Newsletter

In the Loop November 2017 Edition

Greetings,

We have much to be thankful for in Broward County, from our beautiful beaches to our growing economy. But the thing I am most thankful for is members of the community like you who are stepping up and dedicating themselves to serving others. Whether it is welcoming friends in need to their homes, or passing out turkeys, or serving a hot meal, Broward residents are showing once again how good we can be when we work together to lift each other up. This newsletter is “stuffed” with exciting happenings in Broward County.

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Thanksgiving

I wish everyone in District Six and Broward County a very happy and enjoyable Thanksgiving Day. Thanksgiving means more than eating deliciously prepared food. It means showing love and appreciation for family and friends, and for the basic, day-to-day happenings that define our lives. An even deeper meaning lies in the history of the Holiday. Thanksgiving Day is the remembering of multiple cultures that came together to peacefully share in friendship and joy. Those are the defining traits of the first Thanksgiving Day. In times of deep division, we should always remember that our will to embrace each other, sit down at the same table and peacefully work out our differences, results in a mutually happy ending. Remember,everyone deserves a seat at our American table. Our diversity and melting pot is what makes our country so great. In keeping with that, it’s also what makes Broward County such a wonderful place to live. Happy Thanksgiving! Don’t burn the bird!

Happythanksgiving image

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Climate Change and Regional Summit

Broward County continues in its leadership role in the fight for a more sustainable future. On November 14th, the Broward County Board of County Commissioners voted to sign the Under2 MOU, which sets a goal of limiting annual greenhouse gas emissions to under two metric tons per capita, which would reduce emissions by over 80% by 2050. We are proud to be a part of this global movement and to show that we are #StillIn in the fight against climate change. By becoming official signatories to the Under2 MOU, we are committed to investing in the energy and economy of the future by shifting towards clean renewable energy. The Under2 MOU is a global initiative featuring cities and states from across the world, and in order to maximize our results, we must work together. I was honored to join elected officials from across Broward County for the #StillIn Press Conference to celebrate our signing of the Under2 MOU.

Clean Energy for All

Taking part in the #StillIn Press Conference with Senator Farmer and Congresswoman Wasserman-Schultz

The actual signing will take place at The Southeast Florida Regional Climate Leadership Summit, which will be held December 14th and 15th in Fort Lauderdale. This large annual meeting brings together scientists, business owners, and elected officials from across Southeast Florida for two days of discussion on the impacts and the solutions needed to create a renewable, adaptable future. The theme of this year’s event is “The Business of Resilience,” where experts from across South Florida will engage with local business leaders for critical discussions on energy, infrastructure, and endurance. I look forward to working with partners and activists from across the region.

Beam Furr Signing

I was very proud to be a Broward County signatory to the Compact.

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Arcadis Kickoff

Once upon a time, Broward County was a model for recycling and waste disposal. We had an interlocal agreement with most all the cities that was the envy of many. The agreement fell apart for various reasons and since then, there has been a noticeable decline in our recycling rates and a major increase in potentially recyclable items in our landfill. Neither one is something we should be proud of. It is time to once again create a comprehensive plan for all of Broward County to take care of our garbage. Thankfully, Broward County has just contracted with a major waste management consulting firm that will provide major insights into how we can do just that. This contract is an agreement between Broward County and Arcadis, Inc. The kickoff meeting for this consulting project will held on December 4th. Arcadis has 180 days from then to bring back some proposals that we can review. Their recommendations should help us create the blueprint for a plan that achieves a 75% recycling rate in Broward County. Currently, the county rates have dropped considerably from their high of 60%. We are also looking for ideas on how to “close the loop,” turning waste into useful good. We will be looking at utilizing recycled materials to build seawalls, playgrounds, roads, lumber and other materials that make economic sense. Stay tuned. This should be interesting.

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I am excited to help Broward County improve our recycling!

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Civil Citation Program

At our November 14th County Commission meeting, the Broward Board of County Commissioners voted to create an adult civil citation program designed to keep people who commit minor, non-violent crimes out of jail and contributing to society. This program is a major step forward in creating a more fair and just criminal justice system that focuses on giving people opportunity to improve rather than locking them up. Police officers have the discretion to give a fine for certain non-violent crimes, meaning that instead of incurring an arrest, bond costs, and a permanent record, people who make mistakes can be diverted into helpful programs to give them the chance to improve. This program has been tested and is successful in counties throughout the country – and Broward County already has a juvenile civil citation program that has helped give many kids a second chance. This program will help to end unequal results in the criminal justice system for communities of color, who disproportionately see the negative effects of jail time for non-violent misdemeanors. Broward County Sherriff Scott Israel says “No one should be saddled with a life-long criminal record because of a minor indiscretion. Civil citations have proven to be a success when instituted. They provide a second chance and needed intervention services while also saving taxpayers millions.” Thank you to Commissioner Dale Holness, who worked very hard with staff on crafting this bill.

Juvenile Citation Program

An example of how well the Juvenile Citation Program is working.

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Education Week Expo

As a former librarian, I am a strong proponent of lifelong learning. I would say that goes double for Broward County employees. It is in Broward County’s interest to invest in its employees because it helps them be more knowledgeable and effective. It helps them to know their field better and to see the big picture. On November 15th, I was proud to serve as the opening speaker for the Lifelong Learning Event in Broward County as part of National Education Week. Our Education Week Expo brought together expert testimonials and powerful hands-on interaction between educators, employees, and advocates. The Expo offered employees development opportunities, teaching County workers new skills and continuing our commitment to improving long-term skills, especially when it comes to new technology. That means when you connect with a Broward County employee, they will be better prepared to assist you.

Education Week Expo

Thank you very much to everyone who planned and participated in this event, including Assistant County Administrator Gretchen Cassini and Tim Garling, Deputy Director of Transportation.

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Turkey and Food Distribution

Turkey and Food Distribution

On Saturday, November 18th, I was proud to join members of the Hollywood community to distribute turkeys and Thanksgiving food to residents in need at Washington Park. Thank you very much to Nadine McCrea and the Community Enhancement Collaboration team for their hard work in creating this event.

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Veteran’s Day

Broward County is forever in debt to the people who have dedicated themselves to protecting our freedom. Veteran’s Day is just one opportunity to reflect on their service and the challenges that these brave men and women have faced. We have a daily responsibility to make sure the lives of our veterans match what they deserve for their dedicated service. From homelessness to mental health, we need to provide the resources to combat the problems plaguing the veteran community, ensuring that every brave service member has a roof over their head and the opportunity to succeed. From all of us, thank you for your service.

Thank you to all who served!

Thank you to all who served!

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Mayor’s Art Challenge

District Six is loaded with talented young artists, and I am proud to spotlight one particular winner this month! The annual Mayor’s Art Challenge allows every County Commissioner to select one student entry as our pick for best student art piece in our district.
It was a difficult choice but the winner for this year is Alexia Jones. I have a feeling we will be seeing a lot of blue ribbons in her future!

IDK by Alexia Jones

IDK by Alexia Jones

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Alexia Jones and Beam FUrr

Congratulations to Alexia Jones!

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MPO 40th

The Broward County Metropolitan Planning Council (MPO) celebrated its 40th anniversary this November. This celebration was more than a congratulation for years of service. It was a benchmark as we look ahead and design the transportation and urban planning solutions of the future. Broward County presented a proposal for transportation improvements at the meeting. It included traffic light signalization, intersection improvements, infrastructure, community bus shuttle, express buses and light rail. These can improve our public transportation and reduce gridlock that clogs our roads and makes travel difficult. I look forward to seeing these plans vetted by the MPO, FDOT and the municipalities. Hopefully, we are all able to come to consensus and “move” forward together.

Celebrating the Broward MPO’s 40th year!

Celebrating the Broward MPO’s 40th year! Thank you to Patti Good for the photo!

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Equality Florida Gala

We should be proud of Broward County’s leadership in the fight for equality and love. We have been champions of LGBTQ+ rights ahead of the curve – in large part thanks to local activists and organizations that have been at the frontline of the fight for equality. These leaders were honored at the 15th Annual Equality Florida Broward Gala on November 12th. I was proud to lend my support to this event and join as a member of the Honorary Host Committee. This annual event is an important moment for our local LGBTQ+, and I am always excited to support it in any way I can. Despite our progress, there are still many battles to go in the fight for equality. I look forward to working with local leaders and activists to be a valuable ally as an elected official. Congratulations also to Equality Florida for twenty years as an organization working for equal rights in Florida!

Members of Equality Florida.

Members of Equality Florida from South Florida rally in Washington D.C.

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Viernes Social in Pembroke Pines

Residents across Broward County have stepped up in support of our friends in Puerto Rico. In Pembroke Pines, community members came together for the very special fundraiser Viernes Social at the Charles F. Dodge Center on November 7th. All proceeds from the event were dedicated to the AARP Foundation Hurricane Maria Relief Fund to help disaster victims in Puerto Rico with valuable aid. Famous local musicians like Michael Stuart and Nestor Torres performed. The event raised thousands of dollars in needed relief.

Viernes Social Logo

Thank you to all who participated!

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Business Leadership Institute for Early Learning

The child care business is not an easy one. Not if you are dedicated to high quality. High quality requires investing in your staff and providing a decent salary and benefits. It requires professional development. And yet, the market doesn’t make it easy for you to charge enough to do all those things unless you are a very good business person.

That’s why we are investing in programs like The Business Leadership Institute for Early Learning, an initiative designed to teach financial and business mastery to early childhood education facilities. Through a series of innovative classes, the Business Leadership Institute teaches talented educators how to become skilled business owners. This means that these facilities are able to stay open and provide high-quality care to young Broward residents. I was honored to speak at one of these classes on November 18th, thanking attendees for taking the time to learn and reminding them of how important this work was.

Business Leaders

I appreciated the opportunity to speak to the Business Leadership Institute.

Along those same lines, Broward County was proud to take part in the Florida Grade Level Reading Campaign Annual Statewide Gathering on November 2nd and 3rd in Delray Beach. Last year we were voted as one of the Pacesetters in the United States. This campaign brings together experts and educators to explore innovative ways to maximize our early childhood education throughout the state. One speaker who highlighted some critical issues was Tony Carvajal, the Executive Vice President of the Florida Chamber Foundation. Tony highlighted the ways that local business can get involved in improving literacy, and the many ways in which early childhood education is an economic boom, not an economic burden. Through this collaborative effort, over the last two years, we have seen a 5% increase in the number of students reading at grade level.

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Good things happen when we invest in early childhood education.

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Open Enrollment

Need health insurance? November 1st marked the beginning of open enrollment for Obamacare. You have until December 15th to enroll and select your health insurance on the exchange. I highly recommend getting started as soon as possible so you have time to examine all of your options and plans. It is important that you pick the best option for you and your family. Please click here if you have any questions, or contact my office and we will be happy to assist you in getting started.

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Don’t’ Forget to Sign Up!

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Small Business Owners

If you are a small business owner in Broward County, there is an exciting opportunity that you should consider! The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau is looking for culturally diverse local vendors to provide services for events. If you are in an industry that provides support for conferences, weddings, reunions, and other group events, this is an amazing opportunity to share your business with the millions of visitors who visit South Florida annually! If you are interested, contact the Broward County’s Office of Economic and Small Business Development at 954-357-6400.

Small Business Owners Flyer

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Larry Joe Miller

Hollywood lost a local legend. My friend Larry Joe Miller passed suddenly on November 3rd at the age of 74. A true Renaissance man, he was a South Florida icon renowned for his music and art. He was a lifelong artist who served as Artist-In-Residence for Hollywood until his death. As artist-in-residence, he hosted weekly community art events, including classes for students in need and his famous Paint For Fun nights, which allowed hundreds of South Florida residents the opportunity to paint for free in Hollywood ArtsPark. South Florida’s “Mr. Rockabilly”, he was a touring musician for 50 years with several nationally popular bands, including The Thingies, Larry Joe Miller and the Rockabilly Rockets, and the Delusions. He was an Air Force Veteran with a distinguished record of overseas service. Above all, he was a beloved husband and father who impacted the lives of all who knew him. He is survived by his wife Amy, his sons Clay, Tyler, John Paul, Dennis, and his grandchildren Aradia, Olivia, Phoenix, Owen, Quinn, Jessica, and Jason. He will be dearly missed. I hope everyone is inspired by his history of giving back to the community through his own passion and gifts. May we all do the same.

Larry Joe Miller Picture

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Contact Us

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. This office is open for your convenience Monday through Friday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. 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 954-357-7006/7790 or send me an email at bfurr@broward.org.

County Commissioner Beam Furr District 6
Broward County Commission | 115 S. Andrews Ave. Room 412 | Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Email - BFurr@Broward.org | Website - Broward.org | Phone: 954-357-7006