The Gainesville IguanaThe Gainesville Iguana is a semi-monthly progressive newsletter and calendar of events which first began publishing in October 1986. Through its calendar, directory of organizations, and content, it fosters the growth of movement consciousness and community organizing on issues from local to international.
By James Thompson
On Nov. 6, Florida, and specifically North Central Florida, lost some big elections to some very dangerous people. Statewide results are not finalized at this time.
Dr. Kayser Enneking’s courageous and costly run to oust corporate servant Keith Perry in Florida Senate District 8 (Alachua, Putnam, and North Marion counties) hurts the most. We needed this seat to begin undoing the ghastly gerrymandering Republicans enacted after the 2010 Florida census. This was the most expensive regional campaign, and strategists took notice.
by Jesse Cosme, ACLC member
With almost 14,000 properties in Gainesville on the rental market in the last year, there is a serious need for action to protect the interests of renters.
In the last months the renters’ rights campaign for the Alachua County Labor Coalition has been picking up steam to do just that. The campaign proposes a universal landlord licensing program that focuses on energy efficiency, safety compliance, mediation processes, disclosures, and a few anti-discrimination ordinances that have gained ground elsewhere in the country and state and have been shown to improve the livelihoods of the renters in those communities.
The Labor Movement, the people who brought us the weekend and a host of other things, deserve love and recognition. Friends of labor should help them celebrate the holidays.
The first event is the annual Central Labor Council Holiday Party spaghetti dinner on Monday evening Dec. 10.
This year it will be at the Senior Center on NW 34th St. just south of 441 and across from the Walmart SuperCenter. It begins at 6:30, with a donation requested of canned foods for charity, and will host and honor union activists and members from Transit Workers and Electricians, grad students and UF faculty, and supporters from the north Central Florida area active unions.
The second event is the Alachua County Labor Coalition Holiday Party on Tuesday, Dec. 18.
It starts at 6 pm and will be held at Forage Hall in Working Food, 219 NW 10th Ave. All are welcome. Bring a potluck dish if you can. ACLC works on Living Wage, Renter’s Rights, and Medicare for All, and helps out with other struggles going on in the community. There is a lively youthful feel to the ACLC as a new generation of labor activists have come on board.
by Joe Courter
As I write this, four days after Election Day, things are quite uncertain in the key Florida races. It will be almost a week from when I finish writing this to when you can read this. It is an odd feeling. This is a huge election for the direction of the State, and as well the balance in the Senate and the empowerment of the truly vile Rick Scott to a six-year term in DC. I leave any comment on the election outcome to the future…
Transgender Day of Remembrance will be held on Tuesday evening, Nov. 20, at the Bo Diddley Plaza in downtown Gainesville. Also known as TDOR, this event was started on Nov. 20, 1999, as a vigil to honor the memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman of color who was killed in November of 1998.
by Melina Rayna
Ignite Life Center, a church at 404 NW 14th Ave., is on a large property that borders NW 6th St. Unfortunately, it is hosting a conference called Unbound on Friday, Nov. 30 and Saturday, Dec. 1 that has a strong anti-LGBTQ point of view. They have invited what they call “former members of the LGBTQ community” to speak. You know what that really means.
Obituary from the Gainesville Sun
In addition to Emily Browne, the past couple weeks saw the passing of two other crusaders for justice in our town, environmentalist Dwight Adams and Civil Rights activist Mildred Hill-Lubin. We acknowledge their contribution to our community and offer condolences to their friends and families.
Emily Marden Browne, age 76, after battling Parkinson’s disease for years, died peacefully on Oct. 12, 2018, in Gainesville, Florida. Emily was born in Glendale, NJ, and moved with her family to Florida in the late 1950s. She earned her bachelor’s degree in mathematics (because UF wouldn’t let her major in engineering!) from the University of Florida.
By Fred Sowder, WGOT Station Manager
It’s been a banner year for your community radio station.
2018 has seen the creation of our studio within the Civic Media Center; a blowout 10th anniversary celebration featuring Radon, Whiskey & Co. and others at The Atlantic; and the lecture by Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman in Gainesville in association with the CMC’s 25th anniversary celebration.
by Connie Caldwell
We arrive at the big front doors of our precinct, the Museum of Natural History on campus before 6 am. It’s dark. We’re a team of seven. There’s much to prepare and we must be ready for voters by 7.
I help with whatever I can: with Kathryn, the “ballot lady,” setting up cardboard voting booths on the long tables and distributing pens in the voting booths; with Paul, plugging in and powering up the EVIDs (Electronic Voter Identification).
by Joe Courter
October was breathtaking for the Civic Media Center. A lot of preparation led up to the very successful 25th anniversary celebration on Friday evening, Oct. 19, when the CMC hosted Democracy Now!’s host Amy Goodman for a double-header event; first a meet and greet benefiting the CMC’s low power FM station WGOT with the fine people from Afternoon Restaurant hosting, and then right across the parking lot at Working Food a full house of over 200 people got to hear a great talk from one of the leading journalists of our time.
Checks and balances – Gainesville’s Department of Doing: ‘Gainesville, Citizen Centered, People Empowered’ or ‘Gainesvile, Citizen Censored, Developer Empowered’?
by Lee Malis and Gainesville Neighbors United
I came home from vacation one day to find a backhoe ripping out trees, knocking down my fence and then going after a giant Live Oak tree in my backyard. My shock and confusion at the time would be hard to describe. I had just come from attending a great wedding with lots of old friends. I was feeling happy and content. That was August 16 and that was the last time I felt that way.
The past three months seem to have been nonstop invasion, attacks, slander, and legal fighting.
by Carole Mosley
A lot has happened since the last update.
HPSII, LLC has been busy with document requests from everyone they can think of. They’ve already gone after the North Florida Planning Council, Alachua County, and Union County and won a Judgment against Union, which is being contested.
by Joe Courter
We humans have had to deal with a lot of changes in our sensory input and all the information that our brains need to process. Our early “technology” ( candles, lanterns) has brought us the ability to have artificial light, lengthening our productivity. The practice of writing broadened access to knowledge, giving us written information instead of oral histories. Science could flourish as knowledge built on knowledge.
As humans began to travel, trade could develop as well. This further spread knowledge among far flung people. Conquests could also occur, with the appropriation of wealth and territory. This led to weaponry development.
by Gary Gordon
This November the citizens of Gainesville can choose to move our city elections to the fall and to lengthen the terms of city commissioners and the Mayor to four years.
I urge my fellow citizens to choose to vote no.
Do not bundle our election with the others.
by Rebecca Paceley
As Say Yes to second chances (Vote Yes on 4) took off last year, it created a renewed focus on people who are currently or have been incarcerated and the plights that they face everyday. These challenges include housing, employment and regaining the right to vote. The question of how to lower the incarceration rate is a continuous social concern. Participatory Defense has offered a solution to this problem.
The Florida Council for Incarcerated and formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls (Florida Council) has brought a new program to Alachua County. Florida is the home to the newest hub of Participatory Defense. Many times public defenders are over worked with limited resources and push defendants toward taking plea bargains. This is where Participatory Defense hubs come into play.
On Oct. 2, Lara Alqasem, 22, a former University of Florida graduate was detained at Ben Gurion Airport and ordered deported after Israeli security looked her up on Canary Mission, a right-wing blacklist site.
Alqasem was going to study for an MA at Hebrew University in Jerusalem and had received a visa valid for a year for that purpose. She remains in detention. Her detention and possible deportation raises major concerns about study abroad programs in Israel which might well deny entry to students of Palestinian origin or anyone who does not pass the right-wing litmus test. Unfortunately such tests are also being used to deny entry to people engaged in social justice work. Recently, Professor Katherine Frank who arrived in Israel to lead a delegation of human rights activists, was detained and deported. In light of these concerns, faculty from UF and around the country have signed the statement below for the release of Lara Alqasem.
by Evelyn Foxx and Nkwanda Jah
The Alachua County NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Committee (ECJC) focuses on community issues affecting the quality of life and economic equity for all citizens in Gainesville and Alachua County. Environmental Justice recognizes that environmental benefits and burdens are not shared equally among all residents . consequently, Environmental Justice issues are also civil and human rights issues.