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Action Alert - February 18, 2023

“The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.” - Frederick Douglass

"The Most Important Election of 2023"

In Wisconsin, the state Supreme Court has 7 judges - currently split 4 red, and 3 blue. The (red) Chief Justice is retiring - leaving an evenly divided court and an open seat that will be filled by the voters this spring. Issues facing the court soon include the 2024 election, gerrymandering, and a potential abortion ban. The Primary for this open judgeship is Tuesday, February 21. There are 4 candidates for the open seat - 2 liberal and 2 conservative. The top 2 vote-getters will advance to the April 4 General Election. To learn more about the candidates and why this may be the most important election of 2023, join Focus for Democracy and Wisconsin Democratic party Chair Ben Wikler this Sunday, February 19th at 8 pm. Register here.

Tuesday, 2/21 - Beaches Democratic Club Candidate Forum

Join the Beaches Democratic Club on Tuesday, February 21 at 6:30 p.m. at the Beaches Branch Library to hear more of our Democratic candidates for the Jacksonville 2023 Unitary Election speak about their vision for Jacksonville. The club will host Audrey Gibson - Candidate for Mayor; Charles Garrison - City Council At-Large Group 5; Joshua Hicks - City Council At-Large Group 2; and Mike Finn - Write-in Candidate for City Council District 13 (Beaches). Don't miss this opportunity to meet your candidates in person and ask questions. RSVP here.

Wednesday, 2/22 - Beaches Watch Mayoral Forum

Meet ALL the Candidates

Beaches Watch has long been admired for its candidate forums educating Beaches voters on local races & personalities. This week they are providing an exceptional service to our community by hosting a mayoral forum featuring all the candidates for Jacksonville Mayor. Omega Allen, LeAnna Gutierrez Cumber, Daniel Davis, Donna Deegan, Al Ferraro, Audrey Gibson, Brian Griffin, and Frank Keasler have all confirmed their plans to attend. The event is open to the public and will be held at the Beaches Vineyard Church, 751 Atlantic Blvd, Atlantic Beach at 7 PM. All are welcome but to help organizers prepare for a large crowd, please RSVP.

Education Action - How You Can Help

Thanks to the many BAM members who responded to the call for volunteers to help the Duval schools review books currently being withheld from our students. Now two more ways to take action:

Defend Resources to Protect Students At Risk

When Dr. Jennifer Cowart, founder of Public School Defenders spoke at our last BAM meeting, one of the issues she discussed besides book banning was Duval’s decision to stop using the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), which has provided data on student’s mental & sexual health needs. Those needs have then been targeted via a CDC grant providing educational interventions and needed medical testing like HIV, STI, and pregnancy tests. Dr. Cowart reports that our School Board is considering foregoing that CDC grant as well. Without these services offered free and confidentially through school clinics, many young people will be unable to access needed care. Take action:

Share Florida's Banned Book of the Week

In recognition that Florida now has the highest number of public school book bans in the nation, Progress Florida has launched a new campaign. “Florida’s Banned Book of the Week” is intended to shine a spotlight on this “anti-First Amendment attack on our public schools and students’ freedom to learn. If you use Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, share this graphic with your network. If not, simply forward this email to friends and help build public outrage on this effort to close the minds of young Floridians.

Talk to Tallahassee - on Guns & Violence

The Permitless Carry law we discussed at our last meeting is, unfortunately, moving forward rapidly and HB 543 has now acquired a companion Senate Bill 150. Permitless Carry gives permission for the carrying of a concealed weapon without a background check or firearm proficiency training. These are dangerous bills that, if passed into law, will make our state even more vulnerable to more gun violence. SB150 will be heard in the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, Monday, Feb. 20th at 3pm ET. Call these senators and tell them to vote NO on SB150: Senate President Kathleen Passidomo: Tallahassee office: (850) 487-5028 Senator Jonathan Martin: District office: (239) 338-2570 Senator Jennifer Bradley: District office: (904) 278-2085 Senator Blaise Ingoglia: District office: 352) 666-5707 Senator Keith Perry: District office: (352) 264-4040

Senator Clay Yarborough: District office: (904) 723-2035 If you can't call them all, call Sen. Yarborough, who represents us. When you call his office, remember there's one bill on his plate we DO support. See below. HB543 will be heard in its last committee stop--House Judiciary--Tuesday, Feb. 21st at 8am ET. Call these representatives and tell them to vote NO on HB543: Rep. Tommy Gregory: District office: (941) 893-5434 Rep. Tobin Rogers Overdorf: District office: (772) 221-4961 Rep. Randall Scott Maggard: District office: (813) 780-0667 Rep. Thad Altman: District office: (321) 425-6179 Rep. Kristen Aston Arrington: District office: (407) 846-5016 Rep. Webster Barnaby: District office: (386) 736-5042 Rep. Tom Fabrico: District office: (305) 364-3064 Rep. Mike Giallombardo: District office: (239) 772-1291 Rep. Berny Jacques: District office: (727) 519-0560 Rep. Thomas J. Leek: District office: (386) 238-4865 Rep. Patt Maney: District office: (850) 833-3713 Rep. Bobby Payne: District office: (386) 312-2272 Rep. William Cloud Robinson: District office: (941) 708-4968 Rep. John Snyder: District office: (772) 210-5626 Rep. Paula A. Stark: District office: (407) 846-5150 Rep. Chase Tremont: Capitol office: (850) 717-5030 Rep. Keith L. Truenow: District office: (352) 742-6275

And One Good Bill Worth Supporting

Grayson’s Law SB 130 (Berman) HB 97 (Cassel) Domestic Violence - has passed the House Civil Justice Subcommittee. This law, crafted in response to a child's murder, alters shared custody arrangements if domestic violence is threatened. After powerful testimony last week, the House Civil Justice Subcommittee voted unanimously to advance the bill.

Our Senator Clay Yarborough chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will be the bill's next stop. When you phone his office to oppose Permitless Carry, be sure to mention your support for Grayson's Law as well.

Saturday, 2/25 - Beaches Canvass & Lit Drop

Join fellow Democrats to canvass and leave literature for likely voters about the Jacksonville Municipal Election this Saturday. We'll be reaching out to Democrats that are MOST likely to vote so it's important we get them the information they need. RSVP here to join the team on February 25th (or March 4th) from 10:30 am - 12:00 pm. Questions? Text or call Hanna Moore at 904-999-8515.

2/25 - Donna Deegan Beaches Fundraiser 2-3:30 PM

After your lit drop consider you've got time for lunch, and then a chance to meet and hear Mayoral Candidate Donna Deegan's vision of what Jacksonville could become. RSVP here to get the address.

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