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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Engage Miami hosts District 2 Candidates Forum

Engage Miami is hosting a candidate forum for the City of Miami District 2 election tonight, Thursday, October 22, at 8:00 pm at The LAB Miami (400 NW 26th Street). Doors will open at 7:00 pm. Award winning filmmaker and political commentator Billy Corben will serve as moderator. 

All nine candidates were asked to complete a candidate questionnaire in early July. Only five candidates returned our questionnaire. Those candidates were invited and are confirmed to participate: Javier Gonzalez, Ken Russell, Teresa Sarnoff, Grace Solares, and Lorry Woods.

Engage Miami’s mission is to increase youth engagement within Miami-Dade by developing a culture of civic participation that is impactful, interesting, and fun. We're home-grown and led by young people from across Miami-Dade – students, activists, artists, organizers, young professionals, and workers.

Polling shows that millennials vote when they feel informed of the issues and the candidates. Nearly a third of the population in District 2 are considered millennials. Engage Miami has worked to increase their participation in this election by rallying young people in August and educating them about the long-promised Dan Paul Park, registering over 500 voters in September, and hosting this candidate forum focused on issues millennials care about.

For more information, contact Gabriel Pendas at 786-899-8329 or visit

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

How can you have a true forum with only a few of the many candidates who are running?

October 22, 2015 7:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like qualified voters who choose not to vote, perhaps these no shows are not qualified to be in office; perhaps a lack of interest! Jobie Steppe

October 22, 2015 8:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Their notice says that they sent all of the candidates questionnaires and only 5 responded. That pretty much sums up why they only invited 5 candidates, and why Rosy Palomino is going to be sitting in some pizza joint wondering where everyone is.

October 22, 2015 9:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not sure if she'd make a great commissioner, but Lorry Woods Pub serves the best fish n chips you can get on this side of the pond.

October 22, 2015 11:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am voting for Ken but will be heading to Lorry's Pub for the fish n chips soon? What is the pub called?

October 22, 2015 1:48 PM  
Blogger HectorinMiami said...

Listen guys, here's what happened with this forum.

The forum was originally organized by "Emerge Miami" and scheduled to be in August. Candidates were supposed to be screened and invited. However, Emerge was so disorganized they never got around to the forum.

Then all of a sudden their newly-created off-shoot organization called "Engage Miami" decided to pick up the abandoned forum idea and then announce who was invited, with the excuse that anyone who didn't submit a questionnaire wasn't invited (candidates were not allowed to submit questionnaires). This is not a transparent process.

I cried foul because how can someone come in and say we'll someone else's rules set back months ago to suddenly determine who is invited now.

I also pointed out that the SEIU had endorsed Grace Solares and Juan Cuba who works for them. He is one of the principle organizers of the forum's host group.

I would also like to point out that Emerge/Engage already burned Rosy Palomino be "appropriating" the "Chalktacular" event and then letting the Solares campaign run the event as a voter registration drive.

The problem with our politics is that so few people are involved that you have to measure what any one says based on their affiliations. I don't work for any of these 501c3s or the local governments or political offices. I have an interest in the truth.

This is also why politicians get away with telling so many lies to the public because the usual activists are all conflicted and can't say a word. They mostly rely on public dollar donations or those connected to political interests to remain open for business.

October 22, 2015 3:24 PM  
Blogger Melissa Dynan said...

Lorry would make a great commissioner, as she has been a leader in our community for years. Not only has she been an activist, she has actually implemented changes to improve our downtown. I live in the Grove and I want someone who represents the entire district, someone who knows who the stakeholders are, has working relationships with them, and knows how to collaborate to get things done. Lorry has been steadily addressing homelessness (serves on Quality of Life Committee, proposal for public restrooms, advocating for housing solutions), improving the business district (addressed permitting issue re: side walk cafes, installed trash cans), improved bikeablity (getting bike racks, and then Citi Bike installed), advocating for safe bike lanes, as well as improving public open spaces (tree plantings, working to connect the Miami River Greenway). Lorry has continually engaged the community using Elwoods Gastro Pub as a vehicle for music, art, and educational sessions on emerging issues- to demonstrate how amazing Miami is and so we each continuously strive to make it better. These are but a few of the reasons that make Lorry the best qualified candidate for District 2 Commissioner. Elwoods is located at 188 NE 3rd Avenue. I encourage you to stop by and share your thoughts, or call her cell at 786-617-3254. She is not just a pub owner; she is a smart savvy business owner who chose Miami as her home - and has worked from the beginning to make a difference. How do I know all this? I have the privilege of being her campaign manager. I interviewed several candidates and chose to support Lorry as I knew she was who our district needs. If you have any questions for me, I can be reached at 508-369-2804 or email Together, let's transform Miami.

October 22, 2015 3:45 PM  
Anonymous al crespo said...

Here's what Hector Roos did not tell you. When he says he cried foul, what he did was he reached out and warned Teresa Sarnoff that this was a setup by this group on behalf of Grace Solares, and now Teresa Sarnoff has pulled out. he also reached out to other people with the same message, so this isn't just some heresay. This moron even conceded to me in an email that he did it.

Hector Roos is little more than a low-life scum who has no talent, and even less ethics.

As to his claim that this debate was a setup, that's a figment of Hector's fevered imagination. If anything , this was probably going to be the only real debate that focused on the issues that impact District 2.

I've repeatedly said that Rosy Palomino was an absolute terrible candidate whose campaign generated no support, no money and will eventually generate few in any votes, and a large part of that is because she's had this low-life scheming moron as her campaign manager.

It is reprehensible that because neither Roos or Rosy took the time to follow the rules and fill out a questionnaire, that his response was to try to sabotage the debate when he found out she wasn't invited.


October 22, 2015 4:11 PM  
Blogger HectorinMiami said...

Here's the exchange that Al Crespo is talking about... note the veiled threat. I never spoke to Sarnoff. I haven't had a private exchange with any Sarnoff since 2013.


alcrespo Thu, Oct 22, 2015 at 3:22 PM
To: Hector Roos

(blank email body)

Hector Roos Thu, Oct 22, 2015 at 3:26 PM
To: Al Crespo

On Thu, Oct 22, 2015 at 3:22 PM, alcrespo wrote:

alcrespo Thu, Oct 22, 2015 at 3:45 PM
To: Hector Roos
moron that you ran your mouth to too many people.

To: Al Crespo
Am I supposed to be afraid of telling people the truth while others try to defraud the process? That is unacceptable.

If you believe someone is threatening me or someone I know then by all means be clear about it. Being vague is not like you.

October 22, 2015 4:26 PM  
Blogger Grapevine said...

Ok, guys. Enough.

I called Teresa and informed her the forum is still on. Hector, you really are not helping Rosy's chances with your nonsense, sharing private emails is the lowest of the low. Remind me never to email you again.

Case Closed.


October 22, 2015 4:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lorry Woods is who I'm voting for! Most people in miami don't even know there is an election coming up. it's the same ol same ole in miami, people want change but they don't want to look into their options.
Russell has never voted in these type elections. but he will be voting for himself of course.
Solares is trouble and took her entire life to decide to run for office.

Lorry made changes for the better the minute she got to town (new trees, trash receptacles, street fairs for the arts, proposals for public restrooms underneath the metro stations.... on and on and on).. Vote Lorry Woods

October 22, 2015 4:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Engage Miami here. Forum is still on for tonight and should be a lot of fun. We have a lot of surprises in store and an important discussion of the issues that are important to Miami's millennial voters.

Here is a history for any who are interested.

Engage Miami started from conversation between a number of Emerge Miami members thinking of ways to get young people interested in Miami politics. We were shocked that in 2011 only 4000 people (out of 41,000 eligible) voted in the District 2 election...less than 700 under the age of 40. We were initially going to just run this "get out the vote" project under the unincorporated Emerge Miami name, but realized that we would be more effective if we incorporated as a non profit so we could apply for grants and other funds.

In June we sent out questionnaires to all of the candidates, including Rosy, informing the candidate that upon return we would invite them to a candidate forum we had planned for August. We gave each candidate a full month to respond to the relatively short survey. Candidates Sarnoff, Solares, Gonzalez, Woods, and Russell all responded promptly. After the deadline we reached out to Hector Roos asking him to assist in having Rosy fill out our questionnaire. He told us that he would, but never got back to us. Months and months have gone by and we never received the questionnaire. Accordingly, we planned the event without Rosy, assuming she didn't want to participate.

Subsequent to our sending everyone the questionnaires the Emerge project incorporated as "Engage", and, working with all of the candidates that completed our questionnaire decided to move the forum from August to October.

Two days ago we received an email from Hector asking if Rosy could participate. We informed him that we would have loved to have her participate, but we had already planned the questions and format and we had assumed Rosy had no interest because she had not got back to us. He then informed us that "someone" was going to complain that one of our board members works for the SEIU, an organization that endorsed Grace Solares.

This morning we received word that Hector had been contacting a number of people, including the Sarnoff campaign and our moderator, Billy Corben, spinning a tale that we are a shell organization for the Solares campaign. A complete fabrication. Other fabrications are that our Chalktacular event was a Solares event. In fact, Sarnoff, Solares, Russell, Woods, Sklarley, and Gonzalez all came to that event -- along with around 800 people, to help turn the long languished park into a work of art.

As for the claim that Emerge/Engage "burned" Rosy on the chaltacular idea. Rosy came to an emerge meeting and said "It would be a great idea to turn Parcel B into a giant chalk drawing", and we agreed. She never helped, or even offered to help, with it. Now, she is claiming she is responsible for Chaltacular. To that, I say I am not concerned with credit, I am concerned with results. A trait I would hope my elected officials would ideally have. I would also add, if you created facebook, you would have created facebook.

I think this whole controversy is really very sad. Engage Miami is only trying to get young people interested in local politics by creating interesting and fun events to connect people to their community and their leaders. I think what Hector did is sad, and I think that Sarnoff falling for it is unfortunate.

October 22, 2015 4:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So this will be an opportunity for “millennia’s” to have a non-virtual experience and actually see and learn about the candidates in person. I understand that some “millennials” require a great deal of praise and positive reinforcement in order for them to be happy. Hope that the moderator and candidates will thank each one personally for being there and give them a certificate of appreciation for attending. They should also be provided with a free phone app to help them locate the voting booth or to request an absentee ballot. Will be amusing to see how many of them actually look up from their smart phones to see the candidates in person and not in virtual reality.

October 22, 2015 6:08 PM  
Anonymous swlip said...

I just want to know who's going to bring us trolleys, a world-class theatre, and a public toilet in Kennedy Park.

Other than that, I'm good, bro.

October 22, 2015 7:39 PM  

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