Welcoming Spring! … and thinking about Climate Change

Welcome Spring, COVID-19 vaccinations, and the prospects of a return to normalcy! Remember to Spring Forward on Sunday, March 14!

Climate change and Energy management came to the forefront as we witnessed the effects of short-term thinking and ineffective planning in Texas.

‘Climate change is real’: Biden administration says Texas power crisis shows U.S. unprepared for extreme weather

Billionaire philanthropist and climate change activist Bill Gates has said “If humanity can successfully mitigate climate change, it’ll be the most amazing thing mankind has ever done.”

Bill Gates: This is what you — yes, you — can do to help prevent a climate change disaster

The science and economics are difficult enough and the politics make it even harder. Just as with COVID-19, Donald Trump and Republican leaders have denied science and failed to step up in the face of the climate crisis.

6 Ways Trump’s Denial of Science Has Delayed the Response to COVID-19 (and Climate Change)

Thankfully, President Biden has made addressing climate change one of his administration’s immediate priorities along with COVID-19, Racial Equality, Health Care, Immigration, the Economy, and Restoring America’s Global Standing.

The Biden-Harris Administration Immediate Priorities

FACT SHEET: President Biden Takes Executive Actions to Tackle the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, Create Jobs, and Restore Scientific Integrity Across Federal Government

President Biden has set a goal of making the U.S. carbon neutral by 2050, which will require steeper emissions cuts than the U.S. has ever achieved. To reach it, coal power would have to wane into a footnote, replaced by renewables like solar and wind.

How Fast Will Biden Need to Move on Climate? Really, Really Fast

What can you do to help with climate change?

  1. Vote.

Sure, eating less meat or driving a hybrid will reduce your carbon footprint. But as an individual, the single biggest impact you can make is by voting in officials at all levels of government who take climate change seriously and offer science-based solutions.

  • Bug those you voted for to take action.

Still have an appetite for politics left after you made it out to the polls on election day? Then get busy bugging elected officials to take climate change seriously.

  • Vote with your dollars, too. 

Take the climate into consideration when making purchasing decisions. Let companies know that there is real demand for responsible products, and that consumers are willing to pay a bit of a premium for them.

The 3 Biggest Things Individuals Can Do to Fight Climate Change, According to Bill Gates

Brian Fillette
President, Solivita Democratic Club

Visit our website https://solivitademocrats.org/

Florida Republicans push limits on vote by mail

By Mary Ellen Klas, Tampa Bay Times

Proposed new law, SB 90 limits vote-by-mail applications to one election cycle and requires everyone who signed up for mail ballots in 2020 to reapply to get them in 2022.

Sen. Randolph Bracy, an Orlando Democrat, asked Baxley what evidence he had for a need for reform. When Baxley didn’t provide any, Bracy suggested the “elephant in the room” appeared to be that Republicans wanted to make the change to diminish Democratic participation.

‘Looks partisan’

“I hate to go here, but it looks partisan,” Bracy said, adding that as the state enters into an election cycle with another governor’s race, after the previous one was decided by 34,000 votes, the goal appears to be to suppress Democratic votes.

“I don’t get why now, when it’s been working,’’ Bracy said. “I mean it looks like there’s an effort to try to get a strategic advantage — knowing that Democrats overwhelmingly vote by mail, the motivation of the measure is partisan.”

Read the complete story here:

Taylor Morrison gears up for Solivita Grand development with over 6,000 homes



JAN 20, 2021 AT 4:15 PM

Taylor Morrison is revising the master plan for the proposed 2,717-acre Solivita Grand Planned Development just west of the Poinciana Parkway toll road. (CBRE)

After laying dormant since it was approved 15 years ago, one of the last major components of the Poinciana Planned Development is moving closer to construction.

Taylor Morrison Homes is seeking to amend the PD master plan for Solivita Grand, the mixed-use community that stretches across 2,717 acres from Cypress Parkway north along the Poinciana Parkway.

The previous plan, originally approved in 2006, split the project down the middle into a two villages. Taylor Morrison will unite the project into a single master-planned community with entitlements for 4,448 single family homes (including townhomes) and 1,653 multifamily units, for a total of 6,101 dwelling units. It represents a decrease of 2,150 dwelling units from the vested rights of the Poinciana PD.

Taylor Morrison’s revised master plan for Solivta Grand entitles the property for 4,448 single family homes (yellow) and designates specific areas for multifamily development, schools, and commercial areas.

The revised PD also entitles the property for 210,000 square feet of commercial uses — a reduction of 812,751 square feet of the vested rights.

Officials with Taylor Morrison met Wednesday with Osceola County’s Development Review Committee, which approved the application to move forward to the county’s Planning Commission. The Arizona-based homebuilder engaged planning firm VHB and Waldrop Engineering.

It follows a similar request in Polk County earlier this month for a comprehensive plan amendment to change the future land use and zoning on 91 acres of Solivita Grand directly north of the Solivita retirement community in Polk. Taylor Morrison plans to build 632 townhomes and a gas station with convenience store there on what becomes Pod A.

The Osceola PD divides the community into four pods, B-E, with a 4-lane divided spine road running parallel to the Poinciana Parkway between Cypress Parkway and Marigold Avenue. Pod B starts at the county line and comprises 796 acres, including an east-west connection at Koa Street, where a community park and the bulk of the neighborhood commercial (185,000 square feet) would be built.

Pod B would be approved for two multifamily communities along the spine road totaling 669 units, a K-8 school and 1,357 single family homes. The submitted plans indicate that most of the single family homes would be in gated communities.

Taylor Morrison, through a spokeswoman, declined to speak with GrowthSpotter about the project. The builder noted in some documents that portions of Solivita Grand would be age-restricted, continuing the development pattern of Solivita, which is in its final development phase.

Taylor Morrison planning over 800 townhomes in Solivita and St. Cloud

JAN 14, 2021 AT 5:03 PM

Pod C is the largest section, covering 1,134 acres. It would be entitled for 470 apartment units and 2,039 single family homes and townhomes. Pod D is the only section of Solivita Grand east of the Poinciana Parkway. It comprises 133 acres and would be approved for 514 apartments, 246 single family homes or townhomes and 25,000 square feet of neighborhood commercial.

The northernmost Pod E, which covers 654 acres, is separated from the rest of the community by wetlands. It be approved for 806 single family homes and connected to the rest of the development by a local road.

Solivita Grand is one of several projects Taylor Morrison absorbed when it acquired AV Homes in 2018. A year later, the homebuilder listed the former AV Homes properties in Poinciana and Kissimmee for sale. At the time, Orlando Division President Brian Brunhofer told GrowthSpotter the company wasn’t looking to divest of the entire portfolio.

“We are not divesting our remaining positions in Solivita, or the various other active communities we have in the Poinciana area, but rather running a parallel track to develop and build both of these parcels should we not find buyers we feel are an appropriate fit for these sites,” he said.

The major PD amendment makes a number of technical changes to the development plan, such as reducing the minimum lot size for single family homes to 40 feet and increasing the permitted height for apartment buildings from three to four stories. It also doubles the side-yard and front-yard setbacks to 10 feet and 20 feet, respectively, and reduces minimum rear yard setback to 10 feet.

The text of the amendment states that Taylor Morrison will develop the project over multiple phases and subphases utilizing the county’s subdivision process, in compliance with the standards in the land development code. It is anticipated that the developer will sell various phases of the property to third party builders during the life of the project.

Taylor Morrison is also prepping for construction later this year for Phase 3 of Stepping Stone, one of the former AV Homes assets in the at Solivita Marketplace PD in Poinciana, after selling out of Phase 2 in 2020. The approved plans call for 252 lots, with 90 lots in Phase 3A.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at lkinsler@GrowthSpotter.com or (407) 420-6261, or tweet me at @byLauraKinsler. Follow GrowthSpotter on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

SDC February Beacon Newsletter

Pres. Biden’s First 100 Accomplishments

President Joe Biden hit the ground running his first week in the White House, rolling out the core pillars of his policy agenda — from ending the coronavirus pandemic to overturning his predecessor’s legacy — while beginning to swear in his Cabinet, the most diverse in American history.

The new administration immediately unveiled a suite of 17 executive orders on Mr Biden’s first night in the Oval Office, then proceeded to send major proposals on immigration reform and coronavirus relief to Congress. By the end of his first week, the president signed over 30 memorandums and actions. 

Read more: Joe Biden’s first 48 hours as president

The Independent has tracked the new president’s first days in office, highlighting his significant policy reversals, announcements and new actions taken by the administration. The following list will be updated throughout his first 100 days in office.

Here are some of the most notable actions taken by the new White House: 

  1. Rejoined the World Health Organization and announced Dr Anthony Fauci would serve as the head of the US delegation
  2. Ended the previous administration’s travel restrictions on several Muslim majority countries
  3. Swore in nearly 1,000 new administration appointees via Zoom
  4. Cancelled permits for the Keystone XL oil pipeline
  5. Created a new presidential appointee role, the Covid-19 Response Coordinator to assist with national vaccine distribution efforts
  6. Launched the “100 Days Mask Challenge”, including an executive order mandating mask wearing on federal grounds and encouraging Americans to wear masks for 100 days
  7. Extended the nationwide eviction and foreclosure moratorium until at least the end of March
  8. Strengthened the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program via executive order
  9. Avril Haines confirmed as the first woman to lead USIC as the new director of national intelligence
  10. Rescinded the 1776 Commission, created under the Trump administration to help reshape how public schools teach the history of slavery
  11. Rejoined the Paris Climate Accord via executive order
  12. Reversed components of immigration enforcement expansion under previous administration via executive order
  13. Paused student loans payments and the accruing of interest on all federal student loans until at least the end of September
  14. Ordered a regulatory review at the Office of Management and Budget to undo the previous administration’s regulatory approval process
  15. Halted the construction of new border security installations along the US-Mexico border
  16. Announced new executive orders for school and business reopening plans
  17. Ordered the inclusion of non-US citizens in the Census
  18. Implemented new ethics pledges for executive branch employees
  19. Signed executive order preventing workplace discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation
  20. Extended work authorizations and deportation deferrals for select immigrants until at least June 2022
  21. Attended the Virtual Presidential Inaugural Prayer Service alongside the first lady, vice president and second gentleman
  22. Held the first White House press briefing led by the press secretary, Jen Psaki
  23. Announced new executive orders to expand Covid-19 testing
  24. Renovated the Oval Office, replacing interior decorations and adding a bust of Latino civil rights leader Cesar Chavez, as well as a portrait of Benjamin Franklin
  25. Implemented White House Covid-19 precautions including mask wearing, frequent testing and new social distancing measures.
  26. Transportation Secretary nominee Pete Buttigieg began nomination hearings with the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation committee
  27. Delivered additional calls for national unity with speeches by president and vice president at inauguration night concert
  28. Created plans to host congressional leaders this week from both parties at the White House
  29. Scheduled themed days for the next week to focus on specific policy priorities, including “economic relief”, “Buy America”, “Equity”, “Climate”, “Health Care”, “Immigration” and “Restoring America’s Place in the World”.
  30. Prepared plans to overturn key Trump administration abortion policy restricting funding for overseas abortion providers
  31. Redesigned the White House website to be more inclusive, with language translations and additional accessibility options
  32. Ended the Trump administration’s Migrant Protection Protocols Policy, otherwise known as the Remain in Mexico policy
  33. Sent a comprehensive immigration bill to Congress to further undo the previous administration’s legacy
  34. Placed a moratorium on oil and gas leasing in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
  35. Added gender-neutral pronoun options to the online White House contact form
  36. Fired Trump-appointed labor board general Peter Robb
  37. Established interagency group on societal impact of carbon pollution
  38. Asked Environmental Protection Agency to immediately reconsider methane regulations
  39. Announced intention to revoke transgender military ban
  40. Designated Domestic Policy Council Susan Rice to spearhead “robust, interagency” effort towards “rooting out systemic racism” in federal agencies.
  41. Proposed new Covid-19 national strategy
  42. Encouraged Congress to grant special waiver for defense secretary nominee Lloyd J Austin III
  43. Named acting Cabinet members until nominees slate can ben confirmed
  44. Withdrew previous administration’s order limiting diversity trainings
  45. Ordered federal agencies to develop plans to address “barriers to equal opportunity” in the next 200 days
  46. Suspended all gas development projects at national wildlife monuments
  47. Restructured immigration arrest priorities for ICE
  48. Re-examine federal funding to ensure equitable distribution in communities of color and low income areas
  49. Directed agencies to “consider revising vehicle fuel economic and emissions standards”
  50. Froze all last-minute regulatory actions taken by the previous administration
  51. Stopped referring to immigrants as “aliens” in paperwork and started using the word “non-citizens” instead
  52. New National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan held introductory calls with France, Germany, the UK and Japan stressing the administration’s “intention to strengthen the transatlantic alliance”
  53. Created pathway to $15 national minimum wage via executive order
  54. Promoted expansion of federal workers’ rights vira executive order
  55. Sought to reduce hunger and increase food expansion for needy Americans via executive order
  56. Plans reported to resume processing thousands of stalled visas for select Afghans
  57. Ordered Treasury Department to identify Americans still awaiting stimulus payments
  58. Rescinded Schedule F for federal workers
  59. Included language in executive order encouraging schools to allow transgender athletes in girls’ sports
  60. Signed 10 additional executive orders on Thursday targeting Covid-19 relief, vaccine rollout and further reopening plans
  61. Established the Covid-19 Pandemic Testing Board to focus on expansion of test kits and access
  62. Issued memo directing FEMA to increase federal reimbursement for National Guard costs to states and tribes
  63. Ordered Department of Education and Health and Human Services to create guidance for safe reopening of campuses
  64. Ordered Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to provide guidance for employees on how to reduce risk of exposure to Covid-19
  65. Issued executive order requiring face masks in airports and other certain modes of transportation
  66. Signed directive which “restores US leadership and seeks to support the international health and humanitarian response to the Covid-19 pandemic”
  67. Senate Finance Committee meets to confirm Janet Yellen, who would be the first female Treasury secretary in American history
  68. Announced plans to build a “national resource” making Covid-19 information “easier and more transparent” for Americans during the vaccine rollout
  69. Established preclinical program for expansion of therapeutics in pandemic threats
  70. Invoked Defense Production Act to help increase vaccine supply by 20 per cent nationwide
  71. Issued executive order laying groundwork to require federal workers offer emergency paid leave
  72. Announced plans to roll back three previous order from the Trump administration targeting collective bargaining protections
  73. Senate confirmed Biden’s defense secretary, General Lloyd Austin, after granting waiver, making him the nation’s first black defense secretary
  74. Designated Jessica Rosenworcel to serve as acting FCC chairperson
  75. Began receiving daily intelligence briefings, as well as joint briefings with the vice president on economic recovery efforts
  76. Established a “network of benefit delivery teams” to ensure aid distribution via executive order
  77. Ordered Treasury Department to improve delivery of direct stimulus payments via executive order
  78. Issued executive order laying groundwork to require federal workers offer emergency paid leave
  79. Announced plans to roll back three previous order from the Trump administration targeting collective bargaining protections
  80. Senate confirmed Biden’s Defense Secretary, General Lloyd Austin, after granting waiver, making him the nation’s first Black Defense Secretary
  81. Secretary of State Antony Blinken sworn in at the State Department
  82. Signed proclamation reinstating coronavirus travel restrictions affecting non-US citizens traveling from Brazil and much of Europe
  83. Began receiving daily intelligence briefings, as well as joint briefings with the vice president on economic recovery efforts
  84. Called for a four year increase in government purchases of US services and products totalling $400 billion
  85. Announced plans to direct ACA insurance marketplaces to reopen
  86. Directed Housing Department to “examine effects of previous administration’s regulatory actions”
  87. Overturned Trump’s ban on transgender troops from serving in the US military 
  88. Added South Africa to list of countries with travel restrictions due to fast-spreading COVID-19 variant
  89. Encouraged additional federal spending on US companies via a “Buy American” executive order
  90. Signed executive order denouncing xenophobia and anti-Asian discrimination
  91. Replaced former White House Physician Sean Conley with Biden’s longtime physician, Dr Kevin O’Connor
  92. Janet Yellen confirmed as Treasury Secretary, first woman to hold the job
  93. Ordered Department of Justice not to renew contracts with private prisons
  94. Ordered FEMA to establish vaccination centers supported by federal funding
  95. Enhanced national analysis of coronavirus data via executive order, expanding the collection, production and sharing of scientific materials across agencies. 
  96. Rescinded ‘zero tolerance’ border policy memo resulting in family separations
  97. Announced an increase in vaccine distribution by 15 percent to states for first week of February
  98. Ordered 200 million additional coronavirus vaccinations in bid to vaccinate 300 million Americans by end of summer
  99. Signed executive order reaffirming nation’s commitment to tribal sovereignty
  100. Began swearing in the most diverse Cabinet in American history, with four newly-confirmed members including Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, the first woman to hold the job, Lloyd Austin, the nation’s first Black Defense Secretary

Current Events

Insurrection at the Capitol & Trump Impeachment
NYTimes: Guide to the Second Impeachment

Democrats Win Georgia Senate Runoff
– Warnock & Ossoff Win!
– Senate: 50 DEM – 50 GOP, Harris tie-breaker, DEMS in charge!
WSJ: What Happens When the Senate Is Split 50-50?

Biden – Harris Agenda
– Goal of 100 million COVID-19 vaccinations in first 100 days

SDC Social Media

We Recommend:
1. Join the Solivita Democratic Club private group on Nextdoor
Here’s a link to join the group https://nextdoor.com/g/qikq82agv/

2. Follow the Solivita Democratic Club Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/solivitademocraticclub

3. Visit our website every week https://solivitademocrats.org

Follow the National & State Politics topic on Nextdoor

(fair warning – Trumpers abound!)

Nextdoor Community Guidelines

FAQ – Elections and politics on Nextdoor

SDC January 2021 Beacon Newsletter

POLK DEC Elects New Officers for 2021-2022

Congratulations to the newly elected officers of the Polk County Democratic Executive Committee!
Chair ~ Catherine Price
Democratic State Committeewoman ~ Karen Welzel
Democratic State Committeeman ~ Miles Carr
First Vice Chair ~ Veysel Dokur
Second Vice Chair ~ Jiwa Farrell
Secretary ~ Polly Burkhart
Treasurer ~ Cindy Sellers Ransbottom
Sergeant-at-Arms ~ Norman Wilderson

SDC December Beacon Newsletter