Friday, January 25, 2008

FLORIDA DIGEST January 25, 2008

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Volunteers Are Needed to Recruit Postcard Signings

Contact: Tom Rouland
954 812-3469

AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) advocates have launched an ADAP federalfunding awareness grassroots campaign in the U.S.A., including in BrowardCounty, FL. Spearheaded by The AIDS Institute, volunteers are beingrecruited to obtain signatures on postcards asking the U.S. Congress tosupport needed full funding for ADAP and other Ryan White services forfiscal year 2009. The Institute is a national HIV/AIDS advocacyorganization with offices in Washington, DC. Supporting this crucialAdvocacy Project is the Community HIV/AIDS Mobilization Project (CHAMP,headquartered in NYC). The deadline is March 14, 2008, for return ofsigned postcards by volunteers recruiting signers.

Once collected, cards will be distributed in person to leaders of the U.SCongressional House and Senate health-related appropriations subcommittees,along with copies to the constituents' own elected federal Representativeand Senators. The goal is to make a significant impact to improve reducedfunding by Congress for fiscal year 2008 which has had a serious negativeimpact upon thousands of people with HIV/AIDS in the United States who needADAP and Ryan White assistance.

Plans are being made now to enlist support for the postcard project fromBroward County organizations and businesses, including bars andrestaurants, to obtain wide cross-section of signers who are affected in anyway by lowered ADAP and Ryan White funding or are concerned about inadequatefunding so their views will be expressed, along with thousands across thenation, to elected officials in Congress.

Please volunteer NOW to help make this project successful by contacting TomRouland at or leave a message on954-812-3469 with your name, email address and/or telephone number.


Police Incident


The leadership of Transgender Equality Rights Initiatives have been informedof the incident involving a member of the transgender community and theWilton Manors Police Department. I am personally in communication with theWilton Manors Police Chief and am working on a resolution to the incident inthe process of developing an opportunity to advance the importance ofeducation for the transgender community.

I am personally asking the community to coordinate any communications oraction with Transgender Equality Rights Initiatives so we can all enjoy apositive outcome.

Let me reassure you that incidents of this nature will only reinforce thestrength of a united coalition.

In the meantime, if you are aware of any other incidents, please have theindividual contact me directly. We need to identify any and all potentialissues that may arise to ensure effectiveness.

Please refrain from approaching news media at this time. Media will servecrucial to mobilize the community when appropriate.

With you in the Fight!

Michael Emanuel Rajner
Transgender Equality Rights Initiatives (TERI)

Telephone: 305 677-3506 / 954 272-8131
Cellular: 954 288-1999


Homeowners waffle on property tax amendment

By Brittany Wallman
January 25, 2008

Elizabeth Hays runs through which way to vote on the state's effort at property tax reform. She pingpongs from pro to con, to pro, to con.

Should she vote selfishly or be altruistic? Should she consider her own wallet or the state economy? Should she take what she can or hope for something better?

Hays is proof that thosewho've paid the most attention to Tuesday's Amendment 1 referendum might be the most ambivalent.

She has owned her home in Fort Lauderdale for two decades. Maybe one day she'll sell and move elsewhere in Florida and take advantage of the proposedconstitutional change. But maybe she won't.

Longtime homesteaders like Hays may receive the most immediate payoff by voting "yes." The proposal would add to their property tax break if they stay put and would lower their property taxes on a newly purchased replacement home if it's in Florida.

more . . . . .


On city of Miami charter amendment

Posted on Fri, Jan. 25, 2008

Seeking to avoid the bruising controversy that erupts over proposals to give rights for gays the same status as other groups, Miami Commissioner Marc Sarnoff and supporters of his Citizens' Bill of Rights charter amendment have kept a low profile when it comes to campaigning.

Usually, this tactic is deplorable. But this issue has been thoroughly aired in Miami-Dade County. Ultimately, in a countywide vote, a slim majority supported upholding equal protections against bias in housing and employment for gays and lesbians. Miami voters should follow that example by approving the charter amendment.

Mr. Sarnoff's amendment never mentions hot-button gay rights issues, such as recognition of domestic partnerships or gender identity. Instead it promotes all residents' rights as defined in the nation's Bill of Rights. It includes residents' rights to see the city's natural resources and scenic beauty preserved.

Broward County protects gay rights, excepting those for gender identity and expression. But gender identity and expression are protected in Palm Beach County and in Wilton Manors, Oakland Park, Miami Beach and Key West. Miamians should follow their progressive lead.

On the city of Miami Charter Amendment to establish a Citizens' Bill of Rights, The Miami Herald recommends a vote of YES.


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