A native Floridian of Fort Lauderdale. He is married to the former Desorae Giles and they have two sons Christopher L. Smith and Christian Nicholas Giles Smith. He spent his formative years actively involved in many youth organizations including the Fort Lauderdale Branch of the National Association For The Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Youth Council, ascending to the position of president. As president, he began the Annual Christmas Toy Giveaway. The annual Christmas Toy Giveaway provides toys to underprivileged children throughout Broward County. On each Christmas Eve, a group of present and past Youth Council members would meet at his house to wrap the toys and map out the houses of underprivileged children whose names were gathered from different community sources. Beginning at 5 a.m. dressed as Santa, he along with about 25 elves spend the day delivering toys to the children’s homes.
His college years were spent at Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU) in Charlotte, North Carolina. In 1990, he was selected by the United States State Department as the only undergraduate on the National Model United Nations Team. With this team he traveled to Moscow, Russia, to study and compete in the International Model United Nations. After JCSU, he attended Florida State University College of Law and received my Juris Doctor in 1995. In 1994, he traveled to Washington, D.C., to compete in the National Security Law Moot Court Competition at George Washington University. After three days of arguing in front of some of the top judges in the country, he and his partner were named Moot Court National Champions.
He is currently with the law firm of Johnson, Anselmo, Murdoch, Burke & George, P.A., practicing in the areas of civil trial, municipal law and civil rights litigation.
In 1995, he was appointed by the City of Fort Lauderdale City Commission to be the youngest member of the City’s Planning and Zoning Board. In 1998, he was elected to the Florida House of Representatives for District 93, representing the cities of Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, Oakland Park and Tamarac. He was reelected unopposed for 2 consecutive terms, 2000 and 2002; during which he served on various committees. He has served as the Democratic House Leader and Democratic Leader Pro Tempore.
He led the charge to reform the elections process in Florida after the Election of 2000. He helped author the election reform bill that is now law in Florida and is being used as a model nationwide. He has lectured around the country regarding the Florida electoral process, including appearances on Fox News, CNN and C-SPAN. He was also a speaker at the International Non-Violence Conference in Durban, South Africa.
He has received many awards including, Citizen of Year Award from the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (FACDL) recognized me as a Legislative Champion of Justice, Legislator of the Year from the American Jewish Congress,Humanitarian Award from the Young Democrats and many more. He has also consistently been rated by the Miami Herald and the Sun Sentinel as a top legislative leader.
His commitment to the community includes serving on the Board of Directors for Fort Lauderdale Community Development Corporation, Inc., and the Board of Directors for Broward Community Foundation. He also served as Youth Advisor for the NAACP, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. (Zeta Alpha Lambda Chapter), Vice President for The Gold Coast Alumni Chapter of Johnson C. Smith University and Board of Directors for the Florida Martin Luther King, Jr. Institute for Nonviolence.
In 2003, he was unanimously selected to be the Democratic House Leader for the Democratic Party. He served from 2004-2006. His duties included fund raising nationwide for the Democratic Party, candidate recruitment and developing democratic policy for the state. In fact, he raised more funds than anyone in the history of the party. Although this is a partisan position, he enjoys a good and effective relationship with all members of the Florida Legislature.
He was elected to the Florida Senate in 2008, for District 29 which encompasses a variety of cities spanning over two counties. Including but not limited to: Ft. Lauderdale, Lauderdale Lakes, Lauderhill, Pompano Beach, and Oakland Park in Broward County. In Palm Beach County the cities include: Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach.