Governor DeSantis unmoved by protestors
On June 12, Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis addressed the Tikvah Fund's Jewish Leadership Conference, held in New York City at Chelsea Piers. The event had been moved to the new venue after Governor DeSantis was announced as a speaker and the original venue - the Jewish Museum in New York cancelled the booking.
In spite of the apparent objections of the Jewish Museum, and other protestors gathered outside the venue who were unhappy about the governor's appearance he carried on regardless, stating:
"They can't cancel me, I'm going to speak my mind"
Contrasting Florida to New York
Many of the protestors outside the event were there to state objections to recent laws introduced by the governor in Florida in relation to the teaching of gender and sexual identity in grades K through 3 - the so-called "Don't Say Gay" law.
The governor was unmoved by the protestors and addressed what he sees as the merits of the new law:
“Every parent in the state of Florida has a right to send their kid to elementary school without having concepts like woke gender ideology jammed into their curriculum,"
He continued, referencing the backlash that has been witnessed in states like New York:
"When the left is having a spasm, that just tells you that in Florida we are winning."
DeSantis tackles woke ideology
Perhaps unsurprisingly given that the event was hosted by the conservative-leaning Jewish Leadership Conference, Governor DeSantis chose to address many of the more controversial topics on his agenda.
Amongst the subjects discussed, the governor addressed Florida's 'Stop WOKE' Act which has stopped the teaching of topics such as critical race theory in schools, as well as the 'Parental Rights in Education' bill (the so-called "Don't Say Gay" bill).
DeSantis has previously stated that in his view, Florida is "where woke goes to die" and it was unsurprising therefore that he was keen to major on these topics in his speech.
These subjects were perhaps also what was responsible for drawing the crowds of protestors who gathered outside the event and who made their views about DeSantis and his policies known vocally.
El Al move U.S. headquarters to Florida from New York
Florida values its ties with Israel and followers of the Jewish faith, and Governor DeSantis speaking at the Jewish Leadership Conference is just the most recent example of the value that the governor personally places upon the relationship.
Earlier in June, Israel's national airline - El Al announced that it is moving its U.S. headquarters from New York City, to Florida. This perhaps illustrates a further power shift away from New York and a corporation that relishes the favorable business environment within Florida?
Meanwhile, for Governor DeSantis to have made such a high profile appearance in another state may well be a sign of things to come, if he starts to broaden his political horizons and starts to think about running as the Republican candidate for the presidential election in 2024. Time will tell!
What do you think about Governor DeSantis having attended a conference in New York? Do you think it's a sign of his future political ambitions and of trying to build his profile outside of Florida? Let me know in the comments section below.