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Heard On Sundial: Calls For A Stay-At-Home Order, Affordable Housing, Making Films During A Pandemic

People walk past a masked mural painting in Wynwood. The normally bustling arts district was void of its usual crowds Wednesday evening, April 1, 2020, as Miami Dade residents were following orders to stay safer at home.

On this Tuesday, July 14, episode of Sundial:

Rep. Donna Shalala Calls For Stay-At-Home Order

Florida is one of the epicenters for the coronavirus nationwide and the numbers show no signs of improvement.

Gov. Ron DeSantis is in Miami this week and participated in a panel conversation with Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez and several city mayors. They’re continuing to emphasize the importance of social distancing and wearing masks. 

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Democratic Congresswoman Donna Shalala argues the current restrictions aren’t enough. In order to reduce the spread of the virus, she believes the state should re-institute a stay-at-home order for two weeks.

Affordable Housing During COVID-19

Creating affordable housing opportunities in Miami was already a difficult challenge even before the pandemic.

Earlier this month, we saw the unveiling of a new plan to try and change that. It’s called the Miami-Dade Affordable Housing Framework and it’s meant to help leaders in the community build, expand, and provide affordable housing opportunities in the coming decade.

“About one-third of the county’s households that are both paying more than they can afford for housing on a month to month basis and earning less than $35,000 a year. That means they can afford $875 every month for either their rent or their mortgage and I think that helps people understand how low the wages are in our county and how expensive the housing is,” said Annie Lord, executive director of the nonprofit organization Miami Homes For All, who helped prepare the plan.

We spoke with Lord and Christine Rupp, the executive director of the Dade Heritage Trust, which just announced the creation of affordable housing units in Little Havana.

Making Micro-Films During COVID-19

With all of the COVD-19 related shutdowns, we can’t go to film festivals like we’re used to. But, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any going on. Oolite Arts is hosting an online micro-film festival, happening Wednesday.

The films are different from what we’re used to because the filmmakers had to work within the restrictions of the pandemic. They’re short films, mostly shot from home, created by 12 local filmmakers.

“I typically do short narrative films with scripts, and design, and actors and all of that. This is my first attempt at documentary style. And it’s the first of many things, giving birth, being in a hospital setting, shooting on my iPhone,” said Pamela Longsword, one of the filmmakers participating in the festival. She filmed herself during her own birth experience.

We spoke with Longsword and Juan Castañeda, who worked on his own film about COVID-19 rumors and conspiracy theories.

Their films are making their debut Wednesday at the Oolite Arts online micro-film festival

Leslie Ovalle Atkinson is the former lead producer behind Sundial. As a multimedia producer, she also worked on visual and digital storytelling.