Takeaways from Tallahassee — Let my people go

Blue Tally Takeaways (3)
A conservative group wants Florida to go back to 1983 — to bring back parole and reduce recidivism.

Back to the Future

A recent study from a conservative criminal justice reform group is advocating for Florida to restore its parole system back to what it had before 1983.

On Tuesday, Right on Crime released a study that identifies Florida as one of 16 states without a full-fledged parole system. Furthermore, it calls for the Sunshine State to gradually reintroduce parole or to create a class of non-violent crimes that could let rehabilitated inmates out sooner.

Right on Crime is affiliated with an Austin-based conservative think tank, the Texas Public Policy Foundation. The organization supports conservative solutions for reducing crime, restoring victims, reforming offenders and lowering taxpayer costs.

Chelsea Murphy and Right on Crime say it’s about time Florida updates its parole system.

“Risk and cost analysis of re-instating parole deserves consideration, but the benefits of parole are far too great to ignore,” writes Right on Crime Florida Director Chelsea Murphy, the paper’s author. “A moderate reintroduction of parole is long overdue, and modifying Florida’s truth in sentencing thresholds, even gradually, will provide incentive for productive behavior and supervision.”

As part of a national movement in the 1970s to scrap parole in favor of pre-World War II release policies, Florida began reviewing its parole system. After the Legislature ordered a review in 1978, the Commission on Offender Review issued sentencing guidelines that effectively abolished parole in 1983.

Florida does not parole offenders unless they committed a crime prior to 1983 or parole was court appointed for serious offenses. However, inmates whose crimes were committed prior to Oct. 1, 1983, are still eligible for parole consideration.

Florida currently has a gaintime structure that requires offenders of both violent and non-violent crimes to serve at least 85% of their sentences.

Not only does parole cost the state less to monitor parolees than it does to house inmates — $11.69 with electronic monitoring or $7.18 with versus $76.83 in prison, per a Florida Department of Corrections 2020-21 fiscal year report — parole gives incentives to rehabilitate and reduces recidivism. It could help with overcrowding.

To handle the risk factors of parole, Florida could exclude sexual and child-related crimes from eligibility, like Tennessee.

As an alternative, Right on Crime suggests creating a class of non-violent crimes that only require 60% time served.

Lawmakers should also add two more panelists to the Florida Commission on Offender Review Florida, a victim and a formerly incarcerated individual both appointed by the Governor, the report argues.

“Since Florida currently only has three board members, two former assistant state attorneys, and one former law enforcement officer, expanding the current makeup will provide a unique perspective on the challenges both victims and offenders face,” Murphy writes.


Coming up, the usual assortment of news, intel, and observations from the week that was in Florida’s capital city by Peter Schorsch, Drew Wilson, Renzo Downey, Christine Jordan Sexton and the staff of Florida Politics.

But first …

Take 5

The “Takeaway 5” — the Top 5 stories from the week that was:

Christina Pushaw registers as foreign agent Christina Pushaw, DeSantis’ Press Secretary, registered as a foreign agent who worked for two years on behalf of Mikheil Saakashvili, former President of the Republic of Georgia and a critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Less than a year after her stint volunteering for Saakashvili, for which she disclosed $25,000 in housing compensation, she was hired as DeSantis’ press secretary in May 2021. Her attorney says she only learned recently that she had to disclose the work to the federal government. DeSantis brushed off the scrutiny, adding that she does a great job calling out legacy media’s “lies and phony narratives.” “I would be much more concerned with my press secretary if the Washington Post was writing puff pieces about her, then I would think something was wrong.”

DeSantis vetoes Lake O water bill — DeSantis on Wednesday vetoed legislation to address water quality in Lake Okeechobee, a priority of Senate President Wilton Simpson. DeSantis, who issued a rare policy statement during the recent Legislative Session criticizing the initial version of the bill (SB 2508), said he vetoed the proposal after complaints from environmental groups. Critics claimed the bill would have prioritized the sugar industry to the detriment of the environment and other water users. Those opponents made a strong showing during legislative committee meetings this year. “I’ve heard you. We have vetoed that today,” DeSantis said.

SCOFLA hears gun preemption enforcement arguments — The Florida Supreme Court sought answers Thursday to whether the state has the authority to punish local lawmakers for passing ordinances that violate the state’s gun law preemption. Justices heard oral arguments in a case challenging a 2011 state law that provides financial penalties to local officials for enacting or enforcing gun legislation that is more restrictive than the state’s. “This is a legislative fire hose to put out a birthday candle,” attorney Edward Guedes told Justices. Chief Justice Charles Canady and Justice John Couriel were most vocal in their apparent resistance to Guedes’ argument that local lawmakers have legislative immunity. Daniel Bell, representing the state, asserted that if the Legislature prescribes legislative powers to local governments, it also has the ability to restrict legislative immunity.

DeSantis signs school safety package — DeSantis on Tuesday signed an update to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act to bolster school crisis intervention and include charter schools in some safety requirements (HB 1421). The new law aims to improve earlier legislation passed in response to the 2018 MSD High School shooting in Parkland. Testimony during this year’s Senate and House hearings on the update revealed none of the state’s 67 school districts were entirely in compliance with the law that aimed to improve school safety. “Every child needs a safe and secure learning environment,” DeSantis said in a statement. When asked about gun safety measures recently, the Governor pointed to that proposal and school safety funding.

Dems’ Special Session call falls flat — As the clock struck 3 p.m. on Friday, Democratic lawmakers’ hopes for a Special Session on gun violence ran out after the deadline to find the votes came and went without support from a single Republican. The call, spearheaded by Rep. Joe Geller, was limited to regulating high-capacity rifle magazines, mandating universal background checks and expanding red flag laws. For their slate of proposals, DeSantis criticized Democrats as “leftists” who were going after the Second Amendment. Meanwhile, video surfaced Tuesday of House Speaker-designate Paul Renner issuing his support for permitless carry, a measure DeSantis promises to pass before he leaves office.

Fount of cash

DeSantis eclipsed his four-year goal for Everglades restoration and the protection of Florida’s water resources with the signing of the state fiscal year 2022-23 budget assembled by the Legislature this spring.

Since taking office in 2019, DeSantis has signed budgets that in the aggregate have directed more than $3.3 billion for Everglades restoration and the protection of water resources.

DeSantis issued Executive Order 19-12 on his first day in office, laying out his goal to spend $2.5 billion on Everglades restoration and water. The $2.5 billion figure would have topped what former Gov. Rick Scott spent on the initiatives during his second term as Governor.

Ron DeSantis and Shawn Hamilton earned a big spending tab this year. Image via Facebook Live.

“Protecting Florida’s natural resources has been a top priority since my first day in office,” DeSantis said in a release trumpeting his accomplishment. “The health of the Everglades, Florida’s springs, and so many other resources are the foundation of our communities and economy and play an important role in the everyday lives of Floridians. I am committed to leaving our natural resources better than we found them so that future generations can experience what brings people from around the world to our state.”

Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Shawn Hamilton lauded the appropriation and in a statement credited the Governor, but not the Legislature, which assembles the budget.

“Since taking office, Governor DeSantis has demonstrated his continued commitment to protect Florida’s waters and natural resources, which are the foundation of Florida’s communities, economy, and way of life,” Hamilton said in the prepared release. “Thanks to Governor DeSantis’ leadership and the historic amounts of funding his administration has secured, the state is in the best position it has ever been to take strategic action to improve our water quality, and Florida is continuing to do just that.”

Hope Florida

Hope springs eternal for Casey DeSantis’ Hope Florida — A Pathway to Prosperity campaign has helped more than 30,000 Floridians toward becoming economically self-sufficient, the First Lady said Friday.

The program, led by the First Lady and the Department of Children and Families, assists Floridians in need with the help of care navigators. Care navigators identify goals and barriers to economic self-sufficiency through community-based partners, including the private sector, faith-based institutions and nonprofit organizations.

Casey DeSantis has helped made some Floridians hopeful.

“I am extremely proud of the work that has been done to help Floridians find hope for a better life and realize their potential,” Casey DeSantis said in a statement. “It is heartening to see needs across the state being met by Floridians for Floridians with the expansion of Hope Florida — A Pathway to Prosperity. In the months ahead, we will be looking at ways to build off this momentum and continue to grow the program to connect individuals across the state with entities that seek to serve others in their community.”

The program began as a pilot in August 2020, and the First Lady and DCF expanded it in September 2021.

“This program provides an opportunity for the department to partner with Floridians in need on their journey to economic self-sufficiency through the thoughtful and customized activation of local resources,” DCF Secretary Shevaun Harris said. “We are front-loading our service array to prevent families and individuals from finding themselves in a crisis situation further down the road. We see every interaction as an opportunity to help.”

The First Lady even shared a positive review one hopeful Floridian had for her care navigator:

“Her kind heart and professional assistance kept me sane and helped me gather all the information needed for these services,” Shari G. said. “I am forever grateful and pray these services continue so they are able to help those in need.”

She keeps fighting

Fried submitted written testimony to Congress this week asking it to pass the Defending Domestic Produce Protection Act.

“Our state’s fruit and vegetable farming industry alone supports 68,700 jobs and creates $5 billion in annual cash receipts. In this time of heightened food insecurity both at home and abroad and with food costs skyrocketing, protecting the domestic food supply chain is a matter of national security. Our producers work tirelessly to feed our families and communities; we need to have their backs,” Fried said in a letter on Thursday containing her testimony to members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Subcommittee on Commodities, Risk Management and Trade.

Nikki Fried is advocating for the domestic seasonal produce industry.

Fried said the legislation addresses unfair foreign trade practices that for decades have harmed Florida farmers and that Congress “can and should” take it up without further delay. Fried said the legislation would “protect the strength of our domestic industry while we continue to work together to navigate the current challenges facing the industry.”

Fried has advocated for the domestic seasonal produce industry since 2019 after taking the helm at the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS). In August 2020, she testified at a virtual hearing held by the Office of the United States Trade Representative, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Commerce.

In August 2021 she shared with the federal government a report conducted by her office that shows the harm the policies are having on Florida farmers and the state’s economy.

Well done

FDACS was awarded a $2.5 million grant to improve the food distribution infrastructure and underserved areas.

The “Reach and Resiliency” grant, funded with American Rescue Plan dollars, was awarded to the department’s Division of Food, Nutrition and Wellness to find creative solutions to addressing gaps in the federal program called The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP).

Fried’s office wants to direct money to food banks. Image via Scott Powers.

“Every Floridian should have access to nutritious food, and TEFAP is a critical program in our fight against food insecurity – especially in rural communities,” Fried said in a prepared statement. “I thank our federal partners at the USDA for this additional funding that will allow us to bolster our current food banks and create new in-state partnerships to assist families in this trying time.”

FDACS will use the funds to support two separate subgrant opportunities. Fried’s office wants to direct money to TEFAP food banks and their ability to procure, receive, store, distribute, track and deliver time-sensitive or perishable food products.

Fried’s office also will award money to any organization interested in implementing, improving or expanding its food distribution program in a remote rural tribal or low income area of the state. The money will be awarded via a competitive bid, details of which were not included in the press release.

Save the date

Registration for the 2022 Human Trafficking Summit is now open, Attorney General Ashley Moody’s office announced Wednesday.

The annual event, which will be held virtually on Oct. 4, brings together local and national leaders to discuss various strategies and measures to prevent human trafficking, protect victims, prosecute perpetrators and cover recent updates and developments in the fight against human trafficking.

Human trafficking is still atop Ashley Moody’s mind. Image via Scott Powers.

Moody’s office said that more than 11,000 attendees have registered for the annual summit over the past two years. Last year, more than 4,000 people from 40 states attended the summit and engaged in breakout sessions.

This year, breakout sessions will include subject matter experts who will discuss aspects of human trafficking prevention through the lens of law enforcement, service delivery, policy, research and health care.

“The Human Trafficking Summit brings together people who share our determination to end human trafficking — in Florida and across the nation. The summit is free, and registration is now open. I encourage anyone who wants to join this important fight to sign up now and help us build a Stronger, Safer Florida,” Moody said in a news release.

Additionally, Moody’s office is accepting nominations for four awards: Survivor Advocate of the Year, Community Advocate of the Year, Prosecutor of the Year and Law Enforcement Official of the Year. Nominations can be submitted online and must be sent on or before Aug. 15.

For more information on the 2022 Human Trafficking Summit, or to register for the event, visit HumanTraffickingSummit.com.

Share with the class

Worried that supply chain issues could hamper the state’s recovery efforts following a hurricane Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis sent a letter to U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas asking for the Biden administration’s plans for acquiring hurricane supplies and pre-positioning them in advance of storms.

“I have been through enough hurricanes to know that following disasters, families try desperately to get back to their homes to begin the hard work of rebuilding. That’s why it is so important that federal officials not allow for the lack of available supplies of both building materials, and medical devices, to impede recovery efforts. Moreover, as the price of diesel remains at historic highs, I am concerned about trucker availability as their margins continue being squeezed,” Patronis wrote.

Jimmy Patronis doesn’t want hurricane supplies to go the way of baby formula.

In addition to requesting the plan, Patronis requested that the Biden administration make available to the public any details about arrangements that the Department of Homeland Security may have with the Federal Emergency Management Agency or the Department of Transportation.

Patronis references in the letter the baby formula shortage and Biden’s remarks about not being briefed on the issue prior to the shortage.

“With hurricane season, we cannot tolerate the same incompetence that allowed the baby formula shortage to occur, to again rear its ugly head for a storm. The availability of these supplies are often the difference between life and death, and we cannot rebuild our communities with excuses,” Patronis wrote in the letter adding, “I look forward to your response.”

Instagram of the week

The Week in Appointments

18th Judicial Circuit Court — DeSantis on Friday appointed Jigisa Patel-Dookhoo to the court. Patel-Dookhoo, of Rockledge, has served as Assistant State Attorney since 2016. Currently, she is the Division Chief in the Domestic Violence Unit. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and her law degree from Western Michigan University. Patel-Dookhoo fills the judicial vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Lisa Davidson.

Sumter County Commissioners — The Governor named Donald Wiley to the Commission. Wiley, of The Villages, is the owner of Gold Wingnut Productions. He previously served as the District Supervisor of the Villages Community Development District 10. Wiley is a U.S. Navy veteran and was honorably discharged after 20 years of service.

Alzheimer’s Disease Advisory Committee — DeSantis appointed Matthew Eaton and Samantha Ferrin to the committee. Eaton, of Kissimmee, is the vice president of communications for the Florida region at the Alzheimer’s Association. Eaton earned his bachelor’s degree in mass communications from the University of South Florida. Ferrin, of Tallahassee, is the director of government law and policy practice for Greenberg Traurig. She formerly served as the Interim Secretary as well as the Chief of Staff of the Florida Lottery. Ferrin earned her bachelor’s degree in political science and sociology from Florida State University

Florida Healthy Kids Board of Directors — The Governor named Andrea Gary and Jason Weida to the Board. Gary, of Tallahassee, is the Bureau Chief of the Florida Department of Health and the chief administrator for the Children’s Medical Services Health Plan. Gary earned her bachelor’s degree in business and her master’s degree in communication from FSU. Weida, of Tallahassee, is the Assistant Deputy Secretary for Medicaid policy and quality at the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration. He is a former Assistant U.S. Attorney at the Justice Department, where he received the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Latin and history from Gettysburg College and law degree from the University of Connecticut.

Elections and history

Secretary of State Cord Byrd is praising DeSantis and the Legislature for spending on election security and integrity and other State Department priorities.

“I want to thank Governor Ron DeSantis and the members of the Florida Senate and Florida House of Representatives for their steadfast leadership and dedication to serving the people of Florida,” Byrd said in a statement. “Due to their generous support and collaborative efforts, the Florida Department of State will have the necessary resources to protect Florida’s election infrastructure, preserve Florida’s unique history, fund libraries, support cultural programming and invest in our communities and businesses.”

Cord Byrd is thankful for funding for elections and cultural initiatives.

The 2022-23 budget includes $24.3 million for state-level election oversight activities, with $1.2 million to create the Office of Elections Crimes and Security. The budget also approved 15 new positions to ensure the integrity of Florida’s voting rolls and $8 million for election security grants through the Help America Vote Act, better known as HAVA.

The budget also includes $36.1 million for Florida’s libraries and library systems, more than $35 million for the Historic Preservation and Exhibition in the Division of Historical Resources, $46 million for the Division of Arts and Culture Cultural and museum grants, and $8.3 million for consumer safety and protection through the Division of Corporations.

The Division of Arts and Culture also received $1 million for the Champlain Towers South Memorial in remembrance for those impacted by the Surfside Building Collapse.

More budget praise

Division of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie said this week that the fiscal year 2022-23 budget ensures Florida’s communities are prepared for future disasters because of investments in first responder training, recovery funding and mitigation projects.

“I want to thank Governor DeSantis and the Florida Legislature for remaining committed to building a more resilient Florida and maintaining the Division’s position as a national leader in emergency management,” Guthrie said in a prepared statement. “This year’s budget provides funding to enhance our ability to respond and recover from disasters, but it also empowers Florida’s communities to become resilient against the impact of future disasters.”

Kevin Guthrie is getting a new EOC and more.

The 2022-23 budget provides $1.6 billion in funding for federally declared disasters that remain “open” to reimburse eligible response recovery and mitigation costs; $10 million to support training for the state’s eight Urban Search and Rescue teams as well as replacing equipment; $10 million for the Hurricane Loss Mitigation Program, which supports the construction or retrofit of public hurricane shelters and the “Manufactured Housing and Mobile Home Mitigation and Enhancement Program;” and $2.7 million to streamline the division’s grant management system.

The Legislature also earmarked a whopping $80 million to continue construction of a new state Emergency Operations Center. The state EOC in Tallahassee serves as the communications and command headquarters for disaster response activities.

Record support

Department of Corrections Secretary Ricky Dixon said this week he has never seen so much support for correctional and probation officers and the law enforcement inspectors who work at the agency and thanked DeSantis for being the impetus behind it all.

“Governor DeSantis understands our needs and took bold action to provide vital pay increases for our officers, The Governor’s steadfast support for the courageous men and women of this agency, combined with the backing from the Florida Legislature, have secured a pathway for our success,” he said in a budget statement that was issued this week.

Ricky Dixon’s DOC is getting money for pay raises, K-9s and more.

The fiscal year 2022-23 budget that takes effect July 1 provides the funding necessary to increase correctional officer and probation officer pay to $20 an hour and law enforcement inspectors to $23 an hour.

Lawmakers also agreed to earmark $10.2 million to begin the upgrade of its offender based information system, called OBIS. The management information system is the repository for inmate management, classification, work assignments, disciplinary information and custody status.

The budget also targets $3 million to the department to purchase emergency management equipment, drone detection systems, electronic key systems, drone support for K-9 operations, body scanner and camera equipment for surveillance. The budget also provides $1.9 million and 12 employees for a statewide recruitment effort and authorizes the department to enter a contract with a marketing firm to develop the plan.

Good doggy

DeSantis has signed a measure offering retired corrections and law enforcement dogs health care coverage in their golden years.

Sponsored by Sen. Bobby Powell, the new law sets up the “Care for Retired Law Enforcement Dogs Program,” which ensures that canines that have assisted in protecting public safety throughout Florida will be provided with veterinarian care as they are retired from service.

SB 266 is a way to honor golden retrievers in their golden years and German shepherds when they’re put out to pasture.

“The years of intense training and demanding requirements can take a heavy toll on law enforcement K-9s,” said Powell, a West Palm Beach Democrat. “This legislation is a small repayment for the years of service these dogs have given. It ensures that a modest amount of funding is available to help pay for veterinary care as the canines retire and physical ailments due to aging or previous on-the-job injuries begin to appear.”

The program, which takes effect July 1, will provide reimbursement for up to $1,500 of annual veterinary costs associated with caring for a retired law enforcement or corrections dog by the former handler or qualified adopter who incurs the costs.

The program will be administered and managed by a not-for-profit corporation in a contractual arrangement with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement after a competitive grant award process. The legislation unanimously passed both the Senate and the House during the 2022 Legislative Session.

Veteran friendly

Florida is also lending a hand to its bipedal veterans. Four bills aimed at improving educational and career opportunities for veterans were signed by DeSantis this week.

Sponsored by Rep. Daisy Morales and co-sponsored by Rep. Christopher Benjamin, HB 45 allows disabled veterans who are attending state college, university or technical school on the GI Bill to waive any tuition and fees not covered by the GI bill beginning the 2022-23 academic year. Colleges and universities must report the number and value of all fee waivers granted under the program to the Board of Governors and the State Board of Education.

Daisy Morales earned a legislative win for disabled veterans this week. Image via Colin Hackley.

Economists estimated that less than 140 people would qualify and that in all about $141,402 in tuition and fees would be waived by state institutions helping disabled veterans pursuing career training.

“I’m grateful that disabled veterans will now get the help they need to fulfill their educational goals without any additional financial barriers,” Morales said in a prepared release following the bill signing. “They have given so much for our country and deserve every opportunity to empower themselves and create a better and stronger future for their family.”

Other veteran friendly legislation signed by DeSantis this week includes: SB 430, which reenacts the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children, which ensures strives to improve the school transfer experience of active-duty military families; SB 896, which allows a veteran’s military service to count toward the requirement for a temporary educator certificate under the mentorship of a certified teacher; and SB 562, which requires the Department of Business and Professional Regulation to expedite license applications of active-duty military spouses.

Excellent clerking

For more than 14 years, Florida’s Clerks and Comptrollers have collaborated on industry best practices but it wasn’t until last year that it established its “Best Practices Excellence Program.”

The program allows Clerks that complete educational assessments to receive recognition with the issuance of “Recognition of Excellence” certificates in 12 different areas, five of which were new topics: eviction, evidence storage and destruction, public records requests, requests to redact exempt personal information and exploitation of vulnerable adult injunctions.

The Best Practices Excellence Program has exceeded our expectations. Stock image via Adobe.

Initial best practices areas included: bail bonds; compliance services; confidential judicial records; guardianship audits; marriage licenses; recording fundamentals; and service of documents by clerks for pro se litigants.

“The Best Practices Excellence Program has exceeded our expectations as a means to showcase Clerk’s commitment to continuous improvement and greater consistency across standard processes,” FCCC CEO Chris Hart IV said in a prepared statement.

“I’m thrilled with the new categories implemented under the leadership of FCCC President Angel Colonneso and FCCC Best Practices Chair Laura Roth, and I’m excited to see the program’s continued growth and participation from members engaged in achieving these carefully crafted professional standards.”

Fifty five of the 68 clerks offices across the state participated in the program and 30 clerks and comptrollers received certificates for completing best practice training in all the areas that apply to their designated offices.

Probation praise

A new law that aims to improve Florida’s probation system, increase success rates for people on supervision, and ultimately strengthen public safety was praised this week by groups dedicated to changing the criminal justice system.

The new law encourages people to maintain employment and pursue education by allowing those who attain certain milestones to receive reduced probations.  People in community control who complete an academic degree or receive a high school equivalency diploma can have 60 days shaved off their probation. Those who have worked 30 hours a week on average for six months can shave 30 days from their probation.

Rockstar lawyer Jessica Jackson is praising Florida’s new probation law. Image via White House.

The new law also allows for remote reporting to a probation officer so long as it wasn’t specifically excluded as an option for the offender.

“This is a big win for public safety in Florida,” said Jessica Jackson, chief advocacy officer and chief operations officer of REFORM Alliance, a non profit organization dedicated to replacing the existing civil justice system with one that is fair, accountable and invested in rehabilitation.

“Our goal is for people to reenter society with dignity, create meaningful pathways to work and equip them with the tools to succeed all while making families and communities safer and stronger.”

The law also is supported by a citizen-led organization that includes the Faith & Freedom Coalition, American Conservative Union, Alliance for Safety and Justice, Law Enforcement Action Partnership, Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, Americans for Prosperity Florida, Florida Policy Institute and Operation New Hope.

MoFA exhibits Pride

In recognition of Pride Month, Florida State University’s Museum of Fine Arts is hosting a collaboration between FSU Libraries and the FSU Honors Program titled, “It’s A Lot Like Falling in Love: Legacies of Naiad Press and the Tallahassee Lesbian Community.”

Through this exhibit, Michael Franklin, a specialized faculty member in the Honors Program, and students in his LGBTQ Oral History Methods class showcase interviews with women involved with Naiad Press, a woman-run and Tallahassee-based publishing company of lesbian fiction and non-fiction.

MoFA is honoring Naiad Press this Pride Month. Image via FSU.

Franklin said the exhibit draws heavily from 12 oral history interviews and from personal photographs, local news coverage and an exhibition-lending library, plus other historical documents and objects.

“This exhibition looks at what Naiad meant to the people involved with it and how Naiad provided lifelines to women-loving women,” he said.

Naiad Press opened in 1973 as one of the earliest publishers of lesbian literature in the United States. When it closed in 2003, the company stood as one of the largest publishers of lesbian literature in the world.

“This is an opportunity to underscore the importance of not only talking with people who are older than you as a way to learn about history but also the security of not losing histories that aren’t represented in archives,” Franklin said.

“It’s A Lot Like Falling in Love” explores three general themes — discovery, work and community — and provides visitors the opportunity to experience content on a personal level through dedicated spaces for reading and listening.

The exhibit will be on display June 9-Oct. 29. It was created with funding from the Center for Undergraduate Research and Academic Engagement’s Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program. Franklin also received a Project Enhancement Network & Incubator grant from FSU Libraries for the purchase of the Naiad Press books in the exhibition library.

Capitol Directions

Ron DeSantis — Down arrow — Most of his power grab ideas are essentially Prequel memes.

Christina Pushaw — Up arrow — It doesn’t matter what she does as long as DeSantis is defending her.

In-person learning — Crossways arrow — 60% of the time, it works every time.

Inflation — Up arrow — We gave it a down arrow, but it shot up overnight.

Jason Pizzo — Up arrow — The days of living your life a quarter-mile at a time are over.

Audrey Gibson — Crossways arrow — The Jax Democrat is taking her record of losing all those Senate races to the 2023 Mayor’s race. Good luck with that.

Jay Trumbull — Up arrow — Next stop, Florida Senate.

Everglades — Up arrow — $2.5 billion promised, $3.3 billion delivered.

Citizens Insurance — Down arrow — Can they swap CEOs with Netflix? It’d be a win-win.

Constitutional carry — Crossways arrow — Ready or not, here it comes.

Jason Garcia — Up arrow — Sign up for Seeking Rents and fill his tip jar, pronto.

Drag shows — Down arrow — Stop the presses: We agree with Rep. Blackface … why are you all bringing children to drag shows?

Keith Edwards — Down arrow — People with off-brand Vanilla Ice haircuts shouldn’t throw stones.

Scott Maddox — Up arrow — You do the crime; you do the time … in the second-cushiest prison in the country.

Gourmands — Up arrow — You no longer need to leave Florida to eat at a Michelin star restaurant.

Local honey — Up arrow — Rick Scott loves you.

Thomas Whitley — Up arrow — Say hi to Tallahassee’s new Director of Strategic Innovation.

Betton Road — Up arrow — Hey, where’d that “Road Closed” sign go?

Waterworks — Up arrow — See you on jazz night. That’s Wednesday, by the way.

K9s — Up arrow — Under their new benefits package, treats and scritches are not elective procedures.

Staff Reports

One comment

  • Bea

    June 13, 2022 at 12:35 pm

    Stop spreading false facts about danger of sex offenders. I am sure you are well aware that they actually have one of the lowest re offense rates. Therefore we need to abide to equal treatment for all criminals and stop the harassing laws and exclusions.

Comments are closed.


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