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In the Loop - september 2020
September 2020 Edition

Greetings,

The summer is officially over, and we are moving into a fall that is shaping up to be critical and dramatic. We are facing the most important election in our lifetimes on November 3rd . We are continuing to deal with the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on our public health and economy. The following months promise to be busy, intense, and sometimes even troublesome. Through it all, the Broward County Commission is dedicated to providing steady leadership and providing all the resources needed to keep our residents safe, our economy growing, and our democracy intact.

Read on below to find out about the most important things to know in Broward County this month – or click a link to head directly to a section!

All About Voting

This November’s election will determine the fate and future of our country. With these unprecedented stakes, it is absolutely essential that you vote – and vote safely. Some politcians have tried to raise questions and doubts about early voting and vote-by-mail. To be clear: early vote and mail voting is safe, easy, and fully legal. During this pandemic, I encourage residents to consider voting early or by mail.

Broward County Commissioners and municipally elected officials are working together to ensure a safe and fair election here in Broward, including the operation of 22 vote-by-mail dropboxes where residents can turn in their ballots. You can find the location of early voting sites here. The Supervisor of Elections is working with the Postal Service to ensure timely ballot delivery. You can request your mail in ballot here. You have until October 5th to register to vote – you do not want to miss your chance to let your voice be heard in this election.

We want to see the highest turnout ever. I have a feeling we will see a record-breaking number of our residents at the polls – and I am confident our results will be counted accurately and fairly.

Voting
This image should pop up as soon as you load the browardsoe.org website – requesting a mail ballot is easier than ever.

Emergency Orders

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and in accordance with the move to Phase Three by the State of Florida, Broward County has issued two new Emergency Orders. Emergency Order 20-25 relaxes some restrictions on community pools, billiards halls, and other shared spaces. Emergency Order 20-26 brings Broward County into safe compliance with Phase Three, expands the capacity at restaurants, and reopens bars. You can always find the most up-to-date Emergency Orders here. I encourage all residents to continue being cautious and circumspect when going out of their home – despite the new Emergency Orders, COVID-19 is not over – and we all have a duty to keep each other safe.

The latest dashboard on COVID-19 statistics in Broward County.

C.A.R.E.S. Act Assistance

The application period for the Broward County Rental Assistance Period has closed. However, there are still resources available throughout Broward County using C.A.R.E.S Act Funding to assist our residents – whether with rent, employment, or other needs You can find many of these resources here in our Family Success Center. It is also recommended that residents searching for work check out CareerSource Broward for further opportunities. Take advantage of these opportunities today.

CareerSource Broward hosts monthly Virtual Job Fairs that are worth checking out.

Testing

During this pandemic, the safest and smartest way to keep everyone safe is frequent and available testing. If you have been around groups of people, been on vacation, or have any reason to believe you have been exposed, you should get tested. The good news is that testing is now much more readily available than it was earlier in the pandemic. There is usually rapid appointments available at most testing sites or little to no lines. In addition, results are usually available within a day or two, if not a matter of hours. Take advantage of the robust opportunity to get tested – you can find an available list of sites by clicking here.

Testing
There are two major testing sites located in District Six.

Solid Waste

The past month brought another meeting of the Solid Waste Working Group. We are getting closer than ever to reaching our ultimate goal of creating a regional, comprehensive solid waste system. This was one of our most productive discussions yet, as we focused on the best way to govern our system – independent district, dependent district, or interlocal agreement. We are planning another meeting during the first week of October to hear final recommendations from the Technical Advisory Committee and to make a decision regarding the governing structure. This is our chance to ask what we want the system to look like for years and decades to come.

It has now been a year since the first meeting of our Solid Waste Working Group!

Conference on Children’s Literature

September marked the 33rd Annual Conference on Children’s Literature with Broward County Libraries. This year was a little different for obvious reasons – it was the first time ever that the program was digital. That said, it was still one of the very best events of the year. Every year, the Conference on Children’s Literature brings together authors, librarians, educators, and parents to enhance our conversation around children’s literature and promote early childhood reading. Despite the change in setting, this year’s Conference, with a theme of “Sharing Voices,” featured a great lineup with prominent authors like Meg Medina and Raj Haldar. These conversations are so important to a diverse and robust culture of childhood learning.

Conference on Children’s Literature
A collection of some of the panelists that spoke at this year’s Conference.

Freight Panel

I had the opportunity to participate in the Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Speak Up Broward event about one of the most important transportation issues facing our community. This year’s panel was on how critical freight is to our economy, our transportation network, and our way of life here in South Florida. Freight may not seem like the most exciting topic– but how we move goods and resources is fundamental to creating the regional efficiency needed to maximize our potential in Broward. I was glad to join Port Everglades Director Jonathan Daniels and Aviation Director Mark Gale for this important discussion on issues like increasing rail options for freight, expanding import business in Broward, growing the export business from our region, and more.

Freight Panel
You can watch this panel by clicking here!

King Tide Event

This week marks the start of peak King Tide season in South Florida, with tides this week projected to be over 2 feet above the average tide. Every year, the King Tides rise higher and higher, creeping up to doors and into homes. On October 18th, join former Hollywood Mayor Peter Bober and other community climate leaders for a King Tide event in Hollywood. The event will be held via Zoom and feature speakers like Dr. Jennifer Jurado, Broward County’s Chief Resiliency Officer. This is a critical conversation that will feature startling imagery and data on these king tides, which are having such a profound impact on our community.

King Tide Event
King Tides continue to set records throughout Broward County.

Read for the Record

Read for the Record is almost here! The 15th Annual Read for the Record will bring together over 2 million students and participants to read the same book at the same time. Read for the Record is one of my favorite events of the year -it stimulates an interest in childhood reading and encourages adults to read with children. This year’s event will be held on October 29th. The book is a wonderful selection authored by Meg Medina, keynote speaker at this year’s Conference on Children’s Literature. The book is titled, “Evelyn Del Rey Is Moving Away.” As in years past, thanks to the Children’s Services Council, more than 40,000 copies of the book are distributed to four and five-year old children in Broward County. Feel free to buy your own  copy and read along with a young learner in your life!

Read for the Record
Check out this amazing book!

Resilience Roundtable

On Friday, October 2nd, dozens of elected leaders from across Broward County will come together for the Annual Resilience Roundtable. While the event is virtual this year, the discussion is no less important. Due to COVID-19, climate change has taken a backseat in our collaborations as elected officials. But one look at the news should remind us why we must be working together constantly on the most important issue of our time. Wildfires, record king tides, hurricanes - the impacts don’t stop due to a pandemic. This roundtable allows us to combine ideas and resources in service of a more resilient Broward. You can join the public viewing of the Roundtable by clicking here.

Resilience Roundtable
Past years have featured plenty of powerful discussion.

Net Metering

The Florida Public Service Commission is considering a proposal to end the net metering program in the state. Net metering allows residents who produce excess solar power to send that energy back onto the electric grid and receive credits for it. This program is proven to incentivize residents to invest in solar power – which is why over 60,000 Floridians are part of the net metering program. This proposal by the PSC is another attempt by fossil fuel companies to weaken solar energy in Florida – after voters already resoundingly rejected the anti-solar Amendment 1 in 2016. We must protect net metering in order to support solar and clean energy in our state. If you are interested, you can click here to sign a petition that encourages the PSC to reject this proposal and continue to support net metering.

Net Metering
Net metering is important to the energy future of our state.

Hollybrook Health Fair

Fall and winter require health maintenance in a normal year, with the annual flu shot becoming a ritual for this time of year. This year, with the COVID-19 pandemic, taking care of your health is more important than ever. The City of Pembroke Pines is working with Hollybrook on the Annual Hollybrook Health Fair, which will be held October 27th at 8:30am at Hollybrook in Pembroke Pines. The Health Fair will include resources and information on how to stay safe and maintain good health moving forward. Masks and safe social distancing are required.

Hollybrook Health Fair
The annual Health Fair is an important event for residents.

Hispanic Heritage Month

September 15th to October 15th is Hispanic Heritage Month throughout the United States, and it is celebrated here in Broward County with numerous events and a proclamation by the Broward County Commission. Broward County would not be Broward County without the immense contributions of our Hispanic and Latinx community – in our culture, our small businesses, and our families. This includes the immense contributions of Hispanic Unity, one of the foremost organizations for assisting Broward County residents, especially during the COVID-19 crisis. Thank you for all you do!

Hispanic Heritage Month

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

America lost a legend this month with the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Justice Ginsburg was a legal legend who helped shape some of the most important decisions in modern American history, from healthcare to reproductive rights. She was also an inspiration to millions of women, shattering glass ceilings with every step. Her legacy will live forever, and her memory will surely inspire action. Her passing is a reminder of the incredibly high stakes in this November’s election.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Contact Us

Our District office is conveniently located in the lobby of the Hollywood Branch of the Broward County Public Library at 2600 Hollywood Blvd, next to Hollywood City Hall. However, during the COVID-19 crisis, it has been closed temporarily. My staff is working at our office in Fort Lauderdale and from other remote locations within our District. The Ft. Lauderdale office is open for your convenience Monday through Friday from 9AM to 5PM. If you would like to schedule an appointment, or you have a great idea, suggestion or an issue that needs my attention, feel free to call me at 954-357-7006/786-559-2306 or send me an email at bfurr@broward.org.
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