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Meet Barbara Sharief: Political Leader, Entrepreneur, and Proud Mom

(Fort Lauderdale, Florida)

Broward County Commissioner Barbara Sharief, originally from the Miami area, has always had a passion for assisting others in terms of inclusion within diversity. Her passion for the project involving rights for the people of Florida inspired her to pursue a Doctorate of Nurse Practice (DNP), a Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN), and an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP). After Sharief completed her educational journey she began to create her own company, South Florida Pediatric Homecare Inc., which provides service to children in South Florida who are in need of homecare due to a variety of health circumstances. The forming of this company captured the essence of her passion to work with and for children in need and helped propel Ms. Sharief into a political juggernaut in South Florida.

A Political Formation in South Florida

Broward County Commissioner Barbara Sharief

Following the transition of becoming a mother, Barbara Sharief gained an immense perspective on caring for others as well as implementing more efficient rights for children throughout Broward County. This passion and drive to improve the lives of many within Broward County inspired Barbara to serve on the Miramar City Commission, and shortly, after elected to the Broward County Commission District seat, serving various districts within the county. This commitment allowed for other opportunities to present themselves, such as serving as Vice-Mayor of the county twice and then serving as Mayor twice as well. Sharief’s leadership assets continued as she served as President for the Florida Association of Counties and is now the Chair of National Association of Counties’ Subcommittee on Medicaid and Indigent Care.

A Unique Social Media Presence

Barbara Sharief is an extremely hands-on member of the community as she is constantly encouraging others to get involved in pursuing leadership roles in Broward County as well as other locations in Florida. She does so through her social media platform as well as through her regular visits and appearances at charity events, cultural locations and local businesses.

Throughout this platform, Barbara successfully shares and creates posts that inform the general public in understanding what is occurring within the county. One could also find Barbara Sharief on Instagram with the username, @barbarasharief which allows her followers to keep up with her on a daily basis as she is constantly creating change within the community. As Barbara Sharief conveys information to audiences on various platforms, she is sure to do so in a creative manner.

On Pinterest, Sharief could be with found using her full name as she creates boards based on aspects of life that inspire her. Some of her boards include Black History Month Inspirations, Brilliant Female Singers, Broward County locations and traveling ideas as well as other ideas that inspire her on a daily basis. These social networks encourage the involvement of others while still being effective for Barbara Sharief’s following to gain a sense of the person who she is as well as what she wants to accomplish for Broward County.

Through the values Sharief shares and reflects on the community such as transparency, commitment, and experience, one is able to view those qualities on all of her platforms due to her ability to clearly communicate with those around her.

The Importance of Family

Ms. Sharief is also a proud mom of five children and a member of a family of ten. Ms. Sharief understands the nuances and challenges of raising a family in today’s fast-paced social and economic lifestyles. In her outings across Broward County the Commissioner routinely brings along her daughters to her public appearances, making the personal truly political!

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How A Mayor Can Help Turn the Tide During Natural Disasters

In the wake of Hurricane Irma, a storm spanning more than 400 miles and large enough to cover the entire state of Florida, residents have been looking towards local politicians for leadership and advice more than ever before. As on-the-ground, concerned fellow citizens who will be riding out the storm with everyone else, local mayors like Barbara Sharief have worked tirelessly both before and after the storm to ensure that everyone weathers the storm as safely as possible.

Hurricane Irma wreaks havoc in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Preventative measures like setting and enforcing a curfew; and opening up hurricane shelters to the homeless and those without homes able to withstand the predicted wind force, helped to reduce casualties and keep the roads clear. In addition, mayors like Sharief had local Florida Power, and Light (FPL) workers standing by to begin repairs as soon as the storm had passed, negating the possibility of delayed response times becoming an issue. Most importantly, keeping your residents updated on the facts and keeping calm help to assure that residents follow instructions in an orderly fashion.

 

 

And then began the real test: surviving after the storm. Broward County is unique in its use of online features to help residents report damage to their properties, which also helps first responders to more rapidly zero in on devastated areas most in need of help. Known as the Home Damage Assessment Program, Broward County residents can report damage to their homes and any current flooding happening in their area. The site has pictures showing four levels of damage: no damage; major damage, habitable; major damage, uninhabitable; and destroyed. Residents are asked to pick the one that most closely resembles what they’ve experienced.

Mayor Barbara Sharief was also quick to rescind the county curfew, something she received a bit of flack over from other Florida mayors. “Our goal right now is recovery and restoration, and that means that we need to get people back to work, get essential personnel back to work, get relief for the people who worked for the five days through the storm and get the businesses back up and running,” she said. “No curfew right now is necessary.”

 

By rescinding the curfew, Broward County’s FPL workers were able to restore power to over 310,000 residents only 48 hours after Irma’s passing, leaving approximately 500,000 without power. The following Monday that number had been reduced to 13,000 and was shrinking rapidly. By Monday, students were able to return to their classrooms as well.

“We cleared the roads fairly quickly. We cleared all the major highways first and then we cleared all the city roads. So those are cleared rather quickly. The kids are all gone back to school back today. The biggest hurdle we had to get over last week was that the kids had – there was no power to the schools, some of the schools. So we had to wait for the power to be restored in order for the kids to return to school. So they’re back. My kids went off to school this morning so everything’s great there,” said Sharief.

 

We criticize our political leaders all too frequently, and often deservedly. But Florida politicians like Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief represent the very best of those who are elected to serve the public in the common and greater good.

 

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Broward Means Business: How Mayor Barbara Sharief Employs Social Media to Better Her Constituency

If you ever want to see how social media can be utilized to promote a region’s economy, bring attention to its cultural centers, and spread the good word, all by a political figure at the local level,  go to Barbara Sharief’s Facebook page.

Barbara Sharief is the Mayor of Broward County and one of the up and comers in the world of Florida politics. What makes her compelling for businesses large and small is her savvy, frequent, and high quality social media presence. Between her Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest pages, Barbara Sharief highlights not only her career accomplishments, inevitable public appearances, and family gatherings to personalize herself and her identity in the eyes of her constituents, she also provides a great platform to learn about events and happenings in the Greater Broward County area. In the process, the Mayor offers a master class in accessible, fun, and informative postings.

Whereas most political use of social media is either mind-numbingly neutral or highly offensive (both intellectually and morally) (we won’t name names), Mayor Sharief demonstrates the power of social media to communicate ideas and inform people from all walks of life, regardless of identity, financial background or geographic location.

For example, her Facebook page recently offered moving photos of her proclamations for the “Broward Means Business Initiative,” a poignant and highly impactful series of posts that highlight successful local businesses such as ibrow Spa and the Flashback Diner. These and other businesses are featured as well in Barbara Sharief’s excellent Pinterest page, where readers will find posts and photos related to local restaurants, hotels, and beaches.

Getting social media right requires the correct blend of content dedicated to oneself and to others. It requires an understanding of one’s community and target audience. Mayor Barbara Sharief hits home runs on both marks. Her community and her businesses are fortunate.


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