Speeches and Floor Statements

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  • Dena Gross Leavengood
    Posted in Speeches and Floor Statements on September 6, 2019 | Preview rr

    Madam Speaker, I rise today to celebrate the life of Dena Gross Leavengood, a tireless advocate for Florida, our Tampa Bay community and indeed our planet. Her determined advocacy has left a profound impact on our community and almost impossible shoes to fill. A Florida native, Dena graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Zoology from the University of Florida and received her master’s degree right here at the University of South Florida. Dena was a driving force behind The Florida Aquarium becaus... Read more

  • Amy Shimberg
    Posted in Speeches and Floor Statements on August 16, 2019 | Preview rr

    Madam Speaker, I rise today in admiration and respect to honor the life and unselfish works of Amy Shimberg. Amy’s remarkable contributions to our hometown of Tampa had a tremendous impact on our neighbors and is worthy of recognition. She is survived by her five children and their spouses, 15 grandchildren, brother and numerous nieces and nephews who she loved very much. Amy was born, raised and educated in New York City. She obtained her bachelor’s degree from New York University and her maste... Read more

  • Sandy D'Alemberte
    Posted in Speeches and Floor Statements on May 21, 2019 | Preview rr

    I am saddened to hear of the passing of a truly great Floridian, Sandy D'Alemberte. As it does for so many, his passing pains me both personally and for our state and country. Sandy was a voice for reason, the rule of law, decency and kindness - a "necessary man" for all his time and certainly for these times. It is enough to remember him as a brilliant legislator, president of the American Bar Association (ABA), Florida State University (FSU) president and Florida Constitutional scholar. And, ... Read more

  • LTC. James Hammond USA (Ret.)
    Posted in Speeches and Floor Statements on May 10, 2019 | Preview rr

    Madam Speaker, I rise today in admiration and respect to honor the life of true civil rights champion, James Hammond. Retired Lt. Col. U.S. Army James Hammond was born on November 11th - Veterans Day, a fitting beginning for a man who would give so much to our state and our country. A pioneering civil rights leader, Mr. Hammond helped shape my hometown of Tampa and we will remember his legacy for the stands he took, the differences he made and the lives he touched. Born in Tampa, FL, Mr. Hammond... Read more

  • Dr. Juel Smith
    Posted in Speeches and Floor Statements on March 13, 2019 | Preview rr

    Madam Speaker, I rise today to honor the living legacy of Dr. Juel Smith. Her story starts in Sapulpa, Oklahoma, where she was born and graduated from Sapulpa High School in 1960. She married and became a mother of five children. Tragedy struck her and her family when her husband suddenly passed away, and Dr. Smith became a widow. She realized that pursuing higher education was her best shot for her to secure a better future for her family. Dr. Smith persevered and earned her degree in elementar... Read more

  • Honorable Betty Reed
    Posted in Speeches and Floor Statements on March 13, 2019 | Preview rr

    Madam Speaker, I rise today to honor beloved community leader, Florida State Representative Betty Reed. She was raised in Thomasville, Georgia, in a close-knit family of hardworking sharecroppers and with 12 other siblings. Representative Reed and her husband, James, moved to Tampa after he was discharged from the military to raise a family of their own. Representative Reed was an active parent while her children attended school, and her involvement grew over time in the Parent Teacher Student A... Read more

  • Harold Jackson
    Posted in Speeches and Floor Statements on March 13, 2019 | Preview rr

    Madam Speaker, I rise to honor a third-generation servant leader from my community of Tampa, Florida, Harold A. Jackson, Jr. who was born at Tampa Negro Hospital to the late Jacqueline Haynes Jackson and the late Harold A. Jackson, Sr. Jackson learned about service at a young age as his father served in the U.S. Army during World War II and returned to Tampa to become one of our hometown’s pioneering African American civil rights attorneys and led local desegregation efforts. His mother was a be... Read more

  • Barry Cohen
    Posted in Speeches and Floor Statements on October 12, 2018 | Preview rr

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to celebrate the life of a true champion for justice, Barry Cohen. His remarkable work fighting passionately for all the people of the Tampa Bay community is worthy of recognition. Read more

  • Dr. Bruce Weiner
    Posted in Speeches and Floor Statements on September 2, 2018 | Preview rr

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate a fellow Tampanian, Bruce Weiner, on his tenure as the national president of the prestigious American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) and honor his commitment to safe, quality anesthesia care for my neighbors and patients nationwide. Read more

  • Rudy Baldoni
    Posted in Speeches and Floor Statements on June 19, 2018 | Preview rr

    Mr. Speaker, I am proud to have the Big Brothers Big Sisters national headquarters in my district, Tampa, Florida. Big Brothers Big Sisters is lead by the former two-term mayor, Pam Iorio who is beloved in Tampa, and we are proud of her and Big Brother Big Sisters across America. Today in that spirit, I rise to honor the accomplishments of a true advocate for children everywhere, Mr. Rudy Baldoni. His tireless work for Big Brothers Big Sisters has impacted the lives of countless youths. I am grateful to recognize the incredible work he has put into the nation’s oldest and most effective mentoring organization. Read more