The Federated Republican Women of North Dade (FRWND) gathered Oct. 18 to host their first meeting since the organization’s installation in July 2017. Speakers Mayor Carlos Hernandez of Hialeah and Miami Mayoral Candidate Francis Suarez discussed the challenges facing their cities, including transit and post-hurricane disaster recovery, while Keynote Speaker John Cardillo spoke on hot topics in the media and the concept of “fake news.” The event took place at the 94th Aero Squadron on 57th Ave. in Miami.
FRWND is a political organization (under Section 527 of the Internal Revenue Code) charged with informing, educating, disseminating, and increasing the effectiveness of women in the cause of good government as per charter rules of both the National Federation of Republican Women and the Florida Federation of Republican Women.
President Maricel Cobitz convened the meeting, acknowledging Vice President Inez Yimoc, Secretary Ada Fennell, and Treasurer Jane Muir as fellow founders of the newest chapter of the Florida Federation of Republican Women. In attendance were local elected officials and candidates for office, veterans, and members of Girl Scout Troop 252 Council of Tropical Florida who opened the meeting with the national anthem and Pledge of Allegiance.
Guest speakers Mayor Hernandez and Commissioner Suarez were asked to share their opinions on how freedom in this country has made their cities great. Hernandez noted he has been a resident of Hialeah his entire life, and that he considers himself a true conservative because his goals are “to be as efficient as possible while solving problems that matter to the people of Hialeah.
“For the last month, I’ve been a garbage man,” Hernandez quipped, saying his top priority has been clearing debris from the hurricane out of the streets of Hialeah.
Hernandez said he is also focused on improving the affordability of housing in Hialeah. “We want our children to be able to live in Hialeah, but right now, the cost of living is impossibly high,” he noted, explaining that under his leadership, Hialeah is striving to build housing for young families so that they can remain in the city.
Hernandez concluded his remarks by introducing “the next mayor of the City of Miami,” Miami City Commissioner Suarez, who is running in the November 7 mayoral election.
Suarez shared a primary concern – transit. “In Miami, traffic is a huge problem that costs us productivity.” He also said he feels blessed to have been the son of the first Cuban-American mayor of the City of Miami, his father Xavier Suarez, who was first elected mayor in 1985. Francis Suarez also noted that if elected, he would be the first mayor to be the son of a Miami mayor in city history.
During questions, a member of the audience asked Suarez how he would confront the problem of homelessness in Miami. He responded that homelessness is a serious problem, and that resources should be dedicated towards assisting the mentally ill.
Cardillo, a U.S. correspondent and host of “Off The Cuff” on Canada’s Rebel News Network, offered spirited remarks on the state of the media and “fake news,” as well as the grassroots movement towards holding elected officials accountable to their constituents.
“Fake news is nothing new,” explained Cardillo. “We have had fake news for hundreds of years, but in the past, it has been called “yellow dog journalism” or “propaganda.”
As an example, Cardillo brought up the recent phone call President Trump made to a serviceman’s widow, saying to her regarding her deceased husband, “He knew what he signed up for.” As it turned out, Congresswoman Frederika Wilson was present during the call, and was outraged by the president’s statement.
According to Cardillo, “The Congresswoman then shared the conversation with the media, which resulted in a firestorm of criticism for President Trump.” Cardillo continued by suggesting that to members of the military, “stating someone ’knew what he signed up for,’ is a tremendous compliment, and it implies the honor and sacrifice that accompanies being a member of the U.S. armed forces.
“Even so, the news media picked up the story and it went viral – not reporting that ISIS’s de facto capital Raqqa fell to U.S.-backed forces, which was a much more significant event,” he said.
FRWND President Cobitz summed up the meeting by stating, “We’re so pleased to bring together this dynamic panel of top national and local names in the Republican Party. By continuing to inform and engage Republican women in politics – for the good of our country – the Federated Republican Women of North Dade look forward to seeing membership in this new chapter continue to grow.”
The North Dade chapter is the latest in a growing network of such local organizations of women and their supporters in the State of Florida. FRWND is responsible for recruiting members, seeking contributions, and hosting events in the northern incorporated and unincorporated areas of Miami-Dade County including Hialeah, Miami Lakes, Palm Springs, Aventura, North Miami Beach, North Miami, Miami Gardens, Sunny Isles, and Golden Beach.
For information, contact FRWND at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 786-290-4333. Also visit www.frwnd.wildapricot.org and Facebook at www.facebook.com/FRWNorthDade/. For general information about the Florida Federation of Republican Women, visit www.ffrw.net.