Capital Equality July Meeting with Leon County Commission Candidates

July Virtual Meeting with Democratic Candidates for Leon County Commission, District 2

The July meeting of the Capital Equality Democratic Caucus will feature all four Democratic candidates for Leon County Commission, District 2!

Sabrina M. Allen
Christian Caban
Will Crowley
Max Epstein

Log on to Zoom and join us to learn more about these local candidates.

The event will stream live on Zoom on Wednesday, July 13, 2022, beginning at 6:30pm, and is open to all Democrats.

Registration in advance is required.

CD-23 Forum Hosted by LGBTQ+ Democrats on Wednesday, July 6 in Wilton Manors

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 5, 2022

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – The Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus and its Broward and Palm Beach County chapters, the Dolphin Democrats and Rusty Gordon LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus of Palm Beach County, will host a candidate forum for Congressional District 23 on Wednesday, July 6 at 7pm. The forum will be hosted by Steve Bousquet, opinion editor of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, and will occur at the Pride Center at Equality Park in Wilton Manors.

Participating are Fort Lauderdale Vice Mayor Ben Sorenson, Hava Holzhauer, and Allen Ellison. The forum will address a range of issues impacting CD-23, Florida, and the nation.

“This congressional district has a large number of LGBTQ+ voters in it, and whoever wins will be in the seat as long as they want to run for reelection,” said Stephen Gaskill, president of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus. “Our community deserves to hear directly from the candidates about their plans and platforms.”

This event is open press.

WHAT:
Candidate forum for Congressional District 23

WHO:
Fort Lauderdale Vice Mayor Ben Sorenson
Hava Holzhauer
Allen Ellison
Steve Bousquet, moderator

WHEN:
Wednesday, July 6
7pm

WHERE:
The Pride Center at Equality Park
2040 N. Dixie Hwy.
Wilton Manors FL 33305

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LGBTQ+ Democrats Statement on the Overturning of Roe v. Wade

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 24, 2022

DELRAY BEACH, FL – The US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and turn back the Constitutional guarantee of a right to privacy has galvanized the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus. Several of our key leaders provided statements:

Robin Witt, Vice President of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus; and Vice President, Rainbow Democrats of Orange County:

“Overturning Roe v. Wade has never been about saving children. So-called ‘pro-life’ politicians are the same people who watch in silent complacency as thousands of children die each year from gun violence, suicide, domestic violence, neglect, and preventable diseases. There is nothing ‘pro-life’ about the additional lives that will be lost as pregnant working-class people are forced to go through with pregnancies that may kill them or attempt dangerous procedures from unqualified providers. Nothing about this decision is ‘pro-life’; it is supremacy. It is meant to further harm and divide us. We need to stand in greater unison against Republican efforts to take away our right to safe and equitable abortions. We must stay united as that is the only way we will win.”

Sally Phillips, Director of Membership and Chartering and Past President, Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus; and President, Hillsborough County LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus:

“Legal scholars tell us that with the Roe v. Wade landmark decision, the Supreme Court determined that the US Constitution provides a fundamental right to privacy, and therein protects the right of persons who can get pregnant and deliver children to full reproductive health. With the overturning of Roe v. Wade, which is based on this right to privacy argument, legal scholars again tell us that other equality and equity-based rulings are in danger, including marriage equality. Elections have consequences and who you vote for really does matter! Sadly, today we see a huge example of why that is true!”

Susanne Raines, Region 2 Director, Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus; and President, Volusia LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus:

“The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade today, the latest in a series of attacks on the right to privacy. Abortion is a medical decision, and that decision should be between doctor and patient, not part of a political campaign to roll back our rights. The extremist political activists are celebrating this rollback of rights, and they have other vital healthcare — such as birth control and gender dysphoria treatment — already in their sights.”

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June Virtual Meeting with Local Candidates Rudolph Ferguson, Sr., and Marcus Nicolas

Our June meeting has a special date due to some conflicts and a community calendar packed with fun ways to celebrate PRIDE!

Join the Capital Equality Democratic Caucus for a Virtual Meeting featuring Rudolph Ferguson, Sr., candidate for Leon County Commission At-Large Group 2, and Marcus Nicolas, candidate for Leon County School Board District 5. Log on to Zoom and join us to learn more about these local candidates.

The event will stream live on Zoom on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, beginning at 6:30pm, and is open to all Democrats.

Registration in advance is required.

Apply for a Candidate Endorsement

The Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus and its county chapters endorse in all levels of government from President to School Board.  Candidates may submit a request for endorsement after the qualifying period is complete. Candidates for federal and statewide office may apply to the state caucus for endorsement.

Candidates for state legislature as well as county and city offices are encouraged to apply to your local chapter for endorsement.  Please see the Chapters page for a list. If no chapter exists in your area, you may apply to the state caucus using the candidate questionnaire link above.

If you have questions, please contact campaign@lgbtqdems.org.

2022 Summer Conference: Without You We Lose!

SUMMARY | PROGRAM & SPEAKERS | REGISTRATION | SPONSORSHIPS | HOTEL RESERVATIONS

Without You We Lose Highlights the Stakes in the 2022 Election

Rep. Charlie Crist, Commissioner Nikki Fried, Rep. Val Demings, Sen. Lauren Book, Rep. Shelia Cherfilus-McCormick Scheduled to Appear

Rep. Stephanie Murphy to Receive the Congressional Leadership Award for Her Work on the January 6 Committee

Rep. Michele Rayner to Receive the Legislative Leadership Award

More Speakers Still to be Announced for Program at The Westin Fort Lauderdale July 22 – 24

The Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus Summer Conference, Without You We Lose, highlights what’s at stake for the LGBTQ+ community in the 2022 election and takes aim at the destructive Republican agenda. With nearly all statewide candidates participating, plus state and local candidates and elected officials, Without You We Lose will outline a clear vision that lifts up and supports the diverse community of Floridians, unlike the hurtful and shortsighted approach of Marco Rubio, Ron DeSantis, and their colleagues.

“We are ready to fight,” said Stephen Gaskill, president of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus. “The young people who fought the Don’t Say Gay bill in school walkouts, those impacted by the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, the vulnerable Black, Brown and LGBTQ+ communities being targeted by Florida Republicans in legislative attacks, verbal slurs, and physical assaults — we all need to be inspired, uplifted, and motivated to vote for change. That’s what we’ll accomplish this weekend.”

Among the topics on the agenda are reproductive rights, LGBTQ+ rights in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dodd, the outlook for legislation impacting the trans community, the long list of economic issues not addressed by the Florida Legislature, an assessment of what’s ahead from House and Senate Democratic leaders, and how to build the Democratic bench. In addition, a panel of young LGBTQ+ leaders who led the Don’t Say Gay bill walkouts will discuss youth participation and focus in the upcoming election.

The weekend’s premier event, the Saturday Evening Cocktail Reception, features the next US Senator from Florida, Rep. Val Demings; Florida’s newest Member of Congress, Rep. Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick; Rep. Stephanie Murphy receiving the Congressional Leadership Award for her work on the House January 6 Committee investigating the Republican insurrection and coup attempt by Donald Trump; and Rep. Michele Rayner receiving the Legislative Leadership Award from Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith for her work fighting for and representing the LGBTQ+ community in Tallahassee. This program will be updated.

In addition, the conference will host a Membership Meeting, which will conduct endorsements for US Senate, Governor, Attorney General, Commissioner of Agriculture, Congressional District 23 and Congressional District 27.

The conference will close on Sunday morning with Drag the Vote, our Farewell Drag Brunch featuring DJ Joey Brown.

The Westin Fort Lauderdale (400 Corporate Drive Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33334) is a spacious venue to allow for ample social distancing with COVID-19 protocols in place during all portions of the programming. The conference is open to all registered Democrats.

All funds raised at our Summer Conference support our GOTV campaign fund to elect pro-equality candidates and promote pro-equality policies.

PROGRAM (STILL IN DEVELOPMENT)

Friday, July 22
630pm-830pm

Welcome Reception
Keys Ballroom

Guests include Gubernatorial Candidates Rep. Charlie Crist and Commissioner Nikki Fried, Commissioner of Agriculture candidate Ryan Morales, CD-23 candidate Ben Sorenson, CD-23 candidate Hava Holzhauer

Music provided by Ryan Morales

Saturday, July 23

Conference begins with a continental breakfast at 8am. The Conference program will begin at 8:30 am and run until approximately 3:30pm

8am-9am

Continental Breakfast
Florida Ballroom

9am-12pm

Morning Session
Florida Ballroom

9am-9:45am

PANEL The Politics of Distraction: LGBTQ+ Issues Vs. Florida’s Economy
Rep. Christine Hunschofsky
Sen. Annette Taddeo
House District 101 candidate Hillary Cassel

9:45am-9:50am
CD-23 candidate Jared Moskowitz

9:50am-10am
ActBlue State and Local Associate Jose Gamboa

10am-10:15am
Is Your Marriage Safe from SCOTUS? LGBTQ+ Issues After Dodd
Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg

10:15am-10:30am
Gubernatorial Candidate Commissioner Nikki Fried

10:30am-10:40am
BREAK

10:40am-11am
TRANS IN AMERICA
Caucus Legislative Director Nathan Bruemmer

PANEL What’s Next for Abortion in Florida?
Emma Collum, Ruth’s List Florida
House District 109 candidate Ashley Gantt
Tobias Packer
, SEIU 1199
Rep. Robin Bartleman

LUNCH PRESENTATION Storming the Legislature: How Democrats Can Take Back Tallahassee

Senate Democratic Leader Lauren Book
House Democratic Leader Fentrice Driskell
Senate District 38 candidate Janelle Perez
Senate District 24 candidate Eunic Ortiz

SPEAKER
Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith

SPEAKER
Rep. Charlie Crist

SPEAKER
Sen. Jason Pizzo

PANEL Building the Blue Bench
Rep. Marie Woodson
Hallendale Beach Commissioner Sabrina Javellana

PANEL Diversity and Inclusion Committee Presents: Young Voters Will Save Us This Year
Don’t Say Gay student walkout organizers:
Javier Gomez
Maxx Fenning
Will Larkins
Nathalie Saladrigas

Caucus Membership Meeting
3:30pm

Pre-Reception Cocktails
7pm

Saturday Evening Cocktail Reception
7:30pm

CD-10 candidate Maxwell Alejandro Frost

Guests include Rep. Val Demings, Rep. Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick, Rep. Stephanie Murphy receiving the Congressional Leadership Award for her work on the House January 6 Committee, and Rep. Michele Rayner receiving the Legislative Leadership Award from Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith for her work representing the LGBTQ+ community in Tallahassee, Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis, CD-10 Congressional Candidate Maxwell Alejandro Frost, DNC LGBTQ Southern Regional Representative Vivian Rodriguez, DNC LGBTQ Caucus President Earle Fowlkes

*Heavy Hors D’Oeuvres & Open Bar

Sunday, July 24
10:30am
Drag the Vote: Our Farewell Drag Brunch
Music by DJ Joey Brown

Hosts: Kitty Meow, Fay What, Al Ferguson

Performers:
Misty Eyez (Director of Trans and Women’s Services At SunServe)
Velvet LeNore (2022 Miss Florida At Large)
Erika Norel
Shasta McNasty
Lady Marisa
Kitty Meow

Guest: CFO candidate Adam Hattersley

*All events and meetings are open press, except the Saturday afternoon caucus membership meeting and Sunday drag brunch are closed press.

Registration and Tickets

  • Conference: Registration for in-person and virtual attendance is $35 until July 15 and $45 beginning July 16. You must be a registered Democrat to attend.
  • Saturday Evening Cocktail Reception: Tickets for our premiere event for in-person and virtual attendance are $125 until July 15 and $150 beginning July 16.
  • Sunday Farewell Drag Brunch: Tickets are $50 until July 15 and $60 beginning July 16.

For Conference Registration, Saturday Evening Cocktail Reception, Sunday Farewell Drag Brunch Tickets and Membership Meeting Registration, click here to register and purchase tickets.

**There is no charge to register for the Membership Meeting, but you MUST register to attend. It is an additional registration than for the conference.

** Conference registration includes the Friday Welcome Reception, and Continental Breakfast and Lunch on Saturday.

Our membership meeting is open to all registered Democrats, although only active Caucus members may vote. Endorsement voting will only occur in-person. Renew your Caucus membership for 2022 and make your voice heard!

*All registration fees and tickets are non-refundable.

Sponsorships

Click here to support us as a sponsor! All funds go toward our 2022 GOTV effort.

Hotel Reservations

Our room block at the Westin Fort Lauderdale has closed. Contact the hotel directly to reserve your accommodations

LGBTQ+ Democrats Statement on Bans Off Our Bodies Rallies

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 14, 2022

DELRAY BEACH, FL – Caucus President Stephen Gaskill issued the following statement on the “Bans Off Our Bodies” rallies happening across Florida and around the country on May 14:

“Today, Floridians across the state will make their voices heard in support of the right for women to make their own health care decisions. This right to privacy is enshrined in the US Constitution, and is fundamental to our democracy. If Roe v Wade is overturned by the US Supreme Court, other key rulings are in doubt, especially those expanding rights for LGBTQ+ Americans. Never before in our history have we restricted rights that have been fought for and won, and this risky precedent will endanger lives and cause irreparable harm to our country. We are marching today for the right to control our own destiny. This is what America is all about.”

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May Virtual Meeting with Local Candidates Caroline Klancke and Shelby Green

Join the Capital Equality Democratic Caucus for a Virtual Meeting featuring Caroline Klancke, candidate for Leon County Commission District 5, and Shelby Green, candidate for Tallahassee City Commission Seat 5.

Log on to Zoom and join us to learn more about these local candidates.

The event will stream live on Zoom on Wednesday, May 11, 2022, beginning at 6:30pm, and is open to all Democrats.

Registration in advance is required.

April Virtual Meeting with Local Candidates David O’Keefe and Adner Marcelin

Join the Capital Equality Democratic Caucus for a Virtual Meeting featuring David O’Keefe, candidate for Leon County Commission District 5, and Adner Marcelin, candidate for Tallahassee City Commission Seat 5.

Log on to Zoom and join us to learn more about these local candidates.

The event will stream live on Zoom on Wednesday, April 13, 2022, beginning at 6:30pm, and is open to all Democrats.

Registration in advance is required.

Ron DeSantis’ Shameful Bigotry is on Full Display with Signing of Heinous Don’t Say Gay Bill

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 28, 2022

SPRING HILL, FL – Ron DeSantis rushed to sign the heinous Don’t Say Gay bill (HB 1557) today at Classical Preparatory School in Spring Hill, even though the Florida legislature had not even sent over the legislation as of last night. Adding insult to injury, DeSantis chose to sign the bill at a charter school that may not even be bound by the vaguely worded legislation.

Caucus President Stephen Gaskill issued the following statement on the bill signing:

“It’s clear where Ron DeSantis’ priorities are. Of all the challenges Florida is facing and bills passed during the legislative session, he jumped at the opportunity to demonize LGBTQ+ Floridians. His shameful bigotry is cynically designed for partisan gain and authoritarian rule at the expense of LGBTQ+ students, educators, and families. It’s not a political game though when lives are on the line.”

Caucus Legislative Director Nathan Bruemmer issued the following statement on the bill’s impact:

“Dedicated LGBTQ+ teachers must hide who they are or risk losing their career. Students with LGBTQ+ parents and siblings won’t be able to talk about their families. We will lose more LGBTQ+ youth to suicide and hate crimes against LGBTQ+ Floridians will increase. These tragedies will be on DeSantis’ hands. Florida’s LGBTQ+ community is sending him a loud and clear message: we will not be erased, and we will fight his hate-filled attacks on us with everything we have.”

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A Chartered Chapter of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus