Carrie Meek’s legacy, Florida’s gambling deal in trouble, and e-scooters’ quick comeback in Miami
On this Tuesday, Nov. 30, edition of Sundial:
Carrie Meek's legacy
From South Florida to Washington D.C. people are mourning the death of Carrie Meek — one of the first Black people elected to represent Florida in Congress since the post-Civil War Reconstruction.
She died at age 95 Sunday, after battling a long illness.
As the pandemic continues, you can rely on WLRN to keep you current on local news and information. Your support is what keeps WLRN strong. Please become a member today. Donate now. Thank you.
Meek was the granddaughter of an enslaved woman. The daughter of sharecroppers, her mother later owned a business. And she talked about growing up around what she called “the worst kind of segregation.”
Those memories from her childhood were present in her rise to political power.
“She did not want that to happen to those who were generations after her,” said Dr. Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall, who was Meek’s mentee and is now a Miami-Dade County school board member. “It was uphill for her, and she wore sneakers almost to the office every single day. She went in ready to fight. She went in to garner respect. They knew that she was a fighter.”
Meek was elected to Congress in 1992 and never lost a race for reelection until she retired in 2002.
“She wasn't advocating for African-Americans, she wasn't advocating for the people of Miami-Dade County. She'd been advocating for democracy, for civil rights,” said North Miami Mayor Philippe Bien-Aime. “We will always remember her.”
Her funeral and homegoing celebration will be held Dec. 7 in Miami Gardens.
Florida’s gambling deal in trouble
Not so fast. Hold your bets. In Florida, you might soon have to say goodbye to roulette, craps and sports betting.
A federal judge is telling the state and The Seminole Tribe of Florida to tap out of their deal that expanded gambling — calling it unlawful.
The ruling states that, according to federal law, gambling must happen on tribal land, but this gambling compact authorizes online gambling, which can happen outside of those lands.
“They [The Seminole Tribe] would essentially say that all the betting is happening on tribal land because that's where the servers are. Even though people were placing their bets anywhere in the state, that was very precedent setting. And that's of course, what is now causing the issue with the the legal ruling,” said Mary Ellen Klas, the Tallahassee bureau chief for the Miami Herald and the Tampa Bay Times.
The deal was signed earlier this year and it’s only been about a month since the tribe started offering sports betting.
“We're in a new era where the internet is everywhere,” said Klas. “The argument that the tribe should be able to operate without sort of the fences of an artificial tribal territory is one that will establish all kinds of new precedent. And it's it's probably a good thing that this is being challenged and it has to go back and forth. I really don't know where this is going to end up.”
The state and the tribe are possibly looking at the options of rewriting the law or bringing the decision over the state’s future on gambling to voters.
E-scooters’ quick comeback
Miami city leaders are allowing e-scooters on some streets, for now.
In an emergency meeting Monday, the city commission decided to overturn an earlier ban on the scooters, but with more restrictions.
Miami Herald reporter Joey Flechas covers the city of Miami and joined Sundial to discuss. You can find more of his coverage of this story here.