News & Public Affairs


Radioactivity remembers former state senator Helen Gordon Davis

05/21/15 Rob Lorei
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Thursday)
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Tags: Helen Gordon Davis, Florida Senate, Hillsborough, equal rights, NAACP, wmnf, Rob Lorei


Today on Radioactivity we listen back to a 2013 interview with former state senator Helen Gordon Davis, who died Monday at the age of 88. She was the first woman from Hillsborough county to be elected to the state senate, serving 6 terms and one term in the state house. She was the first white woman in Florida to join the NAACP and was a known advocate for minorities, the poor, and women's rights.

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Hillsborough NAACP wants to organize to save Tampa's historic Jackson House listen

04/03/14 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Tags: NAACP, Tampa, Jackson House, African-American history, music

A dilapidated historic house in downtown Tampa may get a second chance at renovations. The Jackson House was built in 1901 and served as a boarding house. During decades of racial segregation it was one of the only places blacks could find accommodation. The Jackson House hosted celebrities such as Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald and Count Basie.

Carolyn Collins, president of Hillsborough Branch NAACP, told Tampa City Council Thursday h...

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Moral Monday protests in Tallahassee will target civil rights listen

02/24/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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Tags: Moral Monday, civil rights, activism, Voting rights, Stand Your Ground, NAACP, equality florida, school vouchers


Activists from across the state will converge on Tallahassee next week for Moral Monday. More than a dozen groups will demand a host of changes to state laws. Reverend R.L. Gundy of the Florida Southern Christian Leadership Conference says the coalition aims at tackling issues surrounding low-income and minority Florida residents.

“Florida is the last Birmingham of the South. Our rights are trampled over by uncaring and uncertain legislative bodies that simply say, we’re going to legisla...


U.S. Rep. Castor calls on state lawmakers to restore voting rights to ex-felons listen

02/17/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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Tags: kathy castor, Voting rights, restoration of rights, NAACP, ACLU, Rick Scott, Pam Bondi


Tampa area member of Congress Kathy Castor is calling on Florida lawmakers to make some drastic changes to the way ex-felons have their civil rights restored. During a press conference in downtown Tampa today Castor said that includes immediately giving them back the right to vote instead of making them wait 5-7 years.

“In most states across the country, once you have paid your debt to society, you’ve served your probation, you’ve paid your fines, your civil rights are automatically resto...

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NAACP calls on restoration of rights for "returning citizens"

01/10/14 Janelle Irwin
Last Call Friday
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Tags: NAACP, Yvette Lewis, restoration of rights, Voting, Voting rights


Florida is one of three states with laws on the books severely limiting the ability of ex-felons to restore their civil rights, including the right to vote.

A "less severe" convicted felon must wait five years after completing his sentence, all probation and paid any applicable fines or restitution. In addition, the person must remain not only conviction-free, but not get arrested even if it doesn't result in charges.

The NAACP is trying to change the law in Florida so that ex-felons, o...

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Tampa man is one of eight sentenced with mandatory minimums that President Obama released listen

01/07/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Tags: Ezell Gilbert, mandatory minimum sentences, Families Against Mandatory Minimums, NAACP, Voting rights


Eight federal sentences commuted by President Barack Obama last month have revitalized criticism of mandatory minimums. Critics of the sentencing argue they can result in what the president called unduly harsh sentences.

Greg Newburn is the Florida project director for Families Against Mandatory Minimums.

“Cases are different. Defendants are different. Crimes are different. Instead of punishing an offender, a particular defendant in a particular set of circumstances, we just pass a se...

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Interview with Former State Senator Helen Gordon Davis listen

10/21/13 Robert Lorei
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Monday)
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Tags: Helen Gordon Davis, Tampa, NAACP, cross burning, Women's rights, Feminism, Nicaragua, Charlie Crist, Cuba, wmnf, Rob Lorei


Rob Lorei talks with women's and civil rights champion Helen Gordon Davis. In 1974 Davis was the first woman elected from Hillsborough County to the state legislature. Davis was a champion of women's issues and fought hard on behalf of ethnic minorities. She served six terms in the Florida House of Representatives. In 1988 she was elected to the Florida Senate. In this interview she talks about being the first white woman to join the local NAACP, a cross burning on her law...


St. Pete City Counsel votes 5-3 to approve Bill Foster's fiscal budget listen

09/13/13 Samuel Johnson
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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A divided St. Petersburg City Council voted late last night 5-3 to adopt Mayor Bill Foster's tentative fiscal year budget. The City Council Chamber filled up quickly, prompting the city to open two additional rooms with close circuit television. Regular citizens and members of grassroots organizations appealed to the City Council to tax less and spend more.

One organization, the People's Budget Review, had several members in attendance. It's a grassroots ...

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Police brutality and car chases in black neighborhoods bemoaned by NAACP listen

06/19/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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The NAACP is crying foul over the St. Petersburg Police Department’s use force and frequent car chases in predominantly black neighborhoods. Tuesday night during a town hall meeting at their midtown office, more than 40 people weighed in on the problem. Angela Owens is an attorney working with the group.

“The value of apprehending a suspect verses the possible danger to innocent people, that’s what they’re supposed to be weighing. But, the real irony of it is that, if they’re we...

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The IRS Scrutinized Liberal and Conservative Groups; Which Got the Most Publicity?

05/15/13 Robert Lorei
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Wednesday)
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Today on Radioactivity, host Rob Lorei took a closer look into the investigation on the IRS for its scrutiny of the Tea Party. His guest, a Tea Party media spokesperson went into further detail about the party's stance on the report. The show also touched on the role of the IRS during the Bush administration and how they went after peace, civil rights and environmental groups.

Find the transcript below:

[The Los Angeles Times is reporting this morning](

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