Audrey Gibson

Ray Troncoso / WJCT News

Jacksonville City Councilman Reggie Gaffney has announced his 2022 candidacy for Florida State Senate.  

Outside of City Hall, large building with steps leading to the entrance, a couple of palm trees out in the front
Sky Lebron / WJCT News

Ahead of the 2021 Florida Legislative Session, local state representatives and senators held their annual Duval Legislative Delegation Meeting to hear the concerns of organizations and community stakeholders.

State Senator Audrey Gibson with her hand raised, a pen is in her hand, at the Florida Capitol.
Via News Service of Florida

State senators Audrey Gibson, D-Jacksonville, and Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach, are split on their reaction to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ proposal this week to create harsher penalties for people who participate in “disorderly assemblies” and cities that “slash” law enforcement budgets.

People farming in a large Florida field
Alan Diaz / Associated Press

Florida Democratic political leaders held a virtual discussion on improvements they expect presidential candidate Joe Biden to work on for rural Florida if he were to win the presidency in November. 

Senate Minority Leader Audrey Gibson (D-Jacksonville)
News Service of Florida

Florida Senate Minority Leader Audrey Gibson, D-Jacksonville, called Tuesday’s removal of a Confederate statue in Downtown Jacksonville "symbolic."

PBS NEWSHOUR

 


This week Gov. Ron DeSantis announced his Phase One reopening plan, which will take effect across most of the state (with tighter restrictions remaining in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, where over half the confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths are located) on Monday, May 4.

UF Health

A $10 million funding request by UF Health Jacksonville to help renovate its trauma center and emergency room is getting support from state lawmakers.

KEVIN MEERSCHAERT / WJCT NEWS

Florida Senate Democrats last week selected Jacksonville’s Audrey Gibson as their leader for the next two legislative sessions. The incoming Democratic leader said she hopes to be a bridge builder.

Florida’s new house speaker and senate president are Republicans, as are the majority of state lawmakers and the governor-elect.

New Minority Leader Gibson said there is room for bipartisanship in the Senate.

Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

Monday on First Coast Connect guest host Charles Griggs spoke with State Senator Audrey Gibson about her bill to provide $10 million in support for the former employees impacted by the contamination at the Fairfax Street Wood Treaters facility. Closed in 2010, the bill claims workers were subjected to high levels of chromated copper arsenate without the benefit of training or protective gear (01:22).     

Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

The Jacksonville Transportation Authority will subsidize taxi cab rides for a group of senior citizens who live behind a recently closed Winn-Dixie on Beach Boulevard.


Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

The closing of a Winn-Dixie has State Senator Audrey Gibson, D-Jacksonville, scrambling to help find transportation for senior citizens who rely on the grocery store.  

Madison Manor Senior Living, on Hogan Road near Beach Boulevard, is about a block from Winn-Dixie and 70 percent of the 255 residents don’t have vehicles. Now that the store is closing, they’ll have to figure out where to get their groceries.


Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Florida Governor Rick Scott was in Jacksonville Tuesday to celebrate the grand opening of a new aluminum bottle plant on the Westside.


Friday on our weekly “First Coast Connect” Media Roundtable, we featured Florida Times-Union reporter Sebastian Kitchen, Folio Weekly editor Claire Goforth and WJCT reporter Ryan Benk. We also spoke with Dylan Read, lifestyle director of Shearwater, about Earth Day events Saturday in St. Johns County. HandsOn Jacksonville CEO LeAnn Daddario told us about next Sunday’s Celebrate GOOD Festival and artist Lana Shuttleworth talked about her exhibit being unveiled Friday night at the Space Gallery. 


Mark Foley / The Florida House

A Miami state Senator apologized Wednesday for using racist and sexist language to describe a number of his colleagues, including Sen. Audrey Gibson, D-Jacksonville.


CREDIT PETRONAS / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Duval County voters hoping to get an advance look at their ballots might be going into the booth blind this week after the Elections Supervisor’s Office failed to mail out sample ballots on time.

Supervisor Mike Hogan told our partners News4Jax Monday the ballots were delayed because of the hurricane.

But Sen. Audrey Gibson, D-Jacksonville, said that the delay had “nothing to do with the hurricane” and that Hogan “should own up to the mistake.”


Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Jacksonville business leaders aired concerns at a town hall meeting with lawmakers Wednesday about a proposed workers' compensation insurance hike.

Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

 

The City of Jacksonville came out wearing blue Tuesday, as hundreds of people celebrated Ribault High School’s national basketball win with a parade and party downtown.

  On this edition of First Coast Connect On The Go!, we're live from the Jessie Ball duPont Center in downtown Jacksonville.

Kids-centered legislation

Several members of the Duval Delegation play major roles during this year's legislative session in new measures focused on the state's children, affecting everything from public education to juvenile justice.

We speak with Sen. Audrey Gibson (D-Jacksonville), Rep. Charles McBurney (R-Jacksonville), and Rep. Mia Jones (D-Jacksonville) about their efforts.

obama at lectern
Jessica Palombo / WJCT News

President Barack Obama was in Jacksonville Friday afternoon visiting a lithium-ion battery factory on the city’s Westside. Obama says the Saft plant is the result of stimulus dollars he sat aside for clean energy during his first year in office.


Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

 

Sen. Audrey Gibson (D-Jacksonville) wants to educate her constituents about clean energy.

Gibson hosted faith and community leaders at her local office Wednesday. They talked about how to get people to understand how energy efficiency benefits them.

 


apartment building
Milestone Management via Flickr

For home renters without insurance, a fire or burst pipe can ruin everything they own. One Jacksonville lawmaker wants to require landlords to spell that out clearly in writing.

Sen. Audrey Gibson (D-Jacksonville) wants to make it mandatory for leases to say renters’ insurance is required to protect your belongings—and for renters to check a box saying they understand.

Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry told state lawmakers Tuesday afternoon the city needs more money for public safety, infrastructure, and health care, among other things.

Curry invited the Duval Legislative Delegation, a group of Northeast Florida state lawmakers, to lunch at City Hall. Curry and the delegates dined and talked Jacksonville priorities without a formal agenda.

Jacksonville Democratic Senator Audrey Gibson says she’s glad to see the meetings starting early ahead of next year’s legislative session.

Florida Senate

A new Florida law is aimed at keeping young people out of jail.

Jacksonville Democratic State Senator Audrey Gibson sponsored the Juvenile Justice legislation.

She says it allows police to issue more civil citations for juvenile offenders instead of locking them up. Gibson also says police will have more latitude dealing with minors who’ve committed nonviolent misdemeanors.

“The bill says that an officer can simply call a parent if they think that would be beneficial to that young person,” she said.  

North Florida lawmakers are holding a community meeting on juvenile justice in Jacksonville.

State Senator Audrey Gibson and  Representatives Mia Jones and Reggie Fullwood convened the town hall, which is billed as an event to "Save Our Youth: Civil Citations In And Out of School." 

The lawmakers are advocating for the increased use of civil citations for first-time, nonviolent juvenile offenders.  

Studies show this approach to juvenile justice can reduce the flow of students to the so-called "school-to-prison pipeline."

Cyd Hoskinson / WJCT

Efforts to change Florida’s stand-your-ground law appear to be gaining momentum.

Today, State Senator Audrey Gibson (D-Jacksonville) told a crowd gathered outside the Duval County Courthouse that bills to amend the law will be reintroduced in the state legislature this year, and she called on House and Senate leadership to give them a hearing.

“The statute as it stands today is far from offering anyone any measure of safety," said Gibson. "We believe that unless the bills are heard, no one is truly safe in the state of Florida and everyone in this state is in danger.”