Hey Lakeland. 👋 Y’all asked how you can support the Black community without attending large gatherings. Part of our mission is to educate + activate our community, so here are a few local organizations you can support today.
Florida NAACP: Our mission is to endure the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights of all persons and eliminate race-based discrimination. They work to eliminate racial discrimination in housing, voting, healthcare, education, and in the Courts.
Central Florida Urban League: To end generational poverty by empowering Central Floridians to achieve social + economic equality through education, employment, and entrepreneurship. The nation’s oldest + largest community-based movement dedicated to empowering black people to enter the economic + societal mainstream.
Fair Maps Florida: To create an independent redistricting commission + end gerrymandering. Phase I of Fair Maps’ plan is to deploy a volunteer team of petition circulators to collect 766,200+ signatures by Jan. 2, 2022. Phase II is to crowdfund for legal counsel + defense.
100 Black Men of Tampa: To improve the quality of life of our communities + to enhance educational + economic opportunities for all African-Americans. The 100 Black Men of Tampa Bay, Inc. works to channel resources + opportunities to reinforce their core tenets, which are mentoring, health + wellness, education, and economic development.
This is not an exhaustive list of all the organizations supporting the Black community in + around Lakeland. Let us know of any we missed here.
○ How many people have recovered from COVID-19 in Florida? While recovery data may help paint a fuller picture of the pandemic,Florida is one of 12 states that is not providing a “recovery” count in its novel coronavirus data.You can read more about this here and here. On a side note, John Hopkins University is tracking recoveries, but FL recovery numbers are missing from this interactive chart.
○This week the Board of Governors voted to approve the plan for mostly on-campus instruction on theFlorida Polytechnic University campus. The fall semester is slated to begin on Aug. 20. The majority of course offerings will be in-person, with social-distancing measures in place, while a fraction of courses will follow an online model. All classes will be remote following Thanksgiving. (The Ledger)
○ The Polk County Government will have about$4 million less in its new 2020-21 budget due to COVID-19. Polk County originally projected receiving $38.3 million in state sales tax revenue, but now projects a 4% decline in sales tax revenue. The county’s budget director, Todd Bond, says the state money will support the projected $447.7 million general fund, which supports many government services throughout the county, including law enforcement, fire protection + land development regulation. Bond will present a full budget proposal on July 14. (The Ledger)
○ Yesterday, the President of Sensocon, Tony Kohl, donated a Theroscan no-touch thermometer to the City of Lakeland. The thermometer will be used to assist with COVID-19 protocols at City Hall. The no-touch infrared thermometer will allow all employees + guests to take their temperature by placing their wrists over the device and results will appear in under a second. (Lakeland Gov.)
○ While the Polk County mask ordinance did not pass, several surrounding counties are now requiring them. Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas counties are requiring people wear masks inside businesses where social distancing is not possible. Click here to read more about the various fines + possible jail time business owners and customers could face if they don’t follow these protocols.
○One More Child is part of a COVID-19 relief grant program fromUnited Way aimed at increasing the number of families served. Qualifying families receiving same-day approval can receive a $300 Publix gift card, up to $1,700 in financial assistance, and other resources like food, diapers, wipes and cleaning supplies to aid.
○ New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut are requiring visitors from states with high COVID-19 infection rates to quarantine for a period of 14 days, which, as of Wednesday, includes Florida. NY Gov., Andrew Cuomo is calling this a travel advisory aimed at making sure the rates continue to drop. (Tampa Bay Times)
○ As COVID-19 cases surge in Polk County, the ages of those testing positive are dropping. At Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center, of those being diagnosed + treated, elderly patients are no longer in the majority. The Florida Department of Health announced a record daily total of new cases for Polk County, and of the 185 cases, 112 of them involved residents age 40 or younger. Some patients have even been listed as age 0. (The Ledger)
Hey, there. Looking for today’s #MustDo events? In accordance with the
CDC’s recommendations regarding public gatherings, we have decided to postpone public event coverage for the time being. We look forward to bringing you Lakeland’s #MustDo events soon (until then, feel free to submit your virtual events
The Joinery is now asking all guests to wear masks when inside the building.
The popular food hall is asking guests to wear masks until they get their order + sit down at a table, as well as anytime they leave their tables.
If you don’t have a mask, you can pick one up at The Joinery for $1 or get it free with a drink.
They are also requiring team members to wear masks.
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Weather ○96º | Partly Cloudy | 80% chance of rain
TodayIs ○ National Strawberry Parfait Day. Fortunately, it’s peak season for fresh, organic strawberries – and they’re currently on sale at GreenWise Market. 🍓 Ⓟ
Cause ○ The Virtual Esophageal Cancer Walk/Run, will be held on June 27 + 28 for $20. Individuals who decide to either walk or run to share their support must register online today by 5 p.m. to secure their spot in the virtual event. This event is hosted by The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation and can take place wherever you like to walk or run, like your neighborhood, bike path, running track + others. #Pro-Tip: If you aren’t able to participate in this event, you can donate, fundraise, or become a sponsor for the foundation. (Lakeland Patch) ○ United Way of Central Florida announced several award recipients for the 2019-2020 year. Awards given include the Citizen of the Year award, which was given to Angel Davis, an employee of the City of Lakeland. The George Jenkins Foundation received the Philanthropist of the Year award + Kim Elmhorst was awarded the George W. Jenkins Volunteer of the Year award.
Civic ○ The Lakeland city commissioners met virtually yesterday to discuss the process of hiring a new city manager who will take Tony Delgado’s place at the end of September. Despite Commissioner Bill Read’s move to halt the search+ promote the Deputy City Manager Shawn Sherrouse, the other commissioners decided on keeping the national search running in addition to keeping Sherrouse in mind for the position. (Lkld Now)
Edu ○ Yesterday, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill to allocate $500 million to raising teacher’s salaries, which will move Florida from no. 26 on the list of highest average teacher salaries in the country to no. 5. $100 million will go towards experienced teachers already making more than the average minimum. DeSantis hopes this will bring more people to the field of teaching. It is also said to be the single largest teacher’s compensation package in the history of the state. (Fox 35 Orlando)
Number ○ $39.8M. The amount spent on a marketing plan proposed to the Visit Florida Board of Directors that intends to draw tourists back to Florida for vacations. The tourism agency is looking to roll over another $13M for campaigns that were put on hold after COVID-19 shut down the travel industry. However, the increase in money will ultimately come from visitors and their comfortability level due to the coronavirus. (Orlando Weekly)
Ranked ○ Nothing fishy here. The Florida Aquarium in Tampa was rated the second best aquarium by the 10 Best USA Readers’ Choice vote. With roughly 8k plants and animals on display, you won’t want to miss the oppor-tuna-ty to check out the exhibits on display like sharks, stingrays, river otters + more. 🐠 Pro-Tip: Make sure to buy tickets ahead of time to ensure a fintastic time.(USA Today 10 Best) ○ Florida was ranked number 46 for the states with the biggest tax burdens. This ranking is based on Property Tax as a Share of Personal Income, Individual Income Tax as a Share of Personal Income + Total Sales and Excise Tax as a Share of Personal Income. The data was collected by the Tax Policy Center. (WalletHub)
TryThis ○ Need an escape from COVID-19 blues?Escapology (210 E. Pine St.) has reopened their doors for small crowds that want to test their skills in escape rooms. New restrictions are in place such as smaller groups, more time between games for sanitization, + masks, gloves, + hand sanitizer available throughout the facility. 🔐 (Lakeland Patch)
Watch ○ We’ll get straight to the pointe. The Florida Dance Theater in Lakeland will be releasing a virtual performancetomorrow at 12 p.m. called “Six Feet Together.” The performance will be about the isolation that’s happening in the world today, and will run until Sunday, June 28. Pro-Tip: Waltz your way online to purchase tickets for only $5. 👯 (Spectrum News)
WaterCooler ○ On the track to success. Alicia Ruiz, a track and field athlete at George Jenkins High School, has been named The Ledger’s 2020 Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year. Suffering from a hamstring injury during her junior year season, Ruiz was able to bounce back and return for the next season with no evidence of an injury. Since then, she has ranked number one in three separate events and is determined to give her last season 100%. 👟 (The Ledger)
Save the planet in style. Nothing New sneakers are comfy, eco-friendly footwear made from recycled water bottles. The uppers are crafted from a canvas material that is both sustainable + durable, while true stitch construction creates a flexible bond without the need for harmful chemicals or sulfur emissions.
Esquire even said they “might be the most sustainable (and stylish) sneakers on the planet.”
Bonus: Free shipping + returns(in eco-friendly packaging, of course). Ⓟ
We love to #ShopLocal, #EatLocal, and – of course – experience all the great local things our lil’ Swan City has to offer. To celebrate Juneteenth + support local black-owned businesses, for the next several days (when you receive a newsletter), we’ll be sharing a business to support as an act of community solidarity.
Check out Rustic with a Twist, for custom home decor. They specialize in custom wall art, tumblrs, and even create stovetop noodle boards.
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