Broward Votes, the series of political forums aimed at heightening political awareness among central Broward County residents, will host its final open forum on Wednesday, July 23rd. The upcoming forum, which will be moderated by political commentator Joy-Ann Reid and Rodney Baltimore of HOT 105FM, will focus on the state political race concerning the Florida Senate and House of Representatives. The forum aims to specifically reach out to residents of the 33311 zip code, which is considered the poorest area in Broward County.

Baltimore spoke of the need to heighten political awareness among African-American residents. He said, “It’s time for the black residents of Broward County to charter a new course. I think the black community here is a multi-cultural Diaspora that needs empowerment and that’s why this awareness is important to us.”

He continued, “South Florida is a very unique place unlike many other counties. Lots of things happen here that don’t happen anywhere else, so the candidates need to be more sensitized to our unique issues such as the FCAT exams and migration. It is their business is to investigate our needs if they want our support.”

Candidates confirmed to participate in the forum are Christopher Smith, Rubin Young, Marion Thorpe Jr., Terry Williams Edden, Roshawn Banks, Hazelle Rogers and Ken Thurston. At the event, there will be a raffle giveaway of two $50 gas cards and event sponsor Winn-Dixie will  provide drawstring sports bags for the attendees.

Broward Votes is a joint initiative hosted by The Urban League of Broward County and its Young Professionals Network, 100 Black Men of Greater Fort Lauderdale, Jamaican Diaspora of Southern United States, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) South Florida chapter, the T.J. Reddick Bar Association and the Caribbean Bar Association.

The official website,, will accompany the initiative throughout its duration in the month of July in an attempt to further the communication between local candidates and the public. The site offers recaps and video clips from each forum, and has a blog where community members can discuss candidate’s responses to questions that were posed at the forum by the attendees.


What: Broward Votes State Political Race debate

When: Wednesday, July 23rd from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Where: African-American Research Library and Cultural Center, 2650 Sistrunk Blvd., Fort Lauderdale

Cost: Free

Contact: Andrea Owes, by phone: 954-625-2548 or by email