Newsletter

September, 2017

Greetings,

Hurricane Irma was a frightening and sometimes painful experience for Broward residents. It also brought out the very best of Broward County. I was so encouraged to see community members help each other throughout District Six and Broward County. We are still dusting ourselves off, repairing the damage and getting back to work. The Commission is back in full swing, and I’m very eager to team with my colleagues to design additional policies that best serve Broward County residents.

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Hurricane Irma

South Florida felt the wrath of Hurricane Irma this month, leaving thousands without power and some with serious damage to their homes and property. Unfortunately, we also suffered the tragic loss of nine of our own in Hollywood in the aftermath of the storm. The death of nine patients at Hollywood Hills Rehabilitation Center is a tragic moment for our community. While an investigation is still ongoing, let me make it clear: we will take every possible step to make sure something like this never happens again. At the city, county, and state level, I am working with every possible partner to address how we handle the aftermath of the storm and make sure our residents are safe and cared for after the wind stops blowing. The nine patients who passed away were loved by their families, and will be deeply missed. May they rest in peace.

Broward County Mayor

This storm was terrifying and tragic, but it showed just how strong and prepared the residents of Broward County are for any challenge. Our Emergency Operations and Response teams worked around the clock to make sure that everyone was prepared and safe. I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who dedicated their time working in a shelter, or assisting in the Emergency Operations Center. Law enforcement, first responders, public works and utilities employees rushed into dangerous areas to save lives and properties. This hurricane was truly the story of Broward residents coming together to help their neighbors and make things better for our community in the face of a potentially serious disaster. Thank you. This hurricane is proof that when we work together, our residents can stand up to any challenge that comes their way.

Sadly, hurricane season is not over. I urge you to update your hurricane preparedness plan, restock resources, and continue to follow any evacuation orders that may be issued in case of a future storm. We can never be too prepared. My office is always available to connect you to any resources you need to help you be prepared.

People helping after Irma

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Opioid Town Hall

Broward County is currently facing a serious opioid use epidemic. County medical officials predict it may cause more than 1,000 deaths in Broward in 2017 alone. That’s more than three a day. We need to take every action possible to stop it - from pre-treatment to follow up. As Vice Mayor, I am working daily to find solutions to this problem that can be implemented effectively in Broward County. On August 24th, I was proud to participate in the first ever Opioid Abuse Town Hall in Pembroke Pines, hosted by Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief and the City of Pembroke Pines. The event brought together members of the Community Action Team for a broad discussion on the complexities and a myriad of needs to combat the opioid epidemic in Broward County. The Community Action Team is a collaboration between law enforcement, healthcare providers, community agencies, and government officials designed to develop a strategy to tackle the crisis.

One way we can help address this epidemic is by providing greater access to medically assisted treatment and intensive outpatient services that are focused on saving lives instead of punishment. Addiction is a disease, and needs to be addressed as a mental health crisis. We also need to create a better system of community treatment centers that focus on neighborhood-by-neighborhood teamwork to address the needs. Finally, we should be training vulnerable families on how to assist with intervention, particularly when it comes to Broward’s senior community. That is why the Broward Addiction Recovery Center is adding extra beds in order to help maximize direct care.

If you know someone struggling with opioid abuse, say something. We have resources available to assist you or a loved one. The Broward Addiction Recovery Center has many helpful contacts on their website http://www.broward.org/HumanServices/BrowardAddictionRecovery/.

Opioid Statistics

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Budget Hearings

I believe it is extremely important that we use the County’s budget to maximize our ability to assist our communities in the best ways possible. As we complete our budget process, I am proud of what we have accomplished thus far. I successfully advocated for a number of programs pertaining to early childhood education, the environment, community assistance, and civil rights, including funding for the Gulfstream Early Childhood Center of Excellence in Hallandale Beach, the Broward Public Guardian, and the Broward 2-1-1 program. If you wish to get involved, the Commission will be hosting a Budget Public Hearing on September 26th at 5PM. The hearing will be held at the Broward Governmental Center at 115 S. Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale 33301 on the 4th floor in the Commission Meeting Room, #422. I look forward to working with the community on the best solutions for our County’s budget.

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Airport Roundtable

On August 30th, I had the opportunity to participate in the final Airport Safety roundtable with Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. The roundtable brought together County government, law enforcement, and airline officials for a thorough discussion of the January 2017 Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport shooting. This tragedy has touched the lives of everyone in our County, and we owe it to you to make sure that we take the lessons learned from this terrible incident to prevent anything like this from ever happening again. This roundtable generated comprehensive solutions for training, communication, and command. We are committing every resource we can to ensure that we make the necessary changes to make our airport a safer place. We are working to create a safety protocol that will become an exemplary model for the entire country. I look forward to working with everyone involved.

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Happy High Holidays!

I would like to wish everyone a very Happy Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. On behalf of all of us at the County Commission, we hope you have a sweet New Year and a peaceful fast. L’Shana Tova!

Opioid Statistics

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Salinity Well in Hollywood

The quality and condition of our water is paramount to our region. That is why I am so glad that a major new project is coming to our District in order to improve water quality. At the August 22nd Commission meeting it was unanimously voted to approve a salinity well project in Hollywood. The salinity well will provide data on toxic levels of salt from the water which can kill plant life and damage conditions throughout the entire marine ecosystem. This valuable information will help us make a plan to prevent dangerous levels of salt in our water, which is an increasing threat due to climate change. This project, pictured below, is a big step in making sure residents of our District get the best protection possible from over-salted water. Thank you to everyone involved for a job “well” done!

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Broward Day of Peace

In Broward County, we stand together as one people united together for the common purpose of love and peace. Thursday, September 21st marked International Day of Peace, a celebration of all the good we can do for our fellow citizens. All month long, events are being held in Broward County in solidarity with peaceful celebrations around the world. The week of September 14th to 22nd was “Choose Peace Week” in Broward County. This is an initiative of the United Way of Broward County, Broward County Public School, and the Children’s Services Council. On Wednesday, September 20th, everyone in Broward was encouraged to wear white in recognition of the essential value of peace, and our continued movement towards achieving it. This wonderful poster was designed by students at Lakeside Elementary School in Pembroke Pines!

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Job Fair October 14th

As Vice Mayor, putting Broward residents to work is a top priority for me. I am happy to help spread the word about a wonderful opportunity for job-seekers. On Saturday, October 14th at 9:00 AM, there will be a major job fair at Atlantic Technical College located at 1701 NW 23rd in Fort Lauderdale. This event will give job-seekers the chance to meet with employers, discuss their resumes, and learn about hundreds of potential jobs right here in South Florida. This fair will help connect energized, ambitious Broward residents to their perfect job match. For more information, visit this website.

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Broward Reads For The Record

Helping children achieve grade level literacy by third grade is the first step in paving a brighter future for our residents. Students who fall behind in reading and are not caught up by the time they reach third grade, are far less likely to graduate from high school. As Chair of the Children’s Services Council, I am proud of our work with Broward Reads – The Campaign for Grade Level Reading, a major initiative to stimulate early literacy throughout Broward County.

On Wednesday, October 19th, I will be participating in the Annual Broward Reads for the Record event. Broward students will take part in this global event which gathers more than 2 million people together around the world to read the same book on the same day. Read for the Record brings much needed attention to inequities in early childhood education. It inspires adults to read with children. It spurs policymakers and organizations to take action towards transformative change in early education, and places books in the hands of children across the country. I am proud to say that the Children’s Services Council will be distributing 40,000 books to children in Broward County on this very special day. I invite you to get involved in this important and enjoyable event. If you are interested in volunteering to read, sign up at handsonbroward.org.

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TutorMate

Just thirty minutes a week can be enough to change a child’s life. Too many young residents throughout Broward County are below their grade level in reading, limiting their ability to maximize their potential. That can change! You can make the difference in helping a child learn to read. We are teaming once again with the TutorMate Online Literacy Program, an innovative solution designed to allow community members like you to spend 30 minutes per week, online, reading with a first grade student in Broward County without having to take time away from your workplace. Over the course of the school year, students work directly with you in order to gain support and dramatically improve their reading abilities. This great opportunity allows you and your co-workers to be part of a team, who, in just a few minutes a week, can make a real difference in a child’s life, right from your office! For more information, please click here.

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Cocktails For Humanity

This summer, I was proud to serve as a special guest bartender for Cocktails for Humanity, a wonderful pop-up experience designed to raise money for a great cause. This event, held at General Provision during Fort Lauderdale Artwalk, helped raise money for Broward Library Summer Learning Programs, a wonderful service designed to stimulate literacy and active reading for young students throughout the County. I was a little nervous going in, I don’t have a ton of experience tending bar! But luckily, the instructions were pretty clear, and everyone seemed satisfied with the drinks! It was a great time with some wonderful, charitable people. Thank you so much for everyone who donated and helped raise money for this great cause!

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Broward Attractions and Museum Month

A very cool opportunity is happening in South Florida! September is Broward Attractions and Museum Month (BAMM), which offers amazing opportunities to go to a great Broward attraction for a discount or even free! Ever wanted to check out some great local art, or learn about South Florida’s history? Now is your chance! Full information on the attraction list can be found here. We are lucky to have such a vibrant cultural scene in Broward County. I hope you check them out!

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Park Opening in Hallandale Beach

A gorgeous new public park is coming soon to Hallandale Beach! On Friday, October 6th at 10 AM, the City of Hallandale Beach will be hosting a groundbreaking for the new Peter Bluesten Park at 501 SE 1st Avenue. This project is part of a major initiative called the City Wide Parks Master Plan in Hallandale Beach, which is designed to create, manage, and improve beautiful green spaces in the city. The park will feature a baseball diamond, two mini-diamonds, a soccer field, a pool, tennis courts, and tons of open space to relax and play. I can’t wait to see how it turns out! I hope you can make it to the groundbreaking and get involved in the start of this exciting project.

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Library Resources Available

We have something very exciting to announce! As noted in our last newsletter, we have been working for more than three years on ways to make the public library’s online resources available to every student in Broward County. Last month, the Broward County Commission voted to approve this resource program, making these valuable resources available by using a student’s ID card. As we acknowledged the importance and potential of this program, I was proud to welcome Broward County Libraries’ Director Kelvin Watson to the Commission Meeting. These resources will serve as an invaluable addition for our bright young students at no extra cost. I cannot wait until Broward’s students maximize their learning potential by getting hands-on with this program.

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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