Florida Rep. Anna Eskamani (D-Orlando) calls the special legislative session on Iran “performance”

Anna Eskamani on WMNF's Tuesday Cafe
Anna Eskamani on WMNF, 2023 Oct 24.

Next month the Florida Legislature will hold a special session to discuss, among other things, strengthening state sanctions against Iran because of that country’s alleged role in recent attacks on Israel.

On WMNF’s Tuesday Café, State Rep. Anna Eskamani called it more politics and performance by the governor.

The session is expected to begin on November 6.

Eskamani argues that the governor and legislature should be fixing things in Florida like the homeowners insurance crisis.

She has also re-filed a bill for the 2024 regular legislative session for Florida to reach a “100% Renewable Energy Goal.” Eskamani tweeted that “A clean energy economy will help to build a more sustainable future for our state, create new jobs, and help mitigate risk that shows up in our property insurance rates.”

Listen to this show here:

“I think listeners should know, too, that I am the first and only at this point Iranian American elected and a public office in Florida. So when I say that I despise the Islamic Republic of Iran, I mean it. My family fled Iran in search of freedom. And in fact, I have family in Iran that I have not seen in more than a decade because of the political environment and because of the fear for safety if I were to go to Iran. And to that same point, the United States has had intense sanctions placed on Iran for decades.

“And really seeing Governor Ron DeSantis exploit what is a horrific crisis taking place in Israel and Gaza for his own political gain — it doesn’t surprise me but it’s not going to make things better. In fact, pursuing such an agenda will only further isolate individuals who are experiencing Islamophobia right now.

“And of course, if your intent is to somehow financially harm the Iranian government, then I would encourage you work with the US federal government who has already pursued economic sanctions.

“So I do see this as just more politics. I see this as performance. And it’s frustrating because Floridians need us to focus on things like property insurance and funding public education and the affordability crisis.

“In fact, I’m joining you from one of my local homeless service providers. We’re volunteering this morning because the need is so great. Here in Central Florida, where we are giving in any way we can to address the crises at home, which is the job of state government, but unfortunately, DeSantis continues to use his bully pulpit for his failing presidential bid.”

– Florida Rep. Anna Eskamani on WMNF’s Tuesday Cafe

Also on Tuesday Cafe: Florida springs

For years, WMNF has been following a story about springs and bottled water in Florida.

A water bottling plant in the Ginnie Springs area of Gilchrist County that had ties to the multinational company Nestlé applied for a permit renewal to pump about a million gallons of fresh water a day for bottling.

There was a lot of public outcry and the Suwannee River Water Management District said in 2020 that it would not issue the permit to Seven Springs Water Company.

The company challenged that decision and in 2021 an administrative law judge sided with Seven Springs, which led to the water management district approving the permit.

That decision was challenged by the Florida Springs Council which led to a different judge’s decision last week recommending that the water management district approve the permit.

We spoke about all that with our guest, who is a water advocate in North Central Florida living and working in Fort White. Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson is a long-time Board of Director for the Our Santa Fe River not-for-profit organization.

We also spoke about another unpopular proposal recently that has to do with north Florida springs. Wakulla Springs is one of the largest in the world. In August, the Wakulla County Board of County Commissioners seemed about to approve a gas station being built right above an underground river that’s part of the Wakulla Springs cave network. But there was so much public outcry that now it looks like there will be a land swap instead: protecting the land above the cave and building the gas station somewhere else.

Watch the video of the show here:

WMNF’s Tuesday Café

Tuesday Café airs weekly on WMNF beginning at 10:06 a.m. ET.

You can listen live on 88.5 FM in Tampa Bay, on wmnf.org or on the WMNF Community Radio app.

You can watch replays on TBAE Network Channels at 8:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Tuesdays on Spectrum 636, Frontier 34 and watch.tbae.net. Or on demand.

You can listen anytime on demand on wmnf.org or by subscribing to the Tuesday Café podcast on your favorite podcast platform.

https://open.spotify.com/show/311qfxLFcO8F7ZvnjgZogD – WMNF’s Tuesday Café with Seán Kinane.

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