Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Mitch Perry Report 8.20.14 The Ice Bucket Challenge — more than slacktivisim?

Posted By on Wed, Aug 20, 2014 at 8:53 AM

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You'd have to have been on another planet these days not to have heard of the Ice Bucket Challenge, or should I say #icebucketbchallenge, which has become all the rage in late summer.

It seems like when you see one of your favorite celebs getting ice dumped on his head, the real message is getting a bit lost in translation. The challenge is pretty basic — either donate $100 to the nonprofit ALS Association, or pour water on your head and post a video of it on Facebook or Twitter, and then challenge three other folks to do so. And it's bringing funding and attention to the cause.

Yesterday the ALS Association announced that the challenge has brought in $22.9 million in donations compared to $1.9 million during the same time period last year (July 29 to August 19). These donations have come from existing donors and 453,210 new donors to The Association.

So for the uninitiated: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), more commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that attacks nerve cells and pathways in the brain and spinal cord. According to the Association, every day, an average of 15 people are newly diagnosed with ALS — more than 5,600 people per year.

But not everybody is on board with the cause. Some call it "slacktivism," the same term you heard earlier this year when the kidnapping of young girls in Nigeria by the terrorist group Boko Haram led to the hashtag #SaveOurGirls. Those girls have not been returned to their families. And in California, where there's a drought as severe as any seen in the Golden State since the late 1970s, some critics have noted that wasting bucketfuls of water is not exactly the best use of resources.

But back here in the Sunshine State, Phil Compton from the local Sierra Club last night opted to write a check to ALS instead of being doused by a bucket of water, and challenged me to take on the challenge. Challenge accepted, Mr. Compton.

In other news...

One of the more interesting races on the Hillsborough County ballot this election cycle has been the Democratic primary in the County Commission District 7 countywide race between Pat Kemp and Mark Nash. With just days to go in the race, Nash has rolled out some dough to send out a mailer blasting Kemp as a failed leader, going back to her short tenure as Democratic Party chair of the County in 2010. 

Although this might seem a bit exaggerated, a new report from Feeding America Tampa Bay released yesterday claims one in six Tampa residents seeks food assistance through food banks.

And a new report from UCLA says that if the courts ultimately rule to legalize same-sex marriage in Florida, it will be a boost to the Sunshine State's economy.

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