Some have asked why anyone would try to start up a new media business covering Florida politics when the field is so saturated. I offer this story as an example:
When I was a scraggly 8-year-old lad, I remember going on walks with my mother (or, “me Mum,” as those of us from the East End of London say) to help her learn how to get up curbs and onto sidewalks using her wheelchair. She suffered a double whammy in life: She was struck with polio as a child, which made walking difficult, then was in a car accident that left her permanently disabled.
Our evening routine was that she would try to get up onto the sidewalk from the street, and I would stand behind her. Sometimes, she’d make it. Other times, she’d lose balance and fall backward out the chair. My job was to catch her. After dozens of surgeries, kids, and at times two simultaneous full-time jobs, she could have opted to grow old quietly. But not me Mum.
Fast forward to when I was 13. I recall watching her at the 1988 Paralympics in Seoul, South Korea, wheeling herself up to the top of the riser to collect her third gold medal after breaking another world record for swimming. The arena was packed and the crowd was deafening. In her sports career, she won 41 international gold medals, 14 world records, and became the first paraplegic female diving instructor in history. Despite being annoyingly humble, she was made a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II, among a host of other honors.
The lesson is, don’t avoid doing something because someone tells you it can’t be done. Or that you can’t succeed at it. You just may surprise them. At City & State Florida, we’re here to surprise, to tell the politics, policy and personality stories that the others can’t see or get to.
We’ve been at it a few months now, with stories including a sitting city commissioner who doesn’t even live in Florida anymore. We’ve broken news about the state’s new election police chief pushing a local prosecutor to file more voter fraud cases. We’ve compared the policies of Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis in a possible match-up for the White House. We’re interviewing newsmakers for our website and talking to them for our podcast.
Now you’re holding the next iteration of our commitment to Florida political journalism, City & State Florida magazine. We hope you’ll make it a monthly habit, whether you read it on a tablet or subscribe to the printed edition. And visit us online at cityandstatefl.com. Tell ‘em me Mum sent you.