Looking to build on the recent momentum for LGBTQ equality over the past year, SAVE Action PAC announced today its endorsements in the November 3 elections for Miami Beach Mayor and Commission:
- Philip Levine for re-election as Mayor of Miami Beach
Among Mayor Levine's accomplishments for the LGBTQ community include working closely with SAVE in 2014 to pass an ordinance ensuring provision of insurance benefits for transgender employees of the City. He also worked during the summer of 2015 to pass a City of Miami Beach resolution urging the Florida legislature to pass the Competitive Workforce Act introduced in the State House.
The City’s has enjoyed a record-breaking performance on HRC’s municipal equality index under his watch, which has generated national headlines. For all of these reasons, SAVE Action PAC is proud to endorse his re-election bid.
- Scott Diffenderfer for Miami Beach Commission Group 4
Scott is a longtime resident of Miami Beach, and currently serves as the president of the Belle Isle Residents Association, where he works directly with city and county officials to solve real problems. He is openly gay and an active member of South Florida's LGBTQ community, with an extensive history of volunteerism on behalf of this and other causes.
Scott is a graduate of the Miami Beach Leadership Academy, served on the 2013 Charter Review Committee and served on an Evaluation Committee for Traffic Engineering Consulting Services in 2014. He was an original member of the Miami Beach Gay Business Development Council which established the Miami Beach Gay Pride Parade. We are proud to endorse his run for the Miami Beach Commission.
- Ricky Arriola for Miami Beach Commission Group 5
Ricky Arriola is the Founder and CEO of Inktel Holdings Corp, a company headquartered in Miami and with offices throughout the United States. Ricky has taken an active role both locally and nationally in the areas of arts and culture; education and youth empowerment; business mentorship; and entrepreneurship.
Ricky was the Chairman of the Board of the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County. He was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH). On issues of LGBTQ equality, he has promised to engage SAVE's new Hispanic Business Coalition initiative to promote equality as a business value in South Florida. He has also pledge to encourage other municipalities to support nondiscrimination and tax equity reimbursement resolutions. We are proud to endorse him for the Miami Beach Commission.
- John Elizabeth Aleman for Miami Beach Commission Group 6
John is a business professional and an active member of our community. Her corporate career was in information technology and she currently provides strategic technology consulting to her former employer, Ryder System, Inc., a Miami-based Fortune 500 company. John has been active in her children’s schools, including serving as President of the North Beach Elementary PTA, and is a strong supporter of public education. Her vision includes connecting to local PTA's to initiate parent-community dialogue surrounding issues for LGBT families. She has also pledged to donate her leftover campaign funds to LGBT youth homelessness initiatives.
John emphasized in her interview with our panelists that she envisions leveraging her experience in business, education and parenting on issues of harrassment and bullying of LGBTQ youth and adults. She mentioned strengthening access to healthcare for transgender city employees. Her nuanced and knowledgeable answers to questions on LGBTQ issues both on paper and in-person duly impressed our panelists. We are proud to endorse John for the Miami Beach Commission.
Please join SAVE Action PAC and #TeamEquality in supporting Mayor Levine in his re-election bid, as well as Scott, Ricky, and John Elizabeth in their bids for the City Commission! Your contribution of $50, $100, or $250 will go straight towards our grassroots effort to help elect these candidates. Click here to donate on behalf of SAVE Action PAC's #TeamEquality now. >>
"Each of these candidates was hand-picked by a panel of community members and allies and has a proven record in support of equality for all," said SAVE Executive Director Tony Lima. "Support for LGBTQ equality is a winning position, and I'm confident that by standing together with these great leaders we can score another victory for Miami Beach on November 3rd."
SAVE Action PAC is so proud to throw the LGBTQ community's support behind these great pro-equality candidates, but we'll need your help to make their pro-equality case to the voters of Miami Beach.
Your luck runs out on a NEW day this year, FRIDAY, October 30, for SAVE's 21st Halloween Ball, presented by Magic City Casino.
Join several hundred of the scariest and sexiest ghouls in South Florida for a night of free flowing cocktails, mesmerizing dance beats, sickening costumes, amazing performances and a killer Costume Contest (with over $1000 in cash and prizes) at the best Halloween party you'll ever attend.
And it all benefits SAVE's endeavors to promote, protect and defend equality for LGBTQ Floridians.
For such a worthy cause, who would be unlucky enough to miss out? Don't let your luck run out -- join us Friday, October 30 at Magic City Casino!
My name is Elizabeth Regalado. Most people know me as Liz. I'm so proud to introduce myself to you today as the new Chair of SAVE's Board of Directors. You can read more about my background here. >
It's with great humility that I accept the call to service as the first woman to chair SAVE's Board of Directors. In my years on SAVE's board, I've never been so excited about the work ahead on behalf of South Florida's LGBTQ community -- and that work starts NOW.
As an eleven-year veteran of SAVE's leadership, I know firsthand there's lots of work to do to in order to achieve full equality in the workplace and beyond not just for LGBTQ Floridians, but also for women, minorities, and the disadvantaged which count among their ranks a disproportionate number of LGBTQ people in need of help. I am excited for the opportunity to make a difference.
I know that with supporters like you, we will achieve our goals. The task for all of us is to make sure our leaders and policymakers hear our voices loud and clear in support of equality for LGBTQ South Floridians -- and you can make sure yours is heard by joining me at the County Commission on Tuesday. RSVP here. >>
I'm very much looking forward to serving you and the entire local LGBTQ community as the Chair of SAVE's Board of Directors. Thank you so much for your support.
Chair of the Board of Directors of SAVE
This past Thursday evening, with the help of dedicated supporters like you, we welcomed over 200 guests to the Bacardi headquarters building to join SAVE in honoring four extraordinary young professionals lighting the way to LGBTQ equality in South Florida.
We were so proud to honor Father Grey Maggiano, Jessica Fernandez, AJ Blechner and Nadege Green as SAVE's 2015 Luminary Award winners...
...and we were so proud to celebrate the most successful Luminary Awards reception yet -- only made possible by support from people like you and amazing pro-equality businesses and organizations, like our presenting sponsor AIDS Healthcare Foundation:
Special thanks to Bacardí for donating the beautiful space, delicious food, and top-shelf cocktails that helped make the event such a great time.
It was a beautiful celebration of all the things that make our community strong, as well as those members of the next generation working to make our community even stronger.
From the entire staff here at SAVE, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your support.
Tony, Aurelio, Justin, Charo, Devin, Alex and Emily -- the SAVE Staff
Last night was a huge success, but the fight for LGBTQ equality isn't over, and the fun never stops...
SAVE THE DATE!
SAVE's 21st Annual Halloween Ball tries its luck on a NEW DAY this year -- FRIDAY, OCTOBER 30 -- at Magic City Casino. Stay tuned! Ticket sales and giveaways coming soon!
Stay tuned -- ticket sales open soon! We hope to see you October 30th!
My name is Victor Diaz-Herman. You might recognize me as the Executive Director of Pridelines, a nonprofit community center historically serving local LGBTQ youth which recently broadened its focus to serve adults as well.
You might also recognize me as an honoree from SAVE's inaugural 2013 Luminary Awards reception. I was so proud to be recognized two years ago by SAVE for the progress that Pridelines, under my leadership, has helped foster for the local LGBTQ community.
Yet, with many anti-LGBTQ proposals in the Florida legislature, now is the time to push for that progress harder than ever -- and it's critical for SAVE to have our support in order to do so.
I'm joining SAVE again this year as a supporter at the 2015 Luminary Awards TOMORROW NIGHT at the Coral Gables Bacardí HQ. Will you join me? Buy your tickets here. >>
Only with your help can we continue to support the next generation of LGBTQ and allied freedom fighters like SAVE supported me two years ago. Please join me tomorrow evening. Buy your tickets HERE. >>
Thanks for your support. I hope to see you tomorrow night!
My name is Pamela Sweeney. It's hard to describe how amazing it felt to stand before our community last year as one of SAVE's 2014 Luminaries of Equality.
I was so proud to help make the 2014 Luminary Awards SAVE's most successful ever. Yet, with many anti-LGBTQ proposals in the Florida legislature, now is the time to fight harder than ever -- and SAVE needs our CONTINUING support to do so.
I'm joining SAVE again this year as a supporter at the 2015 Luminary Awards THIS THURSDAY at the Coral Gables Bacardí HQ. Will you join me? Buy your tickets here. >>
Only with YOUR support can we continue to sustain the next generation of LGBTQ and allied freedom fighters. Please join me this Thursday. Click HERE to buy your tickets. >>
2014 SAVE Luminary of Equality Honoree
India Clarke, 25, was found dead in a Tampa park on Tuesday after suffering blunt force trauma to her upper body, according to police. They are investigating the killing as a murder.
India is at least the ninth confirmed transgender woman of color lost to homicide this year in the United States. She is the second confirmed transgender woman of color murdered this year in Florida.
In the wake of her death, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office and some press outlets have repeatedly misidentified India by her former name and misgendered her as a man, even after being corrected by members of the public and media.
In an exchange with Buzzfeed, police said they “don’t have any indication” that Clarke’s gender identity was a factor in her murder. Asked why not, a police spokesman said:
Because of his prior prostitution and drug activity, we feel this may be more related. There were other circumstance around the crime scene that I am not at liberty to discuss that leads us to believe this is more related to drugs or prostitution. There is absolutely nothing to indicate any other motive at this time.
Due to the pervasive discrimination that they face in their everyday lives, transgender women, and especially transgender women of color, suffer from disproportionately high rates of unemployment, social isolation, mental illness, drug abuse, sexual abuse, and physical violence.
Much of the discrimination stems from the refusal of many to honor transgender and gender nonconforming identities. In light of these facts, it is unconscionable to SAVE that investigators would refuse to consider India's identity in life as a potential factor in her murder. Furthermore, the persistence in misgendering India despite the reality is inexcusable.
The murder of transgender Americans needs to stop. The refusal to acknowledge and respect their identities needs to end -- and the only way it will happen is by engaging our neighbors one-on-one to change hearts and minds in favor of equality and acceptance.
This Saturday, SAVE continues its effort to reduce transgender prejudice in South Florida with a door-to-door community engagement canvass at Barry University.
Will you join us? The only way to end the violence against transgender Americans is to get involved NOW. Click here to sign up. >>
Transgender Prejudice Reduction Canvass
THIS SATURDAY, July 25, 9AM-3PM
Barry University, Thompson Hall, Room #230
11300 NE 2nd Ave
India's murder is the latest in the string of heartbreaking tragedies for the transgender community in Florida and nationwide.
NOW is the time to take action to END the violence, and we need people like you to help spread the message. Thank you for your support. SAVE sends our deepest condolences to the friends and family of India Clarke.
On the evening of Thursday, August 20, SAVE will honor four of South Florida's brightest young professionals working towards a more equal future for South Florida's LGBT community.
The Young Guardians' Luminary Awards, to be held this year at the Bacardí headquarters building in Coral Gables, were created to recognize the important work of young activists, as well as to provide an opportunity for the next generation of LGBT trailblazers to meet those who came before them.
It’s been such an amazing year for equality, with huge victories for transgender rights and the freedom to marry. None of these advances would have been possible without young leaders like our 2015 Luminaries fighting the good fight at the front lines of the battle for equality.
We're proud to announce that SAVE's 2015 Luminaries of Equality are:
A.J. Blechner, for his tireless dedication and long-term commitment to SAVE’s transgender prejudice reduction initiative as a volunteer canvass leader and advocate for transgender justice.
Father Grey Maggiano, for his unwavering commitment to LGBTQ equality as a value of the faithful in his role as Associate Rector at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in downtown Miami. In his short time at the Cathedral, Father Grey has worked with the Cathedral leadership and the Bishop’s Office to expand efforts around equality inside and outside the church walls.
Jessica Fernandez, for her innovative efforts to grow support for LGBTQ equality in South Florida by engaging constituencies traditionally overlooked by the movement in her position as President of the Miami-Dade Young Republicans and co-owner of the Miami public affairs consultancy AI Advisory.
Nadege Green, for her highly accessible and carefully-sourced coverage of developments in the local LGBTQ equality movement, as well as her reporting on the plight of queer Americans in general, as an award-winning journalist and producer for the Miami Herald and WLRN.
It would be our pleasure if you would join SAVE on August 20 as we honor these trailblazers lighting the way to equality for LGBTQ South Floridians.
You don't want to miss this elegant event! With an exclusive penthouse event space overlooking downtown Coral Gables AND open bar all night long provided by Bacardí, it's sure to be our best ceremony yet!
Nothing we've achieved in recent months has been possible without supporters like you. We hope you will join the SAVE family on August 20th as we celebrate the young professional LGBTQ equality activists working at the forefront of the movement to make the world a better place for everyone.
Buy your 2015 Luminary Awards tickets today. >>
Thanks for your support!