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 | Congress should get out of the marijuana business”
December 1, 2021

OPINION | Congress should get out of the marijuana business

When Ron DeSantis was in Congress, he wasn’t a big fan of the institution. He criticized its ineptitude while he was there and has consistently bashed it since being elected governor of Florida. The governor isn’t alone. A recent poll found that over 80% of Americans disapprove of Congress’ performance, putting it in the neighborhood of lice and traffic jams

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Featured image for “OPINION | 5 development myths that hold Downtown Jax back”
November 30, 2021

OPINION | 5 development myths that hold Downtown Jax back

Does demolishing old buildings prime the pump for flashy ones? Is 10,000 residents the magic number necessary to enliven Downtown Jacksonville? Is downtown development really as complicated as we make it? Here are five widespread but false myths about urban development that have held Downtown Jacksonville back for years:  Myth 1: It’s easier to develop an empty lot than adapt

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Featured image for “OPINION | Relief and belief in justice are not the same”
November 29, 2021

OPINION | Relief and belief in justice are not the same

“Verdict watch . . . one guilty but this is stressful.” I fired off that tweet after Travis McMichael was found guilty of all charges for killing Ahmaud Arbery. I watched the judge read the verdict as my gumbo simmered on the stove for Thanksgiving dinner. A spoon in my hand, my daughter on my lap, and my clothes covered

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November 28, 2021

OPINION | Primary battles to watch in 2022

We will have a few live August contests in this region next summer. While top-of-the-ticket stuff leaves some intrigue for the November general election, the down-ballot stuff is often of greatest interest in these primaries. For those who need it, here’s a cheat sheet breaking down the partisan dynamics in play and the potential outcomes.  The biggest-stakes competitive primary is

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Featured image for “OPINION | What hotels can do for Downtown vibrancy”
November 23, 2021

OPINION | What hotels can do for Downtown vibrancy

A new Home2 Suites in Brooklyn is the latest hotel project moving forward in Downtown Jacksonville. With more hotels in various stages of planning, it’s time for Jacksonville to embrace the positive impacts these developments can have on the vibrancy of urban neighborhoods. Home2 Suites in Brooklyn When the new Home2 Suites in Brooklyn opens its doors, the six floor,

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Featured image for “OPINION | My Thanksgiving wish for a less divided Jacksonville”
November 22, 2021

OPINION | My Thanksgiving wish for a less divided Jacksonville

Thursday, most of us will gather together around tables in homes to share Thanksgiving dinner. I have often been struck by the fact that when I gather with my immediate family in Chicago or my extended family in New Orleans, the tables where we break bread are in homes situated in majority Black, if not all Black inner city neighborhoods.

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Featured image for “OPINION | Ron DeSantis doesn’t get Duval. Does he care?”
November 21, 2021

OPINION | Ron DeSantis doesn’t get Duval. Does he care?

In 2018, Gov. Ron DeSantis didn’t win Duval County in the general election race against Andrew Gillum. It was a bad year for a few statewide GOP candidates in Duval, including another who won the state but lost the county: Rick Scott also failed to carry the county against Bill Nelson. And local Republican Party leadership at the time took

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Featured image for “OPINION | Floridians want control of their life back”
November 17, 2021

OPINION | Floridians want control of their life back

For over a year now, our lives have been completely upended, and it all seems terribly unfair. Family and friends have gotten sick, and sometimes died, from a virus that didn’t exist in our country two years ago. We isolated our frail and elderly and dying from human contact at a time when they needed it most. The human cost

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Featured image for “OPINION | 5 infrastructure bill projects Jacksonville should pursue”
November 16, 2021

OPINION | 5 infrastructure bill projects Jacksonville should pursue

President Joe Biden finally signed his hard-fought $1 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law on Monday, November 15. As a result, approximately $19 billion in federal investment is headed to Florida. That tally includes $13.1 billion for roads and $245 million for bridges over the next five years, with a focus on mitigating climate change, resilience, bike and

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Featured image for “OPINION | What are we teaching our children?”
November 15, 2021

OPINION | What are we teaching our children?

City Council has withdrawn the Confederate monument legislation and may never take it up again —  an act of cowardice that took place last week in an open forum where no one seemed the least bit dismayed or even ashamed. As it happened, I wondered, What are we teaching our children?  Recently, on First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross, my

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