Why should UF Divest?

by Marcela Mulholland

World renowned civil rights activist and writer James Baldwin once said, “The paradox of education is precisely this – that as one begins to become conscious, one begins to examine the society in which he is being educated.” Along this same vein, the development of my consciousness has led me to examine the educational institution largely responsible for this development, the University of Florida.

When I first arrived at UF over three years ago I knew little to nothing about climate change, private prisons or any other social justice issues. I remember sitting in a Facets of Sustainability course during the fall of my freshman year learning about climate change and feeling angry that I had been alive for 18 years without anyone ever telling me that quite literally civilization as we know it is on the brink of collapse. 

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March 2019 Gainesville Iguana

The March issue of the Iguana is now available, and you can access it here! If you want to get your hands on a hard copy, check out our distro locations here.

WGOT celebrates 11 years on the air this month

By Fred Sowder, WGOT Station Coordinator

It was a busy 2018 for WGOT as we opened our studio inside the Civic Media Center. We’re still seeking volunteers to host live radio shows in the afternoons and evenings. Please consider becoming a volunteer by contacting us through Facebook (which has been blowing up lately!) or emailing info@wgot.org. Unlike a pre-recorded show or podcast, live radio is fun and immediate, getting instant reaction from the listening audience. Even if you’ve never done it before, we’ll gladly show you how. We’re also always in need of behind-the-scenes volunteers for everything from program scheduling to graphic design. Our next board meeting is at the CMC on Sunday, January 27th at 2pm for those interested in getting your feet wet with community radio.

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Women’s March

by Pam Smith

On Jan. 19, women from all over will join together in Washington DC and march to show our opposition to the racist, homophobic, classist regime ruling there. Gainesville Women’s Marchers are going by car, bus, plane and train. There will be sister marchers from every state.

On the local level, we are joining the statewide march in Orlando that starts at 10am at Eola Park – a combined march of people celebrating Martin Luther King day and the Women’s March. 

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History and the people who make it: Mildred A. Hill-Lubin, pt. 1

Mildred Hill-Lubin [H], recently deceased UF literature professor, was interviewed by James Myers [M] in June, 2009.

This is the 51st in a series of transcript excerpts from the UF Samuel Proctor Oral History Program collection. Notes in [square brackets] by SPOHP; interpolations in {curly brackets} by Iguana.

Transcript edited by Pierce Butler.

H: I was born in an area known as Uchee Hill; now it’s Seale, Alabama.

M: What year?

H: 1933. My father’s name was Luther Anderson, and my mother was Mary B. Johnson-Anderson. My grandmother was very much a part of my family, and her name was Lizzi Johnson Lewis. 

I don’t remember my grandfather. I heard about him. He was the first Black man in that area to own an automobile. He could not buy it in Alabama. He had to go to Detroit to buy the car. They did farming. They had a great deal of timber, and—these are the rumors from my family—during Prohibition, they also made white liquor for the Kennedy family.

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Department of Doing fails to support neighborhoods

by Janice Garry

Something just ain’t right. 

I don’t pretend to know everything, but I know when something just ain’t right. What’s going on in our city, specifically in the Department of Doing (silly name, I know, but that’s what it’s called), just ain’t right. 

A city that listened.

Four years ago I was involved in the city-wide revision of the Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Code. Were you there? Do you remember how great it was to participate with the city? 

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Registering to vote? Florida Rights Restoration Coalition is here to help

Starting January 8, 1.4 million Floridians with completed sentences will be able to register to vote, the single-biggest enfranchisement of voting rights since passage of the 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

If you or a loved one are planning to register, make sure to connect with the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC) on Facebook and at https://floridarrc.com/. They successfully passed Amendment 4 to automatically restore the rights of 1.4 million returning citizens. They are led by directly impacted people, and will stand up for your rights.

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Petition for expansion of Medicaid in Florida

After the success of Amendment 4 giving ex-felons the right to vote, it is time to remedy another Florida injustice, the inability of low income Floridians to obtain health insurance coverage.  At present no adult without dependent children can obtain Medicaid insurance coverage.  Those with dependent children can get it if their income is less than 33 percent of the Federal Poverty Level, amounting to $6857 for a family of three. About 400,000 people are in this coverage gap.

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An African American history of Alachua County with author/historian Lizzie P.R.B. Jenkins

When: Thursday, February 7, 6pm 

Where: Matheson History Museum

Admission: Free, pre-registration required.

We are honored to welcome author and historian Lizzie P.R.B. Jenkins on Thursday, Feb. 7, to share about the storied history of African Americans in Alachua County. 

Alachua County’s African American ancestry contributed significantly to the area’s history. Once enslaved pioneers Richard and Juliann Sams settled in Archer as early as 1839. They were former slaves of James M. Parchman, who journeyed through the wilderness from Parchman, Mississippi. They and others shaped the county’s history through inventions, education, and a work ethic based on spirituality. 

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Changeville

When: Feb. 7-8

Changeville is a two-day social change festival to be held on Feb. 7-8, in partnership with the UF College of Journalism and Communications annual frank conference in downtown Gainesville. It brings together students, professionals and local and national artists from a variety of platforms, united by a passion for social change. The festival includes music, comedy, award-winning films, tech, poetry and discussion panels/workshops.

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City elections coming up in March

by Joe Courter

We will have more next issue for sure, but be aware there will be a City of Gainesville election on March 19. 

This will be for District 4, currently held by Adrian Hayes-Santos, who at press time is unopposed, and for the office of Mayor, currently held by Lauren Poe, who has already drawn two opponents. They are Jenn Powell, a progressive grassroots candidate who in prior years was a bigtime Bernie Sanders supporter and also recently ran against Helen Warren, and a total newcomer and self-described conservative Jennifer Reid. 

The candidate filing deadline will be at the end of January, so others may jump in, and the picture will be clearer when we next print at the end of February.

Alachua County launches Second Solar Cooperative

by League of Women Voters

The League of Women Voters – Gainesville/Alachua County is excited to announce our second solar cooperative. Alachua County residents and business owners are forming the cooperative to save money and make going solar easier, while building a network of solar supporters.

Alachua County residents interested in joining the co-op can sign up as a member at the Cooperative web page: www.solarunitedneighbors.org/alachua. The solar co-op is free to join and joining is not a commitment to purchase panels. Once the group is large enough, Solar United Neighbors will help the co-op solicit competitive bids from area solar installers.

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How Florida can legalize cannabis in 2020

by Chris Kennard

Floridians For Freedom (FFF) is a statewide non-partisan volunteer group of committed citizens intent upon legalizing cannabis in Florida.

We can collect one million petitions we need by January of 2020, to turn in to the State of Florida to verify, and thereby create, approve and enact our own legal-cannabis law. 

Fully legalizing personal use cannabis and hemp crop cultivation and economic opportunities has broad support, here and around the country. This move helps to heal America by ending an open sore infecting our nation for over 100 years, beginning with racial and regional prejudices against Mexican-American and Black citizens.

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From the publisher … People get ready

by Joe Courter

There is a weird irony that I begin writing this on the day Governor DeSantis is sworn in, as I wrote the last publisher’s note when that race, and, as well, the races for Senate and Ag Commissioner, were still undecided and in recounts. Well thankfully Nikki Fried got in, but the fact of Rick Scott being Senator and that close, close loss by Andrew Gillum really hurts.  

I listened to DeSantis’s speech and sadly thought how different it could have been with a Gov. Gillum. Worst is the prospect of the huge change in the State Supreme Court where three liberal justices will be replaced by conservatives due to term limits. We here in Florida had better be ready to organize, because they will be coming after legal abortion, union organizing rights, immigrant rights, public schools, you name it. 

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Sunrise Movement & the Green New Deal

by Marcela Mulholland

Two days after the 2018 midterm elections I packed up into a car with some fellow climate activists and drove from Orlando to Washington, DC. My comrades and I had just spent the past several months working to help elect climate champions and were still recovering from Florida’s dismal election results. (@RickScott) 

We were going to DC to participate in a sit-in, organized by Sunrise Movement, at Nancy Pelosi’s office. During the sit-in I was arrested alongside 51 other young people for demanding that all Democratic leaders commit to a Green New Deal that would create thousands of good jobs for working class people and transform our economy away from fossil fuels over the next decade. 

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January-February 2019 Gainesville Iguana

The January-February issue of the Iguana is now available, and you can access it here! If you want to get your hands on a hard copy, check out our distro locations here.

North central FL results not good

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.

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Update from the Alachua County Labor Coalition

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.

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Two labor related holiday parties

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.

From the publisher … Suppressing Democracy

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…

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