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“Unless you’re straight, white AND wealthy, you’re a second-class citizen in the eyes of Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler”.(Quote from an anonymous Fort Lauderdale City official.)
Federal, state and city governments across our country are supporting marriage equality. In addition, a fast growing number of fortune 500 companies (including Fort Lauderdale-based AutoNation), are also supporting marriage equality. Yet, Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler refuses to acknowledge marriage equality as an important issue that affects Fort Lauderdale residents.
According to the US Census and other studies, Fort Lauderdale is one of the most diverse cities in Florida and has one of the highest concentrations of gays and lesbians in the United States. We continue to have a Mayor with a 1950s attitude (similar to former Mayor Jim Naugle), believing that gays and lesbians are unworthy of the same rights and privileges as other Fort Lauderdale residents.
A Mayor needs to be a Mayor for ALL constituents. After 6 years as Mayor, Seiler has done little to make Fort Lauderdale a more inclusive and welcoming “All American City”, especially for gays and lesbians. Not only did he vote against marriage equality, he has failed to mandate comprehensive LGBT non-discrimination policies for vendors doing business with the City.
Dozens of mayors, in Florida cities large and small, are proactively supporting marriage equality and are putting pressure on Tallahassee to do the same. It is important for Fort Lauderdale residents to understand that Jack Seiler is not among them.
Are you disappointed with Jack Seiler’s opposition to marriage equality? Let him know how you feel! Send him an email: Jack.firstname.lastname@example.org
LOOK AT THESE FLORIDA MAYORS WHO ARE SUPPORTING MARRIAGE EQUALITY! The Mayors of local cities like: Miami Beach, Oakland Park, Wilton Manors, Davie, Pembroke Pines, Margate, Sunrise, Hillsborough Beach, South Miami, Parkland, Lake Worth, Hollywood, Coconut Creek, Key West, Hallandale Beach, Tamarac, Largo, Lauderhill, Pembroke Park, Miramar, West Palm Beach, along with, Orlando, Saint Petersburg, Tallahassee, and even the Mayor of Broward County! The Mayors of 35 Cities throughout Florida are now supporting marriage equality, and the list is growing!
But Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler says NO! WHY?
Here are just a few of the benefits that Marriage provides to straight couples that same sex couples might not receive in Florida:
- Joint return income tax benefits
- Exemption from paying Estate Tax if one spouse dies
- Various government benefits including Social Security, Medicare and Disability benefits
- Right to plan and manage spouse’s burial arrangements
- Visitation rights in hosptial
- Employment benefits through spouse’s employer
- Housing benefits (ie: Neighborhoods that are for “families only”)
- Family leave to care for spouse
- Veterans and military benefits for spouses.
- Collectively, there are over 1,000 benefits (financial and otherwise), that same sex couples may not be able to benefit from if they are unable to marry. Mayor Jack seiler doesn’t care; he’s more interested in supporting his wealthy friends.
OTHER EXAMPLES OF JACK SEILER SUPPORTING HIS WEALTHY FRIENDS AND BIG BUSINESS OVER YOU!
- He squashed debate about seeking cheaper electrical alternatives than Florida Power & Light, and entered into a new 35 year contract with FPL, costing residents potentially hundreds of millions of dollars.
- Over the last six years, he has raided the City’s reserves to give pay raises to the City’s already overpaid police and fire unions and senior staff. To date he has taken over $60 Million dollars of tax payer money out of the Reserves. These Reserves are supposed to be used to cover costs associated with hurricanes, etc., not to hand out as favors in pay raises!
- The City employee pension costs are out of control and now exceed $350 million. Again, we will eventually have to pay for those costs. Right now, we are having a hard time just paying the interest on those unpaid pension costs!
- He favors wealthy developers over residents. Some of those developers have no experience with large commercial projects, yet he pushes for their approval anyway. WHY?
- In fact, the Broward Office of the Inspector General found that The City of Fort Lauderdale (and the Mayor) engaged in misconduct by violating State regulations in selecting a developer for the Aquatic Complex.
- Seiler’s wealthy friends purchased one of the few remaining green spaces in our City, (The American Golf course on Federal Highway), and are turning it into high-end residential properties by getting the property rezoned. This gives these unscrupulous owners (his wealthy friends) tens of millions of dollars in immediate profits with this rezoning. Seiler benefits financially as well, because his home borders on that property. He should have recused himself from the Commission voting, but he voted in favor anyway.
- Convicted criminal Scott Rothstein and his attorney friends were some of the earliest supporters of Jack Seiler. Many of those fellow attorneys donated hundreds of dollars to Seiler’s campaign. Most of that money was ill gotten. Did Seiler return the money? He won’t say….
- Seiler bullys and threatens those who disagree with him.
- Seiler only bought a home here in Fort Lauderdale until AFTER he was elected Mayor.
- Jack Seiler is nothing more than just one more “career politician”, looking for his next State-wide political position. His idea of “Public Service” is actually “Service to himself over others”.
Fort Lauderdale deserves better.