COVID-19 Information and resources
March 8, 2020 - March 12, 2020
NLC's Congressional Cities Conference (NLC CCC) happens every year in March. This was my third NLC CC in the four years I have been a Commissioner. I missed last year as this conference happened at the same time as Broward Days in Tallahassee, and I felt it was more important to attend that.
This is the Policy Committee I am a member of at the National Level. As a Committee, we form the policy for the National League of Cities dealing with issues like sustainability and climate change. Water resources continues to be our top priority. We also discussed that this April marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.
One of the great things about NLC is that city leaders from across the nation come together to learn from NLC staff and from each other. Sometimes the only time we in Broward see each other is at conferences, even our neighboring cities!
I am always so impressed with the caliber of speakers for the General Sessions and this conference did not disappoint! Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Congresswoman and Candidate for President Tulsi Gabbard, Former Speaker of the House , Paul Ryan, former Candidate for President, Michael R. Bloomberg were among the speakers to address the crowd in DC.
Your City Commission was represented in the annual visits to lawmakers with Vice Mayor Bolton, along with me and Commissioner Gelin joining others from Florida for visits to Congressman Hastings, Congressman Deutch and Senator Marco Rubio. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the meeting with Senator Scott as I was suffering from a migraine due to my allergies.
Discussion was had that with our current crisis with COVID-19, the major impact both financially and in health will be communities of color as they have the least economic resilience and are already stretched. The REAL Council will me monitoring the issues facing those communities to see how to best combat the impacts.
I spent several days with hundreds of other municipal elected officials at the State Capital meeting with legislators and staff, trying to stop the flow of bills designed to take power away from local governments and consolidate power to the state. Numerous bills, filed this Session, are preempting what should be local issues. This loss of "Home Rule" should be of concern to everyone! These bills include things like local occupational licensing, vacation rentals and the regulation of pet stores selling puppies.
To see the bills I am following this Session, click here
Broward Days in Tallahassee is a chance for local elected officials, the business community, non-profits and community leaders to share concerns with our State officials.
During this week, I and others on our Commission met with Legislators to advocate for the three projects we are trying to get State money for and to discuss bills currently moving through the process in Tallahassee, to let them know the impact these changes in law will have on our City an it's residents.
I also spoke on the Vacation Rental bill in a House Committee, and it's lack of consumer protections. This is an issue that I will continue to fight.
December 3rd through 5th
The options for communities all over Florida fall into three categories, mitigation, adaptation or retreat. Mitigation includes strategies such as back flow valves in storm water pipes, increased sea wall heights to adjust for sea level rise or stronger building codes. Adaptation includes strategies such as bio swales or building homes on higher ground. Retreat will happen when we have exhausted all other options!
November 20th through the 23rd
The REAL Council was busy in San Antonio with several meetings including one with the Chief Equity Officers from several cities. In addition to the meetings, REAL hosted a display on the history of redlining.
I have the honor to sit on the board of this organization and WIMG was busy as well in San Antonio. There was a new executive board elected to serve in 2020 and I am looking forward to serving with the new President, Lindsey Horvath, Mayor Pro-Tempore of West Hollywood.
There were several breakout sessions at the Summit dealing with the environment, resiliency and sustainability. One of the breakouts talked about making the most of open spaces, no matter the size of the community. There was additional conversation on cities leading by example when it comes to the environment.
I don't normally talk about the vendors at a conference however there were a number of very informative vendors at this Summit. We spoke to several on economic development, got some additional information on the Sister Cities Program, and found a number of really interesting outdoor recreation vendors. I will be following up on these.
The Florida League of Cities (FLC) held it's Legislative Conference for the coming 2020 Legislative Session on November 14th and 15th. During that time the membership of the League voted on the priorities for 2020 for each of the policy committees. As a member of the Municipal Administration Policy Committee, it gave me a chance to hear the priorities of the other committees and the reasons why each of the issues was chosen as a priority.
Knowing the priorities of the League allows each of the members to speak with a unified voice on matter affecting cities statewide, even if a particular priority does not effect a city.
Click here to view the FLC priorities.
I attended the Human Trafficking Summit in Orlando, which is held annually for law enforcement, prosecutors, people who work with human trafficking survivors, survivors who are now advocates for others still being trafficked and elected officials. This is not a primer course. The topic of human trafficking can be very brutal to hear about and many of the examples given at the Summit hurt me to hear. I cannot imagine how the professionals deal with the things they see and hear on a daily basis.
The Opening Session included comments from Governor DeSantis, Attorney General Ashley Moody (the Summit is Sponsored in part by her office), and Bradley Miles, CEO & Executive Director of Polaris. Polaris is the largest national data gathering organization on human trafficking and the originator of the National Human Trafficking Hotline.
One of the Breakout Sessions I attended was entitled Danger! Understanding the Dynamics of Social Media Human Trafficking Recruitment. It is especially important for parents, family members and caregivers to understand the role of social media and video games play in the recruitment of human trafficking victims. Social media is also used to sell victims as well.
Because of what I have learned at this Summit and in the course of the last couple of years, that I have asked the City to host a Human Trafficking Summit in Tamarac on January 11, 2020. This is also National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. We will be partnering with experts in the filed to help educate our community on this health and safety epidemic, which
August 13th through August 18th
Homelessness is an issue that is affecting communities large and small all over the country. The speakers at this symposium are experts in the field and spoke on solutions that are working in communities across Florida.
Each year elected officials are required by the State of Florida to receive ethics and public records training. It's always good to have a refresher in these areas.
For me as an elected official, I feel it necessary to communicate with the residents I represent. I use a variety of ways to do this including emails and social media. It is important for residents to know that when responding, their comments become part of public record if they meet the criteria outlined above.
If you have followed my newsletters, you know that the issue of racial equity has been one that I have been learning about since my first National League of Cities (NLC)Conference and while I now sit on the NLC Race, Equity and Leadership Council, I continue to learn every chance I get.
While most of us can sign the song, Video Killed the Radio Star, it contains an important message on innovation. As a leader in my community I need to be aware of new trends and be open to new ideas and ways of doing things. Not that I am looking to change things for the sake of change, but to be mindful of the changing needs of our community and be able to change with it.
These are a few of the Breakout Sessions I attended while at the Conference. I also attended the Municipal Administration Policy meeting where we voted on our priority issue for the coming 2020 Legislative Session and the Resolutions and Legislative Committees where the committee voted on all the matters from each of the Policy Committees. This vote determines the Legislative Platform for the Florida League of Cities.
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This website is posted by Commissioner Julie Fishman with personal funds and not paid with public funds. Please be advised that any questions sent through this site to her email will be sent to her City of Tamarac email and as such will be captured by the City's public server and shall be subject to public records disclosure under Ch. 119, Florida Statute.