District 8 Newsletter

A Message from Broward County District 8 Commissioner Barbara Sharief

As we observe Black History Month we give citizens of all races the opportunity to understand the struggle and sacrifice Blacks endured to achieve equal rights and tolerance in American society. I am proud to represent a culture that rises because of the contributions of individuals. Each success is a bridge that other Blacks can cross to contribute to the betterment of the United States and the world. We should incorporate black history with American history so all children will know how African- Americans play a valuable part in history.

I welcome your comments and want to hear which issues are important to you. Send an email to me at Bsharief@broward. org or call my office at 954-357-7008. Also, check out the Barbara Sharief Facebook page at Facebook.com/barbara.sharief or follow Barbara Sharief at Twitter.com/bestmom39.



BCC Meetings: Now Available On Demand

As part of Broward County’s ongoing commitment to transparency, video recordings of Commission meetings are now archived online and available for on-demand viewing by noon the day after the meeting on our Commission Meetings and Agenda webpage. You can now enjoy the convenience of viewing Commission meetings 24/7. County Commission meetings are televised live on most Tuesdays beginning at 10AM. You can watch those meetings on Comcast channels 12 and 77, Advance Communications channels 25 and 42, and AT&T U-verse channel 99. They are also live, on-line at Broward.org Video Central. The meetings are rebroadcast each Friday starting at 5:30PM.

Florida’s Legislative Session

On March 3, 2015, the 2015 State Legislative Session will convene in Tallahassee. The Legislative Session will last 60 days and activity typically focuses on passing the upcoming fiscal year budget. With the state projected to have another year of a budget surplus, I want the community to know your Board of County Commissioners and staff will be working hard to make sure the state budget reflects the priorities we share here locally.

This year, the Board has agreed on several funding priorities. State funding for Broward County’s Port Everglades and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport are always a priority. Broward County is also asking the state to increase funding for beach nourishment projects.

We are also strongly advocating for much needed infrastructure water projects like the Broward County – Palm Beach County Reclaimed Water Pipeline, C-51 Reservoir Project and reclaimed water mains at T.Y. Park. Like in years past, we are optimistic the legislature will fund critical social services. The County is urging an increase to Child Protection Team, Community Care for the Elderly, homelessness, child advocacy and sexual violence program funding. Broward County would also like to see state funding to upgrade or reconstruct juvenile detention centers that are in a state of disrepair. It is also extremely important the State continue funding cultural affairs programs. In one way or another, Broward County has made local commitments to these services. Through direct advocacy the county will fight to ensure those commitments are reflected by the state during the 2015 State Legislative Session.

Affordable Healthcare Act

Open enrollment in the 2015 Health Insurance Marketplace will provide information to families and small businesses that currently don’t have insurance, or need an alternative to what they currently have. Open enrollment in the Marketplace began on November 15, 2014. To enroll, visit Healthcare.gov or call 1-800-318-2596 (24 hours a day/7 days a week).
Here are the most important dates for 2015 coverage:

January 1, 2015: The date 2015 coverage started if you applied by December 15, 2014, or if you accept automatic enrollment in your 2014 plan or a similar plan. For more information, visit HealthCare.gov and select KEEP OR CHANGE YOUR PLAN.

February 15, 2015: The last day to enroll in 2015 coverage. If you miss this deadline, you can’t sign up for a health plan inside or outside the Marketplace for the rest of 2015. The only exception is if you qualify for a special enrollment period.

There is no limited enrollment period for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) or for small businesses to enroll in SHOP coverage for their employees. You can apply at any time.

Serving on County Boards

We are seeking residents with an interest in public service to represent the needs of the district. If you are interested in being considered, please forward a detailed resumé to bsharief@broward.org. Be sure to include your permanent address, phone number and email address; whether you are a registered voter; whether you are a registered lobbyist; whether you serve on any other board, authority or agency (dual office holding); whether you are related to any Commissioner; and whether you have any potential conflicting business relationship. For a description of Boards, visit Broward.org/Intergovernmental and select BOARDS AND COMMITTEES.

Small Business Resources

The Broward County Office of Economic and Small Business Development (OESBD) supports Broward County businesses and their success by providing a comprehensive roster of client-focused services. Technical assistance is available to local businesses in a range of topics from information on current public procurement opportunities to financing. Firms interested in OESBD technical assistance services should call 954-357-6400 or visit Broward.org/EconDev. Free seminars are designed to provide the South Florida business community with a working knowledge of Florida’s participation in the States Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). The U.S. Department of Treasury allocated more than $97.6 million to implement the SSBCI which supports Florida’s two major programs benefitting small businesses in need of financing.

In addition, the Miramar-based AvanzeCorp, Inc., has launched “150 in 1 Year” to assist entrepreneurs with resources during start-up and mentoring for their first five years in business. The 150 seats will be on a first come, first served basis. Call AvanzeCorp Inc. at 888-848-7771 or email at info@avanzecorp.com to register.

Foreclosures and Housing Assistance

If you received a foreclosure or eviction notice from the Broward Sheriff’s Office, you should also receive a resource guide listing the agencies that may be able to help you in the foreclosure process or to obtain alternate housing. For information regarding the National Mortgage Settlement you can contact the National Mortgage Settlement Administrator at 1-866-430-8358. For information regarding the Making Home Affordable Program – a mortgage modification program - call 888-995-HOPE (4673) and for further assistance with home buying or foreclosure call the Housing Foundation of America at 954-923-5001.

Helpful Resources

Broward County Family Success Administration Division assists individuals and families with accessing the services they need to build a stronger, healthier and self-sufficient family unit. The centers provide assessment and case management, and, if eligible, rent/mortgage and utility assistance. If you have recently had a loss of income, received an eviction notice/mortgage default letter, or a water/electricity shut off notice, visit Broward.org/HumanServices/FamilySuccess/ or call 954-357-5650 or 954-357-5001 to find out how they can help you. The South Family Success Center is located in Commission District 8 at 4733 S.W. 18 Street, West Park, 33023 (Broward County Transit Route 5). If you are over 60, or are a veteran, contact the Elderly and Veteran's Services Division at 954-357-6622.

2-1-1 Broward is available 24 hours a day to help you find food, housing, health care, senior services, child care, legal aid and much more. For a complete list of services, dial 2-1-1 or (954) 537-0211, TTY (954) 390-0492 211, or go to 211-broward.com/.

To receive communications (such as this newsletter) from my office via email, or to arrange for myself or my Community Outreach Liaison, Launa Carbonell to attend your neighborhood or homeowner association meeting, please contact Launa at 954-357-7008 or lcarbonell@broward.org.

Other Resources

For Access to Healthcare or Relief from Homelessness:

Emergency Financial Assistance:

Legal Aid Services of Broward County, Inc.