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Jamaican born Hazelle Rogers, is the first Caribbean American national to represent the English speaking Caribbean, in the Florida House of Representatives, following her victory in the recent Florida elections.
Ms. Rogers, prior to her recent success, was one of six Commissioners in the City of Lauderdale Lakes, a suburb of the wider Fort Lauderdale community, a post she has held since being elected in 1996.
In the Florida House, she will represent several South Florida cities in Broward County, including Lauderdale Lakes, Plantation, Margate and Lauderhill. Broward County is home to the largest number of Jamaicans in the south.
In a letter congratulating Ms. Rogers, Consul-General, Sandra Grant Griffiths, described her as a trailblazer for other Caribbean American women in political representation in their American homeland, noting that her long and distinguished career has laid the groundwork for her transition into this new role.
Commissioner Rogers began her political career in early 1980 in Lauderdale Lakes, shortly after relocating to that area from New York. At that time, she became actively involved in all phases of community activities – voluntary work, sports and social work, which then led to a pursuit in politics.
A real estate consultant, Ms. Rogers was born and raised in Kingston, with early education at Vauxhall and Camperdown High Schools, before migrating to New York.
Over the years, she has been the recipient of numerous achievement and recognition plaques, demonstrative of her work and dedication to the development of the South Florida community.
Ms. Rogers was one of 10 South Florida women and the first Jamaican to be inducted into the Broward Hall of Fame in March 2001, for their contribution to the advancement of women’s empowerment and development.
In June 2004, she was also President of the Broward League of Cities, serving 30 municipalities in Broward County.
Also serving on the Lauderdale Lakes Commission is the first Caribbean Mayor in Broward County, Samuel Brown, and businessman, Barrington Russell, both Jamaican nationals.