Local Elected Caribbean Women Host Meeting to Mobilize Relief Efforts

BROWARD COUNTY, FL – In response to the catastrophic impact of Hurricane Beryl, the Broward County Commission, along with local elected officials, is taking decisive action to support communities in Jamaica, Barbados, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. As the earliest Category 5 hurricane in Atlantic history, Beryl caused widespread destruction, leading to at least 11 deaths and significant damage to infrastructure and essential services before moving towards Mexico and Texas.

On July 9, 2024, District 9 County Commissioner Hazelle P. Rogers convened a crucial meeting at the Broward County Governmental Center to share information on relief efforts. The gathering featured prominent Caribbean women in politics, including Miramar Vice Mayor and Broward County Commissioner-Elect Alexandra P. Davis, Commissioner Yvette Colbourne, Coral Springs Commissioner Nancy Bowen, Lauderhill Commissioner Denise Grant, and State Representative Lisa Dunkley. Consuls General from across the Caribbean, community and business leaders, and local residents also participated, aiming to coordinate relief efforts and highlight the storm’s impact.

“Hurricane Beryl has brought unimaginable destruction to our Caribbean neighbors, and it is our duty to respond with compassion and support,” stated Commissioner Rogers. “As a proud daughter of Jamaica, I am committed to working with the Caribbean community to provide aid and assistance to those affected.”

Miramar Vice Mayor Davis echoed this sentiment: “We stand in solidarity with the people of Jamaica, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados, and all those affected by Hurricane Beryl. We urge everyone in Broward County to join us in this effort and support our Caribbean neighbors in their time of need.”

Broward County Administrator Monica Cepero is leading a humanitarian aid campaign, allowing County employees to contribute to relief efforts through payroll deductions. Further details will be released later this week. “Broward County employees have a proud history of helping neighbors in need,” Cepero noted, emphasizing that many have personal connections to the affected regions. “Cash donations are often most effective in emergencies, enabling relief organizations to quickly acquire necessary supplies and services.”

Additionally, Broward County’s Port Everglades is waiving tariff charges for ocean shipping lines transporting emergency and humanitarian relief supplies. Under Port Everglades Tariff Item No. 950, charges up to $50,000 may be waived for containerized, bulk, and break-bulk cargoes supporting humanitarian efforts. Ocean carriers must provide a manifest and certified statement to qualify for the waiver. For more information, contact Port Everglades at 954-468-3527 or porteverglades@broward.org.

This coordinated effort demonstrates Broward County’s commitment to aiding Caribbean communities in their recovery from Hurricane Beryl’s devastation.