Who’s the driving force behind Florida’s statewide paid sick time initiative?


Marleine Bastien, with bullhorn — Photo Credit SFVoices.org

By Tom Tillison

Left-leaning community organizers in Florida are back for another bite of the apple with mandatory paid sick leave.

After being throttled in getting a local ballot initiative passed in Orange County in 2012, they want a bigger bite this go-round — a statewide constitutional amendment.

Organize Now, the architect of the previous effort, filed with the Florida Division of Elections last week to get the issue on the 2016 ballot.

Dictating compensatory practices to businesses is a union-driven effort that has deep ties to “pure democracy” community organizers like Organize Now, the de facto successor to now-defunct ACORN Florida that’s led by Stephanie Porta.

The 2012 effort was funded primarily by Washington-based Leadership Center for the Common Good, another “re-branded” ACORN organization, according to the nonpartisan government accountability group Cause of Action.

But the pro-union, community organizer ties go even deeper.

Brian Kettenring, the former head of ACORN Florida, was the executive director of LCCG when it contributed nearly $100,000 in support of the effort in Orange County.

The proposed constitutional amendment was filed last Wednesday by Family Always Come First, Inc., a political action committee formed by Organize Now.

Unfortunately, families are more likely to come last when prices increases and layoffs result from the PAC’s failed liberal policies.

The registering agent for Family Always Come First was Madeline Garcia, the chief financial officer at Organize Now, who’s also listed as the PAC’s treasurer.

Miami-based activist Marleine Bastien is listed as the PAC’s chairman. The selection underscores how critical South Florida will be to the ballot initiative’s success. Born in Haiti, Bastien is the founder and director of Haitian Women of Miami, Inc.

Timothy Herberlein is named as the co-chairman. Long active in the Tampa area, the Sierra Club staffer is a board member of Florida Institute for Reform & Empowerment (F.I.R.E.), the training arm of Organize Now.

With Organize Now based in Orange County, that covers the Miami, Tampa and Orlando markets in the quest to obtain the 683,149 signatures needed by Feb. 1.

The real question here may be will these community organizers be permitted to piggyback the medical marijuana ballot initiative in gathering signatures.

Well, John Morgan?


2 thoughts on “Who’s the driving force behind Florida’s statewide paid sick time initiative?

  1. The lie behind is Liberalism: the faith that people are bad but politicians are good.
    So, we cannot trust each other to negotiate our sick time, but we can trust politicians to mandate everybody’s sick time.

  2. Pingback: Take heart Orange County, a ray of sunshine penetrates Orlando Sentinel’s cloud of inclination | Florida Rattle Tale

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