Ac­tivist shaped land­scape of Broward pol­i­tics

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - - OBITUARIES - By Lisa J. Huri­ash Sun Sen­tinel

Lot­tie Al­bert, con­sid­ered the grande dame of the Broward Democrats be­cause of her un­re­lent­ing ac­tivism to bring like­minded politi­cians to power, died Sun­day, ac­cord­ing to fam­ily and friends. She was 102.

“Old age fi­nally caught up with her — not sick­ness,” said her daugh­ter, Doreen Al­bert.

Doreen Al­bert said her mother will be re­mem­bered “as a gen­er­ous, car­ing soul who be­lieved in help­ing peo­ple.”

U.S. Rep. Deb­bie Wasser­man Schultz, DWe­ston, knew Lot­tie Al­bert as a men­tor, friend and leader, who pro­vided great ad­vice. “She was one of the pi­o­neer­ing — and I mean this term af­fec­tion­ately — condo com­man­dos who re­tired to South Florida, and was fo­cused on mak­ing sure that our com­mu­nity came to­gether, that peo­ple voted, that they were reg­is­tered,” Wasser­man Schultz said.

“I know she’ll rest in peace as she goes to run the condo that she will be spend­ing eter­nity rul­ing over.”

Lot­tie Al­bert was born in Brook­lyn, the daugh­ter of im­mi­grants who had fled to Amer­ica to es­cape Rus­sia.

Her fam­ily sup­ported the unions who backed the work­ing man and the idea that some needed to be helped and taken care of.

“She was a lib­eral,” said her daugh­ter. “I think she be­lieved in what they espoused.”

When the fam­ily moved to Cleve­land, she worked as a man­ager at a depart­ment store. But when her daugh­ters and their chil­dren re­lo­cated to Broward, Lot­tie Al­bert and her hus­band fi­nally fol­lowed in 1973.

They set­tled in Laud­erdale Lakes. A po­lit­i­cal star was born.

She be­came ac­tive in lo­cal pol­i­tics, then county and even ju­di­cial races. State pol­i­tics and pres­i­den­tial races also were on her radar.

“What started as a hobby be­came a ca­reer for her,” said Mitch Ceasar, the for­mer chair­man of the Broward Demo­cratic Party. “She took great joy in the ac­tivism. She would lit­er­ally seek out can­di­dates and say, “I want to help you.’”

Broward in the 1970s was pri­mar­ily a Repub­li­can county, Ceasar said. But “with the ad­vent of con­do­mini­ums, that be­gan to change,” he said. “She was part of the huge in­flux of con­do­minium folks who changed the face of Broward.”

Lot­tie Al­bert served as the pres­i­dent of the Laud­erdale Lakes Demo­cratic Club. In 1989, she was in­ducted into the Dr. Nan S. Hutchi­son Broward Se­nior Hall of Fame.

Then 73, she was called a “multi-faceted in­di­vid­ual” for her nearly two decades of work at the time.

She served as a mem­ber of the Broward County Hu­man Rights Com­mis­sion, a vol­un­teer for the Ann Storck Chil­dren’s Home in Fort Laud­erdale, and pres­i­dent of her con­do­minium as­so­ci­a­tion in Laud­erdale Lakes.

She se­cured a $20,000 grant for a MediVan, a mo­bile med­i­cal unit serv­ing Broward’s lower-in­come el­derly, by pro­duc­ing fundrais­ing va­ri­ety shows at her condo.

Lot­tie Al­bert was se­lec­tive about which can­di­dates she backed — but still classy to the ones she didn’t.

“If she sup­ported you, she sup­ported you 100 per­cent,” Doreen Al­bert said. “But if she didn’t sup­port you, she never spoke badly. She was pretty amazing.”

With the heat too much at po­lit­i­cal ral­lies and her eye­sight start­ing to fail, Lot­tie Al­bert didn’t take to the streets for the Clin­tonTrump elec­tion, but spoke pub­licly when­ever given the op­por­tu­nity.

“She was very sad in her life­time that she didn’t get to see a woman be pres­i­dent,” her daugh­ter said.

In ad­di­tion to her daugh­ter, Doreen, of Sun­rise, Lot­tie Al­bert is sur­vived by her daugh­ter, Har­riet Sa­mar, of Tamarac; six grand­chil­dren; four great-grand­chil­dren and one great-great­grand­child.

The fu­neral will be 12 p.m. Fri­day at Star of David Memo­rial Gar­dens Ceme­tery and Fu­neral Chapel, 7701 Bai­ley Road in North Laud­erdale.

Staff writer An­thony Man con­trib­uted to this re­port.

lhuri­ash@sunsen­tinel.com, 954-572-2008 or Twit­ter @LisaHuri­ash

ORIT BEN-EZZER/COUR­TESY

Lot­tie Al­bert, 102, was very ac­tive in sup­port­ing Demo­cratic can­di­dates in lo­cal and na­tional races.

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