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 | Al Ferraro is driving the narrative”
May 1, 2022

OPINION | Al Ferraro is driving the narrative

Al Ferraro knows how to read a room. People should finally realize that much and give him the credit he’s due. Throughout his entire political career, he’s been underestimated. In 2015, the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce endorsed Democrat Lisa King over him in the District 2 race. King was running as a Gwen Graham-style Democrat, and there was an era

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Featured image for “THE JAXSON | Jacksonville’s 6 most distinctive foods”
April 26, 2022

THE JAXSON | Jacksonville’s 6 most distinctive foods

All across Jacksonville and the First Coast, restaurants pride themselves in serving up fresh Mayport shrimp. This isn’t a particular species of shrimp; the designation “Mayport shrimp” refers to shrimp caught wild and unloaded in the Jacksonville area, especially the historic fishing village of Mayport. First Coast waters are a very fertile breeding region for shrimp, and the crustaceans have

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Featured image for “OPINION | Say goodbye, or stay put?”
April 25, 2022

OPINION | Say goodbye, or stay put?

There is a big difference between perception and reality. For example, the perception the United States has of itself and that it projects to the world is one of a strong, united democracy that protects freedoms, preserves the rights of the “least of us,” defends the humanity of the “worst of us,” and is a fair government run by the

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Featured image for “OPINION | Can DeSantis overplay his hand?”
April 24, 2022

OPINION | Can DeSantis overplay his hand?

In the week since my column last ran in Jacksonville Today, Gov. Ron DeSantis got everything he wanted from the Florida Legislature. The Republican-leaning congressional map? Delivered without amendment from the Republican-dominated Legislature, then signed quietly Friday in Tallahassee before the governor left for a much less quiet bill-signing ceremony in Hialeah. The Disney smackdown? The Mouse smelled what DeSantis

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Featured image for “OPINION | DeSantis Republicans run the show”
April 20, 2022

OPINION | DeSantis Republicans run the show

It’s pretty clear that much of the Tallahassee Establishment – the TE – still doesn’t get it. This detachment from reality began in 2010, when the TE rallied around then-Attorney General Bill McCollum and anointed him the next governor of Florida. Rick Scott had different ideas. Scott, who spent his life in the private sector, ran a campaign against “career

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Featured image for “THE JAXSON | 7 historic Arab American sites in Jacksonville”
April 19, 2022

THE JAXSON | 7 historic Arab American sites in Jacksonville

Arab Americans have a long history in Jacksonville tracing back to the 19th century. Between 1890 and 1920, hundreds of immigrants arrived and settled in Jacksonville from an area of the Middle East that is now home to the countries of Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine and other territories. Early settlers established themselves as grocers, peddlers and small-business operators, and dispersed

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Featured image for “OPINION | I’m at a loss over racism”
April 18, 2022

OPINION | I’m at a loss over racism

I am trying to understand racism. I know what it is. I know why it exists. I know the history of how it came to be the barometer by which all of mankind is measured, but I don’t understand it. I don’t understand that level of hate. I don’t understand why some will go to such extremes to kill people,

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Featured image for “OPINION | Who wants to be a congressman?”
April 17, 2022

OPINION | Who wants to be a congressman?

There was no surprise, none at all, for readers of this column regarding what the Florida Legislature would do with the problem of the new congressional reapportionment map. We wrote it over two months ago: “Ron DeSantis isn’t bluffing about his map.” Lots of poetic justifications of the current Congressional District 5 followed, all sound and fury signifying nothing when

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Featured image for “OPINION | 5 types of missing middle housing Jax should revive”
April 12, 2022

OPINION | 5 types of missing middle housing Jax should revive

Missing middle housing represents many types of residences ranging in scale between single-family homes and massive apartment buildings. From shotgun homes to duplexes to bungalow courts, missing middle housing was once common in Jacksonville – and could be a weapon to fight the housing crisis. What is missing middle housing? It’s a modern term for an old phenomenon. Made up

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Featured image for “Capturing the magic of Black motherhood despite the maternal mortality crisis”
April 11, 2022

Capturing the magic of Black motherhood despite the maternal mortality crisis

It’s one thing to know something. It’s an entirely different experience to be immersed in your knowledge, feel it with your heart, and see it reflected back at you. That is exactly how local curator, writer, wife and mother Shawanna Brooks wants you to feel when you experience her visual and literary art exhibition, Magic, Mirth, & Mortality: Musings on

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