We regularly hear Florida referred to as a “swing state” or “battleground state.” Indeed, Florida is predicted to be a top swing state for the 2020 general election, but what does that mean? We know it can be a little tough deciphering the onslaught of political terminology, so we’re here to break it down for you.
A swing state is a state where the two main political parties (aka, Democrat, or Republican) have similar levels of support among voters which could be won by either party’s presidential candidate. Swing states are interchangeably referred to as battleground states, where significant campaign stops + ad spending are used by candidates to flip closely divided voters in their favor.
Florida was a Democratic stronghold from the Reconstruction era until 1952, before leaning toward the Republican party. In the mid-20th century, the state experienced an influx of diversity + a population explosion. This increased Florida’s number of electoral votes + influenced the state’s position as a swing state in the 21st-century.
The election of 2000 is considered to be the marker for when Florida entered swing state territory + every election since then has been extremely close.
The Washington Post recently broke down Florida’s political geography into “six states,” representing millions of voters with distinct voting trends + demographics. When analyzing the 2016 election, researchers found that Donald Trump won four states (Jax, Red South, Panhandle, North Central) and Hillary Clinton won two states ( I-4, South Florida).
Lakelander ○Meet Catapult member Giovanna Favilli, founder of Casita Verde. Using the Catapult Kitchen Incubator Space, she was able to turn her love of Nicaraguan cuisine into a business. Learn more about Giovanna, read her advice to food entrepreneurs + learn about the pop-up window series where Casita Verde will be featured on Sept. 11. Ⓟ
Job ○Did you know GreenWise Market offers career opportunities like Seafood Clerk, Body Care Specialist, and Wine Specialist? (Hello, dream job.) See open positions in Lakeland and apply online here. 🍷 Ⓟ ○ T-minus 107 days until Christmas + Santa is in need of some more helpers. The U.S. Postal Service is looking to hire 1,000 new workers before the holiday season in Central Florida – including at Mail Annexes in Lakeland. Job opportunities include Postal Support Employee, Mail Processing Clerk, and Mail Handler Assistant. (West Orlando News)
FeaturedDeal ○Hosting a virtual event? Now through 9/30 we’re offering 25% off all event listings. Submit your event here and guarantee that it’s included in our daily newsletter and website. Use promo code 25VIRTUAL at check out. Ⓟ
Stat ○ The 2020 Census is happening + now is the time to respond. It’s easy + your responses will directly impact our community.You can participate online, over the phone, or by mail. At this time, 60% of the households in Polk County have responded to the Census. Davenport reigns supreme, with a 66.6% self-response rate + Lakeland comes in fifth place with a 64% self-response rate. The state of Florida is at 61.9%, and for the nation, the percent is 65.3%. Take the census here.
DYK ○ You could be the next Willy Wonka? No, really. The founder of Jelly Belly – David Klein – is giving away one of his Florida candy factories. Sign up to play “The Golden Ticket” treasure hunt + receive a clue on where a hidden golden necklace could be in Florida. If you find the necklace, you automatically win $5,000 + will be entered into a contest to win the candy factory. 🍫 (Click Orlando)
LALVotes ○ The next round in the 2020 Best of Central Florida Awards has commenced + it’s time to vote on your local favorites. Categories range from dining to sports, to media, and more. If you vote in 25+ categories, you’ll be entered to win $5,000. The winners will be recognized in a print + online section.Vote here.(The Ledger)
Asked ○We’re asking for your help to shape the future of LALtoday. We’ve launched a Reader Feedback Survey to help us better understand who you (our readers) are + what you would like to see in LALtoday. It takes just a few minutes to complete – and, you can enter to win $100 just for participating. Click here to take the survey. ○ In just two days, the 19th anniversary of 9/11 will pass as a day of remembrance. To commemorate that day, we want to hear your stories. While Lakeland was not (to our knowledge) directly affected, just about anyone over the age of 5 has some memory from that day –where you were, what you recall, or if it’s impacted your life directly.Email us your memoriesfrom Sept. 11 + we’ll share your fellow Lakelander’s responses in an upcoming newsletter.
Events ○ Sunset Yoga in the Vineyard | Wed., Sept. 9 | 6-7 p.m. | Keel & Curley Winery at Keel Farms | 5210 Thonotosassa Rd. | $10 | Fresh air, evening yoga + wine, afterward.
Disclaimer: It is up to readers’ discretion to determine whether they feel comfortable participating in any mentioned events based on COVID-19 protocols and precautions. If you have questions, please contact the event’s organizers directly.
You asked for more giveaways, and more giveaways you shall receive.
This month, we’re partnering with S&D Real Estate to give away $3,000 towards a relaxing weekend getaway.
Whether you want to watch the leaves change over the mountains, or take in the sunset while the waves crash over the ocean with a Mai Tai in-hand; the choice is yours.
One grand prize winner will be receiving $3,000 in funds to cover your getaway essentials, including but not limited to: • Lodging • Spa treatments • Local shopping • Babysitting fees to leave your kiddos at home • Gas and travel expenses
So, who needs an escape?
Here’s how to enter: • Head over to our website and enter your name, email address and zip code in the giveaway form. You can enter up to once per day + share our giveaway with your friends now through Wed., Sept. 30, 2020 to earn additional chances to win. • Anyone living here in the Lakeland area – as well anyone in our sister cities– can enter. • Bonus (+3):Shareour giveaway with all of your local friends, family or colleagues using your unique link (found on the entry confirmation page). Every person that enters the giveaway using your link will count as an additional 3 entries into the giveaway, increasing your chances to win. • Bonus (+1): If you’re not already following us, follow uson Instagram by clicking the link found on the entry confirmation page. You’ll score an additional entry into the giveaway just for following.
One winner will be chosen at random and announced in our newsletter on October 1. Enter here.
#DYK that your photo could be featured in our newsletter? Just use #LALtoday on social media.
○ The Lakeland City Commission voted yesterday to extend the current mask ordinance until Oct. 5. This means that masks will continue to be required for people who live, work, visit or do business in the City of Lakeland in any indoor location (other than their home) + when not maintaining social distancing from other persons, excluding family members or companions. The ordinance will affect those within the city’s corporate limits.
○ Explorations V Children’s Museum (109 N. Kentucky Ave.) has reopened with new hours of operation – Mon.-Sat., from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and now on Sun., from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. In lieu of other programs being offered, this month, the museum is showcasing art + sensory-themed program boxes, which can be purchased from the gift shop for $5. Additional safety protocols such as requirements for mask-wearing + hand washing are being taken. All three floors of the museum are reopened, including a new exhibit called “Build the Future,” which centers around the museum’s soon-to-be new location at Bonnet Springs Park (1025 George Jenkins Blvd.). (Lakeland Mom)
○ Last week, Polk County Public Schools changed its policy to allow teachers who have been exposed to COVID-19to still come to schools(or self-quarantine). This stands as long as they are asymptomatic + take additional precautions, such as monitoring their temperatures + having their work areas cleaned more often. If a teacher lives with someone that tests positive, they still have to self-quarantine. (WFLA News Channel 8)
○ As Polk County Public Schoolskicks off the 2020-2021 sports season, new safety procedures have been announced. Some of these include mask-wearing, limited attendance, and limited concession sales. Check out the full list of procedures here. (WFLA News Channel 8)
○ Polk County Public Schools’ (PCPS) district has seen a drop in enrollment, from last school year, by 7,500+ students, attributed to the students switching to private schools or at-home learning. This decline could lead to a significant decrease in federal funding (think millions), as FL funds districts based on enrollment numbers. To prevent this, PCPS may need to see an increase in students + the Florida Legislature would need to continue the stop-gap, put in place by Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran.(The Ledger)
○ On Tuesday, the Florida Department of Healthannounced 1,823 new cases of COVID-19 and 44 additional deaths in Florida. That brings the total number of cases in FL of COVID-19 to 650,092 + the total deaths to 12,067. You can find more updates on the Florida Department of Health dashboard. See Lakeland numbers here.