Florida’s GOP-backed voting bills could disenfranchise millions of elderly and disabled Floridians, especially in minority communities

Supervisors of Elections and advocates for voting access said changes to existing laws could disenfranchise millions of elderly and disabled persons in Florida. Some of the greatest impacts would be felt in minority communities. LISTEN: Republican Rep. Blaise Ingoglia presented a House version of the election bill during a Monday meeting of the Public Integrity… Read more »

Confederate memorial Tampa

Radioactivity Friday: Florida House takes up controversial bill that would criminalize protest

March 19, 2021 Good Morning, welcome to Radioactivity.  I’m Rob Lorei. The Florida House will consider a controversial bill next week that would increase penalties on protests. Democrats and others argue the measure would violate First Amendment rights and have a chilling effect on peaceful protests. The bill (HB 1),is  a priority of House Speaker Chris… Read more »

Civic and faith leaders gather to denounce ‘anti-protest’ bill, HB1, ahead of judiciary committee hearing

A group of mostly Black civic and faith leaders gathered in Tallahassee’s Captiol Courtyard Wednesday to denounce the controversial HB1 bill. Many fear the Republican-backed bill being fast-tracked through the legislative process would silence minority voices while attacking home rule and the First Amendment. LISTEN: State Representative Kevin Chambliss, a Democrat who represents parts of… Read more »

Radioactivity Friday: Tampa activist Askia Mohammed Aquil

March 5, 2021 Good morning, welcome to Radioactivity. I’m Rob Lorei. In recent weeks there’s been renewed interest about FBI surveillance of leading black activists in the late 60’s and early 70’s. The new film JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH depicts the FBI’s efforts to undermine Black Panther activist Fred Hampton who was eventually assassinated by… Read more »

Death threats and rule changes cause some to fear for the First Amendment in New Port Richey

Racial strife has brought national attention to the Tampa Bay suburb of New Port Richey and now activists fear their voices are being silenced. Proposed rule changes to city meetings and a rash of death threats have some feeling the First Amendment is under fire in Pasco County. LISTEN: Before the cameras and recording equipment… Read more »

Independent lawyer, limited subpoena power for citizen-led police review board could come as ballot initiative in Tampa

The decision to have an independent lawyer and limited subpoena power for Tampa’s citizen-led police review board could come down to a ballot initiative for city residents. Tampa’s City Council workshopped a massive overhaul to its much-criticized citizen review board Wednesday. It will vote to adopt the ordinance in May. LISTEN: After nearly five and… Read more »

Confederate memorial

Hillsborough legislators talk protest bill, budget priorities with Tiger Bay

Members of Hillsborough County’s legislative delegation seem to agree on a lot when it comes to what to tackle in Tallahassee this year, but not always on how to execute it. Republican and Democratic senators and house representatives met with Tampa’s Tiger Bay today and few priorities were as divisive as the HB1 protest bill…. Read more »

Black Lives Matter Activist attacked by ‘community patriot’ at New Port Richey council meeting

A New Port Richey City Council meeting turned violent Tuesday when a Black Lives Matter activist was attacked outside of City Hall. One arrest was made after tensions between activists and a group called “community patriots” went from the council chambers to the parking lot. LISTEN: The confrontation at Tuesday’s meeting boiled over from an… Read more »

Floridians gather to protest senate bill exempting felons and workers under 21 from $15 minimum wage

Floridians gathered outside the St. Petersburg Office of State Sen. Jeff Brandes Tuesday to protest legislation that would exempt felons and workers under 21 from getting a $15 minimum wage. Opponents of the bill say it thwarts the will of voters who overwhelmingly passed Amendment 2 in November and say everyone deserves to make a… Read more »

Florida Legislative Black Caucus unveils ‘fair and just’ police reforms, cites BLM movement as signal for change

Members of the Florida Legislative Black Caucus cite the Black Lives Matter movement as inspiration for a set of bills aimed at what it calls ‘fair and just policing.’ The bills come as some in the state legislature look to further crackdown on public protests. LISTEN: More than a dozen bills in the Florida House… Read more »

Colin Kaepernick, Ben & Jerry’s team for West Tampa mural supporting social justice

The image of controversial quarterback Colin Kaepernick now appears on a massive mural in West Tampa that supports his fight for social justice. The mural was unveiled Wednesday as Tampa gets ready to host the Super Bowl on Sunday. LISTEN: Chelsey Ramirez stands barely five-feet tall. But now the 13-year-old Stewart Middle Magnet seventh grader’s… Read more »

Florida lawmakers call for reform after DOJ report finds ‘systemic’ sexual abuse in women’s prison

Florida lawmakers are calling for sweeping reforms after a Department of Justice investigation alleged a culture of “systemic” sexual abuse and cover-ups at a women’s prison in Ocala. State legislators last week held a Zoom call with former inmates of Lowell Correctional Institution to talk about how to move forward. LISTEN: Laurette Philipsen expected to… Read more »

“Civil Rights, Civil Liberties, and Social Justice” on Morning Energy

For decades the fight for civil liberties, civil rights, and social justice have been a mission for many individuals and groups around the world. This fight has resulted in many deaths as well as many victories. In the United States, some of the most important civil liberties and civil rights are guaranteed by the “United… Read more »

Tampa police review policy pushed to 2021 following citizen pushback

The Tampa City Council Thursday voted unanimously to push considering changes to its police Citizen Review Board until early 2021. Citizens came out in droves in person and virtually to call for citizen-led oversight of police amid a call for resistance from police unions. LISTEN: The call came from Tampa Mayor Jane Castor’s office in… Read more »

In Florida, budget woes won’t get you out of accessibility responsibilities

The 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act provided federal civil rights safeguards for people with physical and mental impairments. But in the years since numerous pieces of federal and state-level legislation have determined exactly how those protections are enacted. Florida’s guidelines for transportation compliance often encourage going beyond minimum standards, including putting budget concerns in the… Read more »

Man who pulled gun on St. Pete Black Lives Matter protesters identified, but charges haven’t been filed

The man who pulled a gun on Black Lives Matter protesters in St. Pete last month has been identified as Lawrence Arnold Davis. An investigation is ongoing, but lawyers representing a woman who Davis allegedly pushed to the ground before pulling the gun are calling for the lead prosecutor to recuse himself. LISTEN: When Kimberly… Read more »

Janet Cruz

Tampa attorney, lawmakers announce suit to block ‘All Voters Vote’ Amendment 3 from general election

On Tuesday, attorneys in Tampa and Orlando filed a lawsuit with the Florida Supreme Court to block the “All Voters Vote” Amendment 3 from the current general election. Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle held a news conference announcing the effort in light of studies that found the amendment could disenfranchise Black voters. Listen: The perfect storm It’s… Read more »

Radioactivity Wednesday: Leaked messages show far-right group’s plans for violence in Portland

October 7, 2020 Good Morning, welcome to Radioactivity.  I’m Rob Lorei. The summer of 2020 has seen the city of Portland, Oregon, become a symbol and a venue for the further, dramatic polarization of the United States. More than a hundred nights of intense protests against police violence by left-wing activists have led to further… Read more »

Trump supporters gather in Downtown St. Pete to counter Black Lives Matter activists in tense, but peaceful night

One week after a counter-protester pulled a gun during a Black Lives Matter march in downtown St. Petersburg, activists and counter-protest groups again clashed in St. Pete Saturday. With an increased police presence, no violence broke out, but tensions ran high. Listen: When the flames wouldn’t catch, Gary Snow grabbed the Nazi flag from the… Read more »

Hillsborough State Attorney won’t file charges against activist who jumped on hood of car that drove through June protest

The Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office said it will not file charges against an activist who jumped on the hood of a car as it drove through a June protest in Tampa. His attorney said he shouldn’t have been arrested in the first place. Listen: Jason Stuart Flores might not be facing prison time any… Read more »