WAKING UP TO THE OTHER HALF
OF SOUTH FLORIDA’S POLITICAL CONVERSATION

TRENDING TOPIC FOR MONDAY, MAY 16TH: Zika prevention in Miami-Dade County. We leave you with an update from Mayor Gimenez, who held a press conference on this topic yesterday.


MAYOR GIMENEZ ON THE ISSUES: Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez spoke about County matters with Bernadette Pardo on “Pedaleando con Bernie” on Radio Mambi 710AM.

Mayor Gimenez initially focused on discussing the Zika virus and the steps Miami-Dade County is taking to prevent Zika-carrying mosquitoes in our area (read more here). The mayor said they are prepared for mosquito season, and “although there are no locally-acquired Zika cases in Miami-Dade, we strongly promote preventing mosquito breeding through programs like drain and cover. We are trying to implement the most effective preventive measures.” Gimenez continued, “I think President Obama’s initiative of putting funds towards combating Zika is great. We can’t let this virus do in the United States what it has done in the other parts of this hemisphere.” Pardo mentioned that the most reported cases in the state are in Miami-Dade. Gimenez said, “that is because we have a lot of people here that come from all over. We have a lot of visitors from South America, and we have many who have families in other countries that they visit. Without a doubt, the message we need to get out to our residents is that we need to be attentive and take some personal responsibility. For example, in our yards after it rains, we should do what we can to drain any water that can puddle up.” Gimenez stressed the importance of prevention.

Pardo then highlighted two issues mentioned in a county-wide poll that was released last week, the Frost Science Museum and youth violence. Regarding the museum, Gimenez responded, “it is important to communicate with out residents and provide them with all the relevant information. In this case, the museum was not assigned additional money. They were given funds that were already allocated to them, but we gave the money to them now instead of over a period of years. The question posted didn’t explain what we had actually decided to do. We didn’t really have any options. It was either to let the museum close, or leave it unfinished. To close the museum would have cost $25 million. We needed to figure out how to open the museum, not opening it was not an option. I understand that some people didn’t like this, but being mayor means making these tough decisions.” On the issue of youth violence, Gimenez said, “we have created a new program in Miami-Dade. We are going to have a unit of 25 officers, who are going to have personal exchanges with perpetrators, who tend to be young people. It is meant to be a mentoring program. We know who these young people are because they are part of the system. We are creating these programs to stop this kind of violence and provide them with an alternative.” When asked what if he was supporting Donald Trump for the general election, Gimenez responded, “I am supporting Carlos Gimenez for Mayor of Miami-Dade. I am not going to endorse anyone. I am focused on being the mayor of Miami-Dade County. What I can say is that I get along with both parties very well.” Gimenez concluded, “this is a non-partisan position and it is important to me to have a good relationship with whoever becomes the president.”


TRENDING #TUITS – LOCAL NEWS
Patricia Mazzei ‏@PatriciaMazzei  May 16
In emotional plea, Miami Republican Rep. @RosLehtinen and family push for transgender rights http://hrld.us/1R4NYvU 

Peter Schorsch ‏@SaintPetersblog  May 16
Barack Obama (@POTUS) to fundraise for DNC in Miami on June 3 via@Jenna_Buzzacco http://wp.me/pShRp-15rl  #FlaPol #sayfie

Marc Caputo ‏@MarcACaputo  May 16
Harry Reid, on behalf of Murphy campaign, trolls in fundraiser email: “I want Alan Grayson to lose”

Gary Fineout ‏@fineout  May 16
GOP U.S. Senate candidate @carlosberuff isn’t backing down from his comments where he called @BarackObama an “animal.”

John Kennedy ‏@JKennedyReport  May 16
.@RepMurphyFL hit with FEC complaint over Super PAC by conservative watchdog….http://pbpo.st/24VHauw 


FLORIDA UPDATE: Lourdes Ubieta had Florida State Senator Miguel Diaz de la Portilla on her show “Actualidad Mundial” on Actualidad 1020AM.

Diaz de la Portilla first talked about the gun-related laws they considered this year, including allowing guns on college and university campuses. “Only three states have approved this kind of law, and all of those states are running into many difficulties because of it. In reality, I think it wasn’t a bill that was well thought out. To say that a 21-year-old student can carry a weapon in school is absurd. The Sheriffs’ Associations were opposed to this, as were the presidents of the universities and many police departments. The only ones in favor included a small group from the NRA (National Rifle Association), which has a lot of influence.” He explained, “as the president of the Judicial Committee in the State Senate, I have the authority to put what should be debated on the agenda. I thought it was a bad idea. Not one person could tell us why it is necessary in 2016 to carry arms in universities when this was never a thing before.” Diaz de la Portilla mentioned that he also opposed the open carry bill that would allow people to have their guns exposed anywhere public. “I think that when people carry guns like that, without limits or control, it lends to difficult situations. Police officers and their unions were all against both of these measures.” The senator reminded listeners about the process to get a bill passed in Florida. “A lot of things have to happen, there needs to be an understanding about how the legislature works in Tallahassee. The session lasts 60 days, so we are there for two months, and during each session we get about 2,500 bills. We simply don’t have time to get to all of them. Sometimes it isn’t a good because we don’t get to discuss important bills that would greatly benefit our community. There are some bills that take more than one or two sessions to get through and become law.”


STATE SENATE RACE HEATING UP: Oscar Haza had Florida State Senator Anitere Flores and her opponent Andrew Korge on his radio show “Ahora con Oscar Haza” on Mega 92.3 FM

Both candidates discussed the challenges facing Tallahassee, as well as the race for Senate District 39. Flores focused on the high level of unease among voters about the current state of politics both locally and nationally, while Korge highlighted some of his plans to change the way business is conducted in Tallahassee. While Flores highlighted her experience in the state legislature as one of her strong points to return to the Senate in November, Korge tried to remind voters in the mostly Hispanic district that Flores had filed a bill in 2011 to allow police officers to act as immigration officials and verify the immigration status of people they take into custody, among other things.