For Immediate Release:
Contact: Rebecca Wakefield, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Seventy percent of Latino voters are “very enthusiastic” about voting, while 57 percent are more enthusiastic about voting in 2012 than in 2008., according to a new poll presented at the Latino Voter and Politics of Immigration forum at the University of Miami on October 4.

Jonathan Rodrigues, who grew up in the large Brazilian community in Pompano Beach in Broward County and spoke at the forum, said the Latino voters he has encountered in the field as an organizer for Florida New Majority “are excited to vote, all they want from us is information and mobilization.”

Florida New Majority Education Fund’s non-partisan volunteers and staff have been working to register voters in urban areas in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. The organization has so far registered more than 10,000 voters, with a goal of 15,000 by Oct. 9.

Voting rights in Florida took another significant step forward on Thursday, when a coalition of plaintiffs reached a settlement with the State of Florida in a groundbreaking voter protection case.

The plaintiffs include Florida New Majority, 1199SEIU UHWE, two individual union members of 1199 who were targeted in the voter purge, as well as other local South Florida groups. Legal representation was handled by the Advancement Project and other national voting rights organizations.

The settlement will protect the rights of more than 180,000 voters in Florida to cast a regular ballot in November's general election. The plaintiffs will continue litigating one claim in the lawsuit, asserting that Florida is prohibited by the National Voter Registration Act from implementing a voter purge program of purported non-citizens within 90 days of an election. Florida is currently training election staff on the use of the federal SAVE database, and plans to resume purge efforts in the next month, so the lawsuit will determine whether the State is allowed to remove voters before the general election.

The suit was filed in June following Florida’s illegal purge of suspected non-citizens from its list of eligible voters in the spring. Florida elections supervisors, at the behest of Gov. Rick Scott’s administration, issued letters to more than 2,600 residents threatening to remove them from the voter rolls unless they provided proof of citizenship within 30 days.

Eye On Miami, the magic city's very own anonymous-critical-news-and-politics blog is supporting Marleine Bastien. From today's post:

"I would vote for Haitian American activist Marlene Bastein. On behalf of the Haitian community in District 17, Bastein is solid gold and not the kind that is exchanged for political influence. Too bad the Herald didn't take note"

It looks like Miami is finally waking up to who the true progressive in the race is. Now we just need people to walk the talk and come out to the volunteer FNM for Marleine precinct walk this Saturday , August 7, from 10am - 2pm.

Read the full post here.

Category: Endorsements

My daughter, like a lot of teens, is usually sequestered in her room blogging, facebooking or texting at the speed of light. When I suggested that she should apply to a volunteer internship sponsored by Florida New Majority I was not sure if the response would be the pleading “Mom its summer” or the reluctant elongated “huh”.  To my surprise I got a quick “Ok” followed by “How much will I get paid?”   As my daughters pupils began to glaze over with dollar signs I reminded her that this would be a volunteer job, a chance to get involved, and an opportunity to give back.

I have to admit that when I first learned of FNM’s summer youth program, I saw it as a space that would give my daughter and the other teens something constructive to do especially since there job prospects this summer were nonexistent.   I really didn't’ think too much about the political impact that this the program would make.

On the morning of the second day of the program I went to wake my daughter, expecting her to be glued to her bed.   Instead, she was dressed and ready, before me. She was actually excited to go back out into the broiling sun, without hesitation.  My child, a typical self consumed teenager, was now talking with her friends about issues that just a few days prior were mere chatter to her.  She was actively participating in group discussions among the other teens and with community members about issues of racism, affordable housing and equal rights.  They were having meaningful conversations about what change in the community looks like, and what it will take to bring this change about.

Often times our youth live in a world of their own, never seeing or caring about the bigger picture. They are caught in the tides of growing up, a process that is often times difficult, and for many painful.  But  Florida New Majority has found a way to empower a group of teens this summer through political education and civic involvement. These teens are seeing and hearing firsthand the voices of the people.  They are beginning to see the need for strong community action to create the long awaited changes we all hope for. They have picked up the torch handed to them by Florida New Majority and they are igniting the hearts and minds of the community with the message that change comes with strong civic participation. What better way to further our efforts to improve our democracy than to arm our youth with political understanding and the skills to organize and engage.  This summer Florida New Majority has taught my daughter that she can have a positive impact on an entire community.

Category: Canvassing
Aug, 09 2010

All out

Wow! I am so excited and so charged up. I just saw a poll that saidMarleine Bastien has a real chance at being elected in Congressional District 17. Marleine is a woman who actually lives and works in this community; a woman who has come through and who has stood by the people in the district on all kinds of issues.She not only knows what those of us in the social justice movement have been fighting for, he has been on the front line fighting with us.And now Marleine could win this.

This race could be determined by just a few votes. Those of you who have been organizing in this community for years know that she has been there for you. Now it is time for you to be there for her. Florida New Majority has been throwing down by sending mailings to tens of thousands of voters, and walking the sweltering streets to talk to voters in the district. We have been a part of increasing Marleine’s favorability, and really putting her in the race. Now we need your help to finish the job.

I don’t just want you to vote for Marleine, I want you to encourage others to vote for Marleine. She is a fresh face who will do things in a new way. It’s time for, us, the new generation of voters to turn out in a big way to vote for jobs, affordable housing and health care.

Now is the time to walk the talk.

Come to the Florida New Majority phone bank, every day this week, 5pm – 8pm, at 6127 NW 7th Ave.

Category: Endorsements

Miami, September 7th, 2010 – The doors of the One Stop Career Center in Miami’s North Side Shopping Center are the hopeful path to relief for thousands of unemployed Floridians who show up every day to apply for unemployment compensation, today a coalition of unemployment workers, formerly unemployed, and community/labor organizations used the One Stop Center as a backdrop in asking Governor Crist for expansion of unemployment compensation.

The Miami Workers Center, Florida New Majority, South Florida Jobs with Justice, Power U Center for Social Change, and SEIU 1199 gathered outside the store-front-help-center and asked Governor Crist to continue supporting Florida’s unemployed by signing an executive order to modernize the unemployment system.

“Our Unemployment Compensation system is outdated and is currently unfairly denying deserved benefits to a large number of unemployed Floridians. It needs to be reformed”, said Badili Jones, from Florida New Majority. “We call on Governor’s to sign an Executive Order and implement the Alternative Base Period, which will allow more than 64,000 people to claim unemployment compensation.”

“We are facing one of the worst crisis in our history. Florida’s unemployment rates reached 12,3% this year, a record level. African-Americans and Latinos are the most affected groups”, said Kit Rafferty of South Florida Jobs with Justice. “We cannot let working families struggle without support through this recession. That will just deepen poverty and inequality in our state.”

Lori Danley was unemployed for over seven months and received unemployment compensation for six months. As a single-mom of two teenagers, she was able to provide the basics for her children thanks to unemployment compensation benefits. “I thought I was going to be in this situation just for one month, but it was more than what I expected. If it wasn’t for the unemployment compensation, I would have not been able to pay my rent or feed my children”, Danley explained.

“By reforming our antiquated Unemployment Compensation System, Florida is eligible to receive more than $440 million from federal stimulus funds. But the funds are held back because the State Legislature hasn’t passed these reforms measures into law”, Jones insists. “More than 30 states of the country have already modernized their unemployment insurance systems. Governor Crist can get the ball running and take the first steps to modernize or unemployment system and introduce it in the 21st century”.

Fraizer, a currently unemployed ex-felon, touched on the common debate about the role of unemployment in society, “These legislators say that unemployment makes people lazy, and then they don’t get jobs. We don’t have jobs because there are none. It’s the legislators who are lazyt, they are dragging their feet when it comes to looking out for Floridians.”

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Category: Florida

Throughout this Election cycle, it wasn't uncommon for many non-profits to rely on Twitter, Facebook and other social media outlets to "get out the vote." But some groups still went about it the old-fashioned way. WLRN-Miami-Herald reporter Christine DiMattei takes a closer look.

Category: FNM in the News