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        South Florida 100: The election is over. Can we come together now?

        Former Vice President Joe Biden and President Trump
        Former Vice President Joe Biden and President Trump (Getty Images)

        Our panel of 100 influential leaders discusses the most important issues affecting you.

        Anthony J. Abbate, architect

        Last week: The U.S. is officially out of the Paris Climate Agreement as of this week. Architects and building owners who've, over the last 10 years, committed to carbon reductions in the building sector have made tremendous strides. Data indicates a 20 million metric ton reduction in CO2 emissions, close to 50% overall. Despite the efforts of the building sector, Florida – blessed with good weather and low energy consumption – still has work to do in the transportation sector. Lacking alternatives, we rank among the highest per capita in transportation sector emissions, and according to the Energy Information Administration, we’ve seen a 55% increase since 1980.

        Looking ahead: The insidious effects of the former practice of redlining go beyond issues of economic racial equity. Recent studies reveal that white neighborhoods that weren’t redlined are cooler, while the Black neighborhoods are much hotter, by as much as 10 degrees or more. Sites paved over with heat-absorbing concrete and lack of public investment in shade trees and parks that naturally cool the built environment have contributed to this heat disparity, driving up the number of heat-related health issues. Racial equity – inextricable from climate equity – is a project we need to focus on.

        Irela Bagué, president, Bagué Group

        Last week: As the election votes were being counted, the COVID-19 cases continued steadily rising. No matter who wins the White House, the pandemic cannot be ignored. Our country seriously needs an organized national response and the leadership necessary to manage this crisis once and for all.

        Looking ahead: Miami-Dade County made history by electing its first female mayor. Daniella Levine Cava won the seat previously held by Hispanic men for decades. Although it is considered a nonpartisan position, this mayoral campaign got swept into the general election rhetoric and ideologies. However, Mayor-elect Levine Cava focused on running her campaign based on compassion, unity and solutions; it is clear this resonated with the voters.

        Lauren Book, member, Florida Senate

        Last week: For Democrats in Florida it is time for real change. As long as the structure of our party is based on a 1970s “precinct captain” model where our party leaders are not answerable or accountable directly to the voters or those who are, nothing will change. As long as those at the Florida Democratic Party proper are mere handlers of other people’s accounts and funds, the hard work of reshaping our party cannot and will not happen. But this senator is not interested in finding blame. This senator is interested in change. In real change. The hard kind.

        Traci Callari, President, Broward League of Cities; Hollywood commissioner

        Looking ahead: Nov. 11, 2020 – Veterans Day – we honor and recognize the 17.4 million veterans who have risked their lives in defense of our great country and the rights and freedoms we enjoy as Americans. Our Armed Forces have protected our country on foreign and domestic fronts, and we must never forget their sacrifices. We are fortunate to live in a country where our freedoms have been defended and protected for hundreds of years. Please remember to thank our veterans for their service and bravery and may we continue to honor and respect them.

        Kathleen Cannon, president, United Way of Broward County

        Last week: Congratulations, Broward County! With more than 1.2 million registered voters, more than 962,000 ballots were cast – a voter turnout this year of more than 75%! This speaks volumes about our community’s commitment to democracy and our right to have our voices heard. While we may sometimes disagree on issues, we can all agree on one thing: The voting process is inspiring and powerful. A heartfelt thank you to all who participated, and big kudos to the Broward County Supervisor of Elections for doing an amazing job making every vote count.

        Angelo Castillo, commissioner, Pembroke Pines

        Last week: Voting should be easy, convenient, welcoming, safe, inclusive and highly reliable. There’s been progress developing a menu of reliable options fitting most everyone’s needs. Yet too few communities nationwide consistently reach high 80% or more voter turnout in every election. We must. It should not be so difficult to do; let’s redouble the effort. Let’s use all our talent and technological prowess to expand easy and reliable voting options for all citizens. Because without voting, our democracy can’t work. We can do much better.

        Paul Castronovo, host, Paul Castronovo Show on Big 105.9

        Last week: You’re reading this on Sunday, but I’m writing this on Election Day. Turnout has been fantastic, and there hasn’t been any problems yet, but … The Weather Channel just said that Hurricane Eta is heading in our direction, and NOAA has us in the Cone of Death – really, 2020? Tomorrow, which is Wednesday, (hopefully we’ll have some results) half of us will be in various states of depression, and the other half of us will be celebrating. Either way, is there enough alcohol in the world to get us through this, no matter which side of the political fence you’re sitting on?

        Looking ahead: Let’s discuss 2020 for a minute. Has anything about it been fair? I’ve been watching, as business after business has been negatively affected. Restaurants have figured out how to do business without customers and with Plexiglas partitions. Hotels and airplanes are virtually empty. And just this week, the layoffs hit home. We lost a dedicated, hard-working friend, who was excelling at his job and through absolutely no fault of his own, finds himself out of work. He’s not alone. Once COVID-19 is behind us, what are all these people going to do, and how are we going to help?

        Richard Clark, CEO, Clark Leadership Consulting

        Looking ahead: While the election is over, the spread of COVID-19 is not. Are Americans capable of behavior modification? Do those elected have the courage to lead it? Absent a vaccine, the only defense is compliance, voluntary or mandated. Until Americans unify and rally around fighting the spread, the consequences are inevitable. Businesses permanently closed will not reopen, nor will the jobs lost return. Continued spread will force further closures, rising unemployment and love ones lost. Americans are capable of greatness. Working together, unified and committed to end COVID-19, we can celebrate a healthy economy and save countless lives doing so.

        Michael De Lucca, president, Broward Regional Health Planning Council, Inc.

        Last week: Millions of Americans have lost or are losing job-based coverage during the pandemic, which may cause this year’s open enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act to be the most unpredictable in the history of the 2010 health law. More than 11 million people have health coverage through HealthCare.gov and state-run health insurance markets offering subsidized private plans. The health law also covers another 12 million people through its Medicaid expansion. The open enrollment period ends on Dec. 15, 2020, for health coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2021. Visit HealthCare.gov to enroll or view additional information.

        Looking ahead: In preparation for the holiday season, Amazon is planning to add 100,000 part-time and full-time jobs. Amazon’s jobs will offer a path to a long-term career or will be able to provide extra income and flexibility during the holidays. It is predicted that sales will increase from November to January by 25% to 35% compared to last year. This year, Amazon spent billions adding new last mile and transportation capacity and putting more selection in fulfillment centers closer to customers. Make sure to order ahead of time, as the holiday season can cause shipments to be backed up.

        Dr. Michael Dennis, chair, FAU Schmidt College of Medicine

        Last week: It may have seemed dull and boring to some, but what a delightful, cooperative atmosphere of political interactions witnessed in this last week of campaigning. A few polite, respectful intelligent discussions between the presidential candidates offering solutions that encouraged both parties to participate in joint efforts benefiting the national interest. Even foreign governments, jealous of our peaceful selection system, learned valuable lessons about governing in a manner that recognizes the importance of every individual and idea. The inherent tranquility of the applications for public service should be a model for the future. Wait a minute! Did I miss something?

        Looking ahead: A national election has just been completed, which was anything but healing. And America is threatened because 84% of people polled felt that our country is the divided – not the United – States of America. The nation is moving rapidly beyond partisanship toward complete polarization. With few people willing to listen to disparate ideologies, how do we regain a sense of unity and purpose? Some will choose to seek spiritual guidance, while others can strive for conciliatory and cooperative outcomes. A general atmosphere of genuine, heartfelt concern for one’s fellow citizens would be dramatically effective. Gestures of respect and empathy are transformational.

        Bernie Fernandez Jr., M.D., CEO, Baptist Health Medical Group

        Last week: While Florida COVID-19 cases have resumed another upward trend, new research is showing death rates are declining. One study found that at the beginning of the pandemic, hospitalized patients in the New York health system had a 26% chance of dying. In August, that risk dropped to 8%. Researchers say better treatments and care protocols, as well as preventive measures, such as mask wearing, which lessens the viral load that can spread between people, are possible reasons for the decline. Fewer deaths is good news no matter what the reasons, but we can’t let our guard down.

        Lamar Fisher, member, Broward County Commission

        Last week: This week, Broward County announced it is beginning a gradual reopening of in-person services. A comprehensive “Back to Business In-Person Plan” has been developed, with specified requirements for all county services, from libraries to the animal shelter and many others. Many of these services never officially closed, and most were made virtual throughout this pandemic, but as we continue to reopen our community, county services are also adjusting. The plan provides for all safety measures in all county government facilities. To check out the plan and available in-person service please visit www.Broward.org/Coronavirus.

        Looking ahead: As we continue to keep our eye on Eta, this is a great reminder that Hurricane Season is not over! Hurricane Eta, a major Category 4 hurricane at the time, made its way through parts of Central America last week. It’s expected to make a sharp turn and head east into the Caribbean Sea, over Cuba and toward South Florida. Broward County residents are encouraged to recheck your hurricane plans, make sure missing supplies are restocked, check evacuation maps and be prepared! For more information on how to get ready and register to receive updates/alerts please visit www.Broward.org/hurricane.

        Beam Furr, member, Broward County Commission

        Last week: Congratulations to Linda Hill Anderson on being elected the first Black city commissioner in Hollywood! Hollywood was founded in 1921 – almost exactly 100 years ago. Despite being one of the most diverse cities in Broward and having one of Broward’s richest legacies of Black history and culture, it took this long for Hollywood to elect a Black commissioner. Commissioner-elect Anderson’s victory serves as both a triumph of how far we’ve come, and a reminder of how far we must go. She brings a new, much needed perspective to the commission. Hollywood will be served well by her leadership.

        Looking ahead: The 2020 election saw record-breaking turnout – and startling amounts of division and fear. The close results, with each side turning out more than ever, seem to indicate a divided country. But we are at a moment in history during which we cannot afford to be divided. This week saw a record number of new COVID-19 cases, and 2020 has laid bare just how many challenges we face when it comes to race, our economy and more. More than any point in American history, we need unity. It’s time for us to listen to each other, heal and move forward together with our new president.

        Anna Fusco, president, Broward Teachers Union

        Looking ahead: Are students and educators safe from coronavirus in Broward schools? When the governor and education commissioner mandated brick-and-mortar schools open with optional attendance for students and required for educators, Broward’s positivity rate had been below 5% for several days. That was then. Now, it’s climbed back over 10%, reflecting the record number of cases being seen across the country. In Broward schools, the case count is now more than 600! That number becomes even more concerning when you consider that approximately 80% of students are still learning remotely. We need to stop endangering our kids and educators!

        Michael Gottlieb, member, Florida House of Representatives

        Last week: For the past sixty days or so, I had the privilege of working with the Biden campaign at the Supervisor of Elections. My job was as one of many lawyers to argue to the canvassing board voter intent on issues where the voter was imprecise in making their choice. At the same time, I was tasked with being on another committee of Democratic lawyers, who were briefing out and preparing legal issues in the event of a Trump campaign legal appeal in Florida. Not that I am criticizing the legal maneuvers, my point is they were known and anticipated for months. It was part and parcel of the Supreme Court nomination and the allegation that we would be soon amid a constitutional crisis. These strategic positions were announced by his campaign and are part of the fabric of our election system at this point. They do not indicate systemic fraud, but rather allegations thereof. The allegations must be proven, they will not be, they don’t exist and are part of the new, fake news that we all need to ignore. All timely votes will count, they will all be vetted through our local and state authorities, the people of the U.S. will speak, their voice will be heard and the winner will stand tall and hopefully represent us all with honor and integrity.

        Looking ahead: I am preparing to switch from being a busy criminal defense lawyer and campaign advocate to my role in the state House. We will have an organizational session in November and then convene for committee weeks in mid-January thru mid-February. The time is now for those who are interested to contact your state legislator and let us know your priorities for this coming session. I see my job as someone who must be responsive to all in the district and state, and I am happy to engage with anyone who has ideas that benefit Florida. Contact me, let’s talk. Michael.gottlieb@myfloridahouse.gov, 954-424-6812.

        Sheldon Harr, founding rabbi emeritus, Temple Kol Ami Emanu-El

        Last week: I tried my best not to be locked in front of my TV, hanging on every word of the commentators. I failed. I became, at least for last week, a TV political junkie! At times, it was exhilarating. At other times, it was depressing. In any case, it is time to detox. Together, it is time for us to rebuild our country. It has been badly wounded. Civility. Respect. Understanding. Regard. Just a few adjectives we need to keep in mind as we re-strengthen what I hope and pray is still the world's greatest democracy. Let's recommit as Americans to exhibit the values of our country. A challenge to be sure, but one which we are capable of achieving.

        Marlon A. Hill, partner, Hamilton, Miller & Birthisel

        Last week: As the national vote tally is being certified, we see a contrasting difference in the narratives of South Florida constituencies. The truth is that the inferences of "socialism" or "Black Lives Matter" conjure different emotions depending on the cultural background of specific voters. Everyone knows that our police will remain funded for our mutual safety, your property will not be confiscated or looted, and we will all maintain constitutional freedoms and protections. At the end of the day, the issue of race is the underlying fear. These fears are politically unsustainable in the long run.

        Marty Kiar, property appraiser, Broward County

        Last week: Florida voters have approved Amendment 5. This state constitutional amendment extends the period during which a person may transfer Save Our Homes benefit or “portability” to a new homestead property from two tax years to three tax years. To receive this tax saving benefit, a homeowner must establish a new Homestead Exemption within one of the three tax years immediately following the abandonment of their previous Homestead Exemption. This amendment begins with the upcoming 2021 tax year. Should you have any questions, please email me at martykiar@bcpa.net or call our office at 954-357-6830.

        Tracey Labgold, chairperson, Anti-Defamation League Florida

        Last week: We just witnessed one of the most consequential elections in the history of our nation. And yet, as of this time, the outcome of the U.S. presidential race is still undetermined. As the final votes are tallied, we reiterate our long-standing calls that every vote counts and every vote must be counted. ADL will stand up vigilantly against antisemitism and extremism, as we have for over 107 years. If extremists try to exploit this moment of national uncertainty, to spread words of hate and to act out online and on the ground, we will be there to support our community.

        Ina Lee, owner, Travelhost Elite of Greater Fort Lauderdale

        Last week: The 2020 election produced no clear mandate from the American people. Whoever finally wins as president after the votes are counted, the Senate and House have become even more partisan, making for a very challenging time amid the growing pandemic and economic downturn. Americans broke records as they showed up to vote, whether by mail or in person. Somehow, we must heal the great divide in our country and truly become the United States of America, respecting each other and finding common ground.

        Looking ahead: The United States formally left the Paris Climate Agreement, a move that was threatened by President Trump. The global pact was created five years ago to avoid the catastrophic impact of climate change by reducing the increase in average temperature well below 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. As we face rising sea levels and more storms and fires globally, the urgency of global reduction of greenhouse gases has never been more needed. Time is running out and we must take effective action as a nation now.

        George Moraitis, chairman, Broward Republican Executive Committee

        Last week: Broward County saw a very successful election on Tuesday, securing 29 Florida electoral votes for President Trump. The president received nearly 35% of the vote in Broward, which was an improvement from the 32% he earned in 2016 and is a positive trend for the Republican Party here in Broward. In Florida, the margin of victory for President Trump was also higher than 2016, led by increased Hispanic support for the president in response to his policies to confront socialism in Cuba and Venezuela in contrast to increasing national Democratic party support for socialist policies here in the U.S.

        Jennifer O'Flannery Anderson, president and CEO, Community Foundation of Broward

        Last week: Thank you to all three supervisors of elections in South Florida for conducting our voting process so well. Christina White for Miami-Dade, Peter Antonacci for Broward, and Wendy Sartory Link for Palm Beach expertly handled early voting, vote by mail, day-of voting locations, adherence to CDC guidelines and so many other details and complications. While the post-election news continues, it is wonderful that Florida is not mentioned as a challenge but instead recognized for the positive handling of voting. Thank you for ensuring the bedrock of our democracy is indeed safe and sound in our great state.

        Looking ahead: The arts are one of the many economic casualties of this pandemic. Cancelled performances and closed venues leave artists and arts organizations struggling to stay afloat in Broward and across the country. Already, nearly 1,000 people working in the arts in Broward have been furloughed, with close to 400 local jobs eliminated. New Art of Community grants from the Community Foundation will help, but arts everywhere require more public and private investment to ensure that the power of the arts continues to inspire, unite and inject life into communities everywhere.

        Frank Ortis, mayor, Pembroke Pines

        Last week: When you look out your window, it’s most likely windy and rainy courtesy of Eta. These types of storms change so quickly that, at the time of this writing, I’m not sure where she is exactly or her strength, but it is a great reminder that storms can occur even this late in the season and our guards must always be up. Florida has been relatively unscathed this hurricane season, and for that we are all grateful. We’ve had a lot on our plates and didn’t need the added chaos from a hurricane hitting our communities. Please stay safe.

        Looking ahead: This week on the day we lovingly consider “hump day,” I encourage everyone to take a moment to give thanks for and remember all those who have served us in times of war and peace in defense of our country. Nov. 11 has been set aside as Veterans Day to officially remember, thank and honor all of our veterans. Regardless of when or where they served, they all made sacrifices for our country that included spending time away from their families, jeopardizing their health and their lives. We owe them our gratitude and salute them for their service.

        Philip Purcell, CEO/President, Marine Industries Association of South Florida

        Last week: The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show had exhibitors reporting record sales, hotels with occupancies they had not seen in 10 months, restaurants increasing their employee numbers to accommodate customers. All this was accomplished in a safe environment by following a very detailed plan that other events can now use as a template. On Sunday, 90 million viewers enjoyed an NBC Sports Boat Show Special. What better way to demonstrate South Florida is safely open for visitors? The reality is this event would not have happened without strong support and leadership from Broward County and the city of Fort Lauderdale.

        Larry Rein, CEO and President, ChildNet

        Last week: Sunday’s Dolphin’s victory provided welcome respite from myriad pressures besetting us all, including the competitive and contentious presidential election. It might also suggest how we need to proceed as a nation. All the attention was focused on the debut of Tua Tagovailoa but the anointed “franchise” quarterback was not responsible for the victory. Rather it was the team and the staff surrounding him that made it happen. Just as it needs to be all of us that ensure that we become a nation of equity, justice, peace and prosperity. A single leader alone cannot do this. We all must.

        Gary Resnick, commissioner, Wilton Manors

        Last week: Trump-supporting bigots came to Wilton Drive on Tuesday, yelling homophobic slurs at people outside gay bars. Instead of reacting with violence or shouts, the community either ignored the stupid name calling or responded by showing love for all; for example, one gay man started playing his violin to drown out the slurs. A Ghandi-like response will always prevail, especially with the calming presence of our police. This is why life is just great here.

        Nan Rich, member, Broward County Commission

        Last week: Recently, the Florida Supreme Court, in a 5-1 ruling, eliminated a decades-old precedent requiring review of death sentences to determine if they are a “disproportionate” punishment. Gov. DeSantis appointed justices who make the Florida Supreme Court one of the most conservative in the nation. The court has reversed course on death penalty and criminal legal precedents; no unanimous jury required, no chance to argue against the death penalty based on an intellectual disability, and now this! It’s bad enough Florida allows capital punishment, the least we can do is not dismantle the reasonable safeguards contained within Florida’s death penalty jurisprudence.

        Dr. Steven Ronik, CEO, Henderson Behavioral Health

        Last week: The National Suicide Hotline Designation Act of 2020 has been signed into law. The Act passed the Senate in May 2020, the House on Sept. 21, and was signed into law by President Trump on Oct. 19. The Act Designates 988 for a national suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline and requires the Substance Abuse and Mental Health services division to report to Congress on infrastructure needs within six months of the bill enactment. This is an important and meaningful step forward. It recognizes that mental health needs and crises need immediate attention – not just during a pandemic, but always.

        Nora Rupert, member, Broward School Board

        Last week: The pandemic has resulted in many families throughout the state choosing online learning to educate their children. The state of Florida so far has facilitated this by keeping school district funding intact. The Florida Department of Education can continue to maintain funding levels for the remainder of the school year, but is considering reducing funding to districts for children who remain online second semester. This would result in tens of millions of dollars lost for Broward County Public Schools. Families need to contact the governor’s office and their legislators and tell them to leave our funding intact.

        Barbara Sharief, member, Broward County Commission

        Looking ahead: Climate change is real, the consequences of climate change are already here and millions of lives are at stake. In the U.S., chronic flooding threatens coastal communities, and devastating hurricanes are commonplace. Wildfires, heatwaves, droughts and inland flooding continue to break records. We may not be able to reverse all the damage, but we can make small changes that will make a big difference. If everyone takes the initiative to reduce, reuse and recycle, the shifting trend will help our planet. We have the technologies and science however we need strong leadership to change our current trajectory.

        Tom Shea, chairman & founder, Right Management

        Last week: Although many experts predicted the pandemic recession to loom over American households for years to come, recent reports are showing households doing much better than expected. Credit scores and consumer savings have increased while household debt has decreased since April of this year. Credit card balances in this year’s second quarter plummeted by $76 billion, the largest drop in the history of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The stock market has also bounced back in record numbers. As uncertainty continues to sweep the nation, there appears to be a more frugal attitude in American households.

        Looking ahead: The Sunshine State is shifting from the place to retire to the place to grow up, as younger generations flock to Florida. Individuals and families from northern states have migrated south to seek additional space and year-round amenities. While there is a never-ending list of reasons to move to Florida, these transplants should be aware of potential pitfalls that can follow them. Individuals relocating to Florida should consult a real estate expert to research their home state’s domicile regulations and the fine print of Florida’s Homestead tax, so they don’t get burned in the Sunshine State.

        Eleanor Sobel, former member, Florida Senate

        Last week: Florida voters have spoken. A bright note on Election Day 2020 – no recount and no longer Florida the laughingstock of the nation. The counting ran smoothly. Screaming confrontations by Trump supporters occurred at high-turnout early voting sites, in an attempt to intimidate voters. Safety standards to prevent COVID’s spreading was adhered to except by a few defiant voters. Local police at early voting sites solved problems that could have been resolved by campaigners and election workers using common sense and better communication. Voting lines were long but could have been longer. Vote by mail and drop boxes were our lifesavers.

        Looking ahead: “Where’s the beef?” The Trump campaign is claiming fraud, suing to stop the counting of legal vote-by-mail ballots in Pennsylvania and Michigan. Outstanding uncounted ballots found in urban cities will most likely break for Joe Biden. Trump’s attempt to stop the counting violates a key democratic principle that every legal vote must be counted. Trump’s litigious efforts are in states whose electoral laws determine when votes are counted. U.S. Supreme Court justices appointed by Trump should stick to their professed values of upholding the letter of law and the Constitution by continuing the counting. There’s no beef.

        Michael Udine, member, Broward County Commission

        Last week: All eyes were on Broward County to execute an efficient, seamless and transparent election. The unique challenges of a pandemic, record-breaking voter turnout, an increase in vote-by-mail ballots and creating a safe voting experience for all presented many obstacles to overcome. I am proud to say the Supervisor of Elections’ office overcame them all. Our gratitude and thanks should go out to every poll worker, volunteer, Supervisor of Elections staffer, and so many others who rose to the occasion for one of the most critical elections in our nation’s history.

        Robert Weinroth, member, Palm Beach County Commission

        Last week: As you read this, a winner has likely been declared in the quadrennial White House race, with multiple lawsuits filed by the candidate who failed to cross the 270 electoral vote threshold required to be declared our next president. Florida can take comfort the missteps that caused us to become a punch line of jokes on how not to run elections did not rematerialize. Pennsylvania has been pushed into the spotlight thanks to state statutes prohibiting processing of mailed ballots until Election Day. After the 2000 election debacle, procedures refined to forestall a similar procedural breakdown this year actually worked.

        Looking ahead: This year continues to test our residents’ endurance. With a pandemic continuing to rage within our community, and a promised flu season just weeks off, we are now facing the potential arrival of Eta. This tropical storm is forecast to cross over Cuba and impact South Florida. Although there is still significant uncertainty in the models, weekend events will likely be washed out just as residents have begun to resume outdoor activities. With but three weeks left in this year’s hurricane season, one is left wondering if we’re going to have enough Greek letters to track the remaining tropical disturbances.

        Thomas Wenski, archbishop, Archdiocese of Miami

        Last week: This week the Supreme Court heard arguments in a challenge to government exclusion of Catholics from providing foster care because we engage in this ministry as Catholics – that is, consistent with church teaching on marriage and family. We serve all children in need, without regard to race, religion, sex or any other characteristic. We pray the court’s ruling will fulfill the First Amendment’s promise that religious believers may bring the full vitality of their faith to the public square, and will reject a hollowed-out pluralism that permits people of faith only to preach but not to practice.

        Looking ahead: On Oct. 31, Fr. Michael McGivney, founder of the Knights of Columbus, was “beatified,” the final step before canonization as a saint in the Roman Catholic Church. Noteworthy is that six Americans in the “pipeline” toward sainthood are all African Americans. Three are in the first step, having been recognized as Servants of God: Sister Thea Bowman, d.1990; Julia Greeley, d. 1918; and Mother Mary Lange d. 1882. The other three have already been recognized as having lived lives of heroic virtue and are called Venerable: Mother Henriette DeLille, d. 1862; Fr. Augustus Tolton, d. 1897; and Pierre Toussaint, d. 1853.