Iranians In South Florida React, National YoungArts Week & 2020 Legislative Session

Jan 8, 2020

On this Wednesday, Jan. 8, episode of Sundial:

Iranians In South Florida React

Iran vowed revenge against the U.S. after an airstrike ordered by President Donald J. Trump killed Iranian top general Qassem Soleimani. On Wednesday, Iran fulfilled its promise to retaliate by launching missiles that struck U.S. forces in Iraq. 

“There’s a lot of strategic disadvantages to this attack,” says Eric Lob, assistant professor in the Department of Politics and International Relations at Florida International University.

How are Iranians living in the U.S. responding to rising tensions? Lob, an expert on the intersection of development and politics in the Middle East, joined Sundial to talk about how local Iranians are reacting. 

National YoungArts Week 2020 

Some of the top musicians, artists and actors from around the country are in Miami for National YoungArts week, a program that offers an opportunity for high school students to learn from leading artists in the industry. 

Santino Fontana, an American actor and singer on the television series "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend," recently won a Tony Award for his role in the Broadway musical "Tootsie." Fontana got his start as a 2000 YoungArts participant and winner. He joined Sundial to talk about his career and what it means to him to be a YoungArts master teacher this year. 

Looking Ahead At The 2020 Legislative Session 

The Florida legislative session begins next week and Sundial is talking with a number of lawmakers ahead of and during session. Last year, Gov. Ron DeSantis proposed raising teacher salaries across the state, to a base pay of $47,500. This session, Republican state Sen. Manny Diaz Jr. of Miami is sponsoring a bill in support that would raise teacher pay. 

“I would like to see teachers have more power about their professional growth,” Diaz said on Sundial. 

On average teachers get paid about $41,000 in Miami, Broward and Palm Beach counties. Diaz joined Sundial to talk about what are the benefits of raising salaries, among other bills he is supporting this year.

WLRN producer Chris Remington contributed to the production of this episode.