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Special session, pairing dogs with veterans and HistoryMiami's leader goes to Washington

We speak with Rep. Daniel Perez (R) from Miami-Dade County about the upcoming special session this week. Plus, an FAU program looks to help veterans by connecting them to a four-legged friend. Finally, HistoryMiami Museum's Jorge Zamanillo reflects on his time in Miami before taking the helm of a brand new national Latino museum in Washington D.C.

On this Monday, April 18 edition of Sundial:

Florida Rep. Daniel Perez on redistricting

This week lawmakers will be discussing redistricting maps, and there’s a lot of contention this time around.

Gov. Ron DeSantis didn’t like the maps that lawmakers passed during the regular session earlier this year. So he proposed — in an unprecedented move — his own maps.

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We spoke with Republican Rep. Daniel Perez prior to the live show; he represents part of Miami-Dade County. The special session on redistricting starts Tuesday.

In the time since we spoke with the representative earlier this morning – thegovernor has announced the legislature will in fact hold another special session specifically to discuss insurance – that'll be sometime in May.

We talked about the maps, the failure to pass condo safety reform, and about issues with property insurance rates rising on homeowners, and companies leaving the state.

Until the second special session in May, lawmakers are left to address the redistricting maps required every 10 years.

And Tuesday on Sundial – we're going to speak with Mary Ellen Klas about what's expected from lawmakers this week regarding the maps. She is the Capitol Bureau Chief for the Miami Herald.

You can hear the full conversation below:

2022-04-18 SUNDIAL Seg A.mp3

Furry companions for veterans

Coming back to civilian life after serving one’s country can be a great challenge for some.

At Florida Atlantic University, there’s a program to help many of these veterans and it has to do with connecting them to a four-legged friend, a shelter dog.

The program is called the FAU Veteran Canine Rescue Mission.

Two people who are working to connect veterans with dogs either as service dogs, or for emotional support, or just companionship joined Sundial to talk about the program.

Beth A. Pratt is the associate investigator at CPAWW – Canines Providing Assistance to Wounded Warriors. And Rebecca Pasko is the Founder of Happy With Dogs.

Each shared how their organization is working with FAU to better connect the right dogs to help a veteran that suits them, so they can live a more normal day-to-day life after serving in the military.

You can listen to the full conversation below:

2022-04-18 SUNDIAL Seg B.mp3

HistoryMiami's Jorge Zamanillo says goodbye to Miami

Miami is losing a longtime leader of a cultural institution, the HistoryMiami Museum.

After a 22-year career with the museum, Jorge Zamanillo has been named the founding director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Latino. The new museum was established by Congress in December 2020.

Sundial spoke to Zamanillo about his time in Miami and about what he'll bring to the new museum in Washington D.C:

"It was an incredible sweeping of emotions that it's a very bittersweet moment in our lives here after living in South Florida, Miami for so long," he said. "It's amazing. You know, you go back and these days you don't keep much, everything's digital ... But I'm kind of a pack rat. I'm curator at heart. So I found on my name tags, going back to to 2000."

Zamanillo started working at the museum as an educator in 2000 and worked his way up to Executive Director and CEO. Now, as he's set to begin his new position on May 2, he's thinking about how to tell Latino communities' stories on a national scale:

"We're not a monolithic community," he said. "One thing I've learned here in South Florida, which would help form our new vision over there, is that among all the diversity in this community we have down here — there's also a lot that unifies us, between music and culture, and food. And some of the struggles, you know, immigration, resiliency and assimilation, those are all common themes that will help me."

You can listen to the full conversation below:

2022-04-18 SUNDIAL Seg C.mp3

Caitie Muñoz, formerly Switalski, leads the WLRN Newsroom as Director of Daily News & Original Live Programming. Previously she reported on news and stories concerning quality of life in Broward County and its municipalities for WLRN News.