Taking a stand against hate and gun violence


Dear Neighbor, 

Yesterday marked the second anniversary of the Pulse shooting in Orlando. Our hearts still ache for the 49 lives lost and countless others physically and emotionally injured. 

This was the single deadliest known violent attack on the LGBTQ community, and until recently, the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. Yet our community showed its resiliency and strength in the face of adversity. 

Today, Central Florida stands stronger than ever before. Throughout various Pride and Pulse remembrance events in the district, I saw your energy, your passion, your commitment to honor our fallen neighbors with action. Our community is inspiring the nation to take a stand against hate. Together, along with Parkland student survivors, we are putting an end to gun violence in America.    

I am proud to represent our relentless community in Congress! 




Darren Soto


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Pulse Memorial & GLBT Center
We paid our respects by visiting the newly created Pulse Memorial. The site and OnePulse Foundation were established by the owners of Pulse Nightclub, including Barbara Poma, with the vision to create a sanctuary of hope following the attack. We also visited The Center in Orlando, one of the oldest centers in the nation promoting well-being for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender communities. 


Roundtable Luncheon with local LGBTQ Leaders
We were honored to have Congressman Mark Takano, Co-chair of the LGBT Congressional Caucus, with us in Central Florida. We hosted a roundtable with local leaders from our LGBT community and discussed the recent Supreme Court Masterpiece Cake ruling, the Equality Act, and the legislative action we can take to prevent further gun violence. Among the attendees was Christine Leinonen, mother of Christopher Leinonen, one of the Pulse victims. She shared touching details of the night she lost her son, as well as the inspiring work of the Dru Project, an organization created in Christopher's honor.

The 49 Fund Scholarship 
I was thrilled to attend this year's 49 Fund ceremony, a scholarship given to Central Florida LGBT students who have demonstrated a commitment to serving their community, to leadership, and to personal and professional development. It was created in remembrance of the 49 lives lost. 

Pulse Rally with Equality FL
Equality Florida organized a powerful rally against gun violence in downtown Orlando. We were joined by Parkland student survivors and other organizations in Central Florida who continue to advocate for gun control.  It was fitting that after rainfall, a rainbow emerged above the crowd, inspiring us all to continue our fight on behalf of the Pulse victims.  

Kissimmee Pride Fest
This reenergizing event was the first ever gay pride festival in Kissimmee, in celebration of Pride Month and in remembrance of the Pulse shooting.



Resources Fair  
Sat. June 16, 12-4pm
Ramada Inn, Kissimmee FL

Join us for a Resources Fair providing assistance for all constituents, including displaced Puerto Ricans in Central Florida. Representatives will be available to assist with affordable housing, employment opportunities, health care assistance, and education options.      
Click here for more information

Senior Citizens Town Hall
Thurs. July 19, 6:30pm
Winter Haven, FL 

Rep. Darren Soto, along with special guest Rep. John Larson (CT-01) are hosting a town hall focused on Senior citizen legislative issues. Join us to discuss access to affordable health care, expanding social security benefits, taxes, and your concerns. More information forthcoming at: soto.house.gov 

Veterans Office Hours
Every Wednesday

Stop by Rep. Soto’s Winter Haven walk-inofficehours if you need assistance with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Office located at: 451 3rd Street NW. Winter Haven, FL 33881. 

Contact (407) 452-1171 or  Click here for more information. 


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