I am writing to you as our county has just lifted out of curfew. This has been a painful month for our country. The killing of George Floyd sparked cries for justice throughout America. At a time when many were already struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this tragic killing has exposed open injustices dating back to the beginning of our country. It is time for our nation to have a difficult reckoning on creating a society that is just and fair for everybody. It is time to listen to others, learn from them, and use this knowledge to take action. As we work through these challenging times and this global pandemic, we cannot only focus on our deficits – we must also remember the great strengths we have as a community. We have seen those traits on display in Broward County. We have seen them as residents have provided support and love to each other during COVID-19. We have seen them in the open-hearted and peaceful way we have had difficult discussions about race and law enforcement. This should come as no surprise – our strength and resilience has been on display in the MSD tragedy, multiple hurricianes, and much more. These are difficult times, but Broward County is equipped for any challenge that comes our way. We must continue to work together and stay strong.
Read on below to find out updates regarding COVID-19 as well as other very important issues in Broward County. If you would like to jump directly to a specific section, just click one of the links below!
Phase One Reopening and Emergency Orders
Broward County has begun the process of reopening. It is important to note that this reopening is proceeding in a cautious way so we can keep track of new cases and make further decisions based on empirical evidence.
Emergency Order 20-12 reopens restaurants, personal services like hair salons, private retail businesses, museums, and more.
Emergency Order 20-13 reopens beaches and commercial gyms. It is important to note that both of these emergency orders feature restrictions and social distancing guidelines that must be followed by all businesses and residents. To view a list of all Emergency Orders,
Many residents and businesses are asking when we can move to the next phase. The truth is that we do not know the answer yet, because the answer lies within each of us and all of us together. Moving to the next phase will be determined by the extent to which each of us takes precautions to protect our fellow citizens. Taking those precautions is not always easy, but it will result in keeping cases of COVID-19 flat or declining in our community. We have to look out for each other. That is how we will make it through this. Stay tuned for further updates.
Residents are starting to shop and go out again in Broward County – but make sure to use caution!
Summer for Students
This school year has certainly been unique for all of our students – and I expect this summer will be as well. While COVID-19 may restrict certain activities that children love in the summer, Broward County and our partners are still hard at work to provide resources for all students over this break.
Broward County Library will still have their annual Summer Program, and this year it will be all virtual. You can find out more about summer at the library events
here, and about other virtual events for students
here. Over 1,000 students have already linked their student accounts with a Broward Library account to make the best use of resources. See the flyer below for information on how to do so, or call 954-357-7400 for help!
Sign-up today and take advantage of these resources over the summer!
Getting people back to work will require much of our workforce getting tested for COVID-19.
In the spirit of that, Memorial Healthcare System has expanded free testing for COVID-19 at C.B. Smith Park in Pembroke Pines to anyone who wants a test, whether they have symptoms or not. In fact, they are asking employers to encourage all employees 18+ who are returning to work to get tested. Thus, they are offering more tests and more hours. You still must pre-register at 954-276-4680. After testing, you will receive your results online via Quest and by phone. Please see flyer below for more information.
Broward County Library was named the Library of the Year by the Florida Library Association! Congratulations to Director Watson and every one of our library staff for this tremendous honor. It is well-deserved. The COVID-19 pandemic is a reminder of the importance of our local libraries and the invaluable resources they provide to patrons.
We have seen a 168% increase in e-book checkouts during COVID-19, and many residents are using library resources to expand their minds while staying at home. More than ever, we must continue to expand library access and resources to every single resident. As a reminder,
click here to access some of the bevy of resources that the library provides!
Our library staff has shown off their ingenuity in providing services during this crisis, such as our drive-by book pickup service that started this month!
Starting June 1st, curbside pickup is available at all libraries! To learn more,
Reserve and pick-up your book today!
Parks and Beaches
Broward County beaches and parks are reopened! After a month of rainy weather, we are hopeful for sunny June skies ahead. When used safely, our parks and beaches are an opportunity for residents to escape from the indoor quarantine and enjoy fresh air, nature, and exercise. This reopening does not include any organized team sport activity. Please be mindful of the regulations – keeping six feet of distance, not congregating in groups, not using shared equipment, and wearing a mask.
Beaches are open, but give everyone some room!
Great news for our Everglades and our environment!
The state of Florida finalized the deal to purchase 20,000 acres of land in our Broward Everglades that was at-risk of being drilled for oil by a private company. This land was first purchased for potential drilling over 20 years ago. Since then, grassroot activists and elected officials have advocated tirelessly for ways to protect our Everglades – including a fracking ban and multiple lawsuits. With teamwork, this is finally in the rearview mirror. Future residents will look back on this for decades to come and appreciate the effort made to preserve this land and establish environmental stewardship. Thank you for all who let their voices be heard, including the Sierra Club, Democratic Environmental Caucus of Florida, and all the local elected officials who helped the cause.
A segment of the land that was purchased for further protection.
With many parents starting to return to work, there is a need for childcare for many of our residents in Broward County. Currently, about 30% of the licensed childcare facilities in Broward County are open.
You can learn about facilities that are open in your area by
clicking here. Facilities are required to follow a standard of sanitation and safety. The Children’s Services Council is working diligently to provide resources to residents who are in need of childcare assistance. Visit their
website to learn more about all the options available!
The map shows childcare facilities that are open in District Six. Green means open!
While most of our focus has been on the COVID-19 pandemic, there are many other issues that will impact Broward residents for years to come. One of the biggest is solid waste. For about a year, we have been talking about the creation of a comprehensive solid waste system in Broward County.
This month, the Solid Waste Working Group heard a thorough and comprehensive presentation from our Technical Advisory Committee on our governing options and system needs. We are starting to debate important questions like what kind of facilities we need, how we want to fund the system, and how the system will be governed. Hopefully, this will lead to quick action on the development of this much-needed system. If you would like to view the presentation,
A slide from the extensive presentation on Solid Waste, showing the current facilities in Broward County.
Back in Business
We face a record-high 14.70% unemployment rate with over 1.6 million unemployment claims in Florida. Recovery from this will not be easy. During the Great Depression, our government created the Works Progress Administration and Civilian Conservation Corps. These programs employed millions of people, and led to the creation of bridges, waterworks, roads, and other projects that impacted American life for decades. Here in Broward, we have significant public works needs for transportation, the environment, solid waste, and more.
We should be looking at how we can create a public jobs program right here to assist our residents while improving our County.
We are also going to work hard to bring our private businesses, especially small businesses, back and running again.
Through BizHelp Broward, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance is providing assistance to small businesses that need it in our area. This includes webinars, townhalls, helpful links, resources, and much more. You can learn more by
CareerSourceBroward also is offering resources to invidiauals experiencing unemployment, including job opportunities and trainings.
Click here to learn more.
The Broward County Office of Economic and Small Business Development
also has many resources available to help you!
The Broward County Family Success Administration is providing rental assistance to residents who may have difficulty with their bills due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Rental assistance is available to residents who have lost lost their employment and meet certain other eligibility requirement. See the flyer below for further information. This is a first-come, first-served program, so get your application in today! You can
click here to get started.
Florida Power and Light
Florida Power and Light is making assistance resources available for customers who are having a difficult time with their bills during the COVID-19 pandemic.
FPL has committed to discontinuing all service shut-offs through at least the month of June, with encouragement from a resolution supported by the Broward County Board of County Commissioners. There is bill payment assistance and financial hardship resources available to customers. To sign-up for this assistance, please
I encourage residents to take advantage of the resources that Florida Power and Light is providing.
Vote By Mail
The Broward Supervisor of Elections has announced they are expecting record-breaking turnout of 75% for the November 2020 general election. This includes a record-shattering 66% of all ballots to be turned in by mail!
These are just projections, but the County and the Supervisor will be using them to build the budget for this November’s election and make sure we have more than enough resources to handle the huge turnout. Over the coming months, we will be working to ensure that we are as prepared as possible for all contingencies.
This election is going to be unprecedented, and we must prepare for all possibilities – especially more people than ever voting safely by mail-in ballots.
Now is the time to sign-up! If you want to sign-up for a mail-in ballot, please
Mail-in ballots are a safe way of voting no matter how you turn them in!
It may be hard to believe, but hurricane season is officially here! With everything that is going on, it is important to make sure that you are still as prepared as possible for any storm that may strike. This includes making sure your home is stocked with supplies and that you have prepared a hurricane checklist.
I recommend taking the time to
check whether you are in an evacuation zone. If you feel you may need assistance during a storm, you can register for the
Vulnerable Population Registry right now. It is imperative that we are taking steps right now to stay safe, instead of waiting until the last minute!
Make sure you are prepared!
League of Cities/Collaboration
Congratulations to Hollywood City Commissioner Traci Callari on being elected President of the Broward League of Cities. At a time like this, collaboration with our municipalities is more important than ever.
We need to be working together on emergency coordination with COVID-19 and hurricane season. But beyond any crisis, we also must work together on issues like transportation, the environment, and solid waste. The Broward League of Cities plays an integral role in that. Commissioner Callari is the right person for the job, and I cannot wait to work together with her on issues important to our community!
Congratulations to Commissioner Callari!
If you have not yet filled out your Census, stop reading this newsletter and do that right now! Broward County continues to lag behind the national average, and District Six can go a long way in bringing that average up! The Census is incredibly critical for determining the resources that our region receives – especially for emergencies like COVID-19 and hurricanes. You should have received an invitation in the mail to participate. If you have questions, make sure to go to
census.gov. Get that in today, and encourage your friends and family to fill it out!
Broward County needs to step up and get that response rate higher!
Finally, I hope all of our residents had a Happy Memorial Day. Our freedoms are preserved by the brave men and women who have laid down their life to protect us. We should never forget their sacrifice or the true meaning of this holiday. We also must thank our Gold Star families that have made the ultimate sacrifice, losing a loved one in the pursuit of freedom. Thank you for your service.
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 10AM to 4PM. 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 954-357-7790 / 7006 or send me an email at