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How Your Vote Impacts Policy
This is a very important discussion on your vote and what it yields in the USA democracy. Make sure you watch it! Hosted by Carl Pedre.
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October 23, 2020
Daniel Eugene is a community organizer currently serving as AHEAD (American and Haitian Economic Alliance for Development) South Florida Coordinator and PAC-AHEAD interim President. He is a co-host in a weekly radio show at Radio Mega promoting community agenda and net US positive policies in behalf of our homeland in Washington D.C.. He held a BSOE and a BSN allowing him to pursue a career in healthcare services at Jackson Health Services fighting alongside the SEIU for better wages and work conditions for fellow co-workers.
Marie Lynn Toussaint
Marie Lynn Toussaint is a community activist and a lawyer from the Chicago area who presently leads the Congress to Fortify Haiti. She was born in Bainet, Haiti and along with her parents emigrated to the United States with her six brothers and sisters in 1972. As an attorney, she co-founded the Haitian American Lawyers Association and for the past twenty-five years, she has served as an Assistant Public Defender with the Cook County Public Defenders’ Office in the Felony Trial Division. She is a trial attorney who passionately represents clients facing major felonies. Ms Toussaint attended the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. She then attended the John Marshall Law School where she was active in the Black Law Students Association and where she also served as president from 1991-1992.
Michael Joseph, Esq.
Mr Joseph is a community activist, lawyer, and a Commissioner for the City of North Miami Beach. Born and raised in South Florida to a Haitian-American family. Michael was instilled important Christian values by his parents: to always be a “overcomer” by his Father, a pastor, and his mother whose example of diligence and hard work define Michael’s professional life. Michael is a practicing attorney who champions civil rights and land use cases at the law firm of Galbut Walters and Associates. He is an inaugural member of the 5000 Role Models of Excellence program, a Thurgood Marshall law fellow and group seven commissioner of North Miami Beach, elected in 2018. He previously worked for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security while earning his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Business Administration from Florida International University. Michael then attended St. Thomas University’s School of Law where he earned his Juris Doctorate. Michael married his wife Asia in 2015 and welcomed their son Alexander into the world in 2018.
Monalisa Ferrari, Ph.D.
Dr Ferrari is a community activist who has been fighting for Diaspora rights for well over two decades. She is the CEO of Ferrari and Associates International, a New York-based consulting firm that facilitates leadership and professional development within education, non-profit, and private sectors in the US and Haiti. Through various initiatives in the media; Dr Ferrari works to inform, educate, and empower youths across the Haitian diaspora and bridge the intergenerational gap. She is the executive producer and host for Le Mojo Show, a virtual series broadcast through Facebook Live and Youtube which hosts discussions and in-depth interviews on key social, political, and economic issues relevant to Haitians. She is currently a Director of Professional Development for New York City’s Department of Education but has worked in various positions such as a Professional Development Coordinator and Middle School Director. She holds a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Administration.
Joseph Makhandal Champagne
Mr Champagne is Mayor Emeritus of the Borough of South Toms River, New Jersey and a community organizer. He currently practices law in New Jersey and focuses primarily on immigration, criminal and civil law. He is also an Ambassador of Peace from the Universal Peace Federation. As part of his peace-making attempts, in April of 2015, he traveled to Dominican Republic to help resolve the ongoing crisis over the Dominican Republic plan to deport tens of thousands of Haitians. He is a former Mayor of the Borough of South Toms River, New Jersey and a community organizer. He is a board member of Ocean Community Economic Action Now, (O.C.E.A.N., Inc.), the Global Syndicate, and the Haitian-American Leadership Council. He was appointed by Assignment Judge Lawrence M. Lawson to the Superior Court Monmouth Vicinage Advisory Committee on Minority Concerns. Mr. Champagne holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Columbia University. After graduation, he attended Law Center’s Charles Hamilton Houston Pre-law Institute program at Georgetown University, where he won the Best Respondent Advocate award (Class of 1999). Mayor Champagne earned his Juris Doctor degree from Vermont Law School (VLS). While at VLS, he founded the Vermont Law Student Leadership Collective for Human Rights. As an exchange student, Mayor Champagne also studied European Union Law at the University of Trento, School of Law, in Trento, Italy.
Ms Zeigler is a community leader who is passionate about community engagement, empowering women & youth, and issues pertinent to community development. In November 2017, Eunice Zeigler was elected to serve as an East District City Councilor for the City of Methuen, Massachusetts. As an East District Councilor, she leverages her experience in municipal finance and budget review to help keep Methuen on track. Her main areas of focus are fiscal responsibility, education, community health, and economic development. Within her first 60 days in office, she earned an appointment to the Finance Committee and had established an Economic Development Committee for which she will serve as chair. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and a Master’s Degree in Economic and Social Development of Regions from the University of Massachusetts Lowell.
Vanessa Joseph is currently the Elected City Clerk for the City of North Miami making history as the City’s youngest and first Black female City Clerk. She also serves as the secretary of the National Haitian American Elected Officials Network (NHAEON). In addition, she is a Supervising Attorney at a notable nonprofit organization in Miami, Florida, which caters to low-income immigrants who are unable to afford the services of a private attorney. The bulk of Vanessa’s work is focused on helping eligible lawful permanent residents become US Citizens. Ms Joseph also worked with the Miami Law Health Rights Clinic where she represented dozens of low-income individuals who struggled with mental health issues and HIV. During this time, Vanessa was an Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps JD Fellow, where she delivered critically needed legal assistance to veterans in low-income and underserved communities in South Florida. Her hard work and dedication in the Health Rights Clinic led her to earn the CALI Excellence for the Future Award in the summer of 2014Vanessa earned her BA in political science, her Masters in Public Administration, and her JD from the University of Miami.
Commissioner Monestime was first elected to represent District 2 on the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners in 2010 and was overwhelmingly re-elected in 2014 and 2018. In 2014, he was chosen unanimously by his peers to serve as Chairman of the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners for two years. As Chairman of the County Commission, Commissioner Monestime established the Prosperity Council to develop policies that focused on closing the income gap and improving the quality of life for Miami-Dade residents. In 2015, Commissioner Monestime was named “Elected Official of the Year” by the American Society of Public Administrators’South Florida chapter, becoming the first county commissioner to receive this honor. Mr. Monestime has been a City Councilman and Vice-Mayor, and he served as a Delegate to the National Democratic Convention and was later selected as a Florida Electoral College member for the 2012 US Presidential Election. A former public school teacher and an adjunct university professor, Commissioner Monestime is also a proud businessman. He’s currently President of JEMO Enterprises, LLC., a full-service real estate, insurance, and business consulting agency. Mr. Monestime obtained his MBA from Nova Southeastern University and holds a bachelor’s degree in Finance from Florida International University. He is also a graduate of Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government’s Senior Executives in State and Local Government program. He is married to Kettia Myrthil. Together with their two sons, they have been longtime members of Eden SDA Church. He is also a member of the National Haitian American Elected Officials Network (NHAEON).
In addition to being passionate about community organizing, Ms. Viard is also passionate about teaching and inspiring children to be their best. As such, she recognizes her calling very early on and became a teacher and school administrator in South Florida. Being a community organizer for the past 20 years, she has been involved in voter registration drives and helping immigrants navigate the US citizenship process. Ms. Viard holds a Bachelor in Biology from Florida International University in addition to a Bachelor in Elementary Education from Florida International University. She further earned a Master in Special Education from Nova Southeastern University. When not teaching or helping the community to organize, Ms. Viard enjoys traveling, scuba diving, jet-skiing, and spending time with family and friends.
A South Florida native, Ms Denis currently serves as the Interim Executive Director at Miami Workers Center, a strategy and action center whose purpose is to build the power and self-determination of South Florida’s most oppressed communities. Previously, she served in several positions including Chief Programs Officer and Vice President of Community Prosperity at Catalyst Miami. Ms Denis has extensive experience working in nonprofits, including managing and developing million-dollar budgets, overseeing strategic programs/projects, and building and supporting partnerships. Ms Denis developed her own activism as an anti-racist community advocate and is committed to centering BIPOC community leadership and racial justice in our progressive movement. Ms Denis has been very active in her community, founding and leading Avanse Ansanm, an organization that engages, connects, and builds power among Haitian-American Millennials. She has been recognized by the Broward County Commission on the Status of Women as a Valiant Woman of the Vote; Ruth’s List Broward as a “Breaking the Glass Ceiling” Award Recipients; the Haitian-American Chamber of Commerce of Florida as part of the Inaugural class of Leaders for the esteemed award of “20 Under 40 Young Professionals” as well as “40 under 40” Leaders of Today, among others. Ms Denis graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s in health science, and from Florida International University with a Master of Public Health in Policy and Management.