Florida boycott could affect state

By Jim Piggott - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A statement by music legend Stevie Wonder has set off a wave of concern in the Sunshine State.

"I decided today that until the 'stand your ground law' is abolished in Florida, I will never perform there again," Wonder said.

A number of people are now taking the boycott Florida talk into action. There are logos and even a movement to ban Florida products like orange juice. It's a concern for state lawmakers.

"I don't want to hurt Florida. I want to help Florida. And the way to do that is change the law," said Al Pina, who heads up Florida Minority Community Reinvestment Coalition.

Pina is pushing for the boycott and said even though it could hurt businesses here, it's needed. That's why he's asking groups throughout the state to participate.

"Follow Stevie Wonder's lead and do not schedule any conferences or meetings in Florida and do less business as possible in Florida until this stand your ground law is appealed," Pina said.

Those at Visit Jacksonville said they can't comment about whether they've seen any impact from this supposed boycott. They referred Channel 4 to the state, but so far Channel 4 has not heard anything.

There is also a nationwide petition for the boycott circulating online from MoveOn.org that will be delivered to the Legislature. Nearly 9,000 people have signed it.

"It's up to the individual if they want to come or stay away," Linda Timmons, whose visiting Jacksonville from Atlanta, said of a boycott. "It's not only going to trigger in Florida, it's going other places to. So it's going to take the individual open mind if they want to come here."

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