City of Orlando Nov. 7 Election

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November 1, 2017, Orlando — City of Orlando residents: It’s your turn.

You get to vote for your commissioner if you’re in District 1, 3 or 5 during the upcoming election on Tuesday, Nov. 7. 

If you are registered to vote, you can vote by mail (absentee ballot), vote early (which got started this week and ends on Sunday, Nov. 5) or you can go to your city polling place on Tuesday.

The election campaign season has been a lively one, with all three commissioners having competition to keep their seats and defend their work at debates. Competition could be a sign that more and more residents want to take stake in their city, showing their concern about issues such as gentrification/city development, homelessness, economic development and crime. 

Jim Gray (District 1) has two competitors: Sunshine Grund and Tom Keen. Robert Stuart (District 3) has one: Asima Azam. There were over nine people running for Regina Hill’s (District 5) seat. Two withdrew their candidacy. Another one entered but it’s unclear whether he qualified. Here are the other six candidates vying for Hill’s seat: Jibreel Ali, Ericka Dunlap, Sarah Abuobadia Elbardri; Betty Gelzer, Cynthia Harris and Ondria James. 

Go online and research the candidates.

It’s time to vote. After the election, you can attend city council meetings and express your concerns on the various issues. Hold the people elected accountable.

Early voting is always a good idea because you can go when it’s most convenient for you. It’s going on now through Sunday at the Orange County Supervisor of Elections Office, 119 W. Kaley Street, Orlando, FL 32806.  

Early voting hours are: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 4, from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 5, from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. 

Today is the deadline to request an absentee ballot to be mailed to your residence. That ballot as to be returned to the elections office by 7 p.m. on Election Day.

The hours on Election Day is 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. at your city polling place.

If you need more information, call the Supervisor of Elections Office: (407) 836-2070 or visit the website: http://www.ocfelections.com.

 

© Orlando Community News, 2017

 

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Posted in Community news that can help, Election Connection

Long-time Orlando Station Wins National Award

WOKB’s recent achievement makes you feel like saying: Yes we can. Yes we did. 

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WOKB Team Members. Front Row from left: Glenn Allgood, Shanti Persaud, Lady Drina and Rodney Johnson. Back row from left: Chris Shaw and Brother Gerrille. Photo by: Kalila Foy

The gospel radio station at 1680 on the AM dial recently won the title of Best Radio Station of the Year (Large Market) at the 32nd Annual Stellar Award show in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

The Stellar Gospel Music Awards show,  which aired April 9 on TV One and scheduled to air again on May 8 and May 14 on Bounce TV,  is produced by Chicago-based Central City Productions, Inc. and has become the premier Gospel event that recognizes and honors African-American artists, according to the show’s website.

Nominees for all of the categories for this year’s show went through a process of applying, screening and online voting (by the general public). WOKB’s award was one of six handed out to top radio stations from around the country. 

WOKB listeners rallied behind the station when Operations Manager Shanti Persaud put the word out that the station had been nominated. The listeners and fans voted online as often as possible and the rest…as they say, is history! 

The station had applied once before but this time around, the station made it through the application process and went all the way through, Persaud said during a recent interview.

“I feel like, really?” she said. 

Persaud’s acceptance speech was concise but very heartfelt.

“I thank God for leading me, my dad for pushing me into this position and giving me the opportunity and the Stellars. But really, this awards goes to my listeners, my supporters, especially my team at WOKB! We are Central Florida’s Longest Running Gospel Radio Station. It’s hard to go wrong when you have a team that shares the same passion for our community. Thank you so much. This is such an honor. Thank you!”

WOKB is unique in that you will not only hear inspirational music but also sermons by local and national preachers, national programming, sports commentary; real talk on various topics, as well as helpful information on finance, real estate and the law. 

WOKB, with offices at 50 South Clarke Road in Ocoee, has been broadcasting in Central Florida since 1956.

Kudos to Persaud (who’s often seen out and about, along with team members, in the Central Florida community) and the entire WOKB team: Glenn Allgood, Brother Gerrille, Chris Shaw; Lady Drina, Lady D and everyone else who work at the station including those behind the scenes. Way to go to all of you who make up the WOKB family! God did that – with the team effort! 

 

© Orlando Community News, 2017

 

Posted in Community news that can help

Guest Editorial: Barack Obama – A Good President

Editor’s Note: It’s February 2017 and Donald Trump is President of The United States. While many wish it was a dream and feel uneasy about his presidency, some are elated and anxious about his promised changes. As President Barack Obama prepared to leave office and conducted farewell speeches, audience members could be heard chanting, “Four More Years! Four More Years!” Once, he responded: “Can’t do that.” True and probably wouldn’t want to do four more years either because of obstruction from the majority Republican controlled Senate. One of the highlights of this online publication is its Guest Editorials – occasional thought-provoking editorials from people who live in the community or surrounding Central Florida area. Here’s one from Adele Doctor, who recently wrote on her Facebook page about the change in the U.S. presidency. Her perspective caught my attention so I am sharing. 

Feeling Proud


January 20, 2017 — My thoughts on this historic inaugural day 2017:adele

I have been watching tributes to the Obamas for the past few days and I wanted to express my feelings on his presidency. I have listened to people who assumed that all Black people supported Obama just because he was Black. Now, don’t get me wrong. I AM proud of my race but that is something that I would neither change or deny. I am proud of Barack Obama because he has always been strong and optimistic even ’til 11:59 a.m. on today. Eve-n in the midst of doubt, disrespect and sheer opposition, he remained strong. I didn’t say – right. I may have disagreed with some of his positions, but no man is perfect. I feel he did a lot of things right.

There are some people who will not even admit that he was a good president. Some still won’t admit he was “their” president. The truth and fact are – he was/is a good man and was a good president!

But, now I must accept the fact that Trump is now our president. I will pray that somehow, with God’s help, he will be able to fulfill the duties of the highest office in the free world.

The same awesome responsibility was bestowed upon Obama eight years ago and now history has a lot of accomplishments to add to his legacy. fovever44presobama

I am so proud to have lived to witness a part of history that I was able to experience with my kids and grandkids. You cannot erase that from my mind or the history books! With God’s help, he made it through not only one term, but two – despite the people who opposed him from his Day 1.

With God ALL things are possible. This holds true for the years to come.

From this United States Navy veteran, I salute you Barack Obama and family. Fair winds and Following Seas President Obama!

Adele Doctor is a long-time Central Florida resident. She is known for her work with bone marrow transplant education and survivor support, along with other health initiatives especially for children. She’s retired from the Navy and currently works as the administrative assistant to the Dean of Math at Valencia College. She’s also a proud University of Central Florida alumni.

© Owrlando Community News, 2017
Posted in Community news that can help

Gun Safety and Buy Back Today

February 9, 2017 (Orlando) — If you don’t want it, turn it in – anonymously. The Orange County Sheriff’s Office’s gun safety – buy back event is underway today for anyone wanting to turn in a weapon.

It started at 7 a.m. and will continue until 7 p.m. at the Orange Blossom Trail Development Board, 2719 South Orange Blossom Trail.

This is open only to people turning in guns. The sheriff’s office plans to hand out $50 gift cards for guns turned it. (Real and unloaded)

Here’s what you need to do when you take your gun down there: make sure it’s UNLOADED and stored in a plastic bag inside your car. A deputy will remove the gun from the car for you. No questions asked, no identification required.

There will be FREE gun locks available on site for any additional firearms you may own, according to information from the sheriff’s office.

For more information contact: Brooke Eckenrod 407-254-7387 brooke.eckenrod@ocfl.net

 

© Orlando Community News, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Community news that can help | 1 Comment

Stay Healthy This Holiday Season

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Community Health and Wellness Partner, Wayne Densch YMCA Family Center Offers Tips on Staying Healthy During the Holidays

Between the Thanksgiving and New Years Eve holidays, most Americans gain anywhere between 2-8 lbs., with an average gain of 3.5 lbs. As we know, weight gain, can lead to various illnesses. What can you do to make sure you make healthy choices this holiday season?

Recognize common causes of weight gain:

  • Social PressureThe holidays are a socially sanctioned time to relax, stop caring about health and eat what you want. But people still feel guilty about this so, they’ll pressure you to join them so they can feel better about their own indulgences.
  • StressHoliday commitments means stress; stress means comfort eating and no one comfort eats – celery sticks. Cortisol (the stress hormone) also promotes weight gain, especially the dreaded “belly fat.”
  • Broken routinesTraveling means you spend a lot of time sitting; you get thrown off your regular exercise routine and you’re not always in control of your food.
  • Emotional associationsMaybe it’s no struggle for you to pass up any random candy on the street, but if Grandma made it just for you, it gets a lot harder, especially if you have fond memories of eating it in years past.

What can you do?

  • Surround yourself with like-minded friends/family members
    • Set yourself up for success!
  • Don’t get hungry
    • Make sure you eat enough protein to curb your sensations.
  • Have a plan
    • Make sure you plan your meals and if you are going to indulge, make sure it’s in healthy increments.

The Wayne Densch YMCA staff wishes you a Safe, Fun and Healthy Holiday Season! Submitted by: Associate Executive Director, Jeremy Garren. The Wayne Densch YMCA Family Center is located at 870 N. Hastings St., Orlando, FL 32808. Phone: (407) 299-4350.

© Orlando Community News, 2016

 

Posted in Community news that can help, Faith and Family | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

General Election 2016: You Choose But Here Are My Recommendations

onelectionday2016Orlando — As promised and within the final hour of the 2016 General Election, I am posting my recommendations for some KEY races in today’s historic election.

Why? First, I know that some of you all waited until the last minute to even register to vote, yet alone research the candidates and issues before voting. For some, the only race you know about is the one for United States presidency (Hillary R. Clinton versus Donald J. Trump). Second, since this is a historic election, I’m giving you all my historic recommendations! We are going to help choose either the first woman President of The United States or the first President of The United States with no prior political or military experience. This is my first time-sharing recommendations for elections!

A little background for your consideration: I typically vote on the issues. It so happens that where I stand on issues mostly align with the Democratic Party. (I can imagine some of you questioning that but I vote on more than one issue. I am a believer – a follower of Jesus Christ.)

Once upon a time, I was so frustrated with the way the party leadership handled the Office of President, I vowed to become an Independent. (My family loved me still, but made sure I knew that they were not happy with my choice.) However, when I found out  that I could not vote in my state primaries and local races, if I did not select a political party or registered as an Independent, I changed my tune.

It only took me to miss one election for me to switch my party affiliation back to the Democratic Party: I felt I let my ancestors down by skipping that one election. Not voting in my family is like committing a crime. Why? Because people marched, fought and died for Black Americans’ right to vote. Let that soak in. Black Americans had to struggle, get beat and die for rights that were already theirs, especially in the South.

When it comes to voting, the question for all of us should be when, not should I.haveyouvotedtoday

In this year’s presidential race, people are talking down former President Bill Clinton, President Barack Obama, the media, our country’s election process – all to find reason not to vote for Hillary Clinton, who is the most qualified, knowledgeable and prepared candidate in the race for the White House. She is running, not them.

Most of what Black Americans (African Americans, people of color) want for themselves and their families are the same things White Americans want…life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. No one wants their children to fail in school and in life, in general. Everyone wants to live in peace and not fear for their lives where they live, work or play.

So I don’t agree with the talk of President Obama not doing anything for us as a people. He has been and will go down in history as being one the best presidents THE UNITED STATES HAS EVER HAD. For all Americans. For that, I am very proud!

Now for some recommendations!


PRESIDENT and VICE PRESIDENT - HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON and TIMOTHY MICHAEL KAINE

United States Senator - Patrick Murphy

Representative in Congress - Val Demings

State Attorney 9th Judicial Circuit - Aramis Ayala

State Senator District 11 - Randolph Bracy

State Senator District 30 - Ryan Neal Yaday

State Representative District 46 - Bruce Antone

Yes to Retain All State Supreme Court Justices

Clerk of Courts - Tiffany Moore Russell

Sheriff - Jerry L. Demings

Property Appraiser - Rick Singh

Tax Collector - Scott Randolph

Supervisor of Elections - Bill Cowles

Circuit Judge 9th Judicial Circuit - Joseph Haynes Davis

County Judge Group 1 - Eric DuBois

Board of County Commissions District 5 - Emily Bonilla

Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor Group 3 - Nicole Victoria McLauren 

______________________________________________________________

Amendments:

State - 
#1 - No
#2 - Yes
#3 - Yes
#5 - Yes

Orange County -
No on all 3

-Trish Martin, Publisher & Editor 
Orlando Community News 2016

 

 

 

Posted in Community news that can help, Election Connection | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Pine Hills Stand Together Against Violence

We celebrate or shed light on many things in the month of October – domestic violence and breast cancer awareness but it’s also Crime Prevention Month.

In normal fashion, the Kingdom Network Empowering Communities Inc. (KNEC) group is having its annual Stop the Killing, Start Living and Choose Peace rally today, Saturday, Oct. 22 in the heart of Pine Hills at the old J-Mart plaza  (now called Max Plaza) at 2620 N. Hiawassee Road. Time: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

The theme for the rally, in its 9th year, is simply,  “Celebration of Hope.”

Rally organizers use John 10:10 as a reference scripture:  “The thief does not come except to kill, and to steal and and to destroy. I have come that they may have life,  and that they may have it more abundantly.”

This has got to be one of the most unique community rallies held in Central Florida consistently to bring attention to efforts to stop or deter violence.

A good number of residents, community leaders, law enforcement officials, church leaders and others gather to sing and pray together,  share information and offer helpful services as well as listen to uplifting speeches.

There have been times in the past when people who participated in the rally would stand on some of the busiest street corners with signs or walk the streets encouraging people and speaking out against violence.

It’s a free event with music, live entertainment and good food normally donated by a local restaurant.

This event like the ones for other causes is about awareness. Everyone living, working and playing in Pine Hills and surrounding communities will know that people care about them, first of all and about what’s happening in the community. Goal is for improvement, for all of us to live better.

Radio Personality Steve January of Rejoice 1140 AM will serve as the master of ceremonies and Pastor David Uth of First Baptist Church of Orlando is the main speaker.

For more information or to donate to the effort contact Pastor Michael Kimbrough (407) 234-9619  or Dr. A.L. Helligar (407) 721-4817.

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Posted in Community news that can help

Election Connection: Getting Registered

Orlando, October 4 — Next week around this time the books will be closed for registration in one of the most historical and almost unbelievable General Elections in our country’s history.

Tuesday, October 11, is the registration deadline so if you still need to register or change your name/address, do it!

Many Supervisor of Elections offices have made it so easy for people eligible to vote to do so.

In Orange County, you can download the registration application from the Supervisor of Elections office website, fill it out, sign it and return it to a designated registration site such as the elections office on Kaley Street, as well as local public libraries and drivers license offices.

Here are the main eligibility requirements: You must be a U.S. citizen, a Florida resident and 18 years old at the time of the election (Nov. 8) and never been convicted of a felony (unless your civil rights have been restored).

I hear you asking – why register? It’s so you CAN voice your personal opinion in the General Election, including who should become the next President of the United States, members of Congress (U.S. Senate and House of Representives) and members of the many open state and local public offices.

These people will represent you.

You will also have a say on some key charter amendments like making some seats such as Sheriff, Tax Collector, Supervisor of Elections, Clerk of Circuit Court and Comptroller nonpartisan (no party affiliation) with term limits.

Other key issues are being proposed by candidates running for state and national public offices: substantial increase in minimum wage, whether or not to keep the Affordable Care Act (called Obamacare by some), tax reform; national and international security along with the economy and free college  tuition (to some degree).

Historically, come Tuesday, Nov. 8 voters (electoral college) will possibly make history by electing the country’s first woman president – former First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (DEM).

Her competition is real estate mogul and businessman Donald Trump (REP). Although he has never held a political office, Trump won his party’s nomination and has led in some national polls.

So it is crucial that people vote and vote wisely.

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The very first step in the process is getting registered to vote where you currently live.

Good idea: Take some folks with you when you register – like your young adult family members or friends.

See list of candidates, amendments and detailed registration information at www.orangecountyvotes.com

 

 

 

Posted in Community news that can help

Election Connection: You Have a Voice

menvotingOrlando, September 14 – You have a voice. Use it during the upcoming 2016 General Election.

I had a conversation with a couple of people and I asked if they had voted during the recent Primary Election. One did not respond. The other said no because he didn’t like any of the options (people who were running). I quickly responded: This is not just for president; it’s for local and state races too and changes to the state constitution. If you don’t vote, you are allowing other people to speak for you, I said.

That conversation took place during early voting so I’m not sure if either of them actually voted but I am inclined now to remind every one I know to get prepared to vote and when the time comes, please do vote!

Let your voice be heard! 


With voter turnout in Orange County under 20 percent, we all have got to not only commit to voting ourselves, we have to reach out to our neighbors – coworkers, church family members and ask them if they are registered and if they plan to vote. We owe it to the people who years ago fought for us to have the right to vote.

The General Election is on November 8 but if you are not registered in the county that you live in or claim as your permanent residence, you can not vote.

On October 4, the Orange County Supervisor of Elections office will begin mailing out vote-by-mail ballots (absentee ballots) and the last day to register to vote is October 11 for the election.

Voters (We) will help select the next President of the United States as well as fill open Congressional seats, Legislative seats and County-wide seats such as Orange County Sheriff, Judges, Clerk of Court, etc.

Early voting will start on October 24

I’ve got to say this: Who you vote for in the Presidential race is your business but there are stark differences between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Real Estate mogul Donald Trump. You can research the two, right on the internet. Goggle them!

You may not agree with everything the party does so go with the candidate who you feel most align to your values and your future desires for the country.

Let’s not let the day after Election Day catch us by surprise – in any way.

As people of color, we can’t afford not to vote folk in/out of office, better organize ourselves and hold our elected officials accountable (on a larger scale). Our agenda needs to be at the table and we want to see major changes especially in the country’s justice system.

Also, if you’re going to debate about any of the races, do not resort to name calling. God never called us to tear each other down but build each other up. Period. (I had to take it there because it has gotten out of control – on every level.)

Your emotions will cloud your vision every time. You will end up doing and saying things you will regret later. So try to stick to the facts!

Above all, pray for God’s will for the upcoming election…that people are running for office for the right reasons: That people would exercise their right to vote and research the candidates and vote wisely.

Sidenote: You don’t always have to stick with your party on every race!

(Source of information for this article – 2016 Election Calendar, Orange County Supervisor of Elections website: http://www.ocfelections.com)

 

-Trish Martin, Publisher & Editor 
Orlando Community News 2016

 

 

Posted in Community news that can help

What Time Is It? Time to Vote!

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Hopefully, you are ready. You see the signs; you may have seen some of the candidates – live and in living color. You should have your sample ballots by now.

The only thing left to do is study the candidates and issues and vote wisely. In some circles, you have been challenged to get five people out to vote as well.

You can vote by absentee ballot (request your ballot), by early voting or by voting at your polling place on Primary Election Day, August 30.

Early voting started in Orange County on Monday, August 15 and will continue through Sunday, August 28.

In Seminole County, early voting will start on Saturday, August 20 and end on Saturday, August 27.

So you don’t have to wait until the end of the month to exercise your right to vote!

There are more than a dozen early voting locations throughout the county (Orange) – open daily 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

In Seminole County, early voting locations are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on its early voting days.

Visit your elections office website to see the early voting locations.

The good thing about the Sample Ballot is you can confirm your polling places and voting districts , see the names of all of the candidates, as well as the issues on which you will vote.

Here’s another good thing: You can mark your selections before going to vote and take it with you – into your booth – to use as a guide. That will save you time!

Don’t skip these primary elections – you may not like the candidates that everyone else voted for.

Like President Obama said during his Democratic National Convention speech: Don’t Boo, vote!

You may not be a fan of politics but the people in public offices make and vote on laws that dictate your everyday life.  What do you think about the proposed $15 an hour pay plan?

Check out candidates at local forums and debates or Google them.

 

Posted in Community news that can help