Wilton Manors took a major step towards fulfilling its commitment to diversifying city boards with the appointment of Jasmen Rogers to the Community Affairs Advisory Board.
Rogers, a political consultant, has an impressive resumé of work with civil rights, labor, feminist and health organizations. She identifies as a queer Black woman and is a newcomer to the Island City.
“I’m super excited to be a resident of the city and contributing to it,” Rogers told the commission at its July 27 meeting.
Rogers said she met with Commissioner Mike Bracchi to develop strategies to make Wilton Manors welcoming and inviting for all.
“Jasmen is a dedicated, hard-working public servant who will bring passion and vibrancy to our Community Affairs Advisory Board,” Bracchi said. “I’m excited to see what she will do to help our Island City.”
As the founder of Folding Chair Consulting, Rogers works to empower generations of Black women and allies. The company is a homage to the late U.S. Representative Shirley Chisholm. The first Black woman elected to Congress, it was Chisholm who famously declared, “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.”
Rogers told SFGN she feels like she’s found her groove again and is ready to get to work.
“Working through CAAB is the perfect opportunity to expand diversity in Wilton Manors,” Rogers said. “There’s been a lot of talk but now is the time for actual action to back it up.”
Rogers said she intends to increase outreach efforts to Black, Brown and LGBT businesses. She said food and cultural festivals and car shows are some ways the board can showcase why life is better in Wilton Manors.
Acknowledging painful moments of past racial injustice along with promoting voices for better-paying jobs and fair housing are key strategies Rogers wants to deploy.
“Fifteen dollars an hour is not a living wage,” Rogers said. “It’s more like $21 an hour.”
Before moving to Wilton Manors, Rogers campaigned for the Florida House of Representatives in District 95. She lost a close election for the central Broward seat in the 2020 Democratic primary to incumbent Rep. Anika Omphroy.
Recently, it was revealed Omphroy is under investigation for failing to disclose how she spent nearly $48,000 in campaign cash. The case has been turned over to the office of State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle in Miami-Dade County’s Eleventh Judicial Circuit.
Rogers said she has no plans to run for the seat again but is keeping a close eye on the investigation.
“If something distasteful happened, I want to know about it,” she said.