The top sto­ries last week

South Florida Sun-Sentinel Palm Beach (Sunday) - - OPINION -

Anna Fusco, pres­i­dent, Broward Teach­ers Union

In a week in which “thanks” is the dom­i­nant theme, we should pause to count our bless­ings. We may not like crazy state­ments and de­ci­sions made by lead­ers, but should give thanks that we may freely ex­press our dis­agree­ment. We may not like re­cent elec­tions re­sults, but should give thanks that we live in a coun­try where we can each vote and wit­ness ef­forts to tab­u­late those choices fairly. We may feel dis­cour­aged when sur­rounded by prej­u­dice, but should give thanks that we can help those who are bul­lied. Let’s all give thanks that we live in al­ready great Amer­ica.

Linda Carter, pres­i­dent, Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tion of Broward

The giv­ing sea­son launched with a bang on the an­nounce­ment of a $1.8 bil­lion do­na­tion from Michael Bloomberg for fi­nan­cial aid to stu­dents at Johns Hop­kins Uni­ver­sity. It demon­strates how smart phi­lan­thropists be­lieve in the power of cre­at­ing en­dowed funds that will make trans­for­ma­tional im­pact – in per­pe­tu­ity. Lo­cally, hun­dreds of in­di­vid­ual have done the same to ad­dress is­sues that mat­ter in our com­mu­nity by work­ing with the Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tion of Broward – though not quite as many “0’s.” As a com­mu­nity we are blessed th­ese vi­sion­ar­ies choose to be bold and shape the fu­ture of Broward with their phi­lan­thropy.

Mar­lon A. Hill, part­ner, Hamil­ton, Miller & Birthisel

De­spite the marked in­crease in voter turnout in the re­cent midterm elec­tions, it re­mains whole­heart­edly un­ac­cept­able that South Flor­ida con­tin­ues to lag be­hind in the statewide to­tal turnout. We can­not con­tinue to have our fair say at the ta­ble with only a mar­ginal turnout above 50% in any elec­tion. With a clean slate of lead­er­ship across the state, ev­ery cit­i­zen should re­main en­gaged on the is­sues they hold dear to their fam­i­lies and lo­cal com­mu­nity. No one should be afraid of pol­i­tics. In fact, pol­i­tics should be mind­ful of your voice.

Robert Wein­roth, Palm Beach County com­mis­sioner

The re­counts have ended, the win­ners de­clared. De­spite hic­cups along the way, democ­racy worked. How­ever, it is abun­dantly clear at­ten­tion needs to be paid to vot­ing pro­ce­dures and the process for val­i­dat­ing a race where the re­sults fail within the statu­tory re­quire­ments for fur­ther re­view. While the state’s Su­per­vi­sors of Elec­tions en­joy sig­nif­i­cant au­ton­omy as con­sti­tu­tional of­fi­cers, hard­ware needs to be re­viewed and up­dated, as re­quired and, per­haps more im­por­tantly, the can­vass­ing boards for the coun­ties with the high­est pop­u­la­tions (e.g., Mi­ami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach coun­ties) need to be en­larged to fa­cil­i­tate a more or­derly process for val­i­dat­ing votes. Earl Maucker, com­mis­sioner, City of Light­house Point; for­mer Sun Sen­tinel Ed­i­tor

Lori Par­rish, one of the smartest, most as­tute pub­lic ser­vants to serve Broward County has ap­plied to fill the un­ex­pired term of Elec­tions Su­per­vi­sor Brenda Snipes. Whomever is mak­ing the de­ci­sion should jump on the chance to get Lori back in the game. As a for­mer school board mem­ber, county com­mis­sioner and prop­erty ap­praiser, her un­der­stand­ing of process and depth of ex­pe­ri­ence make her the per­fect choice. Let's not get hung up on party pol­i­tics. She's made it clear she doesn't want to run for the of­fice - just get it back on track. Ideal op­tion.

Thomas Wen­ski, arch­bishop, Arch­dio­cese of Mi­ami

In the past few months – par­tic­u­larly with the is­suance of the Penn­syl­va­nia grand jury re­port on cler­i­cal abuse of chil­dren, the ini­ti­a­tion across the coun­try of at least a dozen state grand jury in­ves­ti­ga­tions, as well as other po­ten­tial fed­eral in­quiries – the Catholic Church’s com­mit­ment, ef­fort, and suc­cess in pro­tect­ing our most vul­ner­a­ble have been mis­rep­re­sented … un­re­ported … dis­missed. Yet, the truth is that mea­sures en­acted in 2002 to con­front the scourge of child sex­ual abuse have worked: zero tol­er­ance, fin­ger­print­ing, child safety. There is zero tol­er­ance, any abuse is im­me­di­ately re­ported to au­thor­i­ties, em­ploy­ees and vol­un­teers are fin­ger­printed.

Ina Lee, owner, Trav­el­host Elite of Greater Fort Laud­erdale

The March for Our Lives stu­dent teenage ac­tivists from Mar­jorie Stone­man Dou­glas High School who chan­neled their grief and out­rage into a na­tional move­ment for gun con­trol were awarded the 2018 In­ter­na­tional Chil­dren's Peace Prize by for­mer Arch­bishop Des­mond Tutu in South Africa. He called them "true change mak­ers" as they or­ga­nized hun­dreds of thou­sands to march on Wash­ing­ton and cities na­tion­wide; their 24 state voter reg­is­tra­tion drive; and mul­ti­ple other ini­tia­tives. Since then, 25 states have passed some form of gun con­trol. They give me hope for our fu­ture.

Gerry Litrento, se­nior ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent, BankUnited

If you’re like me, you did some hol­i­day shop­ping this past week­end, cash­ing in on Black Fri­day sales or you are wait­ing for to­mor­row to take ad­van­tage of those Cy­ber Mon­day deals. But in between, I do hope you took the time on Small Busi­ness Satur­day to sup­port small busi­nesses and all they do for the lo­cal com­mu­nity. How im­por­tant are small busi­nesses to our econ­omy? Of the 5.6 mil­lion em­ployer firms in the U.S. in 2016, firms with fewer than 100 work­ers ac­counted for 98.2 per­cent and firms with fewer than 20 work­ers made up 89.0 per­cent. So this hol­i­day sea­son, try to make ev­ery day a Small Busi­ness Satur­day.

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