Politics - News Analysis
Conventions Pulling Out of Florida Due to DeSantis’s Hateful Policies Costing Local Business Billions
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is catching plenty of heat from both Republicans and Democrats for his “anti-woke” fight with Disney, which is already threatening job creation in the state. Now, a new report reveals DeSantis has impacted the state’s tourism economy more than previously thought.
Visit Lauderdale, formerly known as the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau reports that conventions are fleeing Florida because of the “unfriendly political environment.” Some organizations even pointed out DeSantis specifically as their reason for canceling, Uproxx reports.
“‘We were so close on this one,'” reads the notes on the entry for the 2024 National Family and Community Engagement and Community Schools Conference, which needed more than 2,000 rooms and has bailed. “But, group decided to pull out of Florida due to concerns about what the Governor is doing in education/schools and that he will likely run in 2024. They do not want to lose attendees due to this.”
“Under the explanation for a nationally funded Mississippi-based organization that deals with health care workers, the reason simply reads: Governor DeSantis.”
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Other groups have pulled up stakes, citing the “assault on diversity and equity and inclusion,” by DeSantis as the reason for getting out of Dodge, and according to Visit Lauderdale CEO Stacy Ritter, the loss of conventions will be devastating for local economies.
“From an economic standpoint, this is very harmful. We saw in 2020 what happens when visitors stay away — people lose their jobs,” Ritter said in an interview with the Sun Sentinel. “By not coming here, the residents of our country, whose values align with these organizations, get hurt. Minority, Women, and LGBTQ+ businesses rely on visitors for their existence. Staying away hurts those very people.”
DeSantis’s heavy-footed approach is a terrible idea. His silly feud with Disney has already cost the state at least 2,000 jobs, and according to Slate, at least $1 billion. Floridians could have benefitted from this largesse, but instead, they have a Governor who is so blinded by his dislike of LGBTQ+ people and who is so opposed to women’s rights, a man who is singlehandedly destroying any chances for students to learn about Black history that conventions are seeking greener pastures that aren’t so repressive.
Think DeSantis is bad enough now? Just imagine what it will be like if he becomes president.