Corporate conventions flee Florida over 'openly hostile' political climate: report
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis' discriminatory policies and culture war tactics are starting to negatively impact the Sunshine State financially, Orlando Sentinel reports.
Two organizations recently decided to remove upcoming conventions from Florida, which Orlando Sentinel notes is "the latest economic blow to the region, coming in the wake of Walt Disney Co.'s decision to drop plans for a nearly $1 billion corporate campus in Orlando with 2,000 high-paying jobs."
This comes after the NAACP issued a travel advisory last month saying, "Florida is openly hostile toward African Americans, people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals."
California-based AnitaB.org, a technology group of female and nonbinary employees, boasts around 16,000 attendees for its annual Grace Hopper Celebration — usually held in Orlando — which is lauded the "world's largest gathering of women in computing."
The group emphasized, "[W]e will not return until this legislation is overturned, and the state becomes more welcoming to all," attributing its reason for relocation to "laws that banned most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, cracked down on illegal immigration and lifted permit requirements for carrying a concealed gun in public, along with measures that organizers said were intended 'to erase the identities and dignities of people from historically marginalized and excluded groups, including Black, Brown, LGBTQIA+, and Indigenous people.'"
The organization's Chief Executive Officer Brenda Darden Wilkerson said in a statement, "We at AnitaB.org are very proud of our diversity because that diversity is our strength. We owe it to our community — to those women and nonbinary technologists — to be vigilant."
Additionally, the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses will no longer hold "its 2027 surgical conference and expo" over "political concerns." Instead, the group of "about 7,000 nurses and exhibitors" will be hosted in Philadelphia, said the organization's spokeswoman, Linda Kanamine, adding, "The decision to move to Philadelphia was the right one for AORN for 2027."
Orlando Sentinel's full report is available at this link (subscription required).
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