Category Archives: July-August 2018

CMC has its own 501(c)3 again!

Event: CMC Non-Profit Celebration
Where: 433 South Main St.
When: Sunday, July 22, 11am-1pm

by Joe Courter

The Civic Media Center and Stetson Kennedy Library Inc. is now the holder of its own 501(c)3 nonprofit status, a year or so after going under the wing of the Neighbors United for a Better Alachua. We are grateful to them for assisting the CMC during this period.

Being volunteer-run, a few years ago the CMC was simply late in doing its filing of the IRS paperwork on a couple of occasions, and there was no knowledge that this was severely frowned upon by the powers that be at Internal Revenue. Like, they simply take away your 501(c)3 status.

Continue reading

Women on the run Changing the face of elected office: Friends of Susan B. Anthony to celebrate Women’s Equality Day

Event: Women’s Equality Day Luncheon
Where: Wyndham Garden Conference Center
When: Saturday, August 25, 11:30 a.m.

The Friends of Susan B. Anthony will celebrate Women’s Equality Day with their annual festive luncheon on Saturday, Aug. 25.

This event, which began as an informal birthday party for Susan B. Anthony over 40 years ago, is now held in conjunction with the anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote.

Continue reading

In memory of Harriet Ludwig, activist, reporter

Harriet Ludwig, a beloved community activist who had a long career as a writer and news reporter died Thursday evening June 28. She was 93. Harriet was born in South Dakota, and began her writing career there before moving to Florida, first in the Clearwater-Tampa area, and then to Gainesville. Always an advocate for young people, education and civil rights, she often contributed to the Gainesville Sun and other publications, but as well, regularly attended meetings for various organizations including the NAACP, the Labor Party (now Labor Coalition) and the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. She was among the core group of co-founders of the Civic Media Center in 1993. She wrote the following piece on the opening of the movie “Selma” that ran in the Gainesville Sun on Jan. 11, 2015, and we offer it in her memory.

Continue reading

GRACE celebrates four years of ending homelessness

By Jon DeCarmine, Director, GRACE

When I think of what we’ve been able to accomplish at GRACE in the past four years, I think of a poster I have up on the wall in my office. It’s a quote from St. Francis of Assisi, and it reads: “Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”

For years, people without houses had to spend all day, every day, navigating a frustrating maze of appointments and expectations at dozens of different agencies spread out all over town. All the while, they had to be thinking about where would sleep that night, where they would use the bathroom, and where they could store their belongings. It was a lot to ask, and it left a shockingly high percentage of our homeless population out in the heat and in the cold, unsure what to do or how to get it done.

Continue reading

Celebrate Medicare with Alachua County Labor Coalition

Event: Medicare Birthday Party
Where: Working Food, 219 NW 10th Ave.
When: Saturday, July 28, 5-7 p.m.

by Chad Hood

Each July, the Alachua County Labor Coalition celebrates Medicare, one of the greatest public health triumphs of the 20th century, with a birthday party.

Join us on Saturday, July 28, from 5 to 7 p.m. for cake, food/refreshments, and shared testimony about improving and expanding Medicare to all residents. This year’s celebration will be at Working Food in Gainesville at 219 NW 10th Ave.

Continue reading

Phosphate mining plans, citizen input in the sunshine

by Carol Mosley

HPSII, a small group of families with vast land holdings in Bradford and Union Counties, intend to mine thousands of acres straddling the New River that runs into the Santa Fe River, for phosphate rock. The rock will be shipped by rail to some other unfortunate town for processing.

While Union County, under moratorium from mining, updates their Land Development Regulations (LDRs) and Comprehensive Plan, Bradford County is unwisely collaborating with the mining company and an “independent” consulting firm (paid for by HPS) to determine if the preliminary plan submitted fits Bradford’s minimal LDRs.

Continue reading

Labor Notes Conference renews, inspires attendees

By Jason Fults, Board Member of the Alachua County Labor Coalition

For the first time in the ten years that I’ve been a member, the Alachua County Labor Coalition sponsored two people to attend this year’s Labor Notes conference.

ACLC Coordinator Tim Tia and I made the trek to chilly Chicago to attend the April conference together, both first-timers, along with several ACLC veterans such as Lauren Byers, Candi Churchill, Mark Piotrowski and Joe Richard.

Continue reading

From the sunflower to the sunshine state, solidarity still sings: A report on the radical roots of the Kansas Poor People’s Campaign

by Kimberly Hunter

“O home, home on the range, where the deer and the antelope play,” echoed down the halls of the capitol building in Topeka, as the Poor People’s Campaign (PPC) made its way to Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer’s door, knocked, and – after receiving no answer – sat down.

“O Kansas is the land where folks lend a hand, porque juntos estamos aquí; where we open our doors and empower the poor, ‘cause Kansas was meant to be free,” continued their state song — recently rewritten by Ana Marcela Maldanado Morales, a Kansan proud of her Guatemalan heritage.

Continue reading

From the publisher … Take heart, the Resistance is alive

Writing this Publisher’s Note is a task I have had in the back of my mind for weeks.  It been kinda stewing around amorphous amid all the content from NPR, Democracy Now!, the multitude of internet news links from friends, and sites like, the Gainesville Sun, The New Yorker, and many conversations and life experiences.

So two nights ago I wrote one, kinda dark and negative, what with Supreme Court decisions against unions and abortion rights, the Justice Kennedy resignation, children being isolated from their parents and used as bargaining chips as well as the other horrors oozing out of the Trump administration, Carl Hiassen’s  brother and other newspaper staffers killed by yet another misogynistic maladjusted alt-right guy with a gun,  yet another young black man killed by  a trigger happy cop, continuing wars in remote places and then the announcement of “The Space Force,” a new arms race in the sky.


Yikes, I  think many of us were pretty down.

That Publisher’s Note asked what it felt like to be a sensible person in the time of slavery, or the rise of the Nazis, or of the slaughter of Native Americans. My thought was that it felt like right then – kinda helpless if thought about – but mostly just carrying on with life.

That Publisher’s Note went in the cyber trash can last night. Yesterday I went to the Families Belong Together March and Rally in Gainesville, one of many hundreds of similar events across the country. It was stunning. As the mass of people filtered out from the City Hall Plaza, crossed University Avenue and walked South to the Depot Park Bandshell, it stretched the entire length of South Main, and I don’t mean single file; it was a mass of folks. Motivated, positive and righteously opposed to the tearing apart of families.

Following some music as the crowd arrived, there were speakers talking about the active resistance that is happening, lawyers involved in helping immigrants and the increasing hurdles people face. Madres Sin Fronteras told about their direct work with immigrants in crisis. We heard from a local sanctuary church, Westminster Presbyterian. A pediatrician talked about the effects of trauma on children.Voter registration was being encouraged, various organizations were tabling. A statement by Mayor Lauren Poe was read by Commissioners Harvey Ward, Gail Johnson and Helen Warren (and printed on page 21). The event itself was organized by Indivisible Gainesville, which burst into being after the election of Trump and now boasts over 2,300 members.

What I saw yesterday tells me that the Resistance is still out there, all over the country.  That rally did not occur because of newspapers or radio publicity – it was people using the new media opportunities to become informed, involved.

Being better informed may mean altering our news intake, seeking out better sources and prioritizing them. Organizing and educating and building solidarity among our fellow citizens is happening. Joining organizations is happening, working together and supporting leadership and experience while mentoring new people to the movement and hearing and respecting their perspectives.

Cheers to the youth from Marjorie Stoneman Douglas. Cheers to the teachers nationwide organizing for decent pay and working conditions. Cheers to the pipeline protesters and and prison abolitionists. Cheers to the anti-racist organizers and Women’s Liberationists. Cheers to the fighters and allies of the LGBTQ movement. Cheers to the movement for higher wages and universal healthcare.

Hell yes we vote, but we can also support and work for candidates to multiply our electoral impact.

And damn it, don’t let the bastards grind you down down like I was feeling a few days ago. Take care of yourself and those around you; we sensible and compassionate people all need each other for the long haul. D

State, federal government continues to support fake clinics

Event: NWL’s General Meeting
Where: 200 NE 1st St, suite 201
When: Tuesday, July 10, 6:30 p.m.

by Keri Audette

On June 27, SCOTUS ruled that Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs)  no longer have to disclose to their patrons that they are not licensed medical facilities and will retain the ability to mislead women regarding the services they provide.

The case, National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) v. Becerra, was decided on a  5-4 vote, citing First Amendment rights as grounds for overturning a California law requiring CPCs to post notices that free or low cost abortion, birth control, and prenatal services are available through state programs.

Continue reading

Primary Elections, August 28

by Joe Courter

First understand that unless you are registered as a Democrat you will have no choice in the partisan State and County races. It is the way our system works.

Voting is math, be strategic. You have until July 30 to change. But the primaries are where idealism can shine, about who can fight for what you believe in. Use your voice.

When we get to November, it reverts back to math again, and even if your ideal did not become a candidate, if you are sensible you move forward with practicality.

Here’s the rundown in my eye.

Continue reading

July-August 2018 Gainesville Iguana

The July-August 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.