Broward County Represents at the Capitol
Veterans and Military Impact Team Meets with FDVA Director Danny Burgess
On January 21st and 22nd, more than 300 Broward County elected officials, business owners and leaders traveled to Tallahassee to advocate for issues important to our community. It was the biggest and best Broward Days event, to date, expertly organized by Candice Ericks and Andrea Knowles. The two day event was packed with impactful and meaningful speakers including Senate President, Bill Galvano, Shane Strum, Chief of Staff to Governor DeSantis, Speaker Designate Chris Sprowls, a host of agency heads and the Broward Delegation. The speakers often repeated how important it is for constituents to show up in Tallahassee and walk the halls so that their concerns are heard; “If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu”. The most pressing issues that were discussed included the need for more affordable housing, juvenile justice reform, access to healthcare and behavioral health services, as well as support for legislation that will enhance services for Broward Veterans.
The Veterans and Military Impact Team, comprised of Todd Clarke, JM Family Enterprises, Inc., James Heaton, Legal Aid of Broward County, Stella Tokar, B.O.L.D. Consulting and Heather Davidson, United Way of Broward County had the opportunity to meet with Director Danny Burgess of the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs (FDVA) to discuss our respective legislative priorities and ways in which our agencies can collaborate to implement Forward March, the strategic plan that was created last year as a guideline to improve Veterans services.
The team also presented the work of Mission United to the Veterans Caucus and met with each legislator individually throughout the two day visit to Tallahassee. Unanimously, support was received for the two primary United Ways of Florida legislative priorities, HB 687/SB 104-Services for Veterans and Their Families by Rep. Zika and Sen. Harrell and HB 171/SB 372-Post Secondary Education for Certain Military Personnel by Reps. Ponder and Hattersley and Sen. Lee.
“This year, once again, Legislators showed the Veteran and Military Impact Team how much they support our veterans and are working to make Florida the most veteran friendly state.” Todd Clarke, JM Family Enterprises, Inc., Chair of Veterans Impact and James Heaton, Legal Aid of Broward County, Vice Chair.
More than 77,000 veterans live in Broward County and 1.5 million total in Florida. Mission United, throughout Florida, serves about 1/3 of the total Veteran population in Florida. It is important that we continue to advocate for those that have served and protected us so well. When we work together, when we speak with one voice, CHANGE CAN HAPPEN.
Heather Davidson, Rick Owen, CEO of United Way of Florida, James Heaton presenting to MISSION UNITED to veterans caucus
Senate President Bill Galvano addressing Broward Days attendees