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Florida: The State of our Communities

Floridians Respond to the State of our Union Talking About The State Of Our Communities

On Tuesday, January 28th, Floridians hosted a “People’s State of the Union” event in Miami and a statewide twitter forum to watch President Obama’s State of the Union address and ask Florida’s diverse communities if the SOTU spoke to the issues that they care the most about. The issues that the crowd paid closest attention to included immigration, minimum wage and health care.

Dozens of immigrant families, low-income workers, youth and other community groups and members joined the Florida Immigrant Coalition and 1Miami in Little Havana, while over many more Floridians joined the conversation online using the hashtag #pplsSOTU.

“The President spent barely 30 seconds talking about Immigration Reform, the issue that affects 11 million lives and that matters the most for 53 million Latinos,” said Jonathan Fried, Executive Director from WeCount! “Once again, President Obama mentioned he supports immigration reform, but talking won’t keep our families together when they are being separated every day. The President can prove that he truly cares about our families by stopping the deportation of our family members now and easing our communities’ suffering. Otherwise he will still be known in our communities as the deporter-in-chief.”

Participants in Miami and online took this opportunity to talk about the real issues that affect all hard-working families in Florida, such as an unfair minimum wage, not having access to Medicaid and proper health care.

We feel that our politicians do not understand the real state of our communities; they live very far from the realities that our communities face,” said a participant in the crowd.

We know that the state of our communities won’t improve until our local Government also takes action. Our Governor is literally sitting on billions of federal dollars that can build our economy, create jobs and save lives by allowing Florida to expand health care,” said Eric Brakken, Director for 1Miami. “Our State Legislature is also letting the broken immigration system crush our students’ future and make our roads unsafe. They can act now to save lives and secure our future by expanding Medicaid, granting in-state tuition to DREAMers and allowing immigrant parents and workers to drive. Our local elected officials are as responsible as the Federal Government for fixing what’s broken.”