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From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

From the Pages of Orlando Weekly: Health Experts Warn- After Large Thanksgiving Gatherings, Plan Small Christmas Funerals


U.S. COVID numbers are exploding. Cases are surging throughout the country, and some states have gone back into lockdown, closing schools and businesses in an attempt to save lives. Not Florida. Our Legislature convened for the first time this week to plan the March session, and its new Republican leadership renounced any responsibility for mitigating the spread of the virus, saying it was not their role. Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees, whose role it definitely is, hasn’t been seen in a press conference for months, and his top spokesperson, Alberto Moscoso, left or was removed from his job on Wednesday. All communications on COVID will now go through the governor’s office for approval. Governor DeSantis has offered no new guidance …
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From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

From the Pages of Orlando Weekly: The Landslide didn’t Happen-More than 70 million people, after witnessing four years of the Trump Show, wanted to do it again


By rights, Joe Biden won a decisive victory. Yet Tuesday night felt like a disappointment. In part, it was the order in which votes were counted and the uncertainty it produced. In part, it owed to polls foretelling a blue wave that never materialized. Trump’s team simply outhustled the Democrats in the exurbs and rural towns. Biden overwhelmingly won minority votes, but Trump did better than last time with Hispanic and Black voters. The returns made it clear that Democrats have a messaging problem with working-class voters who are buying into Trump’s promises of economic prosperity. Whether he delivers or not, that individual anxiety beat out principled outrage over 230,000 dead from COVID, children in cages, and brazen financial corruption. …
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Image: John Morgan at a Fight for 15 press conference – by Joey Roulette, orlandoweekly.com
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

From the Pages of Orlando Weekly: Florida Voters Approved Amendment 2, the $15 Minimum Wage Initiative


On Tuesday voters approved Amendment 2, the $15 Minimum Wage Initiative, by more than 60 percent, in a major victory for Florida’s low-wage workers. Amendment 2 will gradually raise the current minimum hourly wage of $8.56 to $15 by 2026, beginning with an initial increase to $10 on Sept. 30, 2021. Florida’s Fight for $15 and the union leaders who have been central to this victory consider the passage of Amendment 2 not only a win for labor, but also for social and racial justice. A quarter of Florida’s workforce – and 38% of Florida’s working women of color – will see their pay go up. One notable opponent of Amendment 2 was the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association. Earlier …
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Image: 537 Votes An HBO Original Documentary
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

From the Pages of Orlando Weekly: The HBO Original Documentary 537 Votes


An adage Florida would do well to keep in mind this month: Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. A newly released documentary called ‘537 Votes’ takes us back to the 2000 presidential race between George W. Bush and Al Gore, which ended in a tally too close to call. The entire thing came down to, yes, 537 votes in Florida, cementing our reputation as a must-watch state in every major election ever since. The filmmaker, who is based in Miami, blames the voting fiasco on Miami’s then-Mayor being unwilling to stand up to the heavily Republican and influential Cuban-American population of South Florida. This had something to do with it, to be sure, but ‘537 Votes’ doesn’t …
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Image: Photo via Tiffany Tertipes/Unsplash, orlandoweekly.com
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

From the Pages of Orlando Weekly: Elections officials in Florida ask voters to be patient this year


Florida elections officials are counseling voters to be patient this year. Some experts suggest thinking of this as “election season,” rather than focusing on Election Day. The era of Tuesday-night returns and a tidy result on Wednesday morning is probably a thing of the past. The pandemic means an unprecedented number of voters are opting to cast ballots by mail in Florida and throughout the nation. Supervisors of elections and public-interest groups are trying to spread the word that it could take days to get a final tally in the race between Biden and Trump. Trump has repeatedly demanded that a winner of the Nov. 3 election be determined by the end of Election Day. Florida elections supervisors point out …
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Image: Florida Attorney General Office via Wikimedia, Ashley Moody
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

From the Pages of Orlando Weekly: Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody requested investigations into Bloomberg following donation to the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition


Former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg ended his presidential campaign in March, but he vowed to keep working to support the Democratic party in the race. Candidates almost always say this after dropping out, but Bloomberg has been true to his word, making personal contributions and helping raise donations in Get Out the Vote initiatives around the country. In Florida, among other donations, he raised $16 million for the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, which helps returning felons pay fines and fees, so they are eligible to register to vote. He hasn’t given the money to the FRRC yet, but the DeSantis administration has already decided that they don’t like that pledge one bit. So much so, in fact, that Attorney …
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