Takeaways from Tallahassee — Making moves at FSU

Blue Tally Takeaways (2)
Florida State will ask Marla Vickers to keep up the school’s fundraising momentum.

Welcome home

Florida State University President Richard McCullough, who is coming up on his first anniversary after being selected to follow former FSU President John Thrasher, continues to build out his leadership team.

McCullough’s latest hire is Marla Vickers as FSU’s next vice president for university advancement and president of the FSU Foundation. That makes Vickers a top fundraiser for the university, a key role as the university continues its push to climb up in national rankings.

Richard McCullough has called Marla Vickers back to FSU, her graduate school alma mater.

Vickers, who starts Oct. 1, is an FSU graduate who is currently an associate vice president of advancement in the Division of Advancement & Alumni Engagement at Emory University in Atlanta. She brings more than 20 years of experience in higher education including working on five different multi-billion fundraising campaigns.

“I am so pleased to welcome Marla Vickers back home to Florida State University,” McCullough said. “She is a proven leader with a track record of success as a fundraiser and manager. Her energy, enthusiasm and experience will be a tremendous asset in facilitating more collaboration and alignment among all of FSU’s direct support organizations and helping the university achieve its ambitious fundraising goals.”

Vickers’ job will include fundraising as well as alumni relations and she will “work closely” with the Seminole Boosters, the fundraising organization for FSU athletics, while preparing for FSU’s next campaign. In 2018, FSU completed an eight-year fundraising effort called “Raise the Torch” that raised in excess of $1 billion.

According to FSU, the FSU Foundation ended fiscal year 2022 with $95 million in gifts and pledges, one of the top years in university history.

In her new role, Vickers will lead Florida State’s fundraising, alumni relations, advancement services and real estate giving and will work closely with the Seminole Boosters while laying the groundwork for FSU’s next campaign.

“As an alumna, it is an incredible honor to have the opportunity to join President McCullough and the entire FSU team in this capacity at such an important moment in the school’s history,” said Vickers, who has degrees from Georgia, a master’s degree from FSU and an MBA from George Washington University. She is currently working on a doctorate at Vanderbilt University.

Tom Jennings, the former vice president for university advancement, stepped down in July 2020.

Andy Jhanji, former executive vice president of the FSU Foundation, served as interim vice president until April 2022. Michael Hartline, dean of the College of Business, has served in the position since April and will continue in the role until Vickers arrives at FSU

McCullough’s other key hires since becoming president include bringing on a new provost and athletic director last December.

Several key positions at FSU are holdovers from the previous administrations including Amy Hecht, vice president of student affairs, Kyle Clark, vice president for finance and administration, general counsel Carolyn Egan, chief legislative affairs officer Clay Ingram and Dennis Schittker, assistant vice president for university communications.


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, Aimee Sachs, 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:

FPL-Capitolist funding ties revealed — The Miami Herald unveiled that Florida Power and Light secretly propped up The Capitolist, bankrolling the conservative alt-news site, siccing it on opponents and using the platform to promote its message. The report is the latest scandal to embroil FPL, the state’s largest power utility company. A group of private communications experts consulting for FPL pre-screened articles, according to the Herald. It isn’t unusual for publications to have corporate sponsors, but outside observers were concerned to learn of FPL’s editorial influence.

Gov. DeSantis’ latest proposal targets ESG — After targeting Critical Race Theory, Gov. Ron DeSantis is taking the fight against “woke” corporations to environmental, social and governance criteria. The Governor’s proposal, announced months ahead of the 2023 Session but as the 2022 Midterms heat up, would prohibit the State Board of Administration (SBA) pension fund managers from using political criteria when investing state money. It would prohibit Wall Street banks, credit card companies and money transmitters like PayPal from discriminating against customers for their religious, political or social beliefs.

Regulators to use Citizens as backstop — With more than a dozen property insurance companies facing ratings downgrades, Florida regulators have moved to shore up the struggling companies with Citizens Property Insurance Corporation. The Office of Insurance Regulation is creating a “temporary reinsurance arrangement” where Citizens would pay the outstanding claims of companies that are downgraded and later go insolvent. The move was triggered by Demotech, which had threatened to downgrade 17 companies. Demotech put the downgrading on hold after Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier blasted the decision and requested the company for additional information.

Parental rights law faces federal lawsuit — A federal lawsuit filed in Orlando is seeking to stop the implementation of House Bill 1557, the “Parental Rights in Education” measure that critics dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” law. The suit was filed by families of public-school children in Orange County and Indian River County, an Orange County high school student who is openly gay, and a coalition of LBGTQ+ community centers. The legislation stigmatizes LGBTQ families and invites school officials, teachers and classmates to view them as inferior, the suit declares.

Miami TikTok toddler dance reignites drag show fight — DeSantis is following up on his vow to prevent drag shows marketed for children. Following a clip showing a toddler in a tiara dancing with a scantily clad drag queen, DeSantis said the the Department of Business and Professional Regulation is investigating the establishment, R House Wynwood, and could ultimately pull the restaurant’s liquor license. DeSantis argues such encounters are part of a disturbing trend that is sexualizing children. However, the restaurant’s representative calls the situation “a misunderstanding.”

Boomtown heroes

Since launching in June, the Florida Housing Finance Corporation (FHFC) has provided more than $12 million in down payment assistance to essential workers through the Hometown Heroes program.

DeSantis and the Legislature approved $100 million for the program, which assists individuals such as law enforcement officers, educators, health care professionals and active military or veterans in purchasing their first home in Florida. Since launching, the program has paid out $12.1 million to 843 new homeowners.

Ron DeSantis wants community servants living in the communities they serve.

“Our law enforcement, first responders, nurses, and other hometown heroes work hard every day to take care of their communities,” DeSantis said in a news release. “I’m proud that we have been able to give back by helping 800 families buy their first home in the communities they serve, and I look forward to seeing this project grow to help thousands more in the coming months.”

Eligible homebuyers can receive up to 5% of their first mortgage loan amount (up to a maximum of $25,000) in down payment and closing cost assistance in the form of a 0%, non-amortizing, 30-year deferred second mortgage.

To qualify for this program, homebuyers must connect with one of Florida Housing’s participating loan officers, have a minimum credit score of 640, provide certification for one of the eligible occupations, and meet the income threshold for their county.

“We’re extremely proud to share this milestone because it demonstrates how much the Hometown Heroes program is already helping hardworking Floridians throughout the state,” FHFC Executive Director Trey Price said. “In less than two months, we have provided hundreds of families with the necessary financial assistance to purchase their first home. We’re grateful to Governor DeSantis and the Florida Legislature for their dedication to housing efforts and look forward to continuing to see the positive impacts of this program.”

Human trafficking day

Saturday marks World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, and Attorney General Ashley Moody is asking Floridians to do their part to curb human trafficking.

“As we prepare to recognize World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, I am calling on Floridians to take action,” Moody said in a news release. “Learning how to spot and report this atrocious crime is one of the best ways to help make Florida a zero-tolerance state for human trafficking — and possibly save a life.”

Learn the signs and get involved, says Ashley Moody. Image via Scott Powers.

Moody is asking Floridians to learn the signs of human trafficking, such as having branding or scars, appearing malnourished or disoriented, responding as if coached, and appearing fearful or paranoid. People can learn the signs at YouCanStopHT.com.

The Attorney General also suggested people register for clubs and events to keep them informed and in the loop.

People can now register for the 2022 Human Trafficking Summit, which will be held virtually beginning Oct. 4. The summit brings together local, state and national leaders working to eradicate all forms of trafficking.

Moody also encouraged people to join the 100 Percent Club, which recognizes Florida businesses and organizations taking proactive steps to train employees on the signs of human trafficking. When companies equip employees with the proper tools and training, employees become the eyes and ears throughout the state to spot suspicious activities, according to the Attorney General’s office.

New Sheriffs in town

Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis thanked Florida’s 67 Sheriffs for their commitment to the Sunshine State during this year’s Florida Sheriffs Association (FSA) Summer Conference.

“As a husband, father of two, and a former small business owner, I am very grateful for the service and sacrifice of our heroes in law enforcement who put their lives on the line every day to protect our fellow Floridians,” Patronis said.

Jimmy Patronis is thanking Florida’s Sheriffs, particularly Grady Judd.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd earned additional congratulations for his 50 years of service. The CFO called the golden jubilee an “amazing career milestone for a tremendous public servant.”

FSA also named its 2022-23 Board, which will serve new FSA President and Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis. Nienhuis began his law enforcement career in 1989 and was appointed Sheriff in 2012 and was elected in 2012, 2016 and 2020.

“It is an honor to serve as the president of the Florida Sheriffs Association,” Nienhuis said. “As the third most populous state in the U.S., Florida is quite diverse, and I take great pride in working with my fellow Sheriffs as a team so our residents and visitors are safe and happy.”

Serving under Nienhuis are Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper as vice president, Charlotte County Sheriff Bill Prummell as secretary, Seminole County Sheriff Dennis Lemma as treasurer, Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum as immediate past president, Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods as Chair and Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly as vice chair.

“The number one thing that makes the Florida Sheriffs Association successful is our leadership and the support and backing of our great state’s 67 sheriffs,” said FSA Executive Director Steve Casey. “The Office of Sheriff in Florida was built on integrity, and that integrity, paired with responsibility and leadership are the foundation of our association’s vision to protect every visitor and Floridian.”

Locked and unloaded

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services are unholstering a new initiative to promote gun safety at home.

FDACS, which oversees state firearm licensing, will provide flyers on gun safety to each household with a concealed weapons permit. The flyers will also be available at FDACS Division of Licensing offices and tax collectors.

Distributing flyers to permitholders is a commonsense way to promote gun safety, says Nikki Fried. Image via Colin Hackley.

The flyer emphasizes the importance of storing ammunition separate from firearms, modeling responsible gun behavior, inquiring about the security of guns at the homes your children visit and treating all guns as if they are loaded.

Fried, a Democratic candidate for Governor who has advocated for increased gun safety measures, unveiled the program Wednesday during a virtual news conference together with Democratic Rep. Dan Daley and the Be SMART Campaign’s Pam Weisbrod.

“This new initiative features common-sense and non-partisan steps we can all take to prevent gun violence and accidental gun injuries and deaths. As a gun owner myself, I know what a responsibility it is to carry a firearm — and I know how important it is to take simple steps to help keep myself and the people around me safe,” Fried said. “The truth is that every single step we take to increase safety and prevent gun violence — big or small — could save a life.”

Instagram of the Week

The Week in Appointments

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission — DeSantis has named Gary Lester and Gary Nicklaus to the FWC. Lester, of Oxford, is the Vice President of The Villages for Community Relations. He is the Chairman of the Villages Charter School Board and has previously served on the Florida Constitutional Revision Commission. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Louisiana Tech University and his master’s degree in divinity from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Nicklaus, of Jupiter, is a Managing Partner of Nicklaus Brown & Company and Chairman of Camden Capital. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in finance from The Ohio State University.  The Governor also reappointed Steven Hudson. Hudson, of Fort Lauderdale, is the President and CEO of Hudson Capital Group. He serves as the Vice Chair of Broward Workshop and is on the Executive Committees of the Marine Research Hub and the Humane Society of Broward County. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business economics from Southern Methodist University.

Citizens Property Insurance Corp. — DeSantis reappointed Erin Knight to the board of the state-backed insurer. Knight, of Coral Gables, is the President of Monument Capital Management and a member of the executive leadership team of A-Rod Corp. She is a certified financial planner and volunteers with the Baptist Health Foundation, March of Dimes, the Miami Foundation, and the Junior League of Miami. She earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from Florida State University.

Calhoun County Commission — The Governor has appointed Gene Bailey to the Commission. Bailey, of Blountstown, previously served on the Commission from 1972-80 and was elected again in 2016. Bailey is a former construction project consultant with the Florida Department of Corrections and is a current board member of the Apalachee Regional Planning Council.

Gadsden County Commission — DeSantis named Jeffery Moore to the Commission on Friday, Moore is a Havana resident and former tax law specialist for the Florida Department of Revenue.  He is the past Chairman of the Gadsden Soil and Water Conservation District, is a member of the National Association of Conservation District’s Board of Directors and is the immediate past President of the Association of Florida Conservation Districts. Moore earned his bachelor’s degrees in accounting and finance from FSU.

Columbia County School Board — The Governor appointed Cherie Hill to the School Board.  Hill, of Lake City, is an Adjunct Instructor at Saint Leo University and a former Principal and Assistant Superintendent of Columbia County Schools. She was named Columbia County Principal of the Year and holds a certification in Educational Leadership from the University of Florida. Hill earned her bachelor’s degree in history from Harding University and her master’s degree in elementary education from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University.

Florida Prepaid College Board — DeSantis named Adria Starkey to the Board on Friday. Starkey, of Naples, is the Collier County President of FineMark National Bank and Trust. Previously, she was COO of The Sanibel Captiva Trust Company. She serves on the board of The HealthCare Network Foundation, Gulfshore Playhouse, and Naples Children and Education Foundation. She earned her bachelor’s degree in business finance from UF.

Education Commission of the States — DeSantis on Friday appointed Angela Falconetti and Henry Mack to the Education Commission of the States. Falconetti, of Winter Haven, is the President of Polk State College. She is the immediate Past Chair of the Association of Florida Colleges Council of Presidents and is a member of the Florida Chamber Foundation Board. She earned her bachelor’s degree in communications and education from New York University and her master’s degree in educational and instructional leadership and doctorate in educational leadership from the University of North Florida. Mack, of Tallahassee, currently serves as Senior Chancellor at the Florida Department of Education. He was previously the Associate Vice President for Workforce Education at Broward College. Mack earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in theology and philosophy from the Catholic University of America and doctorate in education administration and philosophy of education from the University of Miami.

Tallahassee Community College District Board of Trustees — DeSantis reappointed Eugene Lamb Jr. to the TCC District Board of Trustees. Lamb, of Midway, is a retired teacher who taught in Leon, Gadsden, and Volusia County Schools for over 30 years and is a veteran of the U.S. Army. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Florida High School Athletic Association and formerly served as a County Commissioner of Gadsden County and City Councilman of Midway. Lamb earned his bachelor’s degree in health and physical education from Dillard University.

Keep your distance

If you’re not a gator, you’re gator bait. Kinda.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission urged residents who plan to take a dip in a non-chlorinated body of water this summer that, yes, you might be sharing the water with a massive reptile and, yes, their teeth are fully functional.

FWC wants Floridians to stand clear of the sharp ends of gators. Image via AP.

Alligators are a year-round sight in Florida, but they become especially active during warmer months. And while gator-related injuries are rare, eating human flesh is not taboo among Oligocene-era creatures.

The best way to avoid getting chomped — and it’s not even a contest — is to not put yourself within range of their mouths. Keep your dog away, too. Alligators tend to eat pet-size animals in their day-to-day lives, so it’s best not to tempt them.

FWC is also reminding Floridians that gators will, indeed, bite the hand that feeds them, so don’t — not only does it violate the whole “stay away” rule, but the more people who share their food with alligators, the more comfortable they become around humans. Think of it as an “if you give a mouse a cookie” situation, but way less cute and far more painful.

There are a few other tips on avoiding alligator-related injuries. They’re available on FWC’s website, should you need them.

Insurance crisis

Sen. Shevrin Jones is requesting a status report on Florida’s property insurance market Altmaier following news that another home insurer is leaving the Sunshine State.

“In response to the ongoing property insurance crisis affecting many, I am respectfully submitting this letter requesting an overview of the latest home insurers that have left the state of Florida, how many remain and how they are currently rated,” the Democratic Senator wrote to Altmaier, who heads the Office of Insurance Regulation.

Shevrin Jones wants to hear from OIR and David Altmaier. Image via Colin Hackley.

Bankers Insurance Group is expected to be the 13th insurance provider to pull out of Florida beginning this October. The move will leave 25,000 Floridians without property insurance.

Additionally, Fednat Insurance Group has been downgraded, meaning it might not be able to write policies in Florida going forward.

Only three of the 52 companies in Florida last year made a profit, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

All that is happening at a time when he says options are few and far between. The majority of new policies are being written by Citizens, the state’s last-resort insurance provider.

“Citizens is not an adequate replacement for the providers who have already left the market,” Jones wrote. “Citizens only covers homes valued up to $700,000, forcing vulnerable homeowners to go to the excess and surplus market for coverage that is often much more expensive and provides significantly less coverage to policyholders.”

Community in mourning

Following a drive-by shooting in Florida City on Monday, Rep. Kevin Chambliss, law enforcement and community groups met with residents on Wednesday to encourage them to follow the motto “if you see something, say something.”

A 2-year-old and another person were injured in the shooting. The toddler was shot while sitting on his grandmother’s porch.

Enough is enough, says Kevin Chambliss. Image via Colin Hackley.

“The era of drive-by shootings must come to an end. Whether it is a park, birthday party, or their front porch, our children deserve better,” Chambliss said in a news release. “Unfortunately, these types of shootings happen daily in my community. Enough is enough!”

Joining Chambliss and law enforcement for the community appeal was Miami-Dade & The Florida Keys Crime Stoppers, South East Dade Ministerial Alliance and others seeking answers about the shooting.

“We are partnering with Crime Stoppers, local community leaders, and law enforcement to go door to door, asking for residents to please help us bring the shooter to justice,” said Chambliss, who lives minutes from where the shooting took place. “By calling Crime Stoppers at the toll-free number, 1-800-346-8477, they will have a safe and anonymous way to do just that.”

Thank a lineman

The Florida Municipal Electric Association (FMEA) and Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA) will show their appreciation for public power lineworkers next week during a media campaign ahead of the 10th anniversary of Florida Lineworker Appreciation Day.

The campaign includes a series of videos featuring public power lineworkers from across the state sharing what linework means to them, why they went into the field, its benefits as a career and why others should consider entering the field. FMEA and FMPA will share those videos through their Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts.

Lineworkers risk their lives to provide electricity to Floridians.

“The hard work and dedication of our lineworkers does not go unnoticed,” said FMPA General Manager and CEO Jacob Williams. “They leave their families, sometimes in the middle of the night or during a storm, to help their friends and neighbors stay cool in the Florida heat, so we are grateful for their commitment to ensure the power is flowing to our homes and businesses.”

Lawmakers created Florida Lineworker Appreciation Day, recognized Aug. 26, in 2012 to show gratitude to the people who put their lives on the line to provide power to the state’s residents and guests.

“Through our annual Florida Lineman Competition, I have personally witnessed the high level of camaraderie lineworkers have and the close connections lineworkers have with one another. They truly care about each other and are invested in each others’ lives and safety,” FMEA Executive Director Amy Zubaly said. “Additionally, they are devoted to their communities, and we cannot thank them enough for being our hometown heroes.”

Triple down

The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling is going all in with three new hires.

Maryna Sawyer comes on as director of operations, Tamira Williams joins as director of training and partnerships and Tabitha Bowen Mahfuz will be the new director of HelpLine operations.

The Council on Compulsive Gambling is proud of its new fleet of directors.

Sawyer brings more than five years of business leadership experience and a background in logistics. She has experience in procurement and supply chain management, including ensuring company compliance with international and jurisdictional legislation and regulations.

Sawyer earned her graduate and undergraduate business degrees from the University of New York in Prague. She is fluent in English, Ukrainian, Russian and Czech, making her quadrilingual.

Williams has experience in human resources program management and worked as a child protective investigator supervisor during her eight-year tenure at the Department of Children and Families (DCF). In that role, she provided guidance to investigators who were conducting investigations regarding allegations of abuse, neglect, abandonment or special conditions for children and trained investigators on how to engage with families.

Williams earned her master’s in criminal justice/behavioral science from Nova Southeastern University.

Bowen Mahfuz’s experience in call center management will prove useful in her new role as director of HelpLine operations. Additionally, she has served as a parole officer for the Michigan Department of Corrections.

Bowen Mahfuz earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology and social work from Ohio Dominican University in Columbus, Ohio.

Girl power

The Commonwealth Institute of Florida recently named SalterMitchell PR a Top 100 Women-Led Business in Florida.

The organization honored SalterMitchell PR founder and CEO April Salter during its 17th annual luncheon in Miami last month.

“I am honored to have received this recognition. Our firm has always been woman-led, and I’ve had the joy of watching and coaching many women develop their expertise here at SalterMitchell PR,” Salter said. “Now, I love seeing a new generation of female business leaders rising up under my business partner and SMPR President Heidi Otway.”

SalterMitchell PR rakes in the awards. Image via SalterMitchell PR.

Salter founded the firm as Herrle Communications Group in 1999 after serving as Gov. Lawton Chiles’ communications director. The company has since evolved into SalterMitchell PR, with clients including Fortune 500 companies, state agencies, nonprofits and associations.

Salter is a nationally-recognized communications counselor and crisis expert. She specializes in developing strategies that build public support and minimize opposition on complex public policy issues.

She is also accredited by the Universal Accreditation Board for public relations and is a Certified Public Relations Counselor.

The Commonwealth Institute of Florida is a non-profit organization that works with women CEOs, corporate executives, entrepreneurs, sole proprietors and the rising generation of women leaders to help them build successful businesses, organizations and careers in Florida. The top 100 list recognizes and celebrates the achievements of women who are leading the charge to the top of their industries in companies across the state.

Well-grounded engineers

A FAMU-FSU College of Engineering professor is Florida’s Engineer of the Year.

The Florida Engineering Society (FES) stamped its approval on Associate Dean Michelle Rambo-Roddenberry during its annual conference in Orlando. The organization also bestowed Young Engineer of the Year honors on Nova Consulting Senior Principal Engineer Catalina Lopez-Velandia.

“Florida is fortunate to have highly talented engineers that have been designing and shaping Florida’s future, and we’re pleased to honor their excellence and achievement in this industry,” FES Executive Director Allen Douglas said.

Michelle Rambo-Roddenberry and Catalina Lopez-Velandia are just two engineers honored by FES this year.

Rambo-Roddenberry, who has a 28-year career in engineering, joined the joint Florida A&M University and Florida State University college in 2006. There she teaches concrete design classes, researches improvements to bridge engineering standards and explores how to extend the life of bridges. She launched the semi-annual Order of the Engineer Ring ceremony in 2007 – a ceremony that is now an official part of the college’s Launch graduation recognition.

Lopez-Velandia develops computer modeling engineering design for Nova Consulting, including hydraulic modeling to support development of a variety of water, waste water and water resource projects.

FES also granted Judith Hayden, president and owner of Environmental and Geotechnical Engineering, and Richard Johnson, managing director of PMA Consultants, awards for Outstanding Service to the Engineering Profession.

Additionally, the organization designated four people as Fellow Members: Johnson; Ronald Colas, vice president of strategic growth for Jacobs in Fort Lauderdale; Michael DelCharco, senior vice president for Taylor Engineering; and Shahin Hekmat, adjunct professor at Florida International University School of Architecture.

New crew

Florida State University’s Garnet & Gold Scholar Society welcomed nine inductees during a virtual ceremony on Tuesday.

Established in 2010, the Society facilitates student involvement and recognizes undergraduate students who excel within and beyond the classroom in at least three of five areas: international experience, internship, leadership, research and service.

The distinction potentially makes students more marketable to employers and grad schools.

In addition to meeting the engagement-area criteria, students must submit a synthesis reflection project in their final semester before graduation. Participants are recognized during graduation and receive a designation on their official university transcript, both of which make the students more marketable to potential employers or graduate programs.

The new crop of inductees includes eight Floridians and one Georgian. The list:

Jimena Ruiz Castro, Economics and International Affairs

Nicole Coca, Interdisciplinary Medical Sciences (Clinical Professions)

Sandra Garcia, Interdisciplinary Medical Sciences (Clinical Professions)

Sara Young, Psychology and Japanese Language and Culture

Morgan Dansby, Environmental Science

Sarah Jones, Economics and Statistics

Damamli Dorsey, Psychology

Kerstin Castro, Exercise Physiology

Trinidad Pascual, Social Work

Night out

TPD is asking you to spend the night under their watch, but they promise it won’t go on your record.

The Tallahassee Police Department is celebrating National Night Out with a community event in Cascades Park Tuesday evening from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. as part of a nationwide initiative to strengthen relationships between citizens and law enforcement.

Tallahassee Police Department won’t shut this party down. Image via Visit Tallahassee.

“National Night Out is a great opportunity for residents to get to know the first responders serving their communities, as well as to meet other members of the community,” TPD Chief Lawrence Revell said. “This event will be a great way to build connections with one another and have fun while doing it.”

When National Night Out began in 1984, 2.5 million Americans in 400 communities in 23 states participated. Today, more than 30 million people participate in over 10,000 communities from all 50 states.

This year’s local, family-friendly event in Cascades Park will be held in partnership with the Tallahassee Fire Department; Florida Highway Patrol; Emergency Medical Services; Animal Control; City of Tallahassee Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Affairs; and TPD Advisory Councils.

Residents can look forward to food trucks, music from a DJ, face painting, free goodies and pet adoption opportunities.

Capitol Directions

Ron DeSantis — Up arrow — Sanctuary cities, CRT, groomers and now ESG. This man could make “fetch” happen.

Ron DeSantis — Crossways arrow — He got matching funds, making the state the zillionth-highest donor to his re-election campaign.

Manny Diaz — Up arrow — Biden got the ol’ RKO outta nowhere.

Helen Ferre — Up arrow — No, we were not invited to the Sunshine Summit, but all our friends who were said it was a helluva well-planned party.

Christina Pushaw — Up arrow — When’s the last time a Gov’s spox was profiled by The Washington Post?

ESG — Down arrow — Did they say “gay” or something?

PayPal — Down arrow — They’re getting namechecked so much that they wish they were Cash App.

Legal immigrants — Down arrow — Did the cops at least tell you that “you’re one of the good ones?”

Insurance market — Double down arrow — It’s the one market that wishes it were crypto.

DEP — Crossways arrow — They removed 56 tons of Hurricane Irma debris from Biscayne Bay. We’re one step closer to recovering from a storm that hit during the Scott administration.

Anna DeCerchio — Up arrow — Deputy Chief of Staff to DEP Chief of Staff. What a difference three letters make.

Jessica Crawford — Up arrow — The DEP-to-FWC transition has worked well before, and it’ll work well this time, too.

SunPass — Down arrow — More like DonePass.

Renatha Francis — Crossways arrow — You can stop waiting by the phone.

Senate Democrats — Crossways arrow — Hey, at least SD 35 is staying blue.

Jason Pizzo — Up arrow — Sorry, Rep. Bush, the Senator is all out of bubblegum.

Linda Chaney — Up arrow — The only thing missing from her Parc Center delivery was a novelty size check. Otherwise, well done — no notes.

Chris Latvala — Crossways arrow — Even he knows The Process is better off with Michele Rayner instead of Wengay Newton, but he’s messin’ around in a Dem. Primary anyways.

Corey Simon — Up arrow — Who WASN’T on his campaign kick-off host committee?

Chet Stokes — Down arrow — When did “shared values” become code for underage drinking and failure to appear?

Pete Antonacci — Up arrow — Broward’s that ex who stages an emergency to bring you back.

Carlos Beruff — Down arrow — He’s lucky the Ethics Commission doesn’t charge actuarily sound fines.

Brian Burgess — Down arrow — If this is what our utility rate increase is paying for, he could at least add a crossword section.

Eric Silagy — Down arrow — He knows less about plausible deniability than the average Days of Our Lives viewer.

FP&L — Down arrow — People with power are about to shine a light.

Scott Maxwell — Up arrow — Where’d he get that crystal ball?

Christian Camara — Crossways arrow — If you consider the lost job, he technically orchestrated the most expensive direct-mail campaign in School Board history.

Carolyn Johnson — Up arrow — Moving on up.

“Arcades” — Down arrow — There are easier ways to win a Carrabba’s gift card.

Tina Reason — Down arrow — Who’s the clown now?

Ghislaine Maxwell — Crossways arrow — She gets to do macaroni art and hand turkeys, just like the kids she helped traffic.

Sean Pittman — Up arrow — He picked up a slick trophy in Bluff City.

Sachs Media — Up arrow — PR Daily, Forbes and PRNews say it’s a top firm. Florida Trend says it’s a great place to work, too.

Staff Reports


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704