Former Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Carlton Moore, a strong advocate for improving the city's blighted neighborhoods, has died.
Moore’s political career began in 1985 when he took over as president of the Fort Lauderdale NAACP. In that role he fought against discriminatory lending practices by banks, against the closings of black-majority schools and in favor of single member districts in the city to strengthen the power of the black vote.
He would turn that activism into a career on the city commissioner where he first joined the dais in 1988.
When the Miami Herald endorsed Moore in 1988, the editorial board wrote: “Mr. Moore does have the fire, but needs to harness and channel it. Electing Carlton Moore would be a gamble that he would mature in office, but given the stakes for the city's minority community, it is a gamble worth taking.”
At age 34, Moore won the race to represent Fort Lauderdale's predominantly black Northwest section. He defeated Andrew DeGraffenreidt II, who had been the city's first black commissioner.
Moore served about two decades on the commission until he resigned in 2009 after losing a close county commission race to incumbent John Rodstrom.
Statement from Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler:
“Fort Lauderdale has lost a true champion of the people. Commissioner Moore’s decades of distinguished leadership provided a strong voice to our City and, in particular, to our Northwest community. His vision and tireless efforts brought new residential and commercial development to the Midtown area, while laying the foundation for much of the progress and advancement we see today. We are grateful for his many years of outstanding service to Fort Lauderdale and his countless contributions to moving our City forward. Our thoughts, prayers, and support are with his family during this difficult time.”
Statement from Senate Democratic Leader Chris Smith (D-Ft. Lauderdale):
“Carlton Moore was a mentor, a friend, and, above all, a surrogate father for me.
“We first began working together when he was the president of the Ft. Lauderdale branch of the NAACP. My mom was the secretary and I was very active in the organization’s Youth Council. He taught me the values of hard work, dedication and commitment to my community.
“Carlton is wholly responsible for my political career. One year out of FSU law school, he appointed me to the City of Ft. Lauderdale Planning and Zoning Board. He convinced me to run for the Florida House of Representatives, and remained a constant political and personal advisor to me.
“Ft. Lauderdale is a better place because of the tireless work he did as NAACP president to bring economic and social justice to the city. From downtown development to beautification and revitalization of Sistrunk Boulevard, his legacy will forever stand as one of the finest commissioners ever to have served our community.
“The city of Ft. Lauderdale, the state of Florida, and this nation have lost a tireless servant. And I have lost a great friend.”