As we begin the New Year, we are reflecting on all the challenges and successes experienced by our community in the past year. Together with your support we were able to accomplish so much despite being a difficult year for our community politically and in public policy in Florida. As we look forward to 2023, we are reminded once again of how grateful we are for you – our generous volunteers, donors, and advocates. You make it possible for us to fulfill our mission to promote, protect and defend equality for people in South Florida who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer.
Here is a look back at how your support of SAVE made an impact in 2022:
Political Advocacy: Educating Leaders and Policymakers
SAVE is committed to promoting local, state, and federal policy change by building community consensus and supporting political leaders committed to ending LGBTQ discrimination.
With the help of our dedicated group of volunteer endorsement panelists and field volunteers, in 2022 we:
- Conducted 97 candidate interviews
- Elected 34 pro-equality candidates, 4 whom are openly LGBTQ candidates including:
Congressman Jared Moskowitz - US House District 23
Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz – US House District 25
Senator Shevrin Jones – FL Senate District 34
Minority Leader Lauren Book – FL Senate District 35
Rep. Hillary Cassel – FL House District 101
Rep. Robin Bartleman – FL House District 103
Rep. Dotie Joseph – FL House District 108
Rep. Ashely Gantt – FL House District 109
Rep. Christopher Benjamin – FL House District 107
Through our collective efforts, SAVE fought back against an onslaught of anti-LGBTQ policies including the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, censorship by School Boards, and the Florida Medical Board’s ban on trans healthcare in 2022:
- 74 volunteer phonebank shifts
- Protesting in Miami-Dade, Broward, Orlando and Tallahassee
- Lobbying key elected officials for their support
- Providing buses for community members to attend rallies throughout the state
- Making sure our community is heard by testifying during public comments
SAVE continued to work to ensure cities in South Florida are welcoming and inclusive for the LGBTQ community through serving on the Miami Beach, City of Miami, and Miami-Dade LGBTQ Advisory Boards, and guide local leaders to improve local policies. Congratulations to all of the South Florida cities that received an "All-Star" rating in the 2022 Human Rights Campaign Municipal Equality Index:
SAVE Volunteers: A Community United for Human Rights
SAVE volunteers are at the core of who we are; they give their time and treasure to mobilize voters, elect pro-equality candidates, and educate the public about the issues impacting the LGBTQ community are essential to our success.
- In addition to having a person on the ground in Miami-Dade, we hired a full-time Field and Community Organizer for Broward to fuel our expansion
- 98 volunteer actions were completed by 175 volunteers completing 674 shifts to aid in:
- LGBTQ Advocacy Phone Banking to fight back against the “Don’t Say Gay” bill
- Prejudice Reduction Deep Canvassing to combat the Housing Crisis
- Get Out the Vote Canvassing and Phone Banking to support pro-equality candidates up and down the ballot in Miami-Dade and Broward
Florida AIDS WALK: SAVE Raised Nearly $650,000
SAVE’s fundraising campaign via the 2022 Florida AIDS Walk and Music Festival was remarkably successful. Through the generosity of our donors, the SAVE Foundation raised a total of $324,485.87, matched dollar-for-dollar by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), making our total campaign tally $648,971.74.
We are thrilled that SAVE was once again selected to be a beneficiary of this important initiative in 2023. The festival will be held on March 18, 2023, and every dollar we raise through the walk will be doubled by AHF!
SAVE’s 2022 Gala: Honoring Champions of Equality
We were fortunate in 2022 to be able return to an in-person event for the annual Champions of Equality Gala at the beautiful New World Center on Miami Beach. Hosted by Miami Beach Commissioner David Richardson with performances by Deborah Cox and Alex Zenoz.
Karla Hernandez-Mats – President, United Teachers of Dade
Stacy Hyde – Chief Executive Officer, Broward House
Georg Ketelhohn – Activist and Attorney, Siegfried Rivera
Ana Navarro – Political Strategist and Commentator
Lillian Tamayo – Former President/CEO, Planned Parenthood of South, East and North Florida
In addition to the honorees, five recipients of the Freidin Brown PA and SAVE Social Justice Scholarship – Misty Alicea, Monica Charleston, Juan Esquivel, Monica Larsen, and Mary Rosado - were announced during the program. Since 2019, Freidin Brown PA has donated more than $100,000 to this scholarship program for LGBTQ and allied scholars.
SAVE-THE-DATE for the next Champions of Equality Gala: May 14, 2023, taking place at the beautiful Frank Gehry-designed New World Center in Miami Beach.