Our mission is to encourage the future generation of leaders to invest in the development of downtown Fort Lauderdale, by building awareness of, and pride in, the city with positive news and local happenings. We want to inspire other forward-thinking people and groups to take action and get involved in the decisions that will ultimately shape this promising new landscape.
It is important that young, thoughtful people come together to be a part of the political discussions deciding the future of Broward County. The decisions made on a local level are the ones that will impact us most because they decide what the vision of the future may look like.
We need to ensure that our future is planned by motivated, driven, progressive young leaders and not by those opposed to progress.
At the present moment, it may feel like our city and county commissioners only listen to the voice of the older generation. But that is only because those are the forums they are a part of. They hear so much unprogressive speech by such a small vocal minority and believe that that is the consensus throughout Broward County.
We need to show them otherwise.
We may not attend county commission meetings on Friday nights, but that does not mean we are not aware of the conversations taking place — conversations about us and the future of our city. That’s one of the reasons we started Big Picture Broward. We needed to give our community a forum that was geared towards the future.
Taco Tuesday Town Hall was the beginning of this movement.
We set up four chairs in the center of the room for the city commissioners with tables and couches spread around for the guests, which gave the setting a nice personal touch. While the city commissioners arrived, the guests mingled registered to vote and enjoyed some ice cold beers on behalf of C&I Studios.
The forum opened with Dean Trantalis and Bruce Roberts, two city commissioners running for Mayor of Fort Lauderdale. And with Tim Smith and Steve Glassman, two candidates campaigning for a seat on the city commission to represent the second district of Fort Lauderdale.
First, we discussed topics like gun control and safety strategies that should be implemented throughout the community in response to the tragedy in Parkland. All candidates were proponents for stricter gun control laws throughout Florida (and the nation) regarding procurement of weapons and the class of weapons that should be available to members of the public as a means of defense.
Steve Glassman was adamant about the subject and proposed measures as involved as moving the gun show in Holiday Park outside the county. Whereas commissioners, like Bruce Roberts, a retired police officer, talked of implementing stricter laws and more extensive background checks for those looking to acquire a firearm or concealed weapons permit.
The remainder of the discussion was about the upcoming project on The Wave Streetcar. Hearing so much support from members of the community, people who commute to FATVillage for work, and those who live in downtown Fort Lauderdale lent a healthy perspective on the demand for the Wave.
Many young professionals hailed the project as a forward-thinking solution that would greatly benefit Broward County’s future by bringing value to the downtown area and shops on Las Olas, while others described the Wave as a seamless connection to the Brightline Train, and, therefore, West Palm Beach, Miami and (eventually) Orlando.
“It was great seeing the discussion move around the room rather than bounce from commissioners to individual audience members,” said Gonzalo Ballesteros in regards to the guests getting involved in the conversation. “People got involved and voiced themselves, which was the whole point of the Taco Tuesday Town Hall event.”
The night ended with the city commissioners joining the guests for one-on-one conversations over plates of tacos. The whole experience was a constructive, healthy start to showing our elected officials that the young, forward-thinking professionals living and working throughout Broward County do care about the future.
Another event is scheduled for June 2018, so stay informed if you don’t want to risk missing out on free tacos, free beer, and great conversations with your peers. Follow our facebook page for the latest Big Picture Broward happenings, and other local events popping up throughout the community.
Be sure to register to vote and keep an eye out for the Wave Streetcar Project. Our combined support will go a long way in guiding Fort Lauderdale and the whole of Broward County towards the future.