Informed Personalities from Across the State, Across the Spectrum
Lloyd Brown was in the newspaper business nearly 50 years, beginning as a copy boy and retiring as editorial page editor of the Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville.
"Florida residents need to know the whole story if they are to make intelligent decisions when they choose elected officials and vote on public policy. Yet Florida newspapers don’t adequately reflect the level of conservative opinion in this state. If I can fill a niche in that regard by contributing to Florida Voices, it will be worth the effort."
The President & CEO of Florida TaxWatch for the last 30 years, Dominic Calabro has had a close-up view of Florida's ever-changing fiscal and economic policies.
Florida has grown from a modest sized state to a highly diversified mega trend state, which now plays a leading role in both national and international economies. I want to help taxpayers understand these complex issues, and offer my view on what Floridians can do to make our communities better places to live and work.
Angel Castillo Jr
Angel Castillo, Jr., a Cuban-American lawyer, is a former newspaper reporter and editor for the New York Times, The Miami Herald, and other publications, who practices employment law in Miami.
“I am a bilingual and bicultural native of Cuba who is happy to live and vote in Miami-Dade County, where 70 percent of the 2.5-million population speak a language other than English at home, 65 percent are of Hispanic origin, and nearly 1.2-million were born in another country. Sometimes the rich human diversity of this environment produces a perspective on matters of concern to Floridians that is slightly different from that of -- and not always well understood by -- those living in other counties, and which I hope to reflect in my columns.”
Formerly a reporter with the St. Petersburg Times and Orlando Sentinel, Susan Clary left journalism for the court system, law firms, nonprofits and progressive political campaigns. A second-generation Cuban-American, Susan is a freelance writer and runs a nonprofit animal rescue.
"I fill my life with diversity in friendships and acquaintances of varying political, religious and cultural backgrounds. Their insights make me a better person and a better writer. I look to connect to the readers of Florida Voices to translate those differences and commonalities into lively discussion."
Bill Cotterell, retired senior writer for the Tallahassee Democrat, has covered Florida government and politics since 1969.
Cotterell is mainly interested in political campaigns, but also focuses on state government operations.
Linda Grist Cunningham is editor of KeyWestWatch, a news and information company in Key West. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Key West is my home. I can't stop climate change and sea level rise. I can't create jobs and tourist attractions that sustain the economy while protecting the environment. But, from newcomer's point of view, I can give voice to those who can.
Paula Dockery is a popular Republican state senator from Lakeland known for speaking truth to power, standing up for taxpayers and fighting against wasteful spending, corporate subsidies and sweetheart deals. She was the 2010 recipient of Florida's Friend of the First Amendment Award.
"Much has changed in Tallahassee since I was first elected to the Legislature 15 years ago, so when asked to chronicle my final year in the Florida Senate, I jumped at the chance, believing that Floridians should learn how government really works."
He is a retired associate editor of the newspaper formerly known as the St. Petersburg Times.
Martin Dyckman writes about state and national issues from a progressive perspective.
Dan Gelber was a State Senator and former House Democratic Leader from Miami.
For a decade in the legislature, I found myself as the opposition leader to Bush, Rubio and even Crist (at times). While I believe it important to a democracy that the minority party challenge the majority to reveal their excesses, I believe it equally important that they bring not just criticism, but also better alternatives.
Rosemary Goudreau, editorial page editor of South Florida's Sun Sentinel, is co-founder of Florida Voices, an online opinion page and syndication service.
"You know the news, now let's talk." That's our slogan here at Florida Voices. To help stir the pot, we publish and syndicate a hall-of-fame stable of columnists. Since I'm the editor, you'll hear from me only on occasion. Our goal is to engage Floridians in the challenges we face, hold the powerful accountable and help find common ground. Let us hear from you!
Henry Kelley, a Fort Walton Beach business owner, is an active leader of the Florida tea party movement.
"I hope readers get a different view of what is broadly labeled the "tea party" movement. Most pundits who claim to speak for us have never organized a tea party meeting or attended a city or county commission meeting to affect real change in government. It's time we do a better job of articulating our arguments."
William Mattox is a columnist with Florida Voices and a resident fellow at the James Madison Institute in Tallahassee.
William Mattox hates politics -- but loves ideas. So, his columns rarely deal with politics, but often address public policy problems. In addition, Mattox enjoys writing about larger cultural questions that arise in sports, arts and leisure, religion, and the interplay of the sexes.
Cary McMullen is a journalist and editor who lives in Lakeland.
"By training and inclination, I am drawn to questions of faith, and many of my columns will address religious beliefs, especially Christian beliefs, and how they are expressed in the public sphere. I’m a follower of politics, with sympathies toward the center and skepticism toward all sides. I’m keenly interested in education and an amateur critic of the fine arts. My goal is for readers to apply the label 'thought-provoking' to whatever I write."
Mary Jo Melone
Mary Jo Melone, former columnist with the St. Petersburg Times, is a writer in Tampa.
"Somebody once said that journalism is the first rough draft of history; if there was ever a form of the trade that suited that definition, it’s the blog—meant to be insightful, provocative, brief, and right on the tail of breaking stories. That’s the way I see it, and that’s what I intend to do, through a liberal lens. I worry about the way Florida is headed, the country too. We suddenly live in a mean-spirited, you’re-on-your-own world. Whenever I see it, I’ll point it and wonder aloud why this has happened to us. I’ll suggest answers when I can. I’ll write about events big and small. I’ll wait to hear from you, and we’ll have a conversation."
Formerly a columnist, reporter and editor for the Pensacola News Journal, Mark O’Brien is a writer in Pensacola, his home since 1978. He also is the author of "Pensacola On My Mind" and "Sand In My Shoes."
"Mark O'Brien has an O'pinion on almost everything."
Formerly managing editor of The Palm Beach Post and the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Tom O'Hara is a now a part-time editor for Florida Voices and part-time clerk at Snowshoe Ski Resort.
In July Tom returned to the United States after working in the United Arab Emirates for two years. He worked at a government-owned English-language newspaper there and learned a great deal the Arab and Muslim worlds. He now lives in West Virginia and works part-time editing for Florida Voices and selling lift tickets at Snowshoe Ski Resort, where he is honing his snowboarding skills.
The publisher/editor of Pensacola's Independent News, Rick Outzen is a political agnostic who challenges the status quo in the heart of the Bible Belt and still believes that words matter.
“I want to connect the dots, in a unique way that makes readers think."
Jesse Phillips is a conservative activist in Orlando and grassroots leader of Restore Justice, which educates voters about the records of judicial candidates. He can be reached at email@example.com.
I believe in the power of the individual, that we can impact government and hold it accountable through a clear, passionate and thoughtful articulation of conservative principals.
After 37 years with The St. Augustine Record and The Florida Times-Union, Margo Pope retired in August after five years as The Record's editorial page editor. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope to call readers to action from time to time on topics including Florida's Sunshine Law, citizen access to government, the Legislature, education, tourism, taxes, the controversy over where Juan Ponce de Leon really landed in Florida, and St. Augustine as it nears 450 years as the nation's oldest permanently occupied European settlement in today's United States.
Peter Schorsch is a blogger and political consultant based in St. Petersburg.
"I want readers to see what I see by going where I go: into the private fundraisers, the strategy meetings and behind other closed doors. Why? Because governing and politics matters more than it has in decades and it's critical that each of us have a clearer, fuller picture of what is really going on in the public arena."
Andrew J. Skerritt
Former St. Petersburg Times columnist Andrew J. Skerritt is an assistant professor of journalism at Florida A&M University and the author of “Ashamed to Die: Silence, Denial and the AIDS Epidemic in the South."
"As a columnist my role has always been to tell the stories of everyday people struggling against extraordinary odds to secure their place in our impressive democracy. I’ll be writing about poverty, politics, health, immigration, family, fatherhood and turning fifty."
Florence Snyder is a Tallahassee-based corporate lawyer and writer who has spent most of her career in and around newspapers. She also speaks and consults on ethics and management.
"Everybody talks about transparency and accountability, and for too many of our leaders, it's nothing but talk. I've seen everything that works in Florida and everything that doesn't, and I'm looking forward to sharing my views and comparing notes with Florida Voices' readers."
Rhonda Swan is an editorial writer for The Palm Beach Post and author of Dancing to the Rhythm of My Soul: A Sister’s Guide for Transforming Madness into Gladness. She can be reached at email@example.com
"I am a New England native happy to be living in sunny South Florida where life and politics are never boring. As the daughter of community activists and the niece of state lawmakers, I learned early the impact of politics on our daily lives and the importance of being engaged. As a columnist, my role is to write truth to power, challenge the status quo and reflect on the human condition."
Formerly a columnist and editorial writer at the Daytona Beach News-Journal and The Ledger in Lakeland, Pierre Tristam is the editor and publisher of FlaglerLive.com, a non-profit news service based in Palm Coast, Fla.
"As an immigrant I’m always abroad in my own home -- happily so: American politics and culture in their Florida dialects are eternal attractions rich in paradox. My columns are an attempt to decipher this continuing experiment in American nation-building."
Luis Viera is a Tampa attorney who has long been active in civic and political causes.
I have always believed that every good American, regardless of their political affiliation, should be active in making their country a better place to live. There is no greater expression of patriotism than taking time out of one’s busy life to improve your community.