Facing South Florida
As the year comes to a close, Jim DeFede sat down with U.S. Rep. Ileana-Ros Lehtinen to get reaction to some of the biggest headline makers in December.
Broward County Commissioners last month selected their colleague Tim Ryan to be the county’s new mayor. Mayor Ryan is a former state legislator who was born in Broward and comes from a family that has been part of the political establishment for many years. Jim sits down with Mayor Ryan to discuss his plans for Broward in 2015.
Startling new CBS poll numbers show how blacks and whites view police. The results cannot be ignored. Jim and Miami-Dade Police Director J.D. Patterson hash it all out.
The failure by the grand juries in both Ferguson and Staten Island to indict police officers who killed unarmed black men, has prompted a national discussion on the divide between the police and some of the communities they are supposed to be serving. We explore this with community activist Henry Crespo.
Jim and Mayor Philip Levine look at the early days of his tenure on Miami Beach, the pressing issue of climate change and his future political ambitions. The millionaire is eyeing both a run for Miami Dade Mayor or a statewide run for the US Senate.
In early December, the Miami-Dade County Commission is set to vote on whether to include transgender protection in the Human Rights Ordinance. That ordinance currently makes it illegal to discriminate against an individual based on age, gender, race and sexual orientation. Jim discusses this with former Miami-Dade commissioner Katy Sorenson, who is the original sponsor of the ordinance, and Anthony Verdugo, who is the executive director of the Christian Family Coalition. First we air an expanded version of Jim’s sit-down interview with Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, her husband Dexter Lehtinen, and their transgender son Rodrigo.
President Barack Obama moves forward with his executive action to extend protection to about 5 million individuals in the country illegally. Jim focuses on what it all means in a discussion with Cheryl Little, the executive director of Americans for Immigration Justice.
The third annual “Art of Transformation” is a month-long series of events celebrating the revitalization of the city of Opa-locka. The series includes a dance performance, an art exhibition , a film, and an art, food and music festival. It showcases how art is capable of encouraging urban and civic renewal.
Jim investigates the details of what unfolded the night four plainclothes officers arrested three young men in South Miami-Dade because they thought there was a marijuana cigarette on the ground near them. After we air Jim’s report, State Sen. Dwight Bullard joins Jim at the roundtable to discuss the questions the Miami-Dade PD has to answer about that night. They also talk about our marijuana laws and why so many communities have sought to decriminalize pot possession. Proponents say the current laws too often are used to disproportionately give black men criminal records and put them into the criminal justice system.
MDX has just completed its conversion to open road tolling in South Florida. Among other things, that triggers a hike in the tolls drivers will be paying on the Dolphin & Airport Expressways.
The toll increases are controversial. Jim talks to Javier Rodriguez who is the executive director for MDX, and Carlos Garcia of rollbacktolls.com, who is the head of the anti-toll group.