An interview with Jonathan Rodrigues from the Brazilian Community Center in Deerfield Beach.
During election season, we tend to hear a lot about the Cuban vote or the Jewish vote. Both are powerful voting blocs that attract the attention—and promises—of politicians.
A young Brazilian community organizer has his eye on what he hopes will become another voting bloc.
Jonathan Rodrigues lives in Pompano Beach and volunteers at the Brazilian Community Center in Deerfield Beach. He got his undergraduate degree at the University of Chicago and spent much of his time there thinking about home—studying South Florida's Brazilian population and considering his own role in that communtity .
Rodrigues is a first-generation Brazilian American. “Historically that first generation is the generation that propels the community forward into civic engagement,” he said.
According to the American Community Survey by the U.S. Census, there are an estimated 21,000 Brazilians living in Broward County and another 12,000 in Miami-Dade. Rodrigues suspects that number is actually a lot higher.
“All you have to do is drive down Sample Road or North Federal Highway in Deerfield Beach and Pompano and you’ll see the proliferation of Brazilian small businesses.”
State election officials say they have received just over 1 million early votes and more than 1.5 million absentee ballots. Meanwhile, election officials are visiting Palm Beach County again. The county's election office has been plagued with printing problems on its absentee ballots.
If you're lucky enough to live within a 10-minute drive of a Burger King, your life is about to get even sweeter.
BK is rolling out a home delivery program. It starts this week with six urban restaurants in Miami and will expand gradually to about three dozen other stores in Miami-Dade and Broward counties by the end of the year.
It's a compressed early voting period in Florida this year and that's one reason the lines at the polling places are so long.
But it's not the only reason.
Eleven constitutional amendments are on the ballot and each is printed in its entirety. In previous elections, voters would have to deal only with a concise 75-word summary of each proposed amendment, each rigorously vetted by the Florida Supreme Court for clarity.
Dan Christensen of Browardbulldog.org reported last week on some of the interesting characters that were (sort of) part of a privatization deal between the Department of Children and Families and a company in Broward.
DCF put out a bid several months ago to privatize the management of mental health and substance abuse services in Broward County.
A non-profit group called Broward Behavioral Health Coalition eventually won the $45 million deal from DCF.
In the spirit of today's festivities, here is a video from Florida New Majority (they have an office here in Miami) that warns Floridians that the only way to avoid a "Romney Zombie Apocalypse" is to vote.
The group says:
In a state plagued by natural disasters, exploding pythons, and the strangest politics on the planet, Florida voters are bracing for the latest horror -- zombie apocalypse!
Over 70,000 people in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe counties voted yesterday, bringing the total to over a quarter-million in the region that have cast ballots at the polls early since Saturday.