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First Coast Connect

2/21/2018: Monica DePaul; Constitution Revision Commission; Trintals; Riverside Craft Beer Festival

Jessica Palombo

Wednesday on First Coast Connect we spoke with Democratic 4th District Congressional candidate Monica DePaul who is looking to challenge incumbent Republican Congressman John Rutherford (01:18).  

WJCT News Director Jessica Palombo and reporter Ryan Benk talked about the Florida Constitution Revision Commission’s Tuesday afternoon meeting in Jacksonville (32:23).  

Local real estate entrepreneur Shankar Thayver told us about his new online portal Trintals (37:22).

We heard about Saturday’s Riverside Craft Beer Festival with Community PedsCare Clinical Manager Amanda Spence and festival chairman Chris Croft (46:00).               

Monica DePaul

She’s a Democrat running in the heavily Republican 4th Congressional District.

Monica DePaul is an author, former adjunct professor at UNF, and an active voice in Jacksonville’s LBGT community. She was a delegate for Bernie Sanders at the 2016 Democratic Convention and made history as the first transgender delegate to a major political convention from Florida.

DePaul is looking to become the first transgender member of Congress.  

She’s running an uphill battle against a well-funded and heavily favored candidate as a Democrat in a conservative district.    

Constitutional Revision Commission

It’s called the Florida Constitutional Revision Commission. The CRC meets once every 20 years to consider changes to the state constitution.

Right now, members of the commission are holding a series of meetings around the state to hear from the public.

They met at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville Tuesdayto hear from residents about 37 proposed amendments.


If you’re looking for an apartment, a new online portal targeted at millennials says it’s got everything you need in one place.

Trintals simplifies communications and rent payments between landlords and renters. Renters pay a one-time application fee, and landlords and property managers are able to use Trintals at no cost.

Riverside Craft Beer Festival

The 5th annual Community PedsCare & Riverside Craft Beer Festival will be held at theRiverside Arts Marketthis Saturday.

All proceeds benefit the pediatric program.

Community PedsCareis one of just a few large community pediatric programs in the county offering both palliative and hospice care.

Through a team of pediatric professionals, the program offers in-hospital and in-home medical, nursing, psychosocial, spiritual, child life and volunteer support for children with complex, chronic or life-threatening conditions and their families.

Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at, 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @KMeerschaertJax.

Kevin Meerschaert has left WJCT for new pursuits. He was the producer of First Coast Connect until October of 2018.