Florida Politics  - October 17, 2015 By: Susan Clary Ever since U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio denied the existence of climate change earlier this year, protesters have waved signs outside his office demanding he acknowledge science. But a climate change rally in Orlando this week had a different message – one that demanded people of color and low-income families have their voices heard in the debate. Read more

Orlando Climate Movement Coalition Unites to Demand Climate Change Action from Elected Officials

ORLANDO, Fla. – One year after the historic People’s Climate March, when 400,000 people crowded the streets of New York City, a coalition of over a dozen Central Florida community organizations, faith leaders, business owners, and artists will gather as part of a 100 city National Day of Action for a series of events, including a rally and march, to demand real climate action from local, state, and federal elected officials. Read more

Redistricting: an embarrassing truth

Paul Heroux is a graduate of FIRE's Leadership Academy and a member of the Board.  Read more


Thank you to everyone who came out and supported FIRE's work at our first ever FIRE fundraiser! FIRE's fundraising goals were exceeded by 40% thanks to the generosity of our amazing friends, partners, allies, and newcomers. A special thank you to the event speakers: Stephanie Porta, Agatha Davis, and Board chair Lisa Lopez -  job well done. By supporting FIRE, you are ensuring that free educational projects such as FIRE's Leadership Academy, Politics and Potluck, and information sessions like the Public Records Request Training continue to benefit Florida citizens! Check out pictures here! Read more


March 24, 2015 from WMFE On March 24, representatives from the Florida Institute for Reform and Empowerment and the Alliance for a Just Society released a healthcare study and, well, the news wasn’t good. In addition to the nearly one million people who fall into the gap separating the present anemic Medicaid system in Florida and the federal Affordable Care Act exchange that’s been around for five years, there are other issues: access to doctors for minority communities, inexperience in minority communities with using insurance, language barriers and website issues. Add the failure to expand Medicaid, a failure championed by the Florida Legislature and its governor, and you have a huge mess. A 10-state comparison showed that the states with Medicaid expansion were improving the breadth of coverage among their populations. States like Florida are lagging, by seeming political intention. Read more


March 24, 2015 · by Kartik Krishnaiyer from The Florida Squeeze Florida’s ideological legislature has on two occasions left almost a million Floridians, all of whom are working class without health care. Republican legislators have consistently ignored multiple studies that indicate more jobs will be brought to Florida thanks to the expanded healthcare sector.  They’ve ignored that small businesses who they claim to want to help will actually benefit from Medicaid expansion. Most importantly they’ve once again shown that the plight of working-class Floridians and those whose blood, sweat and tears make this state go are not important to those who hold ultimate power in Tallahassee. Read more

Breaking Barriers: Improving Health Insurance Enrollment and Access to Health Care in Florida

"The biggest challenge we face is trying to enroll immigrant families. Mainly because they come from generations where there has been no expectation of insurance. We have to educate them as to why they should spend any of their precious financial resources on nonemergency medical care." Jodi Ray, Florida Covering Kids & Families View the full report here Read more

Floridians Battle for National Paid Sick Leave Law

February 18, 2015 Written by: Phil Latzman/Stephanie Carson, Public News Service - FL ORLANDO, Fla. - President Obama called for it in his State of the Union address last month, and now there's legislation in Congress to help the 43 million American workers who can't earn time off for sick days. Read more

Still sick: New study confirms that Floridians need sick leave, or else

Posted By Billy Manes on Tue, Feb 3, 2015 at 4:23 PM on Orlando Weekly image via fmla insightsPerhaps you haven't been paying attention to the issue of the decade – probably because you're too busy working more than one job, coughing, and going home to pretend it's all OK around 2 a.m. – but, just in case you were wondering, some recent polling basically confirms what we all know: Nearly half of all workers can't leave work without the threat of losing their jobs, even with vomit in the corners of their mouths. In fact, that beats the national average of 40 percent, which is still a daunting fact, even for a reasonably poor journalist. Read more

Poll Demonstrates Need for Earned Sick Time

February 3, 2015 · by Kartik Krishnaiyer · The Florida Squeeze President Obama recently made Earned Sick Time an essential part of his domestic agenda. We’ve spoken time and again on this site about how the President’s unwillingness to embrace progressive policies in the last two years led directly to the Democrats election debacle in 2014 and the defeat of Charlie Crist here in Florida. Not so coincidentally, the President enjoys his highest approval rating in two years thanks to his strong statements on a number of issues since the carnage of November 4th. A poll conducted by The Florida Institute of Reform and Empowerment (F.I.R.E) found that close to 50% of workers in the state between the age of 18-65 do not have access to sick days. Read more

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