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First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross

Nikki Fried; World Blood Donor Day; JASMYN; 'The Butterfly Bruises'

Nikki Fried, Democratic candidate for Florida Commissioner of Agriculture, speaks during a campaign rally, in Miami on Nov. 2, 2019.
LYNNE SLADKY
/
AP
Nikki Fried, Democratic candidate for Florida Commissioner of Agriculture, speaks during a campaign rally, in Miami on Nov. 2, 2019.

Agricultural Commissioner and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried joined us to discuss her campaign, during which she has been highly critical of Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Fried has previously clashed with DeSantis over his handling of the pandemic, and is now taking aim at certain bills that he has passed- including a controversial voting bill he signed into law. More recently, Commissioner Fried stated that it was the DeSantis administration who called for the Acosta Bridge to turn off their Pride lights, which the governor's office has denied.  

Fried, the only statewide elected Democrat recently had to amend her financial records from 2018. She  joined us to discuss all this in more detail.

World Blood Donor Day

It was recently announced that fully vaccinated individuals are able to donate blood, and World Blood Donor Day is June 14. So, what better way to celebrate World Blood Donor Day than to donate blood? LifeSouth Community Blood Bank is celebrating World Blood Donor Day by hosting blood drives all over the city.  

LifeSouth’s Karen Patterson joined us to talk about World Blood Donor Day. 

JASMYN

Local organization JASMYN recently announced the final stages for The Safe Place Campaign. JASMYN, which supports LGBTQ youth, has reached $1.3 million for the campaign, with the goal of raising $1.5 million to enhance and expand the organization's Riverside campus. The enhancements include a Zen garden, outdoor classroom, expanded health clinic, and entertainment space. 

JASMYN’s CEO Cindy Watson and board member Jake Wolfburg joined us to discuss the campaign. 

'The Butterfly Bruises'

After Amanda Gorman’s acclaimed poetry reading at January’s inauguration, poetry is having a moment. Poet Palmer Smith is winning praise for her new book of poetry and prose, The Butterfly Bruises. 

Smith joined us to tell us more about it.

 Mackenzie Guiry can be reached at newsteam@wjct.org