Central Florida, Jacksonville, and Pinellas County Urban Leagues Endorse Florida Amendment 1



ORLANDO, OCTOBER 4, 2016 - The Central Florida Urban League, the Jacksonville Urban League, and the Pinellas County Urban League issued the following joint statement:

Breaking down the barriers that keep communities of color from participating in the emerging renewable energy markets as consumers and producers will result in access to affordable energy and an increase in entrepreneurial and career opportunities. The Central Florida Urban League, the Jacksonville Urban League, and the Pinellas County Urban League believe that Florida Amendment 1 provides an effective hammer for breaking down these barriers while providing regulators with the tools to protect low income consumers who still rely entirely on the electric grid from carrying a disproportionate share of the grid’s fixed costs.

Florida Amendment 1 provides consumers with the constitutional right to install rooftop solar to provide for their energy needs.  Owing largely to its cost, low-income consumers and communities of color are seldom able to use rooftop solar and must rely on the grid for their energy needs. As more affluent consumers deploy rooftop solar, fewer non-solar consumers are left to carry the costs of maintaining the grid. This creates a scenario where the costs for maintain the grid shift to low income consumers and communities of color, leaving disadvantaged ratepayers subsidizing affluent solar panel owners. Amendment 1 provides a guarantee that regulators and elected officials can mitigate the effects of regressive cost shifting.

The Central Florida Urban League, the Jacksonville Urban League, and the Pinellas County Urban League urge our members to vote YES on Florida Amendment 1 on November 8, 2016.

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Orange County Sheriff’s Office Safety Expo


Improve Your Finances, Improve Your Life


City of Orlando to offer sandbags in advance of Tropical Depression



The City of Orlando is giving away sandbags to help residents prepare for the potential impact of tropical depression nine.
Residents must show proof of residence and will be given six bags per address.
Today, Tuesday, August 30, 2016 until 2 p.m.
Tomorrow, Wednesday, August 31, 2016 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
City of Orlando Streets and Stormwater Division
1010 Woods Avenue

CFUL participates in #BringABook service project


The CFUL and the Learning Tree at South City in Tallahassee are two organizations what will benefit from the Volunteer Florida and The James Madison Institute's #BringABook service project. Books were donated at the recent JMI’s Annual Policy Summit!

Thank you to all who participated in and supported this literacy service project!

Please click on this link for more pictures.


Respecting law officers begins with our youth

Central Florida Urban League President and CEO, Glenton Gilzean Jr., penned a meaningful column in the Orlando Sentinel.

os-glenton-gilzean-ng-jpg-20160718.jpg I am proud of the vibrant, diverse and inclusive community that I have called my home  since November.

 In the most horrific of tragedies, the terrorist attack at Pulse nightclub, the resilience of our  community was on display. Citizens from all walks of life rallied together to support the  victims, their families and the first responders. Our response reverberated around the world,  proving that our community can stand together against a common foe.

 Yet, while Americans continuously rally together to oppose terrorism, we still have difficulty coming together to support one another.

A schism has developed pitting proponents of Black Lives Matter against those of All Lives Matter. Yet, we are all fighting the same fight. The Black Lives Matter movement does not diminish the value of other lives. It simply means that specific attention needs to be paid to the injustices experienced by African-Americans, particularly as it relates to law enforcement.

This movement is grounded in facts. According to Mapping Police Violence, in 2015, 37 percent of all unarmed people (102 individuals) killed by police were African-American, despite being only 13 percent of the population. Unarmed African-Americans were killed at five times the rate of unarmed Caucasians last year.

It begs us to ask the question: How could a community trust law enforcement when the system is failing it? Our solution is far from simple, but we believe that it must begin with our youth, ensuring that they have an open relationship with law enforcement.

Simply put: Respect, which goes both ways, must be taught at a young age.

Fortunately, the city of Orlando and Orange County have been beacons of hope for our country. Local law enforcement, led by city of Orlando Police Chief John Mina and Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings, have made it a priority to work hand in hand with the community.

In the past year, we have established joint projects such as Coffee with a Cop, which allows our community to engage in healthy conversation with law enforcement, without any preconditions. This has made law enforcement more approachable and has begun the process of alleviating fears and concerns.

Law enforcement has opened up its doors to our youth through its Teen Academy, and local youth recently honored seven officers — heroes — for being a positive influence on their lives.

Our growing relationship and trust has led to real change. Respect for our law enforcement has increased, and we are working together to find solutions for local injustices. Recently, Mina and the city of Orlando issued a directive to all law enforcement to use the minimal amount of force necessary, and to immediately intervene if officers see a colleague using too much force.

Our community spoke; Mina and the city of Orlando listened.

Now, we must return the favor. Much like our community would not want to be demonized when one goes astray, we cannot vilify an entire group based upon the actions of an extreme few. We must respect these brave men and women who risk their lives daily to protect every member of our community, regardless of race or ethnicity.

Mutual respect will lead to more dialogue and change. In the coming months, the Central Florida Urban League will build upon our strong foundation and bring these conversations to all levels of law enforcement, from Florida's attorney general in Tallahassee to the newest recruit in Orlando.

We have taken great strides in our community to address racial injustices, and I am proud that the Urban League will continue to be at the forefront. I believe that the life of every man, woman and child is equally important.

Eventually, when the social media hashtag fizzles and the cameras move on to their next story, we will need to work together through a foundation of respect and open dialogue to achieve a peaceful solution.

Click here to read it via the Orlando Sentinel. 

Teen Academy




ORLANDO, JULY 1, 2016 – Through a wide variety of programs and services, the Central Florida Urban League is looking forward to playing a critical role in assisting the Sanford Housing Authority (SHA) in ensuring that the Choice Neighborhood Planning Grant will benefit as many residents of Sanford as possible.

“The Central Florida Urban League stands ready to assist the residents of Sanford,” said Glenton Gilzean Jr., President and C.E.O. of the Central Florida Urban Leagues. “Our programs such as the Center for Working Families (CWF) will provide Sanford residents access to job training which will lead to high paying jobs and home ownership opportunities.” 

The CWF provides for a comprehensive and integrated approach designed to help low-and moderate-income families reach financial stability, increase their net worth, and become financially secure and upwardly mobile through the provision of integrated and bundled services.

The model focuses on three key areas:

Employment and Career Development: Job readiness, job placement, occupational skills training, education and career advancement;

Income and supports: Helping participants gain access to public benefits, tax credits (EITC, and others), healthcare, financial aid and other benefits to improve their financial security;

Financial Coaching: One-on-one coaching to establish goals and a pathway to success, along with educational workshops, and access to well-priced financial products and services to help participants improve their household finances and build assets and wealth.

Disney VoluntEARS Needed!

Disney VoluntEARS are needed on Friday, June 24 from 11 am to 1pm at Disney Springs Town Hall (1486 Buena Vista Dr, Orlando, FL 32830)
Disney Sports, Water Parks/Mini Golf & Disney Springs Community Outreach team is partnering with Disney VoluntEARS to host an event that will help increase awareness of the Disney VoluntEARS program and to educate Cast on the services provided by participating family-focused local agencies. There will be ongoing Disney VoluntEARS presentations to include VoluntEAR opportunities, guidelines and the recognition programs available to all VoluntEARS. Attendees are asked to consider bringing new or gently used children's books to donate to these participating agencies.
If you are interested in volunteering on behalf of the Central Florida Urban League, please contact Vice President, Kristin here.



ORLANDO, JUNE 12, 2016 – The Central Florida Urban League is asking for all healthy men and women over the age of 16 to donate blood in light of the horrific terrorist attack at Pulse Nightclub.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those killed and injured in this horrific terrorist attack,” said Glenton Gilzean Jr., President and CEO of the Central Florida Urban League. “There is an urgent need for blood donations, so I ask that anyone who is able to donate blood, please do so as quickly as possible. As a community, we must come together and support one another.”

The need is for O Negative, O Positive and AB Plasma blood. To find a donation center or Big Red Bus near you visit www.oneblood.org or call 1.888.9Donate. To be a donor, you must be 16 years or older and weight at least 100 pounds.

“The first responders of Central Florida are the best in the country,” added Gilzean. “They deserve our utmost thanks and support for their service. We stand behind Chief Mina, Sheriff Demings and their staff as they continue to respond to this unthinkable attack.”

Below is a list of blood donor centers and bloodmobile locations:

- Orlando West Michigan Donor Center, 345 W Michigan Street, Ste. 106, Orlando, FL 32806

- Orlando Main Donor Center, 8669 Commodity Circle, Orlando, FL 32819

- Oviedo Donor Center, 1954 W. State Road 426, Oviedo, FL 32765

- Asbury United Methodist Church - Bloodmobile 220, West Horatio Avenue, Maitland, FL 32751 

- St. Luke's United Methodist Church – Bloodmobile, 4851 S. Apopka Vineland Road, Orlando, FL 32819

- Metro Church – Bloodmobile, 1491 East State Road 434, Winter Springs, FL 32708