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Action Alert - December 4, 2023

Gaza: No End in Sight

Hopes for a continued truce in the Gaza conflict ended last week as negotiations broke down and bombing resumed in the eight-week-old war. The war, which began with a well-orchestrated attack on Israeli border settlements including the taking of civilian hostages by Hamas, has resulted in the deaths of more than 1,200 people in Israel and 15,000 Palestinians, two-thirds of them women and children (Sources: Israeli Defense Ministry, Palestinian Ministry of Health). The week-long truce saw the release of 105 hostages and 240 Palestinian prisoners. More than 140 hostages remain in the hands of Hamas. Initial strong support for Israel, a key U.S. ally, quickly fractured into partisan and intra-party divisions. President Biden has both been criticized for not doing enough and lauded for his behind-the-scenes leadership. While the GOP is steadfast in its support for Israel in a nod to its evangelical base, the DEMs face significant internal dissent that threatens to spill over into next year's election. Most concerning, the Gaza conflict has fomented a wave of antisemitism and anti-Palestinian violence in this country. Sadly, the seeds of this conflict were sown long before October 7, and the horrific destruction and loss of life are not likely to end soon. We don't pretend to have the answers, but firmly believe the best response is to focus on the people of Israel and Gaza. Both deserve peace, security, democratic self-government, freedom from political and economic oppression, health and well-being for their families, and mutual respect. We learned painful lessons from our response to 9/11 -- may Israel not make the same mistakes. We are grateful to have President Biden, Vice-President Harris, and their administration working hard to resolve this crisis. They offer commitment, leadership, and strategic policies for addressing this challenging region in both the short- and long term -- a far cry from the foreign policy chops of the last administration. For the sake of the people of Israel and Gaza, two actions you can take this week:

  • Contact U.S. Rep. John Rutherford (email or phone: 904-831-5205), U.S. Senator Rick Scott (email or phone: 904-479-7227), and U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (email or phone:904-354-4300) and urge them to support a new truce, the safe return of all hostages, and negotiations now to end the war in Gaza.

  • Help humanitarian efforts in Israel and Gaza by contributing to Impact Your World, an initiative of CNN, or one of its vetted charities.

Time is Running Out: Get Abortion on the Ballot

There are less than 30 days left to get the petitions needed to put an amendment to the

Florida constitution guaranteeing abortion access on the 2024 ballot. According to Floridians Protecting Freedom (FPF), 69% of the required petitions statewide have been validated. The group is shifting its focus to collecting the remaining petitions needed in congressional districts that have not met the threshold for signatures required by state law. Thanks to all who contributed to our work, CD4 here in Duval is one of the first four districts to meet this critical requirement. Click here for the latest information on priority districts, and how you can help collect and encourage people to sign the petition. The site includes organizer resources, information on events, and a link for phone banking to likely petition supporters in these districts. Congressional District 5, which spans Jacksonville west from the Beaches to the St. Johns River, and south to St. Augustine, is among the current priority districts. This is our area! We need an additional 14,000 petitions by mid-December to meet the threshold. If you haven't signed a petition, click here to download, print, sign, and mail one TODAY. Share this link with your families and friends and enlist their help in reaching out to our connections further south! Jax NOW is hosting a postcard party on Saturday, December 9 from 3 - 5 p.m. at the Sandbar Restaurant, located inside the Spring Hills Suites, in Jacksonville Beach. The outreach effort is targeting young women voters in St. Johns County. RSVP to join the group or to pick up a stack of cards to complete at home. Stamps, cards, and mailing labels will be provided. We can do this!

Time to Run!

The 2024 elections are around the corner. We need candidates to ensure voters have a choice and all elected officials are held accountable! In 2020, Duval County fielded candidates up and down the ballot. Let's do it again in 2024! Gerrymandered districts have created lots of one-party-dominated seats locally and statewide. We won't sugar-coat the uphill battle challengers face but we have a lot of momentum going into 2024. We'll meet a few candidates at the upcoming BAM Holiday Party on December 14th who have decided to run. Here's a list of offices up for next year's election. Find out who's qualified for local offices here and for state offices here.

Join Us on December 14! RSVP Here and Bring a Friend!

This Week's Reads (and Listens): Perspectives on the War in Gaza

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Only 338 days until the 2024 election!

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