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March 2, 2018
 
DELIVERED VIA EMAIL                                      RE:  Gun Safety
 
Dear Chairman Beruff and Members of the CRC:
 

 On a recent Saturday morning in South Florida, 50-year-old Edgar Ospina stood in a long line of immigrants to take the first step to become an American.

Ospina has spent almost half his life in the U.S. after emigrating from his native Colombia, becoming eligible for citizenship in 1990. But with Donald Trump becoming a more likely presidential nominee by the day, Ospina decided to wait no more, rushing the paperwork required to become a citizen.

Demetrius Ivory is a 43-year-old single dad. He’s proud that his son wants to go to college to study engineering, but he’s afraid that he won’t be able to finance it. Ivory works as the maintenance supervisor at Koinonia Worship Center in Hallandale Beach and takes on odd jobs in catering and home repair to make ends meet. Ivory is grateful he has a job but has dreamed of the salary and benefits that come with steady employment — ideally, a government job with Broward County.

Before Pansy Clayton, 60, emigrated from Jamaica years ago, she spent some time caring for her sick mother.

"I realized I had a passion for it," she tells New Times. "When I came to this country, my first job was to take care of children. After that, I said, 'Let me go into nursing.'" So for the past 11 years, she's worked as a registered nursing assistant at the Hillcrest Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, a nursing home in Hollywood. It's owned by Consulate Health Care, a national nursing-home chain.

MIAMI, FLORIDA — The Republican Party has a demographics problem. A recent analysis found that while GOP frontrunner Donald Trump may be energizing a subset of white male voters who normally don’t participate in politics, he is driving away the very groups Republicans need to win the White House this fall: young people, women, naturalized immigrants, Latinos, and blue collar workers.

La organización SEIU Florida denunció a través de sus redes sociales que los bajos salarios cancelados a los trabajadores de la Florida cuestan anualmente a los contribuyentes de laFlorida unos $ 11.4 mil millones en asistencia pública.

El profesor de Economía, Patrick L. Mason., fue el responsable del estudio en el que se determinó el alto costo público del empleo de salarios bajos en la Florida". Allí, se explica con detenimiento cómo algunas compañías de la Florida usan los programas de beneficio social financiados por los contribuyentes para subsidiar sus ganancias corporativas. De acuerdo con estae análisis,  las empresas aumentan sus ganancias al pagar salarios tan bajos que fuerzan a sus empleados a depender de programas de protección social financiados por los contribuyentes, como los cupones de alimentación o la vivienda pública.

Today we are joined by FSU economic professor Patrick Mason, author of a new Study on the high cost of low wage jobs in Florida. The report found that near the nearly 39 percent of Florida’s workforce, about 3 million people, are working in low-wage jobs that cost taxpayers over $11 Billion a year in public assistance programs. The report comes  at a time when both the state house and senate are considering a $1 billion tax cut package that would mostly benefit large companies. Mason will be joined state lawmakers and union leaders yesterday at the State Capitol in Tallahassee to call on legislators to raise the minimum wage to a livable 15 dollars an hour.

Listen to the Radio Interview

A group of progressive Miami activists marked the start of Florida's annual lawmaking session Monday by protesting outside the district office of a Republican state representative.

More than a dozen activists brought together by the SEIU Florida labor union convened reporters to blast the GOP on a variety of issues, including for trying to crack down on illegal immigration and not raising the minimum wage. They stood in the rain outside the Doral office of Rep. Carlos Trujillo, who is sponsoring legislation that would make it a first-degree felony for someone with a deportation order to continue living in Florida.

LAKE WORTH — As the Republican-controlled legislature began its 60-day session in Tallahassee today, about 50 supporters of various liberal causes gathered outside City Hall to blast Gov. Rick Scott and call for a “bold, progressive agenda” in Tallahassee.

They came to the rally with some precise demands and timetables.
The “Awake The State” gathering was one of eight scheduled around Florida.

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