2013 ‘Champions of Florida’s Middle Class’ Awardees Announced

18 Lawmakers Recognized for 100% Voting Record on Issues Impacting Florida’s Middle Class

TALLAHASSEE – Today, Florida Watch Action, Progress Florida and America Votes recognized 18 members of the Florida Legislature as “Champions of Florida’s Middle Class” for their unwavering support of Florida’s working families. During the 2013 legislative session, these lawmakers voted to protect and expand the middle class in Florida 100% of the time, and championed a range of issues including protecting jobs, expanding health care access, ethics reform and more.

“These eighteen lawmakers deserve Floridians’ thanks for their unwavering support and leadership on the issues that matter most to middle class families,” said Progress Florida Executive Director Mark Ferrulo. “Despite stacked odds, these legislators never once yielded to Gov. Rick Scott and his legislative allies’ corporate campaign cash driven agenda.”

The 2013 “Champions of Florida’s Middle Class” are listed below in alphabetical order and can also be found at www.MiddleClassChamps.com:

  • Sen. Jeff Clemens (Lake Worth)
  • Sen. Arthenia Joyner (Tampa)
  • Rep. Lori Berman (Boynton Beach)
  • Rep. Randolph Bracy (Orlando)
  • Rep. Karen Castor Dentel (Maitland)
  • Rep. Mia L. Jones (Jacksonville)
  • Rep. Dave Kerner (Palm Springs)
  • Rep. Kionne L. McGhee (Miami)
  • Rep. Mark S. Pafford (West Palm Beach)
  • Rep. Sharon Pritchett (Miramar)
  • Rep. José Javier Rodríguez (Miami)
  • Rep. Hazelle P. Rogers (Lauderhill)
  • Rep. Joe Saunders (Orlando)
  • Rep. Elaine J. Schwartz (Hollywood)
  • Rep. Irving “Irv” Slosberg (Delray Beach)
  • Rep. Cynthia A. Stafford (Opa Locka)
  • Rep. Perry E. Thurston, Jr. (Fort Lauderdale)
  • Rep. Clovis Watson, Jr. (Gainesville)

“We applaud these lawmakers for defending Florida’s middle class families against constant attacks from Gov. Rick Scott and his legislative allies’ extremist agenda,” said Florida Watch Action Executive Director Amy Ritter. “We need more champions like these legislators who fight every day for Florida's families.”

“At a time when middle class families are trying to make ends meet because Florida has the wrong leadership with the wrong priorities, it’s important that lawmakers fighting the good fight are recognized,” said America Votes Florida State Director Josh Geise.

Among the votes that were considered in naming the 2013 Champions of Florida’s Middle Class were supporting health care expansion to more than a million Floridians (HB 7169), stopping the anti-public school “Parent Trigger” bill (HB 867), opposing efforts to harm the retirement security of Florida’s workers (HB 7011), voting against local control over worker benefits (HB 655), support for ethics reform (SB 2), and opposing the reckless foreclosure bill that will hurt Florida families trying to hold on to their homes (HB 87). The complete list of bills scored can be found at www.MiddleClassChamps.com.

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For more information, go to www.MiddleClassChamps.com.

 Florida Watch Action is a statewide organization that works with progressive groups to provide a unified voice on the issues that matter most to Floridians. Visit us at www.FloridaWatchAction.org.

 Progress Florida is the state's largest netroots organization fighting to protect Florida's middle class. Learn more at www.ProgressFlorida.org.

 America Votes works with over 300 state and national partner organizations to advance progressive policies, expand access to the ballot, coordinate issue advocacy and election campaigns, and protect every American's right to vote. To learn more visit www.AmericaVotes.org.