Hi there, and Happy Juneteenth!
Juneteenth marks America's second Independence Day, commemorating the emancipation of slaves in the United States. However, not all slaves received their freedom on this day. Although the Emancipation Proclamation was issued on January 1, 1863, Florida granted freedom to slaves on May 20, 1865, over two years later. Learn more about May Day here.
I hope that short history lesson reminds you of the powerful role our government plays in our lives. Below are some new stories you might’ve missed last week:
- FAMU's lawsuit against Florida for chronic underfunding is moving forward: Last week, a Florida Judge denied the State's request to dismiss a class-action lawsuit accusing it of continued discrimination against FAMU for over three decades. Attorneys are currently revising its case however, as the U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle dismissed a version of the lawsuit, saying the attorneys will have to provide more evidence to show that the alleged discrimination can be traced to segregation. They have until July 3rd to revise its case.
- Local tax hikes are on the horizon: Budget proposals for the City and County include substantial increases in taxes and fees to "cover the costs of new police officers, higher officer wages, new crime-fighting technology". These increases will likely result in higher property taxes and rent, if ultimately approved. The proposed city and county increases won't become final until public hearings in September.
- The Northeast Park debate is on pause: Its fate is in limbo after the Blueprint meeting was rescheduled to August 24th, possibly to adjust to the recent departure of Ben Pingree, the former Director of Blueprint. Pingree left to join the County as part of County Administrator Vince Long’s proposed reorganization of top staff.
- Are you ready for Hurricane Season?: A storm blew through town Wednesday night. There wasn’t much physical damage reported, but, at one point, over 1,000 residents were without power, according to the City’s Power Outage map. Hurricane season began on June 1st. Here’s what you can expect this hurricane season.
- The U.S. Supreme Court rejected Alabama's congressional map: The Alabama Legislature is in charge of designing maps to represent legislative districts. The Republican-led Legislature drew congressional maps that the U.S. Supreme Court ultimately found unconstitutional because the districts concentrated and minimized the power of Black voters, violating the Voting Rights Act. This decision could influence the political landscape of other Southern States, like Florida, where our districts are being challenged because the Republican-led Legislature dramatically redrew districts.
Bonus: See how much money FAMU, FSU, the City, and County got from the State this past Session.
That’s all we have for now! See you next week, and don’t forget to check out our Community Calendar to find upcoming events.
Our team is expanding, which allows us to pilot a new project – a (hopefully weekly) newsletter called Posted! Each week, we round up the news from the prior week to help keep you updated on our ever changing city and State.
If you’d like to contribute, just text us at 850-270-8440! We’re always looking for volunteers, especially an editor!