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Follow this link to purchase tickets for Green Hope Athletic events
Davis Drive Park has fields, Greenways and trails.
Gallery: Parks around town
Mason Cline, Staff Writer • February 26, 2024
Game subscription services have been rapidly increasing in popularity, with the largest service, PlayStation Plus Premium, reporting a user count of 47.4 million, leading to many believing that services will be the future of the game industry.
Gaming in the future
Miguel Carrasco Gomez, Staff Writer • February 26, 2024
Quiz: Which lacrosse player are you?
Quiz: Which lacrosse player are you?
Regan Orlando and Mason ClineFebruary 23, 2024
Pinning down the win: Green Hope womens wrestling
Pinning down the win: Green Hope women's wrestling
Zoe Westerlund and Deepa RameshFebruary 23, 2024
Follow this link to purchase tickets for Green Hope Athletic events
Pinning down the win: Green Hope womens wrestling
Pinning down the win: Green Hope women's wrestling
Zoe Westerlund and Deepa RameshFebruary 23, 2024
Follow this link to purchase tickets for Green Hope Athletic events

The great red vs. blue state debate

Florida Governor Ron Desantis and California Governor Gavin Newsom engaged in a debate on Fox News on Nov. 30.
Some+say+that+the+growing+divide+between+red+states+and+blue+states+was+highlighted+in+the+debate+--+both+in+governing+styles+and+policy+decisions.+
Itziar Carrasco Gomez
Some say that the growing divide between red states and blue states was highlighted in the debate — both in governing styles and policy decisions.

As the nation approaches the 2024 presidential election, Republican Florida Governor Ron Desantis sat down for a debate on Nov. 30 in Alpharetta, Georgia. Desantis is currently second in polls, lagging behind former President Trump by around 45 points as of Nov. 30. His opponent was Democratic California Governor Gavin Newsom, who is not a part of the 2024 Presidential race. 

Sean Hannity, a 30-year-veteran Fox News host, assured the audience that while he is a conservative, he will not be participating in this debate and only acting as a moderator.

When asked, Newsom spoke about the reason he attended the debate. “I’m here to tell the truth about the Biden-Harris record. Also compare and contrast Desantis’s record and the Republican parties record as a point of contrast. That is as different as daylight and darkness,” he said.

Florida and California have different tax rates 

California has a 6% tax on the median income, while Florida’s rate on the median income is 0%. Florida has a 0% tax on the highest income of $1.3 million while California’s rate is 13%. Florida’s average property tax is 0.16% higher than California’s. 

When asked about why California and Florida have such different tax rates, Newsom said, “who does [Desantis] tax? He taxes low-income workers more than [California] taxes millionaires and billionaires. The question is a simple one. Who, Ron, are you for?”

Desantis praised Newsom for being transparent about the reason he’s here, “I’ll give Gavin credit he did at least admit in his first answer. [That] he’s joined at the hip with Biden and Harris, he thinks they have done a great job and their policies are working for Americans. They’re not,” Desantis responded.

Different approaches on COVID-19 policy 

Florida had a mortality rate of 111.7 per 100,000, California’s was 99.9 per 100,000, according to the CDC. Despite them having near identical mortality rates, their policies were quite different.

Desantis criticized how the teachers union influenced Newsom during the pandemic, “We had our kids in school, he had the kids locked out of school because of the teachers union. That is having a generational impact, California has one of the lowest literacy rates in the country,” Desantis said.

Newsom criticized Desantis for listening to others in his party and was persuaded to keep schools open against the advice of the CDC, “Governor Desantis played to the friends of his party. When it comes to the issue of schools. You better be careful you had more learning loss during COVID than the national average in the state of California”.

Crime rates and gun laws in California and Florida 

According to the FBI crime data explorer, California has a violent crime rate of 499.5 per 100,000, the national average is 380.7 and Florida is at 258.9. 

“We’re near 50-year lows down 55% violent crimes in the state of California from the 1990’s. I want to compare and contrast that with the issue in Florida that you didn’t mention and that’s the murder rate,” Newsom said.

Desantis responded with criticism regarding California’s public safety system. “People are leaving California in droves in large part because public safety has collapsed. They have chosen in California to put the interest of the criminals over public safety”.

California has the most restrictive gun laws while Florida is ranked the 19th most restrictive by Everytown. California has had 21 mass shootings since 2019 while Florida has had 9 mass shootings since 2019, mass shootings are defined as the intentional killing of four or more victims. 

“They don’t stand up for the men and women in law enforcement, that’s why a lot of people have left the state because they don’t get the support from the community that they need,” said Desantis.

Newsom highlighted his perceived irony of Desantis’ comments. “I love this guy talking about backing the blue, when you dangle pardons for January 6 insurrectionists, 85 of them that were charged with attacking law enforcement,” he said. 

School’s role in the development of young children 

Florida House Bill 1557: Parental Rights in Education. Commonly referred to as the “don’t say gay” bill, which sought to prohibit sexual identity or gender identity in school, which also requires school districts to notify parents of healthcare services. Conversely California’s Senate Bill 857; which sought to create an advisory task force to identify LGBTQ+ pupil needs statewide and assist in implementing supportive initiatives. 

Desantis shared his view regarding education of sexual identity in school. “The role of the school is to educate kids, not indoctrinate kids. It’s not to impose an agenda, it’s to do the basics. What we’ve said in Florida is it’s inappropriate to tell a kindergarten that their gender is a choice. It’s inappropriate to tell a second grader they may have been born in the wrong body. Now California has that they want to have that injected into the elementary school,” he said.

Newsom responded by highlighting Desantis’ censorship in school curriculums. 

“You’ve been on a banning binge, 1,406 books have been banned just last year under Desantis’s leadership … What’s wrong with Toni Morrison’s books, what’s wrong with Amanda Gormans in the poetry,” Newsom said. 

Toni Morrison a Pulitizer prize recipient in fiction for her 1989 work Beloved. Amanda Gorman, who recited her famous poem entitled, The Hill We Climb at President Biden’s swearing in ceremony. Both of these authors had their works banned in parts of Florida.

Abortion policy differences 

Since Roe v. Wade was overturned by Dobbs v. Jackson, abortion is a hot topic issue across the country. Many states have either banned abortion, put restrictions on abortion or currently allow women to have abortions. 

When asked about whether he would support any restrictions on abortion specifically during the seventh, Newsom said eighth and ninth months of pregnancy. “Ron Desantis signed the most extreme anti-abortion bills in America. He signed a [15 week] bill banning any exceptions and then he said it didn’t go far enough. And decided to sign a six week ban, before women even know they are pregnant … I trust the mother and the doctor to make that,” Newsom said.

Desantis expressed his views on abortion by criticizing the left’s views, “I believe in a culture of life. I think we are better off when everybody counts, when everybody has the opportunity to do well and that bill attaches when there is a detectable heartbeat for the child … that they [the left] will take your tax dollars and fund abortion all the way until the moment of birth,” Desantis said.

They discussed the differences between both parties on their different policies tax rates, COVID-19, crime, role in education and abortion policies. The next Republican presidential debate will happen Dec. 6 in Alabama.

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About the Contributors
Leo McDunn, Staff Writer
Leo McDunn is a junior at Green Hope High School and was born in Saint Louis Missouri. Leo is in Boy Scout of America Troup 209, he is working on his eagle, a rank in the organization.  He currently lives in Cary, NC with his two siblings and parents. In his free time, he enjoys playing ultimate frisbee and is on Green Hope High School Ultimate Frisbee team. His favorite cuisine is Indian food and the dish that piqued his interest is Chicken Tikka Masala. Leo also likes to spend time on Instagram but also likes to watch movies, one of which is The Princess Bride. In the future, Leo wishes to major in political science and become either a campaign manager or a political figure.
Itziar Carrasco Gomez, Opinion/Editorials Editor
Itziar Carrasco Gomez is a senior at Green Hope High School. She loves to spend time with family and friends. She has been a part of the Green Hope Falcon for a year now and hopes to continue pursuing journalism in the future whether a hobby or full career. In the next few years, she sees herself pursuing a degree and potentially moving to New York to be more involved in fashion. She hopes to use journalism as a way to highlight important issues and create change. 
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