Are Florida leaders ready for 5 million more residents? | Letters
Here’s what readers are saying in Sunday’s letters to the editor.
A photograph taken from the International Space Station shows Florida and the gulf coast. Five million more residents are expected in the state by 2030.
A photograph taken from the International Space Station shows Florida and the gulf coast. Five million more residents are expected in the state by 2030.
Published May 28

A leadership question

Millions of reasons to plot Florida’s future | Editorial, May 14

The editorial makes the case that Florida’s high population growth will continue for the foreseeable future, predominately by people moving here from other states. The editorial then documents environmental, economic and infrastructure challenges that will come along with that growth, including the need to relocate mass populations from the most vulnerable coastal areas, adapt buildings to more powerful storms, maintain water quality, tackle traffic congestion, create more housing and change zoning laws to allow for a higher density of homes in urban and suburban areas.

Of course all this will involve huge public expenditures over the next decade. How this will be funded is a serious question in a state with a budget that largely depends on a regressive sales tax.

The looming big question then is do we have the political and legislative leadership that is up to solving these monumental problems? The inability of our present state governmental leadership to adequately address the issues most important to its citizens, like unaffordable property insurance, does not give one confidence in Florida’s future.

Robert White, Valrico

Incomplete advice

Trying to time the stock market? Read this first. | May 21

Is market timing difficult? Yes, but perspective is everything. For someone with limited market knowledge, it’s virtually impossible. So is practicing medicine and law or being a structural engineer. This is why people get trained to do them. If you know nothing, and want to know nothing, pop your retirement into an S&P 500 index fund, and enjoy the roller coaster ride.

The analysis in this article is dangerous because it treats finance like it’s something to set and forget. The argument made here is only relevant if long-term investing is your goal. What if you’re 70 years old? You think market timing is automatically a bad thing? There is knowledge that can make the process of understanding markets easier and less risky. But learning takes time and effort, which too few of us are willing to spend. With all the crying in this nation between the haves and the have-nots, I promise you, the haves have superior knowledge of all their options than do the people absorbing only this blunt argument about market timing. Understanding finance is crucial to the quality of life of all Americans.

Jason Barrera, Oldsmar

National popular vote

I am outraged and saddened that our current system for electing a president does not give equal value to each vote. Five times — including in 2000 and 2016 — the winner of the Electoral College did not win the popular vote. It is time to change to a system where every vote is equal. Please let your representative know if you want to have an equal say in electing a president.

Ellen Levett, St. Petersburg

Bad investing

DeSantis hates ESG programs. Here’s why | May 21

Investing using environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria is sometimes called “conscientious” investing. Conscientious equals “woke,” so Gov. Ron DeSantis is having nothing of it, even though it’s a solid investment strategy that works, and even though it allows some of us to focus our investing to get a good return while minimizing societal harm from those investments. ESG-focused investing would not be so prevalent with professional investors and financial advisors if it didn’t provide returns that could compete with non-ESG strategies.

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DeSantis said “ESG is officially DOA in the state of Florida.” The thing is, ESG was here before he was and it was doing just fine, and it will continue to do so. But if he has his way, the state will no longer benefit from this proven investment strategy. To call this kind of leadership misguided is an understatement. It’s downright irresponsible. DeSantis is cutting off his financial nose to spite his no-”woke” face.

Michael Starks, Dade City

Don’t back down

DeSantis signs bills on pronouns, gender care, drag shows and more | May 17

An open note to my fellow LGBTQ+ elected officials and community leaders:

When we got involved in public life, we asked for the support of others by telling them we would lead. The time for our leadership is here. Our enemies attack our youth, parades, drag artists and more. Next they will come for our bars, patrons and licenses. They will come for our freedom. Do not back down.

I know business owners’ profits will be at risk. Reelections will be at stake. Some of us will even face arrest. Do not capitulate. The wolves are at our doorstep and things will only get more challenging.

I’ve been on the North Miami City Council for over 24 years. By now, I must be Florida’s longest-serving openly LGBTQ+ lawmaker. I’ve seen a lot in my time. Our community needs us to be unflinching leaders. Our youth are watching us. It is time we step up. Approve parades. Hold festivals. Welcome participants from all colors of the LGBTQ+ rainbow. The future of our queer community is at stake.

Scott Galvin, North Miami

How far will it go?

Dorm advisors fired for use of he/him she/her | May 22

College dorm advisors fired for using gender defining pronouns in official email. Does this mean “Mr.” and “Mrs.” no longer have legitimate use as well?

Dave Hennig, St. Petersburg