Showing posts with label elections. Show all posts
Showing posts with label elections. Show all posts

Friday, July 20, 2018

PBF reform, HBCU earmarks not mentioned during Democratic gubernatorial debate

Reform of the performance-based funding (PBF) system for state universities and increased earmarks for historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) were not mentioned during the Democratic gubernatorial debate on Wednesday in Fort Myers.

The event took place at Florida Gulf Coast University, which is one of the universities that has been hurt by the PBF metrics the Florida Board of Governors (BOG) has used since 2014-2015. The metrics favor big state universities like the University of Florida and Florida State University that are already well-funded. State investment PBF money is also denied each year to the three universities that finish in the “Bottom 3” each year no matter how much they improve.

The BOG denied PBF state investment funds to FGCU in 2017-2018 because it was in the “Bottom 3.” For all the other years, FGCU received one of the lowest state investment PBF amounts. Florida A&M University did not receive state investment PBF money in 2015-2016, 2017-2018, or 2018-2019 because of the “Bottom 3” policy. Its PBF money in the other years was also on the low end like that at FGCU.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

FGCU debate could push Democratic gubernatorial candidates to finally provide leadership on PBF reform

At 7:00 p.m. tonight, the top five hopefuls for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in Florida will square off in a debate on the campus of Florida Gulf Coast University. The event could finally push the candidates to provide leadership on the issue of performance-based funding (PBF) reform.

The Florida Board of Governors (BOG) has used PBF metrics since 2014-2015 that favor big state universities like the University of Florida and Florida State University that are already well-funded. The BOG also denies PBF money to the three universities that finish in the “Bottom 3” each year no matter how much they improve.

Last session, the Democratic candidates for governor sat on the sidelines while State Rep. Ramon Alexander, D-Tallahassee, and House Majority Leader Ray Rodrigues, R-Estero, co-led a bipartisan effort to overhaul the PBF metrics. Their plan called for an end to the “Bottom 3.” Rodrigues was able to get the legislature to pass a law that requires the BOG propose changes to make the PBF system fair.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Greene leads among Florida’s black Democratic voters, Levine in second place, Gillum third

Real estate investor Jeff Greene leads all Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidates in support among black voters, according to a poll by StPete Polls.

Greene finished with 23.4 percent among black Democrats who said they planned to vote in the primary. Former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine was second with 19.1 percent. Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum was third with 18.3 percent and former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham was fourth with 14 percent.

21.8 percent of black Democratic voters were still undecided.

Gillum has the longest list of endorsements from current and former black Democratic elected officials in Florida. But Greene and Levine have both been spending large amounts of money from their personal fortunes on TV ads.

Monday, July 09, 2018

Maryland Democratic gubernatorial nominee Ben Jealous promises $2B for public HBCUs

Back on Tuesday, June 26, 2018, Ben Jealous won the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in Maryland. He has promised billions in new spending for historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) if he wins the election.

“As governor, Jealous will invest $2 billion into Maryland’s HBCUs as a settlement to the lawsuit over the State’s historic underfunding of these institutions,” an April 28, 2018 press release by Jealous’ campaign announced.

A ruling in The Coalition for Equity and Excellence in Maryland Higher Education, et al. v. Maryland Higher Education Commission, et al. case declared that public HBCUs in the state were entitled to monetary damages due to the many years of underfunding. Incumbent Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, has only offered $100 million.

Maryland has four public HBCUs: Bowie State University, Coppin State University, Morgan State University, and University of Maryland, Eastern Shore.

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

FAMU student campaign against “Bottom 3” deserves Twitter support from gov. candidates

Students at Florida A&M University have started an online petition drive against the “Bottom 3” policy of the Florida Board of Governors (BOG). The BOG has used that policy to deny state investment performance-based funding (PBF) to FAMU in three of the past five years.

Universities that finish in the “Bottom 3” of the BOG metrics do not receive any PBF money no matter how much they improve. On June 27, the BOG announced that FAMU, New College of Florida, and the University of North Florida would not receive any PBF dollars for 2018-2019 because they are in the “Bottom 3.”

FAMU improved from a 65 last year to a 72 this year.

None of the major gubernatorial candidates have Tweeted any criticism of the “Bottom 3” policy since the BOG meeting last week. The “Bottom 3” issue involves the governorship because state Rep. Ramon Alexander, D-Tallahassee, and House Majority Leader Ray Rodrigues, R-Estero, want to change Florida law to make sure the BOG cannot use that harmful policy again in the future. Florida needs a governor who will speak out about the “Bottom 3” and pledge to support legislation to get rid of it.

The FAMU student campaign against the “Bottom 3” has the backing of the FAMU National Alumni Association and deserves public support from all the Democrats and Republicans who want to be in the Governor’s Mansion.

Rattlers can ask the candidates to Tweet in favor of legislation against the “Bottom 3” by contacting them at their handles.

@AdamPutnam
@AndrewGillum
@ChrisKingFL
@GwenGraham
@JeffGreeneFL
@MayorLevine
@RonDeSantisFL

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Florida gubernatorial frontrunner supports peer-to-peer comparisons for PBF metrics

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam after speaking at the
Spring 2016 FAMU Commencement Ceremony
The frontrunner in the Florida gubernatorial race appears to like one of state Rep. Ramon Alexander’s ideas for changing the performance-based funding (PBF) metrics.

The Tampa Bay Times reported on a talk Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam, a Republican candidate for governor, gave before the Florida Chamber of Commerce Learners to Earners Workforce Summit on June 12th.

According to the newspaper, “he said the state needed to set standards that all universities must meet and new metrics to compare those schools to their peers in other states.”

Alexander, an alumnus of Florida A&M University, co-led a bipartisan effort to overhaul the PBF metrics during the last legislative session with House Majority Leader Ray Rodrigues, R-Estero. Alexander and Rodrigues don’t think it’s right to compare State University System of Florida (SUS) schools with different sizes and missions against each other for PBF.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Gillum: “If you are not at the table, it means you are on the menu.”

On Saturday, May 26, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum told a room full of Florida A&M University supporters that he thinks bigger investments in public education, infrastructure, and job creation will help the millions of Floridians who are struggling each day.

“Somehow in this state we have lost our sense of connection to each other,” he said. “Somehow we come to believe that in order for my child to do good, everybody else’s child has to do bad. Well as the father of three kids, my children will do well when they sit next to other kids who are ready to learn.”

Gillum delivered the comments during the Gubernatorial Candidates Forum hosted by the FAMU National Alumni Association in Orlando. All of the major Democratic and Republican gubernatorial candidates were invited, but Gillum was the only one who participated.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Gillum speaks during FAMU NAA Gubernatorial Candidates Forum

Yesterday, the Florida A&M University National Alumni Association (NAA) hosted a Gubernatorial Candidates Forum. All of the major Democratic and Republican candidates were invited.

The only candidate who participated was Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum. He gave a statement to the NAA delegates and then answered questions from the audience.

The major candidates for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in Florida are: Gillum, former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham, business owner Chris King, and former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine. The major candidates for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in Florida are: U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis and Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam.

The FAMU NAA does not endorse candidates due to its status as a non-profit, non-partisan 501(c)(3) organization. It held the forum for the purpose of sharing information.

FAMU President Larry Robinson, Board of Trustees Chair Kelvin Lawson, and FAMU NAA President Gregory Clark were all in attendance for the event.

Friday, May 25, 2018

NAA forum is the place to ask about PBF reform, HBCU earmarks, and BOT appointments

First Row (L-R): Gwen Graham, Andrew Gillum, and Ron DeSantis
Second Row (L-R): Philip Levine, Chris King, and Adam Putnam
On Saturday, May 26, the Florida A&M University National Alumni Association (NAA) will host a Gubernatorial Candidates Forum. All of the major Democratic and Republican candidates have been invited.

The forum is the place to ask candidates about big FAMU issues that they haven’t publicly addressed.

Performance-Based Funding Reform

Back in the last legislative session, Rep. Ramon Alexander, D-Tallahassee, and House Majority Leader Ray Rodrigues, R-Estero, introduced a bipartisan plan to overhaul the performance-based funding (PBF) system used by the Florida Board of Governors (BOG). FAMU and other smaller public universities have been denied millions of dollars due to the PBF metrics that favor bigger schools that already receive more state money.

The News Service of Florida reported that this changes proposed by Alexander and Rodrigues would provide money for “‘continuous improvement’ by the schools regardless of how they are ranked against each other.”

The gubernatorial candidates need to state whether they will support the plan by Alexander and Rodrigues to fix the unfair PBF system.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

FAMU NAA will host a Gubernatorial Candidates Forum on Saturday

First Row (L-R): Ron DeSantis, Andrew Gillum, and Gwen Graham
Second Row (L-R): Chris King, Philip Levine, and Adam Putnam
During its annual convention, the Florida A&M University National Alumni Association (FAMU NAA) will welcome candidates running for governor of Florida.

The convention, themed “Igniting the Magic of FAMU,” will be held May 24-27 at the Rosen Centre Hotel at 9840 International Drive.

On Saturday, May 26, the FAMU NAA’s Gubernatorial Candidates Forum will be held from 9-10 a.m., followed by an overview of the State’s performance-based funding metrics and their impact on FAMU’s operations and growth.

According to an article published in the Orlando Sentinel on May 22, “Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum has confirmed he will attend. No other candidates were yet listed as attending or accepting the invitation.”

The major candidates for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in Florida are: Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham, business owner Chris King, and former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine. The major candidates for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in Florida are: U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis and Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Abrams announced detailed plan to increase state support for HBCUs, Democratic gov. candidates in FL still haven’t done so

Last night, all of the major candidates in the Democratic gubernatorial primary race in Florida jumped to congratulate Stacey Abrams.

Abrams, a former member of the Georgia House of Representatives clinched the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in Georgia with a big win over her opponent, former state Rep. Stacey Evans. With 98 percent of precincts reporting, Abrams had 76 percent to the 24 percent Evans received.

The four major contenders for the Democratic nod in the Florida gubernatorial race, Andrew Gillum, Gwen Graham, Chris King, and Philip Levine, all posted messages of praise for Abrams on Twitter. But none of them have announced a detailed plan to increase state support for historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) like Abrams has.

Abrams was a student at Spelman College during the presidency of the legendary Johnetta B. Cole. She has pledged to boost state spending for HBCUs in Georgia if she wins the governorship.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

FAMU needs more alumni women in its 11 appointed Board of Trustees seats

L-R: Keisha Lance Bottoms, Cheryl Harris, Melanie Roussell Newman, and Anika Noni Rose
For Fall 2017, 6,428 of the total 9,909 students at Florida A&M University were women. That’s 64 percent. But there are no women who graduated from FAMU in any of the 11 appointed seats on the FAMU Board of Trustees (BOT). An alumna of FAMU hasn’t held one of those seats since 2016.

Six of the appointed seats are filled by the governor and the other five are filled by the Florida Board of Governors (BOG). The last two trustees are the elected Faculty Senate president and Student Government Association president.

The lack of any alumni women in the 11 appointed BOT is an insult because there are thousands of FAMU alumnae who would be excellent trustees. Four examples are Keisha Lance Bottoms, Cheryl Harris, Melanie Roussell Newman, and Anika Noni Rose.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Democratic gubernatorial candidate promises $2 billion for public HBCUs in Maryland

Ben Jealous has been endorsed by U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif. and U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-NJ 
Ben Jealous, a candidate for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in Maryland, has promised billions in new spending for historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) if he wins the election.

“As governor, Jealous will invest $2 billion into Maryland’s HBCUs as a settlement to the lawsuit over the State’s historic underfunding of these institutions,” an April 28, 2018 press release by Jealous’ campaign announced.

A ruling in The Coalition for Equity and Excellence in Maryland Higher Education, et al. v. Maryland Higher Education Commission, et al. case declared that public HBCUs in the state were entitled to monetary damages due to the many years of underfunding. Incumbent Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, has only offered $100 million.

Maryland has four public HBCUs: Bowie State University, Coppin State University, Morgan State University, and University of Maryland, Eastern Shore.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Frontrunner for Democratic gubernatorial nomination in Georgia promises more money for HBCUs

Former Georgia Rep. Stacey Abrams was recently endorsed by U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.
Stacey Abrams, the frontrunner for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in Georgia, has promised to boost money for historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) if she is elected.

The “Higher Education” section of her campaign website includes a paragraph with the heading “Increase Support for Historically Black Colleges and Universities.” It says:
“We will invest in our Historically Black Colleges and Universities, both public and independent, to support their service to Georgia students. Through our reforms to HOPE, more students at our public HBCUs will have the economic ability to complete their education. An Abrams administration will also continue the Tuition Equalization Grants to help students afford tuition at private institutions within Georgia. We will explore how to partner with independent colleges and universities for summer bridge programs that aid students, particularly first-generation college students, in transitioning from high school to college. We will use the strength of our state finances and bond capacity to aid institutions in capital projects.”

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Nelson should sponsor a Senate companion bill for Lawson’s $50M HBCU Parity Act

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson speaking at the FAMU School of the Environment in 2017
U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Florida, was a supporter of the funding boost that historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) received in the new federal budget. Back on February 22, 2018, he was one of 14 senators who signed a letter “to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies requesting that the upcoming omnibus bill contain a restoration and increase in federal support to HBCUs.”

That effort helped secure a multi-million dollar increase in Title III money for HBCUs.

But much more work needs to be done. Florida A&M University alumnus and U.S. Rep. Al Lawson recently introduced the HBCU Parity Act. Nelson should introduce a companion bill for that proposed act in the U.S. Senate.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Richardson could have pathway for another Florida Senate run

State Sen. Bill Montford, whose district includes Florida A&M University, might soon step down from that position to run for mayor of Tallahassee. That could create a pathway for another Senate run by long-time FAMU advocate Curtis Richardson.

Richardson sought the Democratic nomination to succeed FAMU alumnus Alfred “Al” Lawson in that seat back in 2010 when Lawson was set to leave due to term limits. But Montford ended up winning the primary and general election. Tallahassee voters later elected Richardson to the City Commission in 2014, where he currently serves as mayor pro-tempore.

Montford is now coming close to his own Senate term limit in 2020 and must make a decision on whether jump into the open Tallahassee mayor’s race. He would have to leave the Senate before declaring his candidacy due to the “resign to run” law. Montford is expected to be the front-runner if he seeks the job.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

FAMU alumna declares victory in Atlanta mayoral race

Keisha Lance Bottoms with former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young, who endorsed her candidacy
With the results in from 100 percent of the 171 precincts, Florida A&M University alumna Keisha Lance Bottoms finished with 46,464 votes (50.41 percent) to opponent Mary Norwood’s 45,705 (49.54 percent) in the Atlanta mayoral race.

Bottoms declared victory with her 759 vote margin.

“Atlanta, I'm so honored to be your 60th mayor,” she told a crowd of supporters.

But Norwood hasn’t conceded. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “she says she's waiting for absentee ballots from the military and provisional ballots that won't be tabulated until Thursday. Norwood is asking for a recount.”

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Rattler receives biggest number of votes in Atlanta mayoral race, heads into run-off

Florida A&M University alumna Keisha Lance Bottoms received the biggest number of votes in the crowded Atlanta mayoral race on November 7, 2017. She will now head into a run-off on December 5th.

With 100 percent of the 172 precincts reporting, Bottoms came at the head of the pack with 25,347 votes (26 percent). Mary Norwood took the second place spot with the 20,144 votes (21 percent). A total of 12 candidates were on the ballot.

Bottoms and Norwood are both members of the Atlanta City Council.

Back on October 11, incumbent Mayor Kasim Reed publicly endorsed Bottoms’ bid to become his successor. Reed defeated Norwood in the mayoral race office back in 2009.

Bottoms is a Magma Cum Laude alumna of the FAMU School of Journalism and Graphic Communication. She is married with four children.

FAMU alumnus wins mayoral election in Saint Paul

A Rattler will become the first black mayor of Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Melvin Carter, who holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the Florida A&M University School of Business and Industry, received more than 50 percent of the votes in a crowded field of ten candidates.

Carter is the executive director of the Minnesota Children’s Cabinet, serving as an advisor to Gov. Mark Dayton. Dayton joined U.S. Sen. Al Franken and Congressman Keith Ellison in endorsing Carter’s campaign to become mayor.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Gubernatorial candidates have long campaigned at FAMU Homecoming without promising to boost state earmarks for HBCUs

Alex Sink performs coin toss during 2010 FAMU Homecoming game
For years gubernatorial candidates have campaigned at Florida A&M University during its Homecoming without promising to give a bigger piece of the multi-billion dollar state budget to historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in Florida.

Democratic candidates usually just come to the FAMU campus wearing Orange & Green and talk broadly about supporting education, but they don’t talk about giving more earmarks to the four HBCUs in the state. The candidates then spend the rest of their visits shaking hands and taking pictures.

This was recently seen in the two failed Democratic gubernatorial campaigns against GOP nominee Rick Scott.

Back in 2010, Democratic nominee Alex Sink walked around saying hello to tailgaters outside Bragg Memorial Stadium and then performed the coin toss to kick off the Homecoming game against Morgan State. But there was no announcement of a spending plan to bring more state money to FAMU, Bethune-Cookman University, Florida Memorial University, or Edward Waters College.