“Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat." - F. Scott Fitzgerald
"She's the Shot in the Arm We Needed"
The perfect antidote to a painful loss in the Jax City Council race - and a plan for winning elections in the future - was provided by two impressive women at the February joint meeting of BAM and Indivisible Mandarin.
Rebekah Jones, whistleblower, scientist, and current candidate for the FL 1st Congressional District, outlined her strategy for defeating incumbent Matt Gaetz, the right-wing Trump sycophant currently embroiled in a sex trafficking scandal. She recounted her face-off with Governor Ron DeSantis over the state's COVID data, which culminated in a raid on her home by armed officers. Her resolve to provide the best representation for residents in the Panhandle district was palpable, as noted by one participant: "She's a trifecta -- brains, beauty and balls!" Learn more about this worthy opponent for both Gaetz and DeSantis here and donate if you can. She needs to win and needs our support! Kim Glasgal, Democratic activist and data savant, offered an additional ray of hope in her analysis of preliminary voting data from the city council special election. Her take-home message: it was close, and work on the ground made a difference, particularly in the Beaches and Mandarin areas. Distorted, misleading campaign ads and last-minute robocalls by the governor energized GOP voters, but data point to a path forward for DEMs and mid-term election success. If you missed the meeting, get a shot in the arm and view the recording here!
Relief for Ukraine: How to Help
If you are looking for a way to support the people of Ukraine as they bravely fend off the Russian onslaught, consider donating to international relief efforts. NPR has put together a list of reputable organizations working to address the pressing needs of Ukraine residents. Find the list here and donate.
Proposed Duval Redistricting: Next Step
With the Public Hearings on Duval Redistricting maps complete, the next step is a meeting of the Rules Committee - next Tuesday, March 1 at 2 pm, City Hall, Council Chambers. The public needs to attend to ensure our concerns about the proposed district maps - and the process used to create them - are taken seriously. For procedural questions about the meeting, contact Councilmember Brenda Priestly Jackson's assistant Kristen Hodges, (904) 255-5146.
If you want more background on the redistricting issue to prepare your comments, contact DWIN Vice-President for Programs Joy Burgess.
Beaches Watch Focuses on State of Duval Schools
School Board Superintendent Dr. Diana L. Green and Member Elizabeth Andersen, who represents the Beaches (District 2) will address issues facing our public schools at the Wednesday, March 2 Beaches Watch community meeting. The virtual meeting starts at 7 pm and is open to the public. Expected topics include updates on the county’s strategic plan, academic performance and COVID impacts, the half-penny sales tax, and teacher salaries/staffing needs, with a special focus on Beaches schools.
Click here for details on the meeting and how to participate via ZOOM.
Learn How to Register Voters NOW!
Join the Florida Democratic Party on Zoom for voter registration basics training on Saturday, March 5th from 10 am to 11 am. This training will help you register voters confidently and in compliance with FL's new election laws. Learn more and register here. Nothing is more important for securing victory in the 2022 midterms!
The Fight Continues: Oppose These Bills
Important votes take place this week on bills that threaten academic freedom, voter rights, racial and environmental justice. While GOP dominance is likely to steamroll the passage of these alarming proposals, it is important that we make our opposition known, and support our Democratic representatives who are working so hard on our behalf.
Anti-woke & Don't Say Gay (HB 7 & HB 1557) both passed the House last week largely along party lines and move to the Senate. The bills, strongly supported by the Governor, are fast-tracked for final passage. Contact Senator Aaron Bean and let him know you are opposed to these terrible bills. UU Action Network makes it easy. Click here to weigh in on HB 7 and here to oppose HB 1557.
Net-Metering (HB 741) reduces payback to homeowners using rooftop solar installations. A healthy and sustainable environment demands fossil fuels be replaced by renewable energy sources like solar. The bill could be considered by the House as early as Tuesday. Use this link to oppose this bill.
Citizen-Led Initiatives (SJR 1412): The Senate Rules Committee will hold hearings on SJR 1412 - Revisions or Amendments of the State Constitution by Citizen Initiative on Tuesday. If this proposed amendment to the Florida Constitution had been in effect, then recent examples of citizen initiatives that had broad public support but little legislative support like the Restoration of Voting Rights to Returning Citizens, the Florida Forever Land Trust and increases to the Florida minimum wage would never have appeared on the ballot. Click here to express your support of citizen-led petition initiatives and oppose SJR 1412.
Support Biden's Nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to SCOTUS
President Joe Biden's historic Supreme Court nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to fill the seat of retiring Justice Stephen Breyer needs our full-throated support! The Senate GOP, led by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, is hard at work drumming up opposition by casting Jackson as a "far-left favorite." Brown Jackson, raised in Miami, is eminently qualified and would bring the unique perspective of a public defender to the court. She would be the first Black woman to serve on the land's highest court. Indivisible has a link & draft message to make it easy to support her nomination. While it is always best to use your own words, it is critical that we advocate strongly now for her speedy confirmation.