LGBTQ+ Dems Endorse St. Petersburg Municipal Candidates

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 12, 2021

ST. PETERSBURG, FL – Today the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus is announcing its endorsed candidates for the 2021 municipal elections in St. Petersburg. After a careful review of the candidates, our local chapter, Stonewall Democrats of Pinellas County, made the following endorsements that the Caucus is echoing:

August 24 Primary
Mayor – Ken Welch
City Council District 1 – Copley Gerdes
City Council District 4 – Clifford Hobbs III
City Council District 8 – Richie Floyd

November 2 General
City Council District 6 – Mhariel Summers

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

“Our chapters have rigorous endorsement processes to identify the best candidates to represent the LGBTQ+ community. We are thrilled to echo Stonewall Democrats of Pinellas County and endorse these candidates for St. Petersburg municipal elections because of their vision and support for LGBTQ+ residents. We believe they will unify St. Petersburg and move the city forward.”

Susan McGrath, Campaign Director of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus, and a Stonewall Democrats of Pinellas County member, highlighted the diverse endorsements:

“We are proud to endorse this diverse slate of pro-equality Democrats, which includes leaders who would become the first openly LGBTQ Black man and first openly LGBTQ Black woman on the St. Petersburg City Council. We look forward to working with them to bring our city together and ensure every resident has the opportunity to thrive.”

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Membership Meeting with Capital Tea Transgender Support Organization

Virtual Meeting with Capital Tea, Transgender Support Organization

Join the Capital Equality Democratic Caucus for a Virtual Meeting featuring representatives from Capital Tea, Tallahassee’s local transgender and queer community support organization.

Log on to Zoom and join us to hear more about the important work this organization is doing in our community, and what you can do to get involved and help them grow.

The event will stream live on Zoom on Wednesday, August 11, 2021, beginning at 6:30pm, and is open to all Democrats.

Registration in advance is required. Please follow this link to register.

Crist, Fried, Levine Cava, Taddeo, Pizzo, Trantalis, Diaz at 2021 Summer Conference

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 4, 2021

CHARLIE CRIST, NIKKI FRIED, DANIELLA LEVINE CAVA, ANNETTE TADDEO, JASON PIZZO, DEAN TRANTALIS, AND MANNY DIAZ ARE FEATURED SPEAKERS AT LET’S GET LOUD: THE SUMMER CONFERENCE OF THE FLORIDA LGBTQ+ DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS

August 6-8 in Miami, featuring local and statewide candidates and elected officials

— Stringent Covid Protocols in Place Throughout the Weekend —

Miami, FLLet’s Get Loud: The Summer Conference of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus is August 6 through 8 at the Hilton Miami Downtown. The Caucus selected Miami as its conference site to jumpstart organizing in Miami-Dade County, a critical voting block to win statewide elections in Florida. The Surfside tragedy, Cuban people rising up against a tyrannical government, and turmoil in Haiti have further elevated its importance.

The Summer Conference draws more than 100 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 Hispanic voter outreach and winning in 2022. Click here to register and purchase tickets for the conference.

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis, Miami Beach Commissioner Michael Gongora, and North Miami Councilman Scott Galvin will participate in the Saturday morning “How South Florida’s LGBTQ Cities Work Together” panel. Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, who has been internationally recognized for her strong, steady leadership during this difficult time in Miami, will be the Lunch Keynote Speaker and will be introduced by FDP Chair Manny Diaz.

In the Saturday afternoon session, State Senator Annette Taddeo will join the “Trans Community Under Fire” panel and State Senator Jason Pizzo will give an update on the Florida Senate. The Saturday evening cocktail reception will feature gubernatorial candidates Representative Charlie Crist and Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Nikki Fried. At the reception, the Caucus will also honor State Senator Shevrin Jones with a 2021 Legislative Leadership Award and Mayor Dean Trantalis with a Lifetime Leadership Award.

All events are OPEN PRESS unless otherwise noted. This year’s Summer Conference at the Hilton Miami Downtown is a spacious venue to allow for ample social distancing with COVID-19 protocols in place during all portions of the programming.

Hotel:

Hilton Miami Downtown
1601 Biscayne Blvd
Miami, Florida 33132

FRIDAY AUGUST 6

Welcome Reception
630-830pm

  • Stephen Gaskill, Caucus President
  • Orlando Gonzales, Executive Director, SAVE
  • Adam Gentle, Congressional candidate

SATURDAY AUGUST 7

830am
Morning Session

Welcome

  • Stephen Gaskill, Caucus President
  • Christopher Richmond, MDLGBTA president
  • Javier Estevez, Miami-Dade DEC Campaign Chair, Caucus Region 9 Director

850am
Panel: How South Florida’s LGBTQ Cities Work Together

  • Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis
  • Miami Beach Commissioner Michael Gongora
  • North Miami Councilman Scott Galvin

930am
Panel: HIV/AIDS at 40

  • Howard Grossman, Clinical Affiliate Assistant Professor, Florida Atlantic University
  • Requel Lopes, Executive Director, World AIDS Museum (moderator)
  • Jose Szapocznik PhD, Professor, University of Miami
  • Shed Boren, PhD, Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work, Florida International University

1030am
Cuba: What’s Next?

  • Carmen Pelaez, Filmaker and Activist
  • Introduced by Ricky Junquera

11am
Panel: Diversity and Inclusion Committee
Workshop on Unconscious Bias

  • Mary Ann Shea, Director

Noon
Lunch Keynote Speaker

  • Mayor Daniella Levine Cava
  • Introduced by FDP Chair Manny Diaz

1pm
Afternoon Session
Introduced by Nik Harris, Caucus Vice President

Panel: Assault on School Boards

  • Dade School Board Member Lucia Baez-Geller
  • Broward School Board Member Sarah Leonardi
  • Joe Saunders, Equality Florida (moderator)
  • Bill McKay, Vice President, Space Coast LGBTA Democratic Caucus

150pm
Panel: The Trans Community Under Fire

  • Moderator Nathan Bruemmer, LGBTQ Consumer Advocate, FDACS (moderator)
  • Jason Starr, Litigation Director, HRC
  • Carvelle Estriplet, Caucus Deputy Director, Region 8
  • Annette Taddeo

250pm
FDP’s Plan For Winning Florida

  • Marcus Dixon, FDP Executive Director

310pm
Senate Victory 2022

  • Christian Ulvert, Senate Victory

330pm
Senate Overview

  • Senator Jason Pizzo

4pm
Membership Meeting (CLOSED PRESS)

5pm
END

7pm to 9pm
Evening Cocktail Reception

  • President Stephen Gaskill
  • Mayor Dean Trantalis, receiving Lifetime Leadership Award
  • State Senator Shevrin Jones, receiving 2021 Legislative Leadership Award
  • Charlie Crist
  • Commissioner Nikki Fried

The Caucus thanks our Presenting Sponsor
Happening Out Television Network

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Let’s Get Loud: 2021 Summer Conference

CHARLIE CRIST, NIKKI FRIED, DANIELLA LEVINE CAVA, ANNETTE TADDEO, JASON PIZZO, DEAN TRANTALIS, AND MANNY DIAZ ARE FEATURED SPEAKERS AT LET’S GET LOUD: THE SUMMER CONFERENCE OF THE FLORIDA LGBTQ+ DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS

Join us in person or virtually August 6-8 in Miami

— Stringent Covid Protocols in Place Throughout the Weekend —

Let’s Get Loud: The Summer Conference of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus is August 6 through 8 at the Hilton Miami Downtown. Our Summer Conference draws 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.

Gubernatorial candidates Rep. Charlie Crist and Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried highlight our Saturday Evening Cocktail Reception, which also features a Lifetime Leadership Award presented to Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis and our 2021 Legislative Leadership Award presented to State Senator Shevrin Jones.

NOTE: This year’s Summer Conference at the Hilton Miami Downtown is a spacious venue to allow for ample social distancing with COVID-19 protocols in place during all portions of the programming, including masking and temperature checks.

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, who has been internationally recognized for her strong, steady leadership during this difficult time in Miami, will be the Lunch Keynote Speaker and will be introduced by FDP Chair Manny Diaz.

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis, Miami Beach Commissioner Michael Gongora, and North Miami Councilman Scott Galvin will discuss “How South Florida’s LGBTQ Cities Work Together” on our kickoff panel. “HIV/AIDS at 40” features a panel of notable healthcare leaders and activists looking at where we go from here. State Senator Annette Taddeo joins the “Trans Community Under Fire” panel to talk about the trans youth sports ban, which also features HRC Litigation Director Jason Starr. School Board members and activists prepare for “The Coming Assault on Our School Boards,” focusing on LGBTQ issues, critical race theory, and more. Filmmaker and activist Carmen Pelaez will outline what’s next for Cuba. And we’ll review the upcoming election and legislative session with presentations by FDP Executive Director Marcus Dixon, Florida Senate Victory’s Christian Ulvert, and State Senator Jason Pizzo.

Click here for Ticketing and Registration, including Virtual Registration.

Hotel:

Hilton Miami Downtown
1601 Biscayne Blvd
Miami, Florida 33132

FRIDAY AUGUST 6

Welcome Reception
630-830pm

  • Stephen Gaskill, Caucus President
  • Orlando Gonzales, Executive Director, SAVE
  • Adam Gentle, Congressional candidate
  • Ken Russell, City of Miami Commissioner & U.S. Senate Candidate

SATURDAY AUGUST 7

830am
Morning Session

Welcome

  • Stephen Gaskill, Caucus President
  • Christopher Richmond, MDLGBTA president
  • Javier Estevez, Miami-Dade DEC Campaign Chair, Caucus Region 9 Director

850am
Panel: How South Florida’s LGBTQ Cities Work Together

  • Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis
  • Miami Beach Commissioner Michael Gongora
  • North Miami Councilman Scott Galvin

930am
Panel: HIV/AIDS at 40

  • Howard Grossman, Clinical Affiliate Assistant Professor, Florida Atlantic University
  • Requel Lopes, Executive Director, World AIDS Museum (moderator)
  • Jose Szapocznik PhD, Professor, University of Miami
  • Shed Boren, PhD, Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work, Florida International University

1030am
Cuba: What’s Next?

  • Carmen Pelaez, Filmaker and Activist
  • Introduced by Ricky Junquera

11am
Panel: Diversity and Inclusion Committee
Workshop on Unconscious Bias

  • Mary Ann Shea, Director

Noon
Lunch Keynote Speaker

  • Mayor Daniella Levine Cava
  • Introduced by FDP Chair Manny Diaz

1pm
Afternoon Session
Introduced by Nik Harris, Caucus Vice President

Panel: Assault on School Boards

  • Dade School Board Member Lucia Baez-Geller
  • Broward School Board Member Sarah Leonardi
  • Joe Saunders, Equality Florida (moderator)
  • Bill McKay, Vice President, Space Coast LGBTA Democratic Caucus

150pm
Panel: The Trans Community Under Fire

  • Moderator Nathan Bruemmer, LGBTQ Consumer Advocate, FDACS (moderator)
  • Jason Starr, Litigation Director, HRC
  • Carvelle Estriplet, Caucus Deputy Director, Region 8
  • Annette Taddeo

250pm
FDP’s Plan For Winning Florida

  • Marcus Dixon, FDP Executive Director

310pm
Senate Victory 2022

  • Christian Ulvert, Senate Victory

330pm
Senate Overview

  • Senator Jason Pizzo

4pm
Membership Meeting (CLOSED PRESS)

5pm
END

7pm to 9pm
Evening Cocktail Reception (separate ticket)

  • President Stephen Gaskill
  • Mayor Dean Trantalis, receiving Lifetime Leadership Award
  • State Senator Shevrin Jones, receiving 2021 Legislative Leadership Award
  • Charlie Crist
  • Commissioner Nikki Fried

SUNDAY AUGUST 8

10:30am to 12:30pm
Farewell Drag Brunch (separate ticket)
Performances by Jasmine Pryce Lords & DJ Joey Brown

**Conference Registration includes the Welcome Reception on Friday, and Continental Breakfast and Lunch on Saturday. Please be aware of separate registrations for each event, including the Membership Meeting!

Registration is $35
Click here to register for in person or virtual participation.

Evening Cocktail Reception tickets are $150
Click here to purchase your Evening Cocktail Reception ticket(s).

Sunday Brunch tickets are $35
Click here to purchase your Sunday Brunch ticket(s).

We have a hotel block at the Hilton Miami Downtown with a special rate of $179 plus tax per night. Our room block is first come, first served and is available at our special rate of $159/night through July 16.
Click here to reserve your hotel room(s).

Sponsorship Opportunities are available to put your organization in front of LGBTQ+ leaders from across Florida
Click here to review and reserve a sponsorship.

We’re gearing up to flip Florida blue, and we need your help! Join us in Miami and Let’s Get Loud!

*All registration fees and tickets are non-refundable.

Thanks to our Presenting Sponsor
Happening Out Television Network

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS!

Presenting Sponsor:
Happening Out Television Network

Diamond Sponsors:
Adam Gentle for US Congress
Hillary Cassel
Stephanie Toothaker

Conference Champion:
Crush Law

Emerald Sponsor:
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Welcome Reception Sponsor:
Joe Falk

Friends:
Harry Huizenga
Ben Sorensen
Commissioner Ken Russell, US Senate candidate
DS Political
The Sexton Group

Benefactors:
Rick Boylan
Dolphin Democrats
Gaskill Communications LLC
Hillsborough LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus
Jotkoff Financial Group

Supporters:
John Lazar
Sally Phillips and Ercilia Albistu
Coral Gables Democratic Club
Miami Beach Democratic Club
Miami-Dade Democratic Party
Northeast Miami-Dade Democratic Club
Ruth’s List
Stonewall Democratic Caucus of Sarasota County

Sponsors:
Peter Horstman
Susan Lee

Statement on Pulse Remembrance Day, Five Years Later

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 12, 2021

ORLANDO, FL – On this day five years ago, 49 people were killed and 53 were injured at Pulse Nightclub in one of the worst mass shootings and deadliest attacks on LGBTQ+ people in the United States.

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

“The Pulse massacre, a heinous attack on Orlando’s LGBTQ community, will remain with us always. Today is a time to remember and honor those we lost, and also to recognize the survivors who overcame their physical injuries and trauma. Pride Month is always a bittersweet combination of celebrating how far our community has come, focusing our activism on completing the journey to full equality, and commemorating those no longer with us due to neglect, discrimination, or violence. Pulse is a core part of the Pride story, and we thank our Florida congressional delegation for helping to make the National Pulse Memorial a reality. Pulse is now a symbol of resilience and strength.”

Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus Region 4 Director and Rainbow Democrats President Brandon Nelson gave a reaction from the local community:

“One Pulse and Orlando Strong are more than just slogans. They are what has helped our community to heal. Five years ago, we were devastated by an act of cowardice and terror. As painful as that day was, it has made us stronger as individuals, as a city, and as a community. We can never bring back the 49 lives we lost, but we can and will continue to honor them with action. Their memories are the building blocks of our strength. Keep dancing Orlando, because hate will never win. We are Pulse. We are Orlando.”

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Virtual Meeting with Commissioner Dianne Williams-Cox

Join the Capital Equality Democratic Caucus for a Virtual Meeting featuring one of Tallahassee’s city commissioners, Dianne Williams-Cox!

Log on to Zoom and join us to hear more about Dianne’s perspectives on issues important to residents of Tallahassee. Dianne will also discuss the recent launch of her campaign for re-election.

The event will stream live on Zoom on Wednesday, June 9, 2021, beginning at 6:30pm, and is open to all Democrats.

Registration in advance is required. Please follow this link to register.

Caucus Blasts Governor DeSantis for Signing Ban on Trans Athletes

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 1, 2021

JACKSONVILLE, FL – This morning in Jacksonville, Governor Ron DeSantis signed SB1028 into law. This broad education bill includes the discriminatory ban on transgender athletes.

Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus President Stephen Gaskill issued the following statement on the bill signing:

“It’s shameful that Governor DeSantis chose the first day of Pride Month to sign the discriminatory trans sports ban into law. This transphobic legislation aims to fix a problem that doesn’t exist, and instead harms children just wanting to play sports. It’s clear the Governor and his Republican enablers in the Legislature are dismissive of Florida’s large and visible LGBTQ+ community. Pride Month is steeped in acceptance, but it is also a statement among our community that we will fight for our civil rights. We are watching, we are working, and we are putting discriminatory politicians on notice.”

Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus Region 2 Regional Director Joshua Hicks gave a local reaction to the bill becoming law:

“Jacksonville is a welcoming and inclusive city governed by a human rights ordinance that bans discrimination based on gender identity and expression. It’s shameful and disgusting that Governor DeSantis chose our community to sign discrimination into law on the first day of Pride Month.”

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Caucus Members Featured at Tampa Pride 2021

We’re thrilled that several of our caucus members were featured at Tampa Pride! Jay Chetney was the Grand Marshal Stonewall Pioneer, and Sally Phillips and Ercilia Albistu were the Grand Marshal Couple! Sally Phillips is our Membership and Chartering Director and a past President. Ercilia Albistu is our Region 5 Director, and Jay Chetney is our Region 3 Alternate Director.  

SUNDAY: Tallahassee Day of Action for Trans Youth

Republicans in the Florida Legislature successfully implemented a last-ditch effort to pass the Trans Sports Ban in the House and Senate. This anti-LGBTQ legislation will now move to Governor DeSantis to be signed into law.

Equality Florida is holding Virtual Days of Action in which you can take action to encourage Governor DeSantis to veto this hateful legislation! Local organizations in Tallahassee, including Capital Equality, are pitching in to help.

Join other Tallahassee activists and friends virtually this Sunday, May 2nd, from 11am to 3pm, as we text Equality Florida supporters and encourage them to call the Governor and ask him to veto the Transgender Sports Ban Bill.

Click this link to register to participate in the Tallahassee Day of Action for Trans Youth on Sunday, May 2nd!

If you are unable to join us on Sunday, there are other opportunities throughout the week!

ACTION ALERT: We’re running out of time to stop the Trans Sports Ban!

Earlier this week, Republicans in the Florida Legislature successfully implemented a last-ditch effort to pass the Trans Sports Ban in the House and Senate. This anti-LGBTQ legislation will now move to Governor DeSantis to be signed into law.

Click this link to sign an Equality Florida petition urging Governor DeSantis to veto this hateful legislation!

A Chartered Chapter of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus