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Mike Miller Florida House 47

Mike Miller and Teresa Jacobs talk job growth for next session

District 47 State Representative Mike Miller (R-Winter Park) recently met with Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs to talk about possible legislation that could continue to spur job growth in Orange County for the next legislative session.

“I told her ‘I’m ready to go to the mat’ for jobs in Orange County” Miller told OPO on Thursday “I want to be the guy in Tallahassee who works on bringing companies here and expanding the different kinds of jobs we’re bringing to the area.”

Committee weeks for the next session began in September, Miller said his conversation with the Mayor also included diversifying the kind of positions being created in the region. This falls in sync with Orlando and Orange County’s latest economic awareness campaign “Orlando, you don’t know the half of it” which points to other areas besides tourism such as simulation, medicine, and communications as other important parts of the region’s identity.

The county has been missing an ambassador for economic development in the house. Lawmakers like Scott Plakon in Seminole County have been able to work in the capitol to promote policies that has led to multiple companies relocating or expanding to “Orlando North” in recent months. The Mayor has been at odds with many state lawmakers in recent years due to local appointment controversies. Her last go-to lawmaker now works two seats down from her. District 2 Commissioner Bryan Nelson termed out in the house and now represents his Apopka area on the Commission. Miller wants to change that.

While the possible legislation still needs to be drafted, Miller wants constituents to know he wants to reward companies that decide to make Orange County their home “I want to reward companies that come here and stay here.”

red suitcase

Interview with Susan Burrows, Author of the “Red Suitcase”

Recently, OPO had the chance to interview Susan Burrows, who is the President of the Winter Park Republican Women’s Federated Group, and now the Author of the recently released “Red Suitcase”. I had the chance to talk to Susan about the book. Have a read below.

Frank Torres for the Orlando Political Observer: Susan, thank you for taking the time to talk to me and answer some questions for our readers. Tell us about the book.

Susan Burrows, Author of the “Red Suitcase”: It’s a woman’s story, set in the 1950 and was inspired by actual events. It’s about a woman from Australia, who leaves her country for a dashing South African Cricket Player, who abandons her and her small infant son and tells the adversity she overcame and everything she went through to find happiness for her and her child.

Torres: It’s a single mom overcoming adversity, do you think there are lessons that can be learned from this story that women today, who are facing challenges can learn from?

Burrows: Absolutely, because this happens in the fifties, and in the fifties it was uncommon for a woman to be alone with a small child. She’s in a strange country and traveling through South Africa, she was gorgeous so she was recognized everywhere she went. She was traveling on buses with an infant, and back then they didn’t have diapers. She just had to carry everything herself, the currency was different. It was a completely different and strange country. She finally found happiness and remarried and moved to the United States, it was just such an adventure for her. She was only 18 when she started this journey.

Torres: You mentioned countries all over the world. Australia, Africa, the United States. Back in the fifties were women treated differently in all of those areas? As your character travels the world, are her experiences different?

Burrows: Just getting employment. It was hard for women to find employment. Women were just starting to get into the business world. About five years into her journey she got a job as a secretary, and even that was difficult because they weren’t as understanding about a woman with a child. She wanted to do something meaningful in Africa, you had to know people, and she met people along the way. Her struggles with the child, even when she got divorced, being a divorced women in South Africa with a child was very difficult.

Torres: What inspired you to write a story like this? And when your readers are done with the book, what do you hope they feel, and get out of it?

Burrows: The lesson is a single mother, a young mother, can overcome anything if she’s persistent and has tenacity and bravery.

Torres: Was anyone in your family a single mother? And did anyone you know experience similar hardships?

Burrows: I was a single mother but in the eighties and nineties, we had conveniences women in the fifties never had. It’s so much easier in modern times, but the main point is that it can be done and you can find happiness.


Seminole Commission backs School Board testing proposal

The Seminole County Commission has voted unanimously to support a resolution by the Seminole County School Board that would help repair the state’s embattled assessment testing program that is currently under scrutiny from parents, teachers, and state lawmakers from both sides of the aisle.

The Commission signed off on the Board’s “Seminole Sunshine Solution” to not have one high stakes test determine whether students will pass a course.

There have been multiple complaints about other aspects of the current testing system, which have included the amount of time needed to prepare for exams, a computer system that has crashed on multiple occasions resulting in lost school days, and a general lack of transparency involved with the testing material.

The results of a validity test of the current Florida Standards Assessment is due in the coming days.

Seminole School Board Member Karen Almond was happy for the Commission’s support saying “We appreciate that our County Commission appreciates how important our education system is, as far as being an economic driver and we appreciate their support and working relationship.”