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Will the Florida Black Caucus challenge Governor Scott in 2015?

Roger Caldwell

Roger Caldwell

Will the Florida Black Caucus challenge Governor Scott  in 2015?

By Roger Caldwell

Governor Scott gave his second inaugural speech and I am still waiting to find out what the Florida Black Caucus thought about it. There is no statement from the leadership, and as the Florida legislature gets ready for its 2015 session, there appears no agenda or plan for Blacks in Florida. Since Blacks in the Florida legislature remain quiet, our governor does not have to mention the confusion and corruption in his administration.

When it comes to Florida Black legislators, it appears that our governor gets a pass, and no one Black is challenging him to work on improving our communities. Somehow our governor has forgotten about the death of Tray-non Martin and the sit-ins by The Dream Defenders. The Black youth realize that there is something fundamentally wrong with our justice system in Florida, and they are demonstrating and protesting.

Our governor also failed to mention in his second inaugural speech how he planned to repair a corrupt, brutal, and murderous Florida prison system. Maybe our Black legislators have forgotten Marissa Alexander, who was initially sentenced to 20 years in prison for firing a gun in the wall. This case was eventually overturned, but she will serve two years under house arrest, and has agreed to wear a monitoring device.

In the latest Department of Corrections scandal 32 guards have been fired, and in some Florida prisons the gangs are running the institutions. They walk around as if they can decide the punishment for other prisoners, and the guards must listen to their direction. Last week, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement requested an extra $8.4 million to cover the cost of investigating inmate deaths, and none of the Black legislators are asking any questions.

As Governor Scott tells his audience that there is a surplus in the state’s treasury, two different judges have charged his administration with shameful negligence when it comes to children’s healthcare. Florida Medicaid reimbursement rates were so low that thousands of needy and disabled children have been denied care. Maybe the poor and the vulnerable children in our state are not that important, because it appears that no one cares.

Based on Scott’s perception and his record, he claims that his administration has created 700,000 jobs in four years, but I wonder where they are in the Black community. Hopefully, jobs in the Black community are an issue that our Black Florida legislators can talk about during the 2015 legislative session. It would also be good if our Black Florida legislators held some town hall meeting to determine what problems and issues they need to address in the 2015 legislative session.

It is time for Black people to hold our elected leaders accountable to what they achieve during their time in office. If they remain quiet and they hold no press conferences challenging our governor’s initiatives, the residents should assume that they are nor working in our communities best interest. It makes no sense to say you are a member of the Black Caucus in Florida, but you do very little to improve the condition of Black people in the state.

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