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SENATOR FRANKLYN PRESENTED WITH KEYS TO CITY OF MIRAMAR

MIAMI, March 3 (JIS):

Senator Delano Franklyn, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, has been presented with the keys to the City of Miramar, Florida. City Commissioner Fitzroy Salesman, who is a Jamaican national, made the presentation on Wednesday (Feb. 23) in the city hall. During the brief ceremony, Mayor Lori Moseley declared the day 'Delano Franklyn Day' for the Minister's outstanding contribution to the Jamaican Diaspora and his support for nationals overseas. Miramar, a suburban city in Broward County, has an increasingly growing immigrant population of over 100,000 residents with approximately half of that number being Jamaican nationals.

Also significantly, Miramar is the only city in the United States, where Jamaican nationals hold the majority of seats. Three Jamaicans hold seats on the five-seat Commission. They are Fitzroy Salesman, Winston Barnes and George Pedlar.

The Minister, in expressing appreciation for the honour, praised the Jamaicans who were influencing their communities through involvement in leadership, public service, corporate leadership, entrepreneurship and community service.

At the same time, he implored other nationals to become citizens of the countries of their residence "so you can take more effective roles in the decision-making process".
Senator Franklyn said that the government has recognized the need to "go beyond and recognize those in the Diaspora," which resulted in the historic launch of the Jamaica Diaspora Conference last June in Kingston, where some 400 Jamaicans including 250 from North America, Canada and the United Kingdom, discussed ways to strengthen the links between Jamaicans at home and abroad.
Meanwhile, the Minister mentioned the establishment of a Jamaica Diaspora Foundation to be chaired by Professor the Hon. Rex Nettleford, former Vice-Chancellor of University of the West Indies (UWI). This organization, to be located on the UWI's Mona campus, will be responsible for the "oversight of formal operations to keep the channels of communication effective among the Diaspora", he said.

He also spoke of the appointment of a seven-member advisory board of Jamaican nationals overseas, to work with his Ministry to formulate strategies that would best serve the overseas communities. South Florida attorney, Dahlia Walker-Huntington was selected as the representative in the Southeast United States.

Mrs. Huntington-Walker praised the Minister for his dedication to overseas Jamaicans and for creating mechanisms for communication between government and the Diaspora.

The event was chaired by Commissioner George Pedlar, while Commissioner Winston Barnes introduced Senator Franklyn to the Miramar community of friends and supporters.