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Gov Scott Administration "Slaps" African Americans in face by withholding proceeds from MLK plate
Foundation demands that the state of Floirida cease receiving and using money from MLK license plate for its own use, if it is withholding sales proceeds from Florida's black community
By: The Dream Foundation
Governor Scotts Administration "Slaps" the African America Community in the face by withholding proceeds from the nation's first specialty license plate with Dr. Kings image
Thanking the Governor for signing the bill placing the Statute of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune into Statutory Hall, the organization overseeing the nation's first ever specialty license plate baring the image of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, ask Florida Highway Safety and Motor vehicles to cease accepting their fee from the plates purchase sales, as long as it refuses to release sales proceeds to the Sickle Cell Association of Florida and the other organizations that serve the black community from the sales proceeds as is statutorily directed.
The MLK "Live The Dream" license plate was created and placed into law in 2004, and is a vehicle that reinvest the purchasing fees back into the community for services specific to the needs of Florida's African American community. Since 2015, because it seems the foundation overseeing the plate was the victim theft by a British American Businessman facing federal charges for the alleged theft, the proceeds has been withheld, and the Sickle Cell Disease Association of Florida has not been able to receive those funds it is due as a result. But, at the same time, African American's in good faith continue to purchase the tag and the DHSMV continues to receive its fees from those sales whenever someone switches from a regular plate to the Live the Dream plate before its time for them to have a new metal plate. They pay extra to do that, and the Department has kept and used those funds while simultaneously withholding funds from the pass through organization and subsequently the sub-recipients like the sickle cell association.
The Foundation, being more than patient has sought to work with the DHSMV and have met with the governor's policy staff over the past years and a half to have the funds released back to the community, to no avail. In fact, "it has had all phone calls not returned and have been utterly dismissed", said Michael Dobson Dream Foundation President. On one hand, the Governor has honored an African American icon, and on the other hand has shown little regard to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, when April 4, it will be the 50 anniversary commemorating his death by an assassins bullet.
"I own one of the plates myself and so does many African Americans in Tampa and all over the state of Florida, and other than myself, they have no idea that what they thought they were investing in, has not gone back into the community, but instead has sat in a trust fund with the state for over three years… for no reason I can see", said Tampa City Councilman Frank Reddick who is also the Chief Operating Officer of the Sickle Cell Disease Association of Florida.
"This is not partisan", said Rev William Randall, a former Republican congressional candidate who at one time gave Ex-Congresswomen Corrine Brown her biggest scare in a district heavily gerrymandered to her benefit. The original sponsors of the plate were former Lt. Governor Republican Jennifer Carrol , while in the Florida House, and the late Senator Larcenia Bullard, a Democrat from Miami. Reverend Randall also owns one of the MLK "Live The Dream" license plates, and highlights it at the annual MLK Celebration in Clay County which he organizes. He is also a partner with the Dream Foundation solely for the purpose of assisting with the marketing of the plate as a board member of One Church One Child.
"We and the Dream Foundation board is asking that if the funds are not released, that the state should not get a penny either", said Councilman Reddick. Moreover, they are flabbergasted as to why the Department, within its administrative powers, has refused to release the funds so that the program can be back on track. The statute says it can withhold funds if the organization used the proceeds in ways not permitted, but the organization did not do that. What the organization experienced was theft. "Its sort of like the organization is being victimized yet again", said Rev Randall referring to the alleged theft the foundation has endured at the hands of a British business man. " We just don't understand why Governor Scott has let this go on. It's a slap in the face to the black community statewide. " said Councilman Reddick. Both Councilman Reddick and Reverend Randall agree that , "this is just wrong and abusive to the many African Americans who simply want to reinvest into their own communities using this tool, while celebrating the King legacy". Visit http://www.livethedreamfoundation.org/
Page Updated Last on: Jun 14, 2018