On Monday, April 29, 2019, I took a day trip to the Florida State Capital of Tallahassee. I enjoy politics a great deal and so this was something I was looking forward too. I had a hard time getting to sleep the night before and woke up at 3:30am instead of 4 when my alarm was to go off. I drove from Holiday to Dade City where I met some friends and got in a van to drive the rest of the way with them. I was able to relax in the van which was great because I was already tired.
When we arrived, we went to the AFL-CIO building and I saw some wall graffiti from some of my favorite Pasco County Educators! They gave us information for what was up on the floor on Monday and where different Representatives and Senators have their offices.
From there we went to Goodies for lunch. I had the chicken salad which was great because it does not have any almonds in it! For a relatively inexpensive lunch, definitely check out Goodies.
A short walk after lunch found us in the Capital Building. Remember to remove your cell phone from your pockets as you go in because you will go through a metal detector. After a few minutes we were in Senator Lee’s office talking with his aids about things that were important to us. I popped in next door to see Senator Wilson who was part of the Leadership Pasco Bus Tour.
After stopping in on some of the House of Representative members we went to sit in the Gallery of the House of Representatives. While there, I noticed the Florida Young Democrats arrive in the opposite Gallery. I split from my group and walked over to be with them for a bit. The Florida Young Democrats was recognized on the House Floor by Carlos Guillermo Smith. I loved being able to hear Rep. Guillermo Smith ask thought provoking questions regarding the “Hope Scholarship” (HB 7070), especially his questions about schools who get “Hope Funds” being able to discriminate against LGBTQ+ students.
After a quick lunch break for the Florida Young Dems, we had a chat with Rep. Guillermo Smith’s Legislative Aid about how hard it is to do anything in the Florida Legislature due to the overwhelming Republican Majority. After that short trip, we went to the Florida Supreme Court, just across the street from the Capital Building.
The Court House is the fourth one in Florida’s history and it is lovely. The Court hears approximately 80-100 cases a year and is responsible for all death penalty appeals.
At that point, I reconnected with my original group and began the long drive home. It was a very good, but very long day!