CF100: 2016 12 04 – LGBTQ Clergy Support & Boycotts

Each week, the Orlando Sentinel asks two questions of 100 community leaders in Central Florida. Those with access to the online Sentinel can read all of this week’s 100-word responses when there are published online,  usually late Saturday. For those without access, my responses are below. Selected responses appear in the Sunday print edition.

What was the biggest story of the week?

This week, Central Florida clergy long involved with the struggle for LGBTQ equality had a chance to be with those new to the journey for greater understanding, acceptance, and affirmation. The opportunity to share stories and build relationships came as the National LGBTQ Task Force hosted a gathering of their National Religious Leaders Roundtable in Orlando at the invitation of Equality Florida and Florida Clergy United. As we approach the six month anniversary of the Pulse tragedy, we continue to deepen our understanding that only through a strengthened community that includes all will we move forward with health and wholeness..

What will be the biggest story in the coming week?

How will Central Florida fare, and respond, amid calls for prolonged nationwide boycotts of states, municipalities, corporations, and institutions that promote police brutality, racial violence, and systemic injustice? Protests and advocacy have helped to raise awareness of the daunting problems of our American society. Boycotts will make pleas for progress harder to ignore and true justice harder to avoid. “They” can throw letters in the barrel and shake their heads at the people in streets but concentrated economic impact is harder to ignore. Fortunately, the solution is simple. Do the right thing… here in Central Florida… and everywhere.


The series focuses on state and local news.

Read the Sentinel’s introduction to the series

Read my first post on the series.

My posts related to this can be found using the categories in the right sidebar. Click either Central Florida or Current Events.

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CF100: 2016 11 27 – Death Penalty & Recounts

Each week, the Orlando Sentinel asks two questions of 100 community leaders in Central Florida. Those with access to the online Sentinel can read all of this week’s 100-word responses when there are published online,  usually late Saturday. For those without access, my responses are below. Selected responses appear in the Sunday print edition.

What was the biggest story of the week?

Florida’s death penalty continues to face challenges after the state Supreme Court tossed out the sentence of a man condemned to death without a unanimous recommendation of the jury. This follows the ruling last January by the U.S Supreme Court that Florida’s death penalty process was unconstitutional, because it left sentencing in the hands of judges rather than juries. It remains unclear how many of Florida’s 385 inmates on death row will be impacted by these unfolding happenings in the courts. Given the systemic prejudices in the justice system, any light shown on the process is likely a good thing.

What will be the biggest story in the coming week?

Pressure builds for a presidential election recount in Florida following news that Green Party candidate Jill Stein in requesting recounts in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. While Stein cannot demand the recount in Florida, a petition on change.org currently calls on Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner to make it happen. Whether or not a recount changes the election results, the exercise may be critical to continuing confidence in the electoral process, which has faced a credible threat of hacking. Given the contentious climate in which we find ourselves, every effort should be made to ensure no mischief as taken place.


The series focuses on state and local news.

Read the Sentinel’s introduction to the series

Read my first post on the series.

My posts related to this can be found using the categories in the right sidebar. Click either Central Florida or Current Events.

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CF100: 2016 11 20 – Orlando’s Vibrant Streets

Each week, the Orlando Sentinel asks two questions of 100 community leaders in Central Florida. Those with access to the online Sentinel can read all of this week’s 100-word responses when there are published online,  usually late Saturday. For those without access, my responses are below. Selected responses appear in the Sunday print edition.

What was the biggest story of the week?

Orlando’s streets are a vibrant display of community and democracy. The amazing Come Out with Pride parade honored Pulse victims and celebrated diversity. Delayed by Hurricane Matthew, the expanded event drew 150,000. Those who served in our military were honored in the Veterans Day parade. We saw a post-election rally and march against hate. The peaceful event drew 2,000 expressing their concerns about messages sent by the recent election results. A well-organized rally at City Hall showed solidarity with Standing Rock, working to protect land and water from both the Dakota and Florida’s Sable Pipelines. Diverse and engaged! That’s Orlando!

What will be the biggest story in the coming week?

No submission this week.


The series focuses on state and local news.

Read the Sentinel’s introduction to the series

Read my first post on the series.

My posts related to this can be found using the categories in the right sidebar. Click either Central Florida or Current Events.

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CF100: 2016 11 13 – Hate Rhetoric & Unity

Each week, the Orlando Sentinel asks two questions of 100 community leaders in Central Florida. Those with access to the online Sentinel can read all of this week’s 100-word responses when there are published online,  usually late Saturday. For those without access, my responses are below. Selected responses appear in the Sunday print edition.

What was the biggest story of the week?

A friend in South Florida (mature woman, hair in a “boy-cut”) was shopping when verbally assaulted by a man who, unprovoked, pulled his cart next to hers and snarled in her face, “I’M A DEPLORABLE AND WE GOT OUR COUNTRY BACK, HA!!”  Meanwhile, my grandsons’ friends are worrying about walls separating them from friends and family. Some say they voted for Trump in spite of his hate language not because of it. Now would be the time for these folks to become vocal about where they disagree with him. The emotional and physical safety of our communities depends on it.

What will be the biggest story in the coming week?

Now we hear calls for unity. We are going to need a deep and serious conversation about what the word unity means. Unity is defined as the combining of parts into a whole. The unity I am willing to work for will need to include all the parts of our nation, in their entirety. It will need to include Muslims with their faith and Mexicans with their heritage and the LGBT+ community with the families they have created and women as full human beings. The list goes on. I’m all for real unity, but not for an empty catch phrase.


The series focuses on state and local news.

Read the Sentinel’s introduction to the series

Read my first post on the series.

My posts related to this can be found using the categories in the right sidebar. Click either Central Florida or Current Events.

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CF100: 2016 11 06 – Our Environment – Near & Far

Each week, the Orlando Sentinel asks two questions of 100 community leaders in Central Florida. Those with access to the online Sentinel can read all of this week’s 100-word responses when there are published online,  usually late Saturday. For those without access, my responses are below. Selected responses appear in the Sunday print edition.

What was the biggest story of the week?

The efforts of the Water Protectors in Standing Rock are continuing to gain attention. The Dakota Access pipeline in question highlights issues of environmental justice. Too often, we are willing to put marginalized communities at risk for the benefit of a dominant culture unwilling to locate a hazard in their own backyards, As the peaceful protesters have increasingly met with a militarized response and numerable arrests, calls have gone out for support. Now clergy, from a number of faith traditions including my own Unitarian Universalist Association, are joining thousands of protesters and drawing attention to this critical issue.

What will be the biggest story in the coming week?

This week, I predict that harmful Amendment 1 will be soundly defeated. With this misleading initiative on the part of the fossil fuel companies behind us, we can turn from defending solar energy to promoting it. Central Florida’s solar advocates have already helped many homeowners through the process that allows them to produce their household electricity on their own roofs. Their efforts have now gone statewide with the formation of FLSUN. Meanwhile, next steps toward true environmental justice include increasing access for lower income property owners and renters. It’s time to let the sun shine all across our sunshine state.


The series focuses on state and local news.

Read the Sentinel’s introduction to the series

Read my first post on the series.

My posts related to this can be found using the categories in the right sidebar. Click either Central Florida or Current Events.

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CF100: 2016 10 23 – Robinson Street Corridor

Each week, the Orlando Sentinel asks two questions of 100 community leaders in Central Florida. Those with access to the online Sentinel can read all of this week’s 100-word responses when there are published online,  usually late Saturday. For those without access, my responses are below. Selected responses appear in the Sunday print edition.

What was the biggest story of the week?

The Robinson Street Corridor Planning Study underway by the Florida Department of Transportation and the City of Orlando is an impressive exercise in collaboration, community involvement, and visioning for our city. The Public Workshop held last Monday provided those who live, work, and recreate along the corridor (Downtown – Executive Airport) an interactive opportunity to provide feedback on emerging proposals. Our city has a vibrant and growing public life downtown. Together we can develop a future that keeps cars moving while at the same time providing better parking, safer turning, and a more hospitable environment for bicyclists and pedestrians.

What will be the biggest story in the coming week?

No Entry this week.


The series focuses on state and local news.

Read the Sentinel’s introduction to the series

Read my first post on the series.

My posts related to this can be found using the categories in the right sidebar. Click either Central Florida or Current Events.

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CF100: 2016 10 16 – Sex Ed & Solar

Each week, the Orlando Sentinel asks two questions of 100 community leaders in Central Florida. Those with access to the online Sentinel can read all of this week’s 100-word responses when there are published online,  usually late Saturday. For those without access, my responses are below. Selected responses appear in the Sunday print edition.

What was the biggest story of the week?

Comprehensive Sexuality Education is good thing. The ability to make responsible choices about sexuality and reproduction is particularly important this week as the number Zika cases in Florida tops 1000. However, more on my mind at the moment is that fact that Comprehensive Sexuality Education teaches more than biology and protection. It also covers respect and decision-making. Our young people need conversation on these topics. Apparently, so do some older adults. I am heartened by the number of men who have spoken up for appropriate behavior and speech. Together we can create a healthy culture that respects us all.

What will be the biggest story in the coming week?

Support solar energy. Vote NO on Amendment #1. Especially if you value the future of solar here in Florida. As so often happens, it is written to obscure the harm that it would do. This is an attempt on the part of the power industry to keep control of all energy production. It limits the ability of the people to break free of their grasp.  In August, by overwhelming majority, voters supported a truly solar-friendly ballot question. Now is the time to defeat this anti-solar amendment and blow this dangerous little storm cloud away.


The series focuses on state and local news.

Read the Sentinel’s introduction to the series

Read my first post on the series.

My posts related to this can be found using the categories in the right sidebar. Click either Central Florida or Current Events.

Posted in Central Florida, Current Events, Election | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment