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Monivette Cordeiro


Recent Stories from Monivette Cordeiro

Photo by Monivette Cordeiro, orlandoweekly.com

Remembering the 1920 Election Day lynching of July Perry

Florida is embroiled in a recount process that’s taken over our newsfeeds and has every other elected official screaming “fraud,” but not too long ago on Election Day, Central Floridians left voting stickers on the grave of July Perry at Orlando’s Greenwood Cemetery. Close to a century ago, Perry was an African American man who was shot and lynched by a white mob in Orlando after encouraging Ocoee’s black residents to vote on Election Day in 1920. In the days before his murder, local Ku Klux Klan members had threatened terror against black people who dared to vote. On Election Day, white residents who resented the large number of African Americans voting tried to stop them at the polls. The …

Image: Rainbow Flag LGBTQ , pbs.org

LGBTQ advocates in Florida seek statewide anti-discrimination protection

Gov. Rick Scott remained mum this week about signing an anti-discrimination order protecting LGBTQ state employees in the wake of the Trump administration’s latest attempt to roll back federal protections for transgender and gender non-conforming people. Since the Pulse massacre, LGBTQ advocates in Florida have pleaded with Scott to sign an executive order protecting state employees against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. State civil rights laws don’t explicitly protect queer and trans communities from being denied housing, service and employment. Equality Florida advocates say Scott broke his promise by refusing to sign the order and insisting that protections for sexual orientation already existed for Floridians on the federal level. That logic has been put to the test …

Image: Dominique Jackson in Pose, orlandoweekly.com

Stonewall brings ‘Pose’ cast members to Orlando for Pride Events

Dominique Jackson doesn’t believe in tolerance. It’s a lesson she learned growing up on the island of Tobago as a little girl who was assigned male at birth. The transgender teen escaped to the United States and lived as an undocumented immigrant. Her family offered to help her become a legal resident as long as she kept her truth a secret. Jackson refused. The actress and model says, “”My life is not for someone else to accept. … When people told me they were tolerating the LGBTQ+ community, those feelings were coming from a place of privilege and superiority, not from a place of equality.” Jackson, though, found a real home in underground ballroom culture – much like Elektra Abundance, …

Image: Facebook profile picture for Londonn Moore

Fifth Homicide of Trans Woman in Florida This Year

A black transgender woman was shot to death in southwest Florida last week, making her the fifth trans woman to be murdered in this state within the past seven months. Twenty-year-old Londonn Moore was found lying in the road around Sept. 8 in North Port, several miles away from her hometown of Port Charlotte. After the homicide, North Port Police and several local media outlets have misgendered Moore and referred to her dead name. Moore’s murder comes two months after 27-year-old Sasha Garden, another black trans woman, was found dead with signs of trauma at the back of an Orlando apartment complex on July 19. The Orange County Sheriff’s Office say Garden’s case remains “active and open.” The first rash …

Image: Disney Workers, by Monivette Cordeiro, orlandoweekly.com

New study ranks Florida toward the bottom in Oxfam America’s “Best States to Work” index as 37th in the nation

Surprising no one who has worked for chump change in Florida’s billion-dollar tourism industry, a new study ranks the state toward the bottom in Oxfam America’s “Best States to Work” index as 37th in the nation. Florida’s minimum wage of $8.25 per hour is slightly higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. But a person working full time under the state’s minimum wage only makes about 32 percent of the living wages needed to support a family of four – the same person supporting a family of four in Florida would need to earn $25.87. The report from the anti-poverty organization also noted that municipal governments in the Sunshine State don’t have the ability to raise the …

Photo via Disney

Labor unions reach agreement with Disney for $15 by 2021

Aside from election news, this week had a development that could bring a major overhaul to Central Florida’s tourism industry. Six Orlando labor unions representing 38,000 workers say that they have tentatively reached a “historic” agreement with Walt Disney World to raise starting hourly pay from $10 to $15 by 2021. If approved by union members in September, the new contract would raise the minimum wage at Disney to $11 by December 2018 and keep going up in yearly increments until reaching $15 in October 2021. The Service Trades Council Union said this week that the new four-year contract agreement makes “no major concessions” to the theme park company regarding union rights and benefits. A Disney spokesperson said the company …

Image: Orlando Weekly Cover Art, orlandoweekly.com

Under Orlando’s real-time surveillance partnership with Amazon, everyone’s a suspect

Orlando Police Chief John Mina doesn’t see a privacy issue in Orlando’s partnership with Amazon for their real-time surveillance technology. Using the city’s extensive camera system, Amazon’s Rekognition program will scan people’s faces as it looks for a person of interest when it becomes fully operational. Mina says it’s similar to officers using their eyes to scan a crowd. But Clare Garvie, with the Center on Privacy & Technology, says Orlando’s use of Rekognition is actually more like police asking everyone in a crowd for individual IDs to make sure they aren’t a suspect. With little scrutiny, Orlando leaders have been experimenting for months with this powerful new technology, which they hope will help them catch criminals, find missing children …

Photo: Observers at the Sasha Garden vigil by Monivette Cordeiro, orlandoweekly.com

A transgender woman was murdered in Orlando last week and how it was reported was awful

Last week, a transgender woman was found dead at the back of an Orlando apartment complex. Orange County Sheriff’s deputies found the body of 27-year-old Sasha Garden at the Reserve at Lake Buchanan Apartments on Holden Avenue around 5 a.m. on July 19. Investigators said her body had signs of trauma and described her death as a “homicide.” No suspects have been identified so far. Garden is the fourth black trans woman to be murdered in Florida within the span of five months. Like the other three women, Garden was initially misgendered in an offensive way by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and local TV news stations. Hours after Garden’s friends and family called them out, the Sheriff’s Office finally …

Image: David Begnaud/Twitter, border patrol @CBP showing the McAllen, Texas detention facility.

After Trump signed an executive order it’s still not clear how immigrant children will be reunited with their parents

Eli García traveled down to Homestead last weekend to turn fear into power. As one of hundreds of thousands of youth using the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), García innately understands the terror of being undocumented. That feeling was heightened as more details emerged about a Trump administration policy that separated about 2,300 undocumented children from their immigrant parents. Trump has since signed an executive order ending this policy, but it’s not clear yet how these children will be reunited with their parents. Although they were afraid, members of the Central Florida undocumented community and the Hope CommUnity Center drove down to a detention facility holding about 1,000 migrant children in Homestead to protest the conditions. Some people …