Saturday Morning Local News Roundup
A brief summary of what happened this week -- invalid mail-in ballots, Dailey playing defense, debate around "affordable" housing, and more.
Below is a round-up on local & election-related news from this past week. I hope this is informative and serves as yet another reminder that we have to be engaged residents to push for progress in our community. Don’t forget to vote by Election Day.
🗳 More than 15,000 mail-in ballots cast in Florida have mismatched signatures.
According to WFSU, more than 15,000 mail-in ballots cast in Florida have mismatched signatures, no signature or other errors. These issues must be fixed by 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10 to be counted.
Check the status of your mail-in ballot here. If you’re concerned about possible problems with your ballot, call your local Supervisor of Elections office. Leon County’s office is open M-F and their number is 850-606-8683.
🏢 City-backed housing project sparks citizen debate on what should be considered “affordable”.
Last year, the City Commission unanimously approved an ordinance to allow the conversion of hotel properties into residential use to help increase housing stock.
One of the first projects resulting from the ordinance was recently completed — ALTER 3100 on Apalachee Parkway, where a 283 sq. ft. studio is being rented for $770/month. The City said this complex will provide “affordable” housing for the workforce, but residents complained on the City’s Facebook post, saying this “non-solution” is “out of touch”.
We’ll see how this new development plays out, but I hope it sparks a larger conversation around poor transportation options and infrastructure that surrounds housing designed for the working class. If these units were designed for short-term or transient workers, they should also provide amenities that make it easier for them to get to work without having to rely on a car, especially given the volatility of gas prices.
💡Dailey is on the defense: denying connection to Florida Power & Light and fighting off “bigotry” rumors.
Mayor John Dailey replaced his former campaign manager with his wife, who has previously represented Florida Power & Light as a lobbyist. The sudden switch has led to resurfacing allegations about the Mayor’s potential agenda to sell our utilities to Florida Power & Light, the company behind the the anti-net metering legislation that was almost set into law, but blocked by an unexpected veto from Governor Ron DeSantis — who is normally on the utilities’ side. Dailey has also been criticized for accepting bundled campaign contributions from a key figure in the FPL “ghost candidate” scandal.
Commissioner Jack Porter, along with other local women, has accused Mayor Dailey of using bullying and intimidation tactics “to belittle and intimidate” her. While I’ve also been dismissed and discredited by Mayor Dailey, along with other elected officials, I wonder who’s behind the videos and why it hasn’t been disclosed yet, especially given these videos may violate Florida’s electioneering laws.
🐍🏹 Voter turnout on college campuses is barely past 10%, but there’s a mini digital campaign to boost those numbers.
For the past week, I’ve been posting daily voter turnout reports on my social media to raise awareness about the upcoming Election and to share information with students. It has led to a widespread digital discussion about voting, disenfranchisement, the college student experience, and how students are segregated from the “outside world”.
📄 Upcoming Voter Guide for last-minute voters.
I’m in the progress of writing a brief voter guide (geared towards college students/last minute voters). It will covers the basics on why to vote, how, and for whom.
I plan on releasing it Monday. If you’d like to share opinions about candidates or have questions, drop them here.
November 8th - Election Day. Find your precinct and sample ballot here.
November 9th - Tallahassee City Commission Meeting. Details here.
Once the election is over, I’ll be spending more time trying to get Open Tallahassee off the ground. It’ll be a data-driven digital publication, focusing on real, local issues, reported on by citizen journalists.
If you are interested in joining this effort, either by writing, consolidating/tracking news, or sharing your perspective on local issues/politics, please let me know! I’ll be planning an interest meeting in the coming weeks.
Enjoy your weekend and stay safe!
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