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Friday, October 23, 2015

Shenanigans in the District 2 race

For those of you not following the nonsense in the comments section on one of the election stories, below is an interesting letter from Engage Miami, who held the District 2 Forum Thursday night. 

And then people ask why the younger generation does not vote. This is one example of why they are so disillusioned.

Here is the letter from Engage Miami:

Hey, Engage Miami here. Forum is still on for tonight [meaning last night] 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.

UPDATE: Al Crespo has the video of last night's forum here.

For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing - only through social media. Not copying and pasting.


Blogger Seth Sklarey said...

I filled out the questionaire but it was never received and they weren't going to let me participate. Thankfully Billy Corben thought I should and a great time was had by all. Had Rosy shown up she would have been able to participate also.
@newsbysmiley and recorded the whole event.
Vote Seth Sklarey for Miami City Commission District 2. #76

October 23, 2015 7:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't live in District 2 but I've been following the race and comment on this blog. Hector hasn't been very helpful to Rosy's campaign. Sometimes it's just best to ignore commentators on the Internet.

October 23, 2015 7:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone talks about change, change, change. Everyone comments that most people don't vote and one anon noted that out of 41,000 registered voters in one recent district #2., only 4,000, or 10% voted. Such a statistic parallels the idea that everyone is out of step, but me! Personally, I like the way things are, after all it's all just normal, natural human nature. Fact is ants, termites and bees produce a more harmonious civilization than humans do. If you think virus's are harmful raising the human's host body temperature to the point of brain damage and death, thus causing the virus to kill itself, what's causing our Mother Earth & Oceans to heat up, i.e., vote, don't vote, who cares! Jobie Steppe

October 23, 2015 8:24 AM  
Blogger alcrespo said...

The video of last night's meeting is now up on

October 23, 2015 8:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most young people are smart enough, educated enough, honest enough not to get into the filthy, murky, lying waters of "politics". It takes a certain type of bogus animal..

October 23, 2015 10:15 AM  
Blogger alcrespo said...

It saddens me to write that the straw poll ballots that were cast after the debate were not counted then, but that a board member took them home, and that they are supposedly going to be counted this morning. I have written a scathing update about this, and how it turns out you just can't trust anyone in this city to behave ethically and with transparency.

October 23, 2015 10:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! I have my ballot here and I am deciding for whom should I vote.
I did not realize Grace Solares was endorsed by SEIU. Scratch her off the list!
SEIU was very vocal in defense of traditional cab drivers verses UBER in the Broward debate which ultimately got UBER kicked out of Broward (Before they were brought back about a week ago).
I am a "progressive" in the literal sense. Uber is progress. Thanks for the voter information.

October 23, 2015 10:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This Hector person is just a disgrace. He seems a dimwitted bully type, and all he has done with his puffery is to convince me to never support him or anyone connected to him on anything.

Crespo - Ease up, man. You lose credibility when you attempt to bully people into running their event your way. If you want an event or a straw poll - set one up. DO NOT show up at someone's bbq and tell them they don't know how to grill a burger. As a former supporter of yours, my patience is waning. And regardless of having paid your debt to society, you don't get to challenge the ethos of those who have given no reason to do so.

I said good day!

October 23, 2015 11:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Notice that the one-sided arguments here are all protecting the SEIU and Grace Solares.

So who is the SEIU guy in Emerge Miami? Juan Cuba, "Miami Lead at SEIU Florida". SEIU has sent me a number of mailers saying that I should vote for SOlares. Then I learned that her political consultant also consults with the SEIU.

Transparency? Not in Miami. No wonder Sarnoff caught a "cold".

-That Guy (the one and only)

October 23, 2015 11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Listen, there is some good people running for District 2’s seat. All are concerned citizens. People looking after the resident's interests.
Having said that, in my opinion, it boils down to two things: Grace and Rosy are good, but they are really not doing anything they haven't done before. Grace's style is sometimes too combative and I believe she has alienated most of the people she will be dealing with. Nothing wrong with challenging the elected officials or city employees, but we know they will do anything to boycott her efforts if she is elected. The only candidate that is really sacrificing by getting involved in this nightmare called Miami politics is Mr. Ken Russell. For someone with no prior political experience he has done a remarkable job of getting up to date and researching the issues. On the other hand, for those who still believe Teresa Sarnoff is not running as Marc Sarnoff third term, tied to the developer's interests, please check the Cervera Real Estate page and you will find Teresa is an active agent of the real estate firm. As we all know, Cervera is a highly reputable company, and a leader in real estate transaction throughout district 2. As far as I know, this has not been disclosed before. Regardless, it seems that Ms. Sarnoff’s career as a real estate agent benefits immensely by all the over development in her husband’s district. Why is she running on a platform to fix all the issues her husband wasn't able to fix in 9 years? Is she running against her husband’s record?
After listening to many debates and assisted to many events, Ken has my vote. However, I do want to thank Grace and Rosy for all the effort and dedication they have put into trying to make Miami a better city.

October 23, 2015 11:34 AM  
Blogger James said...

When people complain about people not getting involved, especially young people, look at the comments section of the grape. Why would anyone want to get involved when all you do is put yourself in a position to be insulted, have your name dragged through the mud etc.


A "young" person

October 23, 2015 12:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

11:17 am is not the real THAT GUY. He is a fake.

I am the one, the only, the alpha and the omega. No one shall challenge my That Guy-ness, which I have brought to this forum for more than 8 years!

I have my suspicions as to who you are FAKE GUY! and I will be springing a trap on you. I'll get you Fake Guy!

FTR: I don't know who Juan Cuba (sounds made up) even is, but I do agree that Grace Solares is not the right person for the job. The Emerge and Engage people seem pretty rad tho.


October 23, 2015 12:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Are you kidding me? Ken Russell sacrificing himself?? He's got a bunch of insiders giving him tons of money? No sacrifice there!

As for the complaint about Sarnoff being a realtor, maybe you should ask Ken Russell why he's about to cash in by BECOMING A REALTOR! Just check the DBPR license search!

-That Guy (the one and only)

October 23, 2015 12:32 PM  
Blogger MinuteHand said...

Engage here again. Al Crespo was 100% right to call us out for conducting the straw poll with less than scientific accuracy. We're posting the results on our website, with a huge disclaimer that they shouldn't be viewed as an indication of anything in particular, as well as a link to Crespo's article about it.

This matter with the poll aside, last night's event was pretty amazing and lots of fun. 200 young people (and a few not-so-young people) came out and heard the candidates (who showed up -- Sarnoff was replaced by a cardboard cutout of a Stormtrooper)engage in a real, and tough, conversation about policy and ethics. I encourage all to check out the video, also on Al's blog.

October 23, 2015 12:37 PM  
Anonymous Ken Russell said...

I don't have a real estate license. I started an online course prior to running to increase my knowledge of real estate law and procedures. Of course, the opposition will try to spin this to make it seem like something that it's not.


October 23, 2015 1:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

12:32 pm there can only be one real THAT GUY. but he does make an interesting observation.

Is Ken getting a realtor's license that big of a deal?

There was a lot of noise about Teresa Sarnoff becoming a realtor and working with the high-end Cervera firm. The potential conflict of interest where Cervera's developer clients could steer work to Sarnoff and potentially influence a vote was the issue.

On the other hand, this makes 5 realtors running for this seat (Gonzalez, Sarnoff, Sklarey, Solares, and now Russell), so maybe it doesn't matter.

Unless you think Russell is as unscrupulous as Marc Sarnoff or that commissioners who are realtors can't avoid a conflict of interest, I can't imagine this being a problem.

Voters have to decide if they trust Russell or any of realtors running that much.


October 23, 2015 2:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is healthy information. Ken has shown he cares by running, but what we need most right now is leadership with experience. I hope that if Solares wins she will reach out to Ken to keep him engaged. Also, to the voter who mentioned UBER, Grace last night publicly supported UBER and other similar efforts.

October 23, 2015 3:21 PM  
Anonymous Melissa Dynan said...

Real leadership is Lorry Woods. For years she has played a key role in the transformation of downtown through the Quality of Life Committee, bringing people together (residents, business owners, key stakeholders) to address issues - from street sweeping, to street lighting, to permitting, to homelessness, and much, much more. She continually seeks input from industry leaders, which has given her the ability to be informed on important issues, such as climate change, housing solutions and economic development for all.

She recognizes leadership in others and empowers them. She envisions the Village Council having a greater voice on decision-making and believes there should be more community outreach, and to be more inclusive of Village West. All neighborhoods should have a voice at the table and play a key role in its development.

This is what Lorry Woods stands for - and that is why I, a Grove resident, chose to support her as campaign manager. She represents all of the district. Miami is an amazing city, with a great opportunity before it. We are fortunate to have so many great candidates running for the District 2 seat.

October 24, 2015 1:19 PM  
Blogger AMaerTaylor said...

I'm another young person, like James up above. We don't get involved because of the bickering, the fighting, the back stabbing, the corruption.... all by our elders. Why do we want to involved in that? I'm very well informed & choose to not be involved.

October 25, 2015 2:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey fake new that guy, where were you back in 2008, when I was calling out Sarnoff and Ron Nelson and Dave Collins for their bullying and bullsh*t, while also still being witty, and charming, and devilishly handsome?

The one true THAT GUY!


October 26, 2015 11:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love it! 2 "That guys". And they both agree on everything! Sarnoff is in trouble!

October 26, 2015 3:06 PM  

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