"Optimism isn’t a belief that things will automatically get better; it’s a conviction that we can make things better." - Melinda Gates
Speak Out Before the Not-So-Special Session
The Florida Legislature will reconvene this week for a special session (April 19-22). Unless a miracle occurs it seems apparent this Republican-dominated body will abdicate its constitutional duty to draft and pass congressional maps and will instead replace their own redistricting maps with a version of the Governor's. DeSantis proposes to eliminate two out of the state's four congressional seats where minority voters can elect representatives of their choice - a requirement of the Fair Districts Amendments passed by a bipartisan majority of Florida voters just a few years ago.
The Republican Legislature knows that acceptance of the Governor’s map with its direct attack on Black representation will promptly be sued in court. But, regardless of the legal challenges, this distorted map will almost certainly be the one used for the 2022 midterm vote here in Florida.
Please contact our State Senator Aaron Bean and State Representative Cord Byrd NOW! We are their constituents. They must be called out and held accountable.
• State Senator Aaron Bean - 850-4875004 or email.
• State Rep. Cord Byrd - 850-7175011. (If you prefer to email, google "Rep Cord Byrd Contact" to find the form you need. Our efforts to copy it failed.)
Suggested Script: I am a constituent [calling/writing] from [ZIP or neighborhood]. The Florida Legislature's acceptance of the Governor's congressional map would clearly violate the requirements of Florida's Fair Districts amendment. I am outraged that my taxpayer dollars are being wasted on unconstitutional legislation and political games. It is your duty to vote in alignment with the Fair Districts amendment of the Florida Constitution and protect Black communities’ voting rights. DO YOUR JOB. Your attempt to ingratiate yourself with the Governor is unbecoming to the dignity of your office and is seriously eroding our constitutional principles of co-equal branches of government.
Source: Democratic Women's Club of Florida
For Extra Credit: Tuesday, April 19 - Day of Action: Defend Democracy Now!
We hope everyone reading this email will follow the directions above and speak out against the Governor's unconstitutional erosion of minority voting power in Florida. Another way to express your outrage is to join the Northside Coalition, Equal Ground & other groups rallying in Tallahassee at the start of this week's special session. Click here to join the motorcade from Jacksonville. For questions or more information, email Northsidecoalition@gmail.com or call 904-530-1596.
Monday, April 18 - Democratic Women's Clubs of Florida Zoom Town Hall @ 7:30 PM
Dr. Rosalind Osgood, the former Broward School Board chair who defied the governor about school masks, was elected in March to fill out the balance of a term in Florida Senate District 33. She will be sworn in to that office on Tuesday. But this Monday she's hosting a Town Hall meeting with all Floridians who are interested in protecting the black and brown vote. Click here to register.
Tuesday, April 19 - Beaches Dems Host Tim Yost & Charlie Crist!
Join the Beaches Democratic Club via Zoom on Tuesday, April 19th at 7:00 p.m. to hear speaker Tim Yost discuss Democratic messaging to defeat the GOP. In addition, gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist will join the meeting briefly to share his campaign platform and vision for Florida. Register here.
Friday & Saturday, April 22 & 23 - Ukrainian Relief Drive in Atlantic Beach
The City of Atlantic Beach is partnering with Catholic Charities to help meet the urgent needs of people fleeing the war in Ukraine. Kitchen & household items for families are needed. You can deliver both days between 9 am and 4 pm to City Hall, 800 Seminole Rd. More details on what's needed here.
Act Now to Save Split Oak Forest - and Other Florida Preserves
You may or may not personally know the Split Oak Forest Wildlife and Environmental Area in central Florida. The park, about 2.5 miles square, was created in 1991 when Orange & Osceola Counties asked the state for money to buy the land and create a wildlife and wetland mitigation area to offset development in other areas. At the time they promised the Florida Communities Trust board they would use the land to protect native wildlife and encourage recreational activities compatible with the protection of the native plant & animal residents.
Now they are asking that same board to allow a toll road to run straight through the preserve. The details are bizarre; the precedent this could set for other protected areas in the state is frightening. As a local opponent of the plan put it: “If Split Oak is not protected, then nowhere in Florida is protected...If toll roads win here, they will win everywhere.” Click here to learn how you can help.
Thursday, April 28 - BAM/IM Joint Zoom Meeting Spring Action Plans & Senate Candidate Tracie Davis
As the weather improves and the political picture in Tallahassee deteriorates, join the combined memberships of Beaches Activists Movement and Mandarin Indivisible for a Zoom meeting full of ideas on how to elect better representation in 2022.
Ben Frazier, founder & president of the Northside Coalition will share his group's plans for Voter Registration, Get-Out-the-Vote, Canvassing, and more. And Representative Tracie Davis will discuss the recent Special Session, including redistricting concerns, and give us an update on her campaign for State Senator.
Please join us at 7 PM and bring concerned friends looking for ways to get active this year. All are welcome but registration is required.