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The Democrats’ Strategy In Florida, Palm Beach Post Homicides Tracker, Funk Legend George Clinton

Carl Juste
Miami Herald
Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden campaigns in Miami while visiting Ball & Chain in Little Havana for a meet-and-greet with Hispanic voters on Sunday, September 15, 2019.

The Democrats’ plans for winning Florida. A disturbing trend of homicides in Palm Beach County and a music legend discusses creating art — on a canvas.

On this Thursday, Sept. 17, episode of Sundial:

The Democrats’ Strategy In Florida

Voting is underway in Florida.

The state elections office reports that some vote-by-mail ballots have already been returned. Many of them come from Flagler and Monroe counties. Local elections offices are expected to send out the first major batch of vote-by-mail ballots over the next couple of weeks.

Every vote counts in Florida, where there is a history of tight races. The latest polls show Florida is practically split 50-50 between both parties.

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The Democratic and Republican campaigns are trying to court voters in this crucial battleground state. Recently, both President Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden visited the Sunshine State.

“The Hispanic community in South Florida and the Puerto Rican community in Central Florida, there is an upside there. If you just look at that narrow slice of the electorate there’s a lot of room for gain for Joe Biden in Florida and that of course would tip the scales,” said former Florida U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, who is working with the Democratic National Convention on the Biden campaign.

He added that there are a lot of other things Biden can do all over the state, like working to get the pandemic under control and revitalizing the economy.

We spoke with Nelson about the Democrats’ strategy for winning Florida.

Palm Beach Post Homicides Tracker

The Palm Beach Post has a new online database tracking homicides in the county.

Specifically, it reviews more than 1,000 cases that have happened since 2009. These accounts tell a wider story of pain and inequity that the justice system has failed to repair.

More than half of the homicide victims were Black men — even though they make up less than 9 percent of the county’s population. Most of these cases remain unsolved.

“It’s really easy to get lost in the data to get lost in the names. For me at least, looking through the databases I can tell you just about everyone’s story by looking at their faces and it just humanizes it,” said reporter Olivia Hitchcock, who worked on the database, about the decision to include photos of the victims.

We spoke with Hitchcock about this new database and the issues it highlights.

Funk Legend George Clinton

Courtesy of George Clinton
Funk legend George Clinton is also a painter and has spent much of the pandemic creating new work at his home studio in Tallahassee. This is one of his paintings.

George Clinton has revolutionized funk, R&B and hip-hop as a musician and producer for more than five decades. His group “Parliament Funkadelic” was inducted into the Rock N’Roll Hall of Fame for their lifetime achievement.

Clinton is also a painter and has spent much of the pandemic creating new work at his home studio in Tallahassee. He’ll be talking about his artwork in a livestream with the Perez Art Museum Miami Thursday night.

Some of his paintings wrestle with themes of social injustice. One of them has a series of black fists held into the air and it has quotes that say “Think, it ain’t illegal yet,” and “Black Lives Gather.”

“We had to put some notions of what’s going on around us that’s not lockdown. Being locked down is one side of it but some people have to come out and protest in the middle of this pandemic thing and the painting is a picture of all of that that’s going on around us,” said Clinton.

WLRN’s Sundial senior producer Chris Remington spoke with Clinton about his music and the art he’s creating now with a paintbrush.

Leslie Ovalle produces WLRN's daily magazine program, Sundial. She previously produced Morning Edition newscasts at WLRN and anchored the midday news. As a multimedia producer, she also works on visual and digital storytelling.