Category Archives: July-August 2020

2020 Primary Election

Vote August 18 or earlier   phone: 352-374-5252

Why vote?

Here is the warm-up for November, when we all do our part to remove Trump & Co. For now, we are trying to put good people in. Voting is a way to act in your own and the people’s interest to prepare for making positive changes in our lives. It isn’t time for a moral statements, or personal purity, it is math. We’ll assess the results in September.

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Online Candidate Forums

There are a number of online forums where you can see the Alachua County area candidates for office in action. Here are some we were able to find, and even though the date may have passed, you can find the archived record online to watch. 

The date may help you find the video on Facebook or perhaps YouTube.

Congress Dist. 3, State House Dist. 20: Alachua County Democrats, June 23

Sheriff Forum: Alachua County Democrats, June 30

County Commission: Alachua County Democrats, July 1

School Board Forum: Alachua County Democrats, July 2

County Commission: Alachua Co. Labor Coalition, 5:30pm, July 7

Sheriff Forum: Dream Defenders (abolitionist perspective), 2-4pm, July 11

All candidates: League of Women Voters, 1:30-4pm, July 19

History and the people who make it: Gainesville Women for Equal Rights – Part 1

Jane Hiers [H], Jean Chalmers [C], Cora Roberson [R], Vivian Filer [F], and David Chalmers [DC] speak in April 2009 with interviewer Steve Davis about their time working with Gainesville Women for Equal Rights (GWER), one of the first integrated organizations in Gainesville. This is the 60th in a series of transcript excerpts from the UF Samuel Proctor Oral History Program collection.

Transcript edited by Pierce Butler.

F: I would start out by saying how intrigued I am that we were able to get together in the first place. It was unheard of for African Americans and Caucasian Americans to form any kind of formal group for this county. I’m not sure who actually started us together. I guess it was Bev Jones? 

R: Bev Jones, Joan Henry.

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John X. Linnehan: From priest to activist

by Carol Mosley

Feb. 28, 1928 – May 13, 2020

John Xavier Linnehan transitioned at 93 with his wife, Martina, at his side.

He lived a life of simplicity and social activism, putting words into action to effect social change.

John graduated from Boston College, did a brief stint in the Air Force, and entered the seminary to study for the priesthood. From 1958 through the next 15 years, he served as a pastor and Superintendent of Schools. In 1973 he married Martina as they began a life of activism together.

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Why we need Medicaid expansion ASAP

by Gaby Gross, Alachua County Labor Coalition

The covid pandemic crisis has made visible the utter inadequacy of healthcare in Florida. Before the pandemic, almost 900,000 low income adults had no health insurance. Now having lost their jobs in the covid crisis, thousands of others have lost their employment-connected health insurance. At the same time the cost of treatment for covid-19 virus infections can add enormously to healthcare needs.    

Currently, Medicaid coverage in Florida, apart from specialized programs, is only available to people who have dependents and earn less than 30 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (about $7,000 a year for a family of three). With expansion, whether or not they have dependents, people with incomes of up to 138 percent of the FPL (about $29,000 for a family of three) will be eligible. 

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Dion Dia Records and Casey Jones II

by Laila Fakhoury, Dion Dia Records

First and foremost, Dion Dia is a brand. 

Our brand takes inspiration from certain aspects of street culture from around the world and utilizes those elements to promote the betterment of communities, the formation of human relationships, and the elevation of unheard voices. We uplift creators by releasing music, curating events, showcasing artwork, and creating products. 

Secondly, we are a minority-owned, full-service independent record label that seeks change in the music industry and in what it means to be a record label. From our conception we have always maintained a community focus. 

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UF to end use of prisoners for slave labor

by Alachua County Labor Coalition

The University of Florida announced that “there are agriculture operations where UF has relied on prison and jail inmates to provide farm labor. The symbolism of inmate labor is incompatible with our university and its principles and therefore this practice will end.”

The University had eight contracts with the Florida Department of Corrections as of 2019. These contracts forced incarcerated individuals, many of whom are people of color, to work with zero compensation under the threat of punishment.

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Florida Peace Alliance forms links with peace groups

by Florida Peace Alliance

During this time of global pandemic and death, when the U.N. Secretary General calls for a global ceasefire so humanity can work together to save lives and prevent death, and when the United States struggles with its history of racism, a statewide alliance of Florida-based peace and justice groups has formed: the Florida Peace Alliance. 

The Florida Peace Alliance is an alliance of Florida peace and justice groups and allies committed to advocacy, activism and mobilization.

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From the publisher … Exceptional times

by Joe Courter

We now have not one but two worldwide phenomena going on. One of them is the COVID-19 virus, a product of the unnatural commingling of exotic animals in an Asian market prompted by superstition-based desires to consume these critters for alleged health benefits. This yielded a nasty and stealthy viral strain that, with humans’ proclivity to move about the planet, has allowed its spread around the globe. This put into view the successes and failures of different nations in dealing with it, speaking volumes about both the effectiveness of their governments, and the level of cooperation among their citizens. The United States seems to be doing exceptionally badly at this, not only in stifling the spread of the virus, but in its level of economic assistance to its citizens.  

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Vote Aug. 18!

by Joe Courter

Tuesday, August 18, will be election day for the party primaries and non-partisan races in Alachua County leading up to the November 3 national election. 

For the party races, you will need to be a registered Democrat to have a voice; if you are not, you can register as a Democrat on or before July 20. You can always change it back later … that’s the way it works here in Florida. 

Early voting will begin August 3; details can be found on page 20.

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‘No Justice, No Peace’

Goddsville Dream Defenders March, Report from the Streets

by James Thompson

On June 13, about 2,000 people occupied state highways and local roads under citizen guard for three hours on a Goddsville (Gainesville Chapter of Dream Defenders) Dream Defenders march against police brutality and white power. 

Occupied areas included a UF stadium, the University and 13th Street intersection, a police station intersection, and outside the County courthouse. Stops at Seminary Lane, Lynch Park, and Porters Community connected Black activists, white allies, and the public to a deep history of struggle. 

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July/August 2020 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.