Call with Rep. Wasserman Schultz on COVID-19 Economic Relief

You’re invited to join the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus for a Caucus conference call with Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz tomorrow, Thursday, April 16 from 10:00 am to 10:30 am. Rep. Wasserman Schultz will outline economic relief efforts related to the COVID-19 outbreak, including the stimulus bills passed by Congress, the CARES Act, SBA assistance, and additional unemployment benefits. Time permitting, she will also take questions related to these issues.

You must RSVP to participate in this call. Please RSVP to zoom.event@lgbtqdems.org, and if you have a question you’d like to ask please include it there. You will receive the Zoom contact info in advance of the call.

Pensacola Doctor Heads North To Treat Coronavirus Patients

By BOB BARRETT, WUWF, Listen to the Interview

A Pensacola physician is heading up north to help care for coronavirus patients.

“I saw an ad from Johns Hopkins asking for people. I applied (and) they contacted me within 24 hours,” said Dr. Alexys Hillman from Pensacola Osteopaths, who has traveled to Baltimore to help COVID-19 patients. She said she was inspired to help after watching New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s daily coronavirus updates on TV.

“Every day he’s doing his conferences and his daily briefings and he was getting to the point (where he was) begging for health care people to come up and help.”

Before getting the call from Johns Hopkins, Dr. Hillman had also applied to help in New York, New Jersey and Michigan. Beginning this week, she is assigned to work with COVID-19 patients at the temporary field hospital set up at the Baltimore Convention Center.

“So all the patients that are going to be there and going to be transfers from hospitals, so essentially hospital overflow. It’s going to be people who are stable enough to be discharged from the hospital, they don’t need that higher level of care anymore, but they can’t yet go home.”

Since the patients at the field hospital were transferred there from the hospital, Dr. Hillman believes her job will be to make sure everyone’s recovery is going smoothly.

“It seems like (I’ll be doing) observation, making sure that no one’s relapsing. We’re seeing from other countries that patients are popping positive for COVID again and having recurrence of symptoms. I was actually just reading an article today from our cardiology group who have found that COVID-19 has the potential to cause long-term damage to the heart muscle. So, now I know for myself (that) I also have to keep an eye out for that. Just making sure that everyone’s stable. They’re not having that second wave of symptoms where they might need a vent or to go back to a higher level of care.”

Thursday, April 9, was the last day Dr. Hillman saw patients at her practice in Pensacola. She says that while her family is apprehensive about her safety, they understand why she feels the need to help and completely support her decision. And her family members are not the only ones apprehensive.

“You know, I am scared. I am nervous,” said Hillman. “I’ve been on radio chatter with other doctors (who) are also scared and nervous. They’re worried about the lack of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). And what drive me nuts as a professional is hearing politicians and government and (even) religious leaders saying to ignore that stay-at-home rules, and (saying) it’s not a big deal and let’s reopen the beaches. I feel so undermined as a physician. So you don’t have to necessarily thank us health care workers. We appreciate it, but we would appreciate it more if you actually stay home.”

As for when she’ll be coming home, Dr. Hillman is scheduled to be in Baltimore for a month, but that could change depending on when Maryland reaches its peak case load.

“We’ll see what the numbers (look like) when I’m getting to that three- or four-week mark, whether I need to stay longer. The other thing is Florida already has some quarantine rules on people traveling from certain areas. So I’m going to have to see in a month, if they expand that, if I’m going to have to go into mandatory quarantine upon my return or not.”

We hope to keep you updated on Dr. Hillman during her stay in Baltimore.

*Dr. Hillman is a member of our Escambia chapter, the Emerald Coast Equality LGBTA Democratic Caucus*

LGBTQ Democrats Mourn the Loss of Kristin Jacobs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 11, 2020

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – Earlier this morning, State Representative Kristin Jacobs passed after a long battle with colon cancer. Previously she served as a Broward County Commissioner, including one term as Mayor.

The Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus issued the following statement on the news of Representative Jacobs’ death:

“We are saddened to learn of State Representative Kristin Jacobs’ passing. She was not only one of Florida’s most forward-thinking leaders on climate change and protecting our natural resources, but she was also a fierce advocate for women, children, and the LGBTQ community. We need more elected officials like her that put people first. The Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus sends our condolences to Kristin’s family, her constituents and colleagues.”

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Al Jacquet apologizes after using anti-gay slur

Jacquet used the slur against Lake Worth Beach Commissioner Omari Hardy.

Joe Biden Leads Survey of Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Activists on Presidential Race

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 7, 2020
JOE BIDEN LEADS SURVEY OF FLORIDA LGBTQ+ DEMOCRATIC ACTIVISTS ON THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE
84% Support Biden, 7% Support Sanders
ORLANDO, FL – At All in to Win in 2020: The Winter Conference of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus, a survey of caucus membership was conducted on the presidential race. Joe Biden received support from 84% of the caucus membership, Bernie Sanders received 7% support, Elizabeth Warren received 7%, and Pete Buttigieg received 2%. This survey is not an official endorsement of the caucus.
Dr. Jill Biden is a special guest speaker at the Leadership Dinner this evening, and during the lunch session today, conference attendees heard from award-winning actress and New York gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon on behalf of Bernie Sanders.
Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus President Stephen Gaskill issued the following statement on the survey:
“Our community’s rights and lives are on the line in this election with the Trump Administration targeting us from day one. LGBTQ+ Democratic activists in Florida are energized and ready to work hard for whomever becomes the Democratic nominee.”
The 2020 Winter Conference is held in Orlando, the middle of the I-4 corridor that decides statewide elections in Florida, one day before President Trump holds a high dollar fundraiser in the area and nine days before the Florida Presidential Preference Primary.
The Winter Conference brings together more than 150 LGBTQ+ activists and allies from around Florida; federal, state and local elected officials; Democratic Party officials; and subject matter experts to bring together the LGBTQ+ community and underscore the importance of winning in 2020.
Florida Democratic Party Chair Terrie Rizzo spoke at the opening breakfast to kick off the Conference program. Award-winning actress, New York gubernatorial candidate, and Bernie Sanders surrogate Cynthia Nixon and Orlando City Commissioner Patty Sheehan headlined the lunch session. State Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith provided a Tallahassee Legislative Update during the afternoon session.
House Impeachment Manager and U.S. Representative Val Demings will deliver the Congressional Keynote at the Leadership Dinner. The dinner will also feature special guest Dr. Jill Biden.
Caucus membership will also tour the newly opened Pulse Memorial.
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2020 Winter Conference Leadership Dinner

The highlight of the 2020 Winter Conference, our Leadership Dinner, will be held March 7 at 7:30 PM at the Marriott Orlando Airport Lakeside Hotel (7499 Augusta National Drive, Orlando, FL 32822).

House Impeachment Manager and U.S. Representative Val Demings will deliver the Congressional Keynote at the Leadership Dinner. We’re also excited to hear from special guest Dr. Jill Biden!

Tickets are required even if you are attending and have registered for the Winter Conference. Tickets are $90 through March 5; then $100 during the conference. Use the form below to purchase your tickets to the 2020 Leadership Dinner. After completing this form, you will be redirected to a PayPal button to pay for your ticket(s).*All registrations and tickets are non-refundable.*

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Dr. Jill Biden to speak at the Leadership Dinner

Dr. Jill Biden will speak at our Leadership Dinner on behalf of the Joe Biden campaign.

Raquel Willis will represent Elizabeth Warren at the Winter Conference

Our Leadership Dinner speakers will include Executive Editor of Out Magazine and founder of Black Trans Circles Raquel Willis representing the Elizabeth Warren campaign!

Bernie Sanders surrogate Cynthia Nixon speaking at our Winter Conference

We’re excited to announce that former actress, previous New York gubernatorial candidate, and Senator Bernie Sanders supporter Cynthia Nixon will address the lunch session of our Winter Conference, All In to Win In 2020!

Use the form below to purchase your ticket to hear Cynthia Nixon speak during the lunch session of our 2020 Winter Conference on Saturday, March 7 at the Marriott Orlando Airport Lakeside Hotel.

Lunch is not included with the $10 advance ticket. If you'd like to eat lunch, please register for the Winter Conference instead.

After completing this form, you will be redirected to a PayPal button to pay for your ticket(s).

*All registrations and tickets are non-refundable.

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LGBTQ Dems Mourn the Loss of Mayor Justin Flippen

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 25, 2020
FLORIDA LGBTQ+ DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS MOURNS THE LOSS OF MAYOR JUSTIN FLIPPEN
WILTON MANORS, FL – Mayor Justin Flippen suffered a major heart attack and died this evening. He was a city commissioner and mayor in Wilton Manors, serving as mayor of Florida’s first-LGBTQ city commission. He was a past president of the Dolphin Democrats, the Broward county chapter of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus.

Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus President Stephen Gaskill issued the following statement on the news of Mayor Flippen’s death:

“We are all shocked and deeply saddened by the sudden death of our dear friend, Wilton Manors Mayor Justin Flippen. He was a charismatic and dynamic leader, full of energy and facing a future of unlimited potential. From his time with the Broward Young Democrats and the Dolphin Democrats, through his tenure as an elected official, Justin retained his optimistic outlook.

“Justin was a lifelong LGBTQ activist and effective leader who found his calling in public service, most recently serving as mayor of the first all-LGBTQ city commission in Florida. He will be missed by so many people whose lives he touched, and his legacy will live on forever. The Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus sends our condolences to Justin’s family, his constituents and colleagues.”
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A Chartered Chapter of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus