Senator Smith began his public service by serving on local boards with in the City of Fort Lauderdale. In 1995 he was appointed to the City's Planning and Zoning Board. At a time of tremendous development within the City of Fort Lauderdale, Senator Smith fought seeking a balance between the need for economic development and the rights of existing property or homeowners.
In 1998 Sen. Smith was elected to the Florida House of Representative serving the City of Fort Lauderdale and six surrounding municipalities. An early and strong advocate for Smart Justice, while in the House of Representatives Senator Smith led the charge against the tough on crime policies of the then Governor, Jeb Bush administration. After the election fiasco of 2000 in which Florida votes were ultimately decided by the Supreme Court, Senator's Smith co-authored Florida's election reform package of 2000 which became a model for the rest of the nation. In his final term in the Florida House of Representatives and the Smith was elected by his peers to be the youngest ever Democratic Leader in Florida Legislative.
After being term limited out of the House of Representatives, Senator Smith was elected to the Florida Senate and 2008 representing Broward and Palm Beach County. Due to redistricting Senator Smith now represents 14 municipalities in Central Broward County. In only the third year of his first term Senator Smith was once again elected Democratic Leader of his chamber. As Democratic Leaders he is once again setting Democratic policy on statewide issues.
After the tragic death of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, Senator Smith called upon the Governor and Legislature for action. Due to inaction Senator Smith formed his own Task Force to discuss the controversial Stand Your Ground law in the State of Florida. After fighting against the Standard Your Ground when it was first introduced 2005 he has now authored bills on revising Stand Your Ground Smith and has been used as an expert nationwide on the effects of Stand Your Ground legislation. He has recently discuss the ramifications of that law on CNN, MSNBC, FOX News, NPR and numerous other media outlets. He is currently the author of Senate Bill 122 which is a revision of Stand Your Ground which is scheduled to be heard this fall in the Florida Senate.
Senator Smith is a graduate of Johnson C Smith University, in Charlotte North Carolina and a law graduate of Florida State University College of Law. He is a partner with the firm of Johnson, Anselmo et al. He has been married for 13 years to Desiree Giles Smith, current Assistant City Manager for the City of Lauderhill. He is the proud father of two, Christopher age 12 and Christian age 7.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun