDO
Crossroads of Lake Buena Vista
12521 FL-535
Orlando, FL 32830

TAMPA
Southern Nights
1401 East 7th Ave
Tampa, FL 33605

The Caravans will officially begin rolling through the streets of Florida at 6:20 PM. Volunteers and Joe Biden supporters who organized the Caravans, have made everyone’s safety the top priority in the planning process. All participants are encouraged to adhere to CDC guidelines on social distancing, and will follow all state and local traffic laws.

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A Chartered Chapter of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus