“If war has an opposite, gardens might sometimes be it, and people have found a particular kind of peace in forests, meadows, parks, and gardens." - Rebecca Solnit
BAM Holiday Party a Generous Success
Many thanks to the 30-something BAM members who attended our Holiday Party at Adele Grage last Thursday night - and who came prepared to give. As this overflowing car indicates, we collected a LOT of Toys for Tots - along with more than $300 in donations to BEAM and Mission House. Thanks to all who contributed to these gifts - and to the food, drink & good company that made the evening so much fun.
For those of you who couldn't join us, check out the fun BAM Infographic with highlights of the past year - and some important goals for 2022. Lots to look forward to in our coming work together!
Atlantic Beach Environmental Stewardship Survey
The city's Environmental Stewardship Committee has designed a survey to learn what the AB community wants when it comes to sustainability, resiliency, and climate action. Their goal is to hear from at least 20% of the AB community (1400 responses) and the results will guide the next steps with the Community Action Plan and future grants for the City. Because that 1400 response goal hasn't been reached, they've extended the deadline on the survey from November 30 to December 31. If you've not taken the survey, click here and do so now. These are critical issues for the future health of our community (and you might win a bicycle!)
At-Large Council Seat: Victory + More Hard Work
The good news is, Tracye Polson captured the most votes in last week's Special Unitary Election to fill Tommy Hazouri's At-Large Council seat. The bad news: the race was closer than we'd hoped and the February run-off promises to be a hard-fought race. The additional bad news is that Republicans turned out in greater numbers than Democrats.
As pundit A.G. Gancarski puts it: "For Democrats who keep losing citywide despite having a registration advantage, this special election is an opportunity to prove that they can finally make demographic trends pay off and give partisans some hope for 2023." But it won't be easy. Click here to donate, volunteer, or simply learn more about Tracye Polson. And if you want a yard sign, let us know.
Save These Dates for Duval Redistricting
BAM joined other civic groups last week in a meeting with Jacksonville City Planning Director, Bill Killingsworth to review the current draft redistricting map for Duval County. The red borders indicate current district lines, the underlying colors show where sections of one district are planned to shift.
To better understand the draft maps and prepare yourself to speak out on their potential impact, mark your calendars now for two important meetings:
Thursday, January 6 - 6:30-8 PM. DWIN-sponsored Zoom with Councilmember Brenda Priestly Jackson, chair of the Rules Committee. Stay tuned for specific Zoom info; save the date now. The draft maps must go through Ms. Jackson's Rules Committee before the full Council can vote on them. Come to this advance Zoom to learn more about the Rules Committee's role in the redistricting process, their plans to hold 3 public hearings on the maps, and how Duval residents should prepare for the public hearings.
Tallahassee Is Calling - January Rallies
So far it's not clear the Florida Legislature intends to provide any public hearings on their redistricting plans for the state. But watch this spot and we'll keep you posted when & if those opportunities arise. In the meantime, at least two groups are already organizing to bring progressive voices to the start of the legislative session.
Tuesday, 1/11/22 - People’s Rally in Tally - 10-10:30 AM. Democratic Women’s Clubs of Florida (DWCF) is partnering with the AFLCIO, Planned Parenthood, NAACP, Northside Coalition, Florida Rising and a host of other groups. Their goal, to demand a people-centered budget and policies during the 2022 FL Legislative Session that promote the health, prosperity and safety of all Floridians, not just the DeSantis donor class. Plans are still in development, but consider planning to spend both Tuesday & Wednesday in Tallahassee so you can also attend:
Wednesday, 1/12/22 - Tally Rally for Reproductive Freedom Floridians for Reproductive Freedom, a coalition representing tens of thousands of Floridians, is planning actions throughout the day including a press conference, a speakout, and legislator visits. Register here.
More Coming Events For Our Crowded Calendars
Monday, December 13 - 6:30 PM. Atlantic Beach Atlantic Beach Commission will be considering a resolution to support the Waterways Commission urging actions to stop the shipping of coal ash on the St. Johns River and Jax ports. The resolution would be sent to the city of Jacksonville. More on this issue.
Friday, December 17 - 7-8 PM. Virtual Voter Registration Training with Duval Dems. Register here.
Tuesday, December 21 - 7 PM. Join Beaches Democratic Club Zoom and hear Florida Democratic Chair Manny Diaz on the Party's efforts to fundraise, recruit and support Democratic candidates, and build a grassroots operation that will turn Florida blue in 2022. Zoom info not available yet. To register email Hanna Moore.
Help Donna Deegan, Tracie Davis & Rebekah Jones Get on the Ballot
In a state where Democratic candidates are often outspent by Republicans, one important way to start campaigns off right is by signing candidate petitions. This save candidates the $10,000+ filing fee - and demonstrate public support. If you've not already signed petitions for these three women, please download them, fill in all the blank spaces, and mail to the addresses below. And invite friends & relatives to do the same.
Rebekah Jones for US Congress. Jones is the Florida data scientist fired for blowing the whistle on COVID data a couple of years ago. While not a perfect candidate, she is running on a "pro-science" platform as a Democrat, against none other than Matt Gaetz. Any registered Florida voter can download her petition here and mail it to the address at the bottom of the form.