Mitch Perry Report 1.2.14 - Changes already happening in 2014

Local media outlets are reporting that former Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith is poised to become the next coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a move that is being universally hailed as the right choice by the Glazer brain trust, who now must secure a new general manager to work with their new coach. Smith reportedly had the option of going to Detroit, which has a much more promising quarterback situation with Matthew Stafford (as opposed to the Bucs' Mike Glennon), but instead wanted to come to Tampa, where he coached for five seasons (1996-2000).

Another change of position that people care about in the Tampa Bay area takes place today in St. Petersburg, where Rick Kriseman will officially be inaugurated as the city's newest mayor, succeeding Bill Foster. The number of women on the City Council officially doubles today as well, as Darden Rice succeeds a term-limited Leslie Curran in the District 4 seat, while Amy Foster takes over from a similarly termed-out Jeff Danner.

Kriseman's inauguration will get slightly less national coverage than Bill De Blasio received yesterday in taking over in New York City. The nationally televised ceremony in Manhattan included Bill Clinton and Harry Belafonte, and his mayoralty will be closely followed by everyone because it's New York, of course, but particularly by progressives, who feel one of their own now has a great opportunity to reshape politics on a local level.

De Blasio used the word "progressive" seven times in his speech yesterday, and promised to live up to his campaign promises, saying, "When I said we would take dead aim at the Tale of Two Cities, I meant it. And we will do it.”

Another change that is now happening is in Colorado, where it's now legal to smoke marijuana, becoming the first state in the history of the U.S. where this is possible. How this will play out is something many, many people will be watching.

Nationally our politics is broken, right? The much heralded promise of immigration reform died in the House of Representatives in 2013, but the New York Times reports that John Boehner is serious about getting something done on the issue. We'll definitely remain skeptical on that front until proven otherwise...

ICYMI: Another court has rejected Rick Scott and the Florida Legislature's 2011 law to mandate welfare recipients get drug-tested on New Years Eve. And as the GOP candidates for the CD13 race debate tonight in Pinellas Park, a new poll shows David Jolly building up his lead over his challengers.

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