Lauren Book

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Lauren Book
Senator Lauren Book.jpg
Minority Leader of the Florida Senate
Assumed office
April 28, 2021
Preceded byGary Farmer
Member of the Florida Senate
from the 32nd district
Assumed office
November 8, 2016
Preceded byRedistricted
Personal details
Born
Lauren Frances Book

(1984-10-12) October 12, 1984 (age 36)
Hollywood, Florida
Political partyDemocratic Party
EducationUniversity of Miami (BA, MS)

Lauren Frances Book (born October 12, 1984) is an American politician who has served in the Florida Senate since 2016, representing parts of Broward County. She is a member of the Democratic Party. She has been the Senate's minority leader since April 28, 2021.

Early life[edit]

Book was born in Hollywood, Florida in 1984 to parents Patricia "Pat" Book, a former chocolate retailer, and Ron Book, a Florida lawyer and lobbyist.[1][2][3] She is the oldest of three siblings. Book was sexually abused as a child over the course of six years by her nanny.[4] She developed anorexia as a result of the sexual abuse. In 2002, the nanny pled guilty to five felony charges and was sentenced to 10 years in prison, later extended to 25 years.[5][6] Book created a charity, Lauren's Kids, in 2007 to fight for stronger penalties for sex offenders.[7]

Book graduated from the University of Miami in 2008 with a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education. Following graduation, she taught for one year in Miami-Dade public schools.[8]

Starting in 2010, Book annually leads "Walk in My Shoes", a 1,500-mile (2,400 km) walk from Key West, Florida, to Tallahassee, Florida.[3][9] She has written two books: Lauren's Kingdom and It's OK to Tell: A Story of Hope and Recovery.[10][11][12] She designed an abuse prevention curriculum for implementation in Florida kindergartens.[4]

In 2012, Book was awarded her master's degree in Community Psychology from the University of Miami.

Political career[edit]

Book ran unopposed for the 32nd district seat in the Florida Senate in 2016.[13] In the 2017 session, Book filed a bill that would remove Confederate Memorial Day, celebrated on April 26, 2017, from Florida's list of 21 legal holidays.[14] Her bill would also remove the birthday of Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis as official state holidays.[14] Book told CBS4 that "during a time when the country is completely divided, I think we look at celebrating our unique coming together instead of some of the things that kind of create hate and divisive environments."[15]

On July 22, 2019, Book wrote a letter to Florida governor Ron DeSantis requesting a probe into how the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office handled a work release program for Jeffrey Epstein, a registered sex offender convicted of soliciting prostitution of a minor, back in 2008-9. Following her request, Book reported that she began receiving calls from political supporters of Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, asking her to drop the request for an inquiry. The Miami Herald reported that Book also received multiple anonymous calls and texts with more ominous demands to halt her request for a probe.[16]

After the Democrats' incoming Senate leader for 2022–24, Bobby Powell, decided to run for Congress, the Democratic caucus unanimously chose Book to be their incoming Senate leader for the 2022–24 Legislature.[17] A week later, on April 28, 2021, the Democratic caucus chose Book to serve immediately as minority leader, following a no-confidence vote in then-leader Gary Farmer.[18]

Personal life[edit]

Book married Kris Lim, a professional golfer, in 2008;[4] their wedding was featured on We TV's Platinum Weddings.[19] They divorced in 2010.[4]

In 2015, she married Blair Byrnes.[19] They are the parents of twins Kennedy Grace and Hudson Lee, born on February 16, 2017.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Brown, Julie (March 31, 2012). "Walking under Tuttle Causeway, sex abuse victim, daughter of powerful Florida lobbyist, says predator laws may have backfired". The Palm Beach Post. Retrieved July 25, 2019.
  2. ^ Skipp, Catharine (July 24, 2009). "The Lobbyist Who Put Sex Offenders Under a Bridge". Newsweek Magazine. Retrieved July 25, 2019.
  3. ^ a b Sun-Sentinel, South Florida. "Activist Lauren Book to run for Florida Senate". Retrieved November 16, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d Funcheon, Deirdra (February 18, 2015). "As Lauren Book Hints at Run, Some Question if Her Charity Could Become Political Tool". Retrieved November 16, 2016.
  5. ^ Martin, Michelle (April 9, 2012). "Sexual Abuse: What Finally Made It 'Ok To Tell'". National Public Radio. Retrieved July 25, 2019.
  6. ^ http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2002-10-12/news/0210110901_1_plea-deal-ron-book-abuse
  7. ^ "Lauren Book to be honored for her work in speaking out against childhood sexual abuse". Retrieved November 16, 2016.
  8. ^ a b Klas, Mary Ellen (February 22, 2018). "Senator turned her trauma into action: now she's showing Douglas students how". The Miami Herald. Retrieved July 25, 2019.
  9. ^ "Lauren Book finishes 1,500-mile "Walk in My Shoes" across Florida". Retrieved November 16, 2016.
  10. ^ Funcheon, Deirdra (March 29, 2016). "Lauren Book, Running Unopposed, Raises $1.3 Million Despite Criticisms". Retrieved November 16, 2016.
  11. ^ Book, Lauren (2011). It's OK to Tell: A Story of Hope and Recovery. Prospecta Press, Easton Studio Press. ISBN 1935212435.
  12. ^ Book, Lauren (2015). Lauren's Kingdom. Sweetwater Press. ISBN 1492466573.
  13. ^ "Senator-elect Lauren Book thanks voters, community with kids' book distribution - SaintPetersBlog". October 18, 2016. Retrieved November 16, 2016.
  14. ^ a b "Sen. Lauren Book proposes eliminating Confederate holiday". Tallahassee Democrat. August 27, 2017. Retrieved September 2, 2017.
  15. ^ Nortunen, Sandra (August 27, 2017). "LATEST: Florida senator files bill to ban Confederate holidays". The Palm Beach Post. Retrieved September 2, 2017.
  16. ^ Brown, Julie K.; Nehamas, Nicholas (July 25, 2019). "Lawmaker says she's been told to back off call for probe of Jeffrey Epstein's work release". The Miami Herald. Retrieved July 25, 2019.
  17. ^ https://www.politico.com/states/florida/story/2021/04/21/book-wins-backing-as-senate-democratic-leader-will-forgo-statewide-run-in-2022-1376646
  18. ^ Hayes, Kelly (April 28, 2021). "Senate Democrats sack Gary Farmer". Florida Politics.
  19. ^ a b Smith, Nancy (July 14, 2015). "Lauren Book Quietly Remarries (Check out the Gift Registry)". Retrieved November 16, 2016.

External links[edit]

Florida Senate
Preceded by
Joe Negron
Member of the Florida Senate
from the 32nd district

2016–present
Incumbent
Preceded by
Gary Farmer
Minority Leader of the Florida Senate
2021–present