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Boca leaders brainstorm on what Florida did and didn’t do

Leaving nothing to chance, Boca leaders want to make sure they’re heard in city hall and Tallahassee.

So businesses and nonprofits brainstormed with city and state elected officials at the Junior League and Boca Chamber’s 2019 legislative breakfast.

The timing was perfect. Florida’s legislature wrapped on May 4.

The next legislature meets in January 2020, earlier than usual, so they’re already starting to assemble their priorities, Chamber president/CEO Troy McLellan told the group. “We’re bullish on business issues,” he said Thursday in the Marriott Boca Raton.

The league’s new president Christy Stewart-Harfmann explained how much they’re involved, even on a state level. Three of four bills they backed were passed, one against human trafficking.

The league also put together an advocacy tool kit to teach people how to do their own voter registration drive.

Wearing suffragette sashes to announce the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment next year were Renee Johnson, left, and Erin Efstathion with city Councilman Andy Thomson.

Among the elected officials were State Reps Mike Caruso, Tina Scott Polsky and State Sen. Kevin Rader, Mayor Scott Singer, deputy Mayor Jeremy Rodgers and council members Andrea O’Rourke and Andy Thomson took part.

Former Mayor Susan Whelchel was among the attendees. She’s been keeping a low profile lately. “I felt well enough to come and I’ll continue to support the league. I’m happy to be here,” she said.

Noted Boca submarine service veteran Steven Laine led the pledge and even got applause. The league’s public affairs committee co-chairs Stephanie Tunis and Joanne Nachio were among the speakers.

Several league members wore suffragette sashes and posed with a poster. The 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment is Aug. 18, 2020, giving women the right to vote.

By Marci Shatzman

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