Florida Congressman Alcee Hastings has been one of the longest-serving US representatives in Florida.
For over 20 years, Hastings has represented the interests of the Caribbean-American and African-American community in South Florida, first for the 23rd district and now for the 20th district.
For his work in the community, Jamaican-American Broward Commissioner Dale Holness has put forward a proposal to honor Hastings.
Commissioner Holness wants to rename a portion of Northwest Sixth Court, from Northwest 27th Avenue to Northwest 31st Avenue, between Lauderhill and Fort Lauderdale, as Alcee Hastings Street.
Holness said it’s important to honor those in the community that have served their residents well.
“It is very important that we honor those who have served us, like Congressman Hastings. He has the first Black person elected to serve in the US Congress from the state of Florida and he’s on his 15th term,” Commissioner Holness said.
“he’s served us with distinction, working to ensure that poor and middle-class people in the state have jobs. He’s also fought for healthcare and educational opportunities for our young people,” Holness added.
Holness’s proposal has however received some backlash. County rules prohibit the renaming of streets after people who are still alive.
In pointing this out, State Senator Perry Thurston described Holness’ proposal as ill-conceived. But Holness said he still wants to go ahead with his plans.
The Jamaican-born Commissioner also said that for the Caribbean community in South Florida, Congressman Hastings has been an advocate for fair treatment.
“He has fought to ensure that those who are immigrants of this country are treated with dignity,” he said, adding that he has often turned to Hastings for guidance in assisting the immigrant community in South Florida.
The 83-year-old Hasting has served as a Congressman since 1993. He currently represents Florida’s District 20, which includes sections of Broward and Palm Beach counties.
Hastings was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2019.