To reflect on the news of the day, Jacksonville Today seeks to include a diverse set of perspectives. These opinion columnists are independent contractors who are paid for their contributions and are not involved in news decisions.
Featured image for “OPINION | House redistricting map creates Jax-only CD5…lands with a thud”
February 27, 2022

OPINION | House redistricting map creates Jax-only CD5…lands with a thud

The intramural pissing match between Republicans in Tallahassee continues, and no clear resolution is at hand as they try to figure out if they can chop up Democratic districts, and if so, by how much. A third congressional redistricting map is moving forward in the process, with the House poised to offer a radically different map than the one the

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Featured image for “OPINION | Leave university funding alone ”
February 23, 2022

OPINION | Leave university funding alone 

In Florida’s state government, the Legislature is required to produce a balanced budget every year. This is very different than the federal government. In D.C., if they want to fund a new program or project, they just print more money. In Florida, the expenses have to equal the revenues. Just like it’s difficult to make choices in the family budget,

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Featured image for “THE JAXSON | 5 Gullah Geechee dishes to try in Jacksonville”
February 22, 2022

THE JAXSON | 5 Gullah Geechee dishes to try in Jacksonville

The Gullah Geechee descended from enslaved Central and West Africans who worked the plantations of the Lowcountry in the coastal Southeastern United States. After the abolition of slavery, the Gullah Geechee settled in remote areas, in particular the barrier islands stretching from North Carolina to Northeast Florida, where they formed a unique culture and strong communal ties that remain today. 

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Featured image for “OPINION | What are you so afraid of?”
February 21, 2022

OPINION | What are you so afraid of?

The definition of democracy is “government by the people.” It’s “a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.”  By this standard, I wonder, Have we ever had a democracy?  I know the United States thinks itself a democracy. As

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Featured image for “OPINION | Drama on Florida House floor reflects Duval’s racial divide”
February 20, 2022

OPINION | Drama on Florida House floor reflects Duval’s racial divide

Duval County legislators were at the center of drama in the Florida Legislature last week, and the confrontation spoke to an essential truth in regional politics: Jacksonville has not resolved its race issues. As the House approved a ban on abortions after 15 weeks (that’s a tad more than three months past conception), protests rose in the chamber, with chants

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Featured image for “OPINION | 7 big projects that moved Downtown forward (and how they did it)”
February 15, 2022

OPINION | 7 big projects that moved Downtown forward (and how they did it)

Downtown Jacksonville has its fair share of “gamechanger” developments that have failed to deliver, but when done right, major projects can help move the city center forward. Here’s a look at seven projects from the last 25 years that positively impacted Downtown Jacksonville – and why they’ve succeeded where others failed. 1997: Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts renovation In

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Featured image for “OPINION | History is happening now”
February 14, 2022

OPINION | History is happening now

Tomorrow would have been Jordan Davis’s 27th birthday. Trayvon Martin would have made 27 on February 5th. Instead, we remember them as 17-year-old boys, their lives cut down before they really had the chance to live.  This year marks 10 years since both boys were killed. Trayvon, while walking through his father’s Sanford subdivision. Jordan, at the Gate gas station

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Featured image for “OPINION | Ron DeSantis isn’t bluffing about his map”
February 13, 2022

OPINION | Ron DeSantis isn’t bluffing about his map

Many of those reading this rejoiced last week when the Florida Supreme Court rebuffed Gov. Ron DeSantis’ unprecedented ask for an advisory opinion regarding his proposed congressional redistricting map. DeSantis’ general counsel put forth a map, as we have discussed here, that would eliminate the Fifth Congressional District, which protects the interests of Black voters in North Florida by connecting

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Featured image for “OPINION | Florida’s surgeon general fight is a preview of 2024”
February 9, 2022

OPINION | Florida’s surgeon general fight is a preview of 2024

Before the 2000 Bush/Gore election, Tim Russert, the late Meet the Press host, was asked what he would be watching the most on Election Day.  Russert scribbled out three words on his whiteboard: “Florida, Florida, Florida.” Of course, it turned out that the leader of the free world was decided in Florida that year by 537 votes.  Not much has

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Featured image for “THE JAXSON | 6 Gullah Geechee communities in Jax”
February 8, 2022

THE JAXSON | 6 Gullah Geechee communities in Jax

Who are the Gullah Geechee? The Gullah Geechee people are the descendants of Central and West Africans who have traditionally lived along the coasts of southeastern North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Northeast Florida. The African presence in Northeast Florida dates as far back as the 16th century, well before the 1607 founding of the British colonies, and included people

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