By: Sharon Aron Baron
The Caribbean American Democratic Club of Broward County held its 15th Annual Community Builders Luncheon and drew a who’s who of prominent local Democrats, elected officials, and leaders.
Club President Dwight Moore says their task at hand is “the removal of Rick Scott from the Governor’s Mansion” and asked that everyone get their families, neighbors, churches, and the whole community involved and vote the entire Democratic ticket. He said that they need to send a strong message to the Republicans “that this great country of ours is not for sale.” This country belongs to “us,” the people.
Held at the Woodlands Country Club in Tamarac, State Representative Hazelle Rogers of District 95 was the Master of Ceremonies, along with featured speakers: Chairman of the Broward County Democratic Party Mitch Cesar; Congressman Alcee Hastings; Congresswoman Yvette Clarke from New York; Candidate for Governor, Nan Rich; Charlie Crist’s running mate Annette Taddeo; Candidate for Florida Commissioner of Agriculture & Consumer Services Thaddeus Hamilton; Lauderdale Lakes Commissioner Levoyd Williams, and Miramar City Commissioner Alexandria Davis who is running for running for Broward County Commission District 8.
In attendance was Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness; Lauderhill Commissioners Howard Berger and Ken Thurston; School Board Member Rosalind Osgood; Candidate for Miramar City Commission, Magaly Prezeau; Candidate for Lauderdale Lakes City Commission Jeffrey Williams; and Candidate for Tamarac Mayor, Mike Gelin.
Honorary Speaker was Lieutenant Colonel Leo Gray who was a member of the Tuskegee Airmen. Gray enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1943 and served 41 years with the military all while obtaining his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts and a Masters degree from the University of Nebraska.
Gray, who began his 30-year career with the US Department of Agriculture back in 1953 worked as an agricultural economist with the Economic Research Service, an economist with APHIS in California, and as a Director in the Program Planning Office of the Food Safety & Inspection Service.
He is also the past president, vice president, and treasurer of the East Coast Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen, the founder and past president of the Forum on Blacks in Agriculture, member of the Air Force Association, Retired Officers Association, and the NAACP.
State Representative Hazelle Rogers received the 2014 Lifetime Award. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, she migrated to the U.S. in 1969 to join her mother in New York, and eventually relocated to Florida in 1982. Rogers earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business from the online University of Phoenix. Her political career began in 1996 when she was elected to office in Lauderdale Lakes making her the first person from the English-speaking Caribbean American community to be elected to office in the southeastern United States. She was elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2008 and reelected in 2010 and 2012. Rogers serves as a ranking member on the House Transportation and Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee and the Economic Development and Tourism Subcommittee.