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Action Alert - April 8, 2024

Eclipsing Public Education & Our Humanity

Today's solar eclipse coincides with threats to two foundational tenets of democracy: public education and our basic humanity.

The Duval County School Board recently unveiled an updated facilities plan along with a proposal to close and consolidate schools across the city, including Atlantic Beach and three additional Beaches elementary schools. The plan is a direct response to declining enrollment and revenues precipitated by state and local efforts to defund public education by shifting tax dollars to charter and private schools. These policies were pushed by Governor DeSantis and championed by elected officials from the Beach in the state legislature, on the Jax City Council and Duval County School Board. Thankfully, ABE and other Beaches parents swiftly organized the community in opposition to the plan, resulting in a lot of back-peddling by our elected representatives. Other neighborhoods may not be so lucky. Elections matter. Public education has been a cornerstone of American democracy since the founding of this country.  In November, commit to electing candidates who support public education and will work to strengthen, not dismantle, our public schools. In the meantime, you can support public schools at the Beach by signing this petition, attending these meetings, and contacting District 2 School Board member April Carney. Carney will host a town hall at San Pablo Elementary on April 30 at 6:15 p.m. Be there!

Pivoting to foreign policy, this week marks six months since Israel launched its response to the deadly Hamas attack in Gaza. The continuing conflict has resulted in a level of civilian casualties and destruction far exceeding Israel's initial promises of a "proportional response." Last week's deaths of seven World Central Kitchen aid workers are the latest in a litany of atrocities. The strategy of working behind the scenes has failed to impact how the war is being conducted, including the weaponization of food and life-saving supplies for civilians, and a disproportionate number of civilian casualties. Israeli leaders remain steadfast in their opposition to a two-state solution, although this may be the only path to long-term peace.  The President purportedly stepped up pressure in a "come to Jesus" phone call last week with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. But U.S. policy has yet to change. Congress will return to Washington this week and faces pressure to approve an administration-backed plan to send Israel $18 billion worth of F15 fighter jets - the largest military sale by the U.S. since the war began in October. Continued military support in the face of Netanyahu's defiance threatens our basic humanity. If you agree, consider letting the President and Congress know by signing this petition organized by activist Jess Craven. 

From Eclipses to Sunshine

With the near-constant barrage of negative news and election doom and gloom, it is easy to lose hope. Thankfully, political strategist and pundit Simon Rosenberg is always there to talk us off the ledge! We are excited to learn he will be the virtual guest of the Beaches Democratic Club on Tuesday, April 16 at 6:30 p.m. Defying all the polls and predictions, Rosenberg was one of the few to correctly predict there would NOT be a red wave in the 2022 mid-term elections. He is a veteran political analyst, strategist, and commentator who served in two Presidential campaigns (including the Clinton War Room), and held senior roles at major Democratic organizations and think tanks. His newsletter, Hopium Chronicles, offers daily insights and reassurance to the worried and news-cycle weary!  RSVP here and find out why he is optimistic about 2024!

Double Your Support for BAM

BAM is tapping into a fundraising effort by national Indivisible which will provide a dollar-for-dollar match (up to $500) of any dues or donations we receive by May 31st!  Help protect our freedoms by supporting our voter education, outreach, and Get-Out-the-Vote activities during this pivotal election year. Your active engagement means the most, but if you can offer financial support as well, please do. Double your impact by donating before May 31 and help us take advantage of Indivisible's offer to match contributions up to $500.

A Few Must Reads for the Week

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Only 211 days until the 2024 election!

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