Spotlight Pulse Plus 240705

by Hank Resnik

Federal Judge K. Michael Moore has approved  a City of Miami electoral district map that, after two years of disputes and lawsuits, reunited Coconut Grove and several other neighborhoods. Previous versions of the map had divided Coconut Grove, Overtown, Allapattah, and Edgewater by placing parts of those neighborhoods in new voting districts.

Judge Moore’s approval of the settlement agreement brings to an end a lawsuit against the City of Miami contending that the existing map constituted “racial gerrymandering.” Under the agreement, the 2023 election results will stand. Voters will go to the polls using the new map in 2025.

The judge’s action came as no surprise. In late May the City Commission voted 4-1 to accept the map. Commissioner Joe Carollo was the sole “no” vote.

A key provision of the settlement  is the placement of a charter amendment on the 2025 City of Miami ballot to ban personal and politically motivated gerrymandering. It will also ask voters to approve creation of a Citizens’ Redistricting Committee to oversee future redistricting efforts, as is required periodically under the city code. “This settlement marks a pivotal moment for the City of Miami, one that heralds a new era of fair and just representation,” said Nicholas Warren, staff attorney with the ACLU of Florida. “By adopting the plaintiffs’ map, we are dismantling the barriers of racial gerrymandering and building a foundation for a more inclusive society. This victory is a testament to the resilience and power of community voices united in the pursuit of equity. We are grateful for the tireless efforts of the residents and organizations who fought to champion this cause.”

Grove Pulse

Gov. Ron DeSantis has vetoed plans to place a one-year moratorium on efforts by local municipalities to regulate the use of gas powered leaf blowers. He also canceled $100,000 in state funding to conduct a cost analysis of both gas and electric leaf blowers. The veto allows City of Miami officials to consider a proposal introduced by its Climate Resilience Committee to phase out gas-powered blowers citywide as a measure to reduce climate emissions. In May the Miami City Commission deferred action on the proposal, citing uncertainty over the state’s…

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Where we’ll be

With the Virrick Park pool closed for reconstruction, we head to the nearby Shenandoah Park Pool.  Family play time, of course, and adult swim and lap times too.  1800 SW 21st Ave.

From Peacock Park, get a paddle board and explore the Grove’s shoreline from the water.  Our favorite moments are the ‘golden hours’ just after sunrise and before sunset.  An on-the-water picnic makes it an adventure.  Don’t forget water, sun protection, personal flotation and always Leave No Trace.

For picnics on shore, we see that the Commodore Trail’s new map includes more than a dozen hidden gems along the waterfront.  It’s hard to recommend a favorite, so you’ll just have to try each of them and let us know which is yours.  Write us here.  Just comment below.

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