What We’ve Done

    Boy at Window

  • First to envision a constitutional amendment to create a statewide, free, voluntary pre-kindergarten program. This measure was subsequently placed on statewide ballot and passed by 59.7% of Florida voters (2002).
  • Passage of HB I 989, mandating gender responsive services to girls. Florida became only the second state in the country to pass such legislation (2004).
  • Called for the creation of a Juvenile Justice Blueprint Commission, which was created by executive order of the Governor. Identified in press release from the governor’s office as key organizer and strategic advisor (2006-07).
  • Conceptualized and orchestrated strategy for six of Florida’s seven living former governors to call on the current Florida governor to support degreed teachers in Florida’s pre-k classrooms. Been advised this represented first time in recent Florida history that former governors united on a call to action concerning a children’s issue (2007).
  • Spearheaded the first increase in state appropriations in I 2 years for maternal health services provided by Healthy Start Coalitions (2006).
  • Advance strategy development and public awareness leading to the creation of the Broward County Children’s Services Council by voter referendum (2000) along with early technical assistance that aided passage of the Children’s Trust in Miami-Dade (2002). These initiatives combined add nearly $1 00-million in local funding of children’s services.
  • Closing of Florida’s boot camps (2006) in response to their repeated use of unnecessary force and unsuccessful program outcomes.
  • Support of public hearings focused on the denial of health services related to the death of Omar Paisley in Miami-Dade detention center (2004). Closing of the Florida Institute for Girls, a maximum security prison with a long history of abuse and denial of physical and mental health services (2005).
  • Kids

  • Restoration of year-round enrollment for the KidCare health insurance program (2005). Brought to awareness of media that Florida had become a “donor” state regarding children’s health insurance (2007).
  • Statewide growth in the number of frequent voters who identify children’s issues s top priority from 2% in I 994 to nearly 20% now; and creation and successful implementation of a non-partisan candidate educational outreach effort, known as Candidate Connection.