Even though Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca likes to brag about low unemployment rates in Broward, a new study shows LaMarca’s own neighborhood has one of the highest jobless rate in the county. Last Thursday, South Florida Business Journal published a crime rate survey conducted by the world-renowned ESRI company. The survey showed high unemployment and crime rates throughout LaMarca’s District 4.
Chip LaMarca spreads his unemployment propaganda all over social media, campaign literature, television appearances and debates. On Twitter, LaMarca’s campaign said, “Unemployment in Broward County has dropped from over 11% to 5% while Chip LaMarca has been your commissioner.” Last March, when Broward Mayor Barbara Sharief made similar claims about Broward’s unemployment rates, Politifact called her remarks “mostly false.”
Even though he is facing foreclosure, Chip LaMarca still lives in Lighthouse Point. He uses his home address as his campaign address on websites and campaign literature. The LaMarca homestead lies within the 33064 zip code.
According to the ESRI database, the 33064 zip code has a total population of 53,278 people. This includes residents of Lighthouse Point and Pompano Beach. The current unemployment rate is 10.1%, double what LaMarca claims. The median household income is $40,602.
Also located in District 4 boundaries is the 33069 zip code. This area of Pompano Beach has a 12.4% unemployment rate.
LaMarca represents the 33334 zip code in Oakland Park. The unemployment rate is 11.7% for the area’s 28,666 residents.
The Fort Lauderdale 33308 zip code in District 4 fares better than their neighbors. With a median household income of $54,364, the unemployment rate is just 4.1%. This area of District 4 is located near the beaches including areas such as Cardinal Gibbons High School, Coral Ridge and Imperial Point. According to Broward Supervisor of Elections records, this part of District 4 has 24,295 white voters, 1,825 Hispanic voters, and just 563 African-American voters.
LaMarca represents District 4, not the entire county. Yet, local papers such as the Sun-Sentinel endorsed LaMarca despite his bogus claims. Did the editorial board bother to fact check LaMarca’s claims?
LaMarca faces a tough battle for the District 4 seat against former Broward Mayor Ken Keechl. Even though he is a Democrat, LaMarca told a Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce that Keechl was a fiscal conservative.