Sunday, September 18, 2022

Political Stunts and Serious Problems

       Let me try to explain my position on DeSantis’ latest political stunt. First, the situation as I understand it. The immigrants themselves-who came from Venezuela-were in Texas, not Florida. DeSantis paid $615,000 to a transportation company to fly two planes to Texas to pick them up and fly them from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard. This $615,000 came from a $12,000,000 fund approved by the Florida state legislature to “relocate unauthorized aliens”. It is well known in Florida that DeSantis owns the legislature and gets pretty much whatever he wants. 

This raises a few important questions. First, where does that money come from (more on that later). Second, why was Florida money used to transport people from Texas? According to a Northwest Florida Daily News article that showed up in my email today (09/18/2022) one plane stopped briefly in Crestview to refuel; that was the only Florida connection. Are Abbott and DeSantis colluding in some way? Third, is any of this even legal?

Now back to the money, and where it came from. I hear gentle rumblings from social service agencies (one of which I work for) who rely on government grants-federal money, administered by the state of Florida-(in our case Department of Children and Families)-who were promised money that has since been withdrawn. Now, I can’t verify this but I can say we were assured we would be receiving money and then told we would not receive it. This turnaround caused major disruptions for those of us who spend our days trying to house Florida citizens, some of whom now find themselves homeless. Again. 

Which leads me to my final point. We have serious problems in Florida. Homelessness is on the rise. Rental prices are skyrocketing. The entire state is experiencing an affordable housing crisis. My community is experiencing unsustainable growth focused on six-figure housing with more being planned every day. However, related infrastructure needs-schools, medical care facilities (already overworked and understaffed), storm water runoff, roads, traffic control-are not keeping up. 

We are experiencing critical shortages of teachers, school bus drivers, prison guards, health care facilities and workers, especially mental health care. Suicides are up. Mental health facilities are down. Homeowner insurance costs are increasing as insurance companies flee the state. 

These are serious problems that require serious solutions. We do not need a governor wasting taxpayer dollars on political stunts. We do not need a congressman who will “keep fighting” or a senator who’s platform focuses on eliminating Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. We need serious politicians dedicated to serious solutions benefiting all Floridians.

No comments:

Post a Comment