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Crist should appoint earthquake disaster czar, Haitian-born Rep. Bernard says

by Dara Kam | February 4th, 2010



Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties are putting together a legislative task force to help streamline relief to earthquake-ravaged Haiti.

The tri-county area is home to the greatest number of Haitian immigrants and has been ground-zero for state and federal Haitian aid efforts.

Newly elected state Rep. Mack Bernard, a West Palm Beach Democrat who was born in Port-au-Prince where the epicenter of the deadly earthquake struck last month, is heading up Palm Beach County’s delegation in the task force, which will include Reps. Juan Zapata, R-Miami, and Ari Porth, D-Coral Springs, and up to 9 other South Florida lawmakers.

Bernard wants better communication from Gov. Charlie Crist, who he said telephoned him the night of the earthquake on Jan. 12 but hasn’t spoken with him since.

Bernard visited Haiti last week. His sister and her three children are now homeless as a result of the disaster, Bernard said.

Crist should appoint a “Haiti czar” to streamline efforts that could be an economic boon to financially-strapped Florida, Bernard, D-West Palm Beach, suggested.

Read the story here.

“It’s that lack of communication, especially from the governor’s office” that is creating frustration for representatives from the tri-county area, which has the state’s largest Haitian immigrant population and is now on the front line providing aid and resources to the ravaged nation, Bernard said.

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8 Responses to “Crist should appoint earthquake disaster czar, Haitian-born Rep. Bernard says”

  1. Bull Poop Says:

    This BS has gone way to far! We have people unemployed, starving, loosing houses, loosing cars and trucks. Crist needs to pay attention to our problems right here in Florida before he starts trying to save the world. No on feels sorrier for the pople of Haiti than I do. charity starts at home. Right now we can’t even help our own selves.
    The 12% unemployment rate does not count the self employed people who do not qualify to get on the unemployment rolls. If you add all of them we probably realistically have 25-30% unemployment in the state. Let Crist name someone a job finding and bill paying Czar.

  2. Debra Says:

    You have GOT TO BE KIDDING!!! You want MORE taxpayer money going to help out figure out what to do with the Hatian influx from the earthquake disaster? How about appointing an earthquake Czar IN HAITI and NOT South Florida? Too nobel of an idea for a country to gain their own independence? If they put as much effort into rebuilding their own country as they do feeding off Americans they would not have sustained such destruction physically and politcally! Crist and the others balking at the support have the right idea. Americans should not be paying mroe money in bogging down our hospitals with illegal Hatian citizens. The hospitals should priortize for uninsured American citizens FIRST – where is the Czar for the homeless Floridians that have fallen victim to hurricanes and subsequent forclosures? AMERICA starts with AMERICANS! First and foremost. Once we help ourselves, we can help others.

  3. GEOFF FEAR Says:


  4. LOUIS Says:

    And he wants to be the Senator from Florida ?? !!!

  5. Laugher Says:

    Dumbest idea ever, who elected this guy? Somebody tell him that glasses do not make you smart. You actually have to have good ideas. This isn’t one of them Mack.

  6. Bull Poop Says:

    Hey 12:39….

    I guess I have 50% of the same want Charlie Crist has. He wants to be senator from Florida. And, I just want him to be from Florida….. Way away from Florida!!!! Let him take a job selling halloween costumes for his beards company in New York!

  7. GEOFF FEAR Says:


  8. Joe Bernadel Says:

    Representative Mac Bernard is one of the most responsible and caring politicians in Tallahassee. Mac Bernard is one of the original founders of the Palm Beach County Haiti Relief Coalition, a consortium of PBC organizations, private citizens, businesses and PBC government agencies formed in 2008 to coordinate aid and relief to victims of disasters in the Caribbean.
    Some of the negative comments made against Mac reflect the shortsightedness of the writers. Haitian people in Florida contribute immensely to the quality of life of all Florida citizens. The children born of first and second generation Haitian/Floridians represent in part the future of our State. Haiti is a short 1:30 hrs flight from Florida and poses significant security concerns for our nation: refugees,drug dealers,terrorists to be, will all have a field day if Haiti is allowed to collapse. What Mac is suggesting is a grown up solution (coordination of assets dealing with a crisis so that the interests of the State and ALL its citizens can be best served). This seems to me a very sensible approach to a heart wrenching disaster. As a Haitian born/US citizen, I served 22 years in the US Army; and my son completed 2 combat tours,one in Iraq and one in Afghanistan with the Florida National Guard. I support the concept of the CZAR.

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