Author Archives: wakullawriter
Florida Democrats: Adopting a course change?
By Dr. Rachel Pienta Post-election headlines for the last twenty or so years could easily be recycled. “Dems in disarray, shell-shocked Democrats” were two popular phrases in circulation after November’s surprise. We have been here before. Political folks and media pundits used to say that Florida determined the presidency. I always found that to be […]
Crossing County Lines in the Time of Coronavirus
By Dr. Rachel Pienta Florida is a large state in population and in square miles. In the time it takes to drive from the southernmost tip of Monroe County in the Keys to the Alabama state line in Escambia, a driver could depart from Jacksonville in Duval County and arrive in Washington, DC. The Sunshine […]
Will the March For Our Lives Become a March to the Polls in November?
By Dr Rachel Pienta Eight years ago, I had the opportunity to interview Mary Leigh Watters Blek for a scholarly anthology on women and activism. That name may not be familiar to many people, but the woman who partnered with her to give birth to an event that would be known as the Million Mom […]
From Columbine to Stoneman Douglas: what have we learned?
By Dr. Rachel Pienta For the past ten days, like so many Americans, I have been immersed in the aftermath of the Parkland school shooting. I have worked in schools all of my professional life – as a teacher, professor, and parent volunteer. I was in graduate school, teaching future teachers, when the Columbine shooting […]
Guest Column: The Resistance, coming to a town near you?
Dr.Rachel Sutz Pienta I think I knew what was going to happen around 11 pm on election night. President Trump was really going to happen. I live in a small town south of Tallahassee. During the 2000 election recount, I lived inside Tallahassee city limits. Then, like now, the Democratic candidate won Leon County but […]
2017 FDP chairs race – a look back
By Dr. Rachel Pienta Like many Democrats across the nation, I’ve been engaged in some political introspection since November. For this Florida Democrat, the national victories of the Obama presidency served as a soothing blue balm to counteract the red tide that has dominated state politics since the mid-1990s. In the final weeks of […]
Back to the Future: Tallahassee Leaders Look to Chiles’ Era Reform Efforts to Address City Concerns
By Dr.Rachel Sutz Pienta In recent months, Tallahassee leaders have made efforts to address a number of city issues – from food deserts and disparate health outcomes to youth violence and early learning deficits. Earlier this year, Mayor Andrew Gillum convened business leaders for a Children’s Summit. What many thought would herald a move to […]
Florida’s Testing Era Ends & the Book Closes on Jeb’s Grand School Grading Experiment”
By Dr. Rachel Pienta In another year, Florida might be buzzing over a special session on schools. Concerns related to funding and testing continue to be hot button issues. This year, however, education has taken a back seat to health care and Medicaid expansion. That said, it does not mean that the executive or legislative […]