District 9 - Commissioner Dale V.C. Holness - Mid-Term Report
 
District 9 Accomplishments:

Hello My Friends,
I hope that you have a moment for an update on all that is taking place in our community. We have reached many milestones and have achieved some major accomplishments since my taking office November 16, 2010.

November 2010

Disparity Study

The Broward County Commission held a workshop to discuss the 2010 Disparity Study.  The purpose of the study was to examine the past and current status of women and minority owned businesses in Broward County.  The NERA economic consulting firm was hired to determine if current race and gender neutral programs have eliminated discrimination.

After a two year preliminary investigation, NERA did find statistical and anecdotal evidence of discrimination against women and minority businesses in Broward County’s relevant market area.  The study also noted that the availability of women and minority businesses was substantially lower than in a commercial marketplace free from discrimination.  There was also a significant gap in earnings.

As promised, I have been aggressive and persistent in bringing about change that has increased business opportunities for minorities and women including sponsoring a change in our Procurement code that allows for small business to have sheltered contracting opportunities.

December 2010

Trinidad Trade Mission

Trinidad and Tobago on trade mission to encourage trade and develop profitable business relationships with the Caribbean nationLast year, I led a delegation of 20 people to Trinidad and Tobago on a trade mission to encourage trade and develop profitable business relationships with the Caribbean nation. They are the wealthiest Caribbean nation in terms of per capita income.  Trinidad companies already do business with our airport and Port Everglades. There are key business opportunities in areas such as alternate energy and wholesale items that Broward County can benefit from. The Nation of Trinidad and Tobago is ranked 28th among Florida’s top 50 merchandise trading partners with total trade valued at an estimated $914 million in 2010. Exports from South Florida to the twin island nation totaled $850-million last year.

January 2011

Pompano Beach Clean-up and BeautificationPompano Beach Clean-up and Beautification
In partnership with Volunteer Broward, Pompano Beach City Officials, local sponsors and volunteers, a series of beautification projects has taken place throughout District 9, beginning with Collier City. Work in the community included trash pick-up, landscaping vacant lots, planting flowers, shrubs and trees and repairing homes that have had previous code violations.

On the  Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend, We organized a Social Services Fair at Blanche Ely High School. Social Service organizations such as 2-1-1 Broward, and Minority Builders Association discussed  the services they provide to those in need of assistance.

Blanche Ely High SchoolThe goal is to bring these vital service providers together under one roof to educate people about what they do and to discuss what’s available. We need to increase community awareness and outreach to Broward residents.

“Commissioner Holness, during his campaign promised me that he would bring change to this section of Pompano Beach.  I’m going to hold him to that promise.” Ms. Jones means it.  “This is my passion, to bring this neighborhood back to what it once was.  This is my Dream.”

February 2011

Samuel F. Morrison, former Broward Library DirectorBlack History Month Exhibit Display downstairs in the Government Center
Through my efforts, Black History Month was celebrated in February with an exhibit entitled "From Slavery to the White House" in the Broward County Governmental Center lobby. In addition, Samuel F. Morrison, former Broward Library Director and driving force behind the creation of the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center, received a special proclamation from the County Commission naming today as "Samuel F. Morrison Appreciation Day.”

Charles Drew Students Get a Lesson in GovernanceCharles Drew Students Get a Lesson in Governance.
Approximately 50 students from Charles Drew Elementary School attend the Broward County Commission meeting; they also had the opportunity to tour the “From Slavery to the White House” exhibit. Today’s youth are tomorrow’s leaders!

Community Partnership & Economic Growth Opportunities Forum 
I hope that you were among the many people who attended the Community Partnership and Economic Growth Forum for small and Community Partnership & Economic Growth Opportunities Forum local businesses. This forum showcased future business opportunities at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport as the airport goes through a $1.5 billion dollar capital improvement and renovation during the next 5 years. Thanks to those who did attend.

April 2011

Sister Cities Visit Broward County
I would like to thank all our Sister City leaders who promote the many Sister City relationships Broward County municipalities have. What you do has a very direct benefit to Broward and the region. My thanks also to Broward College, The Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, and Broward County for sponsoring The Sister City Forum and Reception. Thank you to our distinguished Panelists and our Moderator for the evening, Bob Swindell, President/CEO of The Greater Fort Lauderdale Business Alliance.

Awards
Legacy Magazine Legend of the year AwardsLegacy Magazine Legend of the Year Awards
I was honored to be awarded the "Public Official of the Year" and one of the "50 Most Powerful Black Professionals in South Florida" by Legacy Magazine. A committee of community leaders and business executives chose the top 50 black professionals from nominations that were submitted by their peers. 

Among the accomplishments noted in Legacy Magazine:

  • Involved in talks with Caribbean Airlines to bring service to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. "We're discussing the possibility of making Fort Lauderdale a major North American hub," Commissioner Holness said.
  • Participated in trade mission to Trinidad and Tobago. "The focus is on tourism and businesses from out of town to grow the economy," said Holness.
  • Hosted a Community Partnership and Economic Growth Forum with more than 400 people in attendance. Commissioner Holness states: "I wanted people to know what business opportunities exist with the $1.2 billion airport expansion and how to register as a vendor to participate in Broward's $3.2 billion annual budget."

Ambassador Audrey P. Marks Visits Broward CountyAmbassador Audrey P. Marks Visits Broward County
It was an honor to welcome Jamaican Ambassador to the United States, Honorable Audrey P. Marks, to Broward County on her first official visit.  Broward Commissioners greeted Ambassador Marks at an April Commission meeting and I presented her with a proclamation.  Many business meetings were held that I’m sure will result in economic development opportunities in Broward County. She is the first female Jamaican Ambassador to the United States, appointed to the office in July 2010.  She is the founder of Paymaster Limited, the first multi-transaction agency in the Caribbean. She is the first female President of the American Chamber of Commerce of Jamaica (AMCHAM). 

Community Clean-up at Roosevelt GardensA