Best Gadfly Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach 2006 - Asa Boynton
Asa Boynton deserves a spot in the South Florida Community Activist Hall of Fame. In his day job, the tall 59-year-old dresses in a purple gorilla suit and delivers singing telegrams throughout South Florida. Otherwise, he's a one-man gadfly, civic activist, and crime fighter in Hollywood's troubled south side. Ask Hollywood's city commissioners. They'll tell you how Boynton delivers the newspaper to their doorstep every time it has a juicy Hollywood story inside. Or ask the editors of those newspapers. They'll tell you how many letters to the editor they receive from Boynton. And Boynton is as brave as he is tireless. When he takes pictures of suspected drug dealers, he waves and smiles. He calls the cops to scenes of crimes he witnesses, times how long it takes police to arrive, and then distributes that information (often damning) to police brass, newspaper reporters, and other Hollywood activists. He once paraded through crime-ridden neighborhoods in South Hollywood with a sign that read: "Drug Dealers Suck." Even when Boynton is just being kind and generous, he can't get community activism off his mind. During Hurricane Wilma, a scared stray cat wandered to his door. He took in the feline and has since adopted him. He named the cat "Mr. Singley," as in Hollywood Police Officer Nick Singley, who was given a gun and a badge in Hollywood despite a psychological report that said he lacked "maturity and self-control." Boynton can tell you about that story. Just hope another distressed cat doesn't scratch at his door. Boynton's nickname for Hollywood Mayor Mara Giulianti -- likely the next cat's name -- just isn't fit for print.