David Jolly, a former Republican representative from Florida, said he is considering moving out of his home state because of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ conservative policies.

jolly talked to TIME magazine Thursday about how Florida has become less desirable to some people because of DeSantis’ values ​​that continue to be reflected across the state.

“It’s in the air, it’s everywhere, it’s unbelievable,” said the Florida native, who disagrees with the governor’s policies. “It is between neighbors, it is when you go to restaurants, when you go to schools. You are on one side or the other, and people know it.”

Concerns have been raised by Floridians and others about the way DeSantis is leading the state. The governor approved strict measures that some considered contrary to diversity and inclusion. Last year, he cracked down on LGBTQ+ rights by signing into law the Parental Rights in Education Bill to ban teachers from discussing sexual orientation and gender identity in certain grade levels in the state.

DeSantis made former Florida Republican congressman want to leave his home state
Above, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis delivers remarks at the Heritage Foundation 50th Anniversary Leadership Summit at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center on April 21, 2023 in National Harbor, Maryland. David Jolly, a former Republican representative from Florida, said he is considering moving out of his home state because of DeSantis’s conservative policies.
Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Most recently, she signed bills banning gender-affirming care for minors in the state and restricting discussion of personal pronouns in schools, according to Associated Press. He too signed a bill on monday defunding the diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) departments at Florida public universities, saying that “DEI is best seen as a representation of discrimination, exclusion and indoctrination.”

news week contacted DeSantis’ media office by email for comment.

On Saturday, Jolly said during a interview on MSNBC that “the culture wars have two sides… doing all these things reflects a certain cruelty and darkness of one’s personal ethos. I think Ron DeSantis now it’s going to be seen as that.”

In another interview on Sunday with MSNBC host Alex Witt, Jolly explained the future she hopes for her children, ages 2 and 4. The former congressman said he wants them to grow up in a community that is inclusive, exposes them to diversity, and allows their family to “make decisions about what value to set to guide our children and ultimately give them the opportunity to make their own decisions.” “.

“What happened in the it was desantishe DeSantis administration It is not just the attack on the LGBTQ+ community, the migrant community, the African-American community, the denial of science and history, but it has brought back the implicit biases that we as a nation have been trying to get away from since the civil war. . rights movement,” Jolly said. “He has brought that back. You feel it. You don’t feel welcome, and it’s a real decision whether to raise the kids in the state of Florida.”

Is DeSantis driving people away from Florida?

The governor continues to have some appeal among members of his own party, despite criticism, and although he has not announced that he will run for president in 2024, some Republicans already support him over former President Donald Trump, who announced his candidacy. presidential election for 2024 last November.

Still, his conservative leadership in Florida has had a number of consequences. For example, Disney World Resort announced Thursday that it will not proceed with its plan to build a new campus in Orlando, Florida. in a letter to community leadersWalt Disney World Chairman Jeff Vahle said several dynamics have changed since the project was announced, including a change in company leadership and evolving economic and business conditions.

Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings called Disney’s decision “unfortunate” and said in a statement that this is a result of the lack of an “inclusive and collaborative work environment across the state of Florida.”

Florida has been at the center of an ongoing dispute between Disney and DeSantis that began last year after the Parental Rights in Education bill was signed into law, which Disney condemned and said at the time it plans to help to revoke it. In an effort to push the company back, DeSantis signed HB 3C into law, stripping Disney of its special government agency rights and tax liens in Florida.

On Saturday, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) issued a travel advisory for Florida due to the governor’s “aggressive attempts to erase black history and restrict diversity, equity, and inclusion programs in Florida schools.”

“Florida is openly hostile to African Americans, people of color, and LGBTQ+ people,” the NAACP said. “Before you travel to Florida, please understand that the State of Florida devalues ​​and marginalizes the contributions and challenges faced by African Americans and other communities of color.”

The NAACP notice comes after DeSantis blocked an Advanced Placement course in African American Studies from being offered in state high schools. His office at the time said in a letter to the College Board that “the content of this course is inexplicably contrary to Florida law and significantly lacking in educational value.”

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