top of page
Search

Action Alert - January 15, 2024


8 Ways to Protect American Democracy


Martin Luther King's historic efforts to extend and protect the voting rights of all Americans face unprecedented threats in the wake of the 2020 presidential election. Attacks on the integrity of the election, voting procedures, poll workers, and other efforts to undermine the results have eroded trust in this key institution of our democracy. The GOP has taken advantage of this mistrust by enacting draconian legislation that limits voter access to vote-by-mail, restricts voter registration efforts, and promotes mistrust and fear with things like election police. Most notably, the GOP-controlled Congress has refused to re-enact the voting rights legislation Dr. King successfully championed.


8 Ways to Protect Democracy, a timely report by the Center for American Progress (CAP), urges us to take action to address the challenges the country faces in the 2024 presidential election and offers a roadmap for healing and strengthening American democracy. For the upcoming elections, the report offers four policy recommendations that focus on increasing public education about election procedures and changes in election law; protecting poll workers and voters from intimidation; strengthening the election certification process, including processing mail-in ballots before election day; and countering the spread of misinformation generated by AI through social media. Four additional policies are proposed to address systemic issues in U.S. elections, including passing federal and state voting rights acts; creating a government website with accurate and up-to-date election results; moving toward election systems that encourage consensus-driven politics, and protecting state ballot measure processes.

As President Joe Biden reminded us in his remarks on the anniversary of January 6th, the 2024 election is a fight for democracy. Ready to act? Here are three things you can do this week to safeguard elections:


  • Oppose efforts by Florida lawmakers to restrict vote-by-mail and citizen-initiated ballot measures. Bad bills have been filed (SB 1752 and HB 0335) that eliminate "no-excuse" vote-by-mail taking away this option for most citizens, and increase the percentage of voters required to approve a ballot amendment to the state constitution from 60% to 66.67%. Encourage our legislators to oppose these two bills and support HB 1035 and similar bills that make it easier to register people to vote, use vote-by-mail, and take the first step toward enacting a state voting rights act. Advocate for the protection of poll workers by supporting SB 0562. Contact state Rep. Kiyan Michaels and state Sen. Clay Yarborough.

  • Tell our reps in Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act. Contact U.S. Rep. John Rutherford, and Senators Rick Scott and Marco Rubio and ask them to support this important federal legislation to protect voting rights and elections.

  • Be a poll worker or poll watcher. The Duval County Supervisor of Elections is recruiting poll workers (see below). Or watch for opportunities to poll watch for the FL or Duval DEMS closer to the 2024 elections.


Duval SOE Needs Poll Workers

The Duval County Supervisor of Elections (SOE) still needs poll workers for the 2024 elections! According to Jax Today, the SOE is seeking 10-20 additional Democrats and 30-40 more Republicans to adequately staff the county's 160 precincts. The SOE wants to have equal representation of the state's two major political parties at each site. Even if you aren't placed, you can still be part of a back-up pool for the election. Find out more and apply here.

BAM's 2024 Legislative Priorities

The BAM Board has adopted priorities to guide our advocacy efforts in seven issue areas for the 2024 legislative session. The priorities were drawn from recommendations compiled by the We the People coalition this fall, and focus on:

  • Healthcare Access and Affordability, including Disability Care, Mental Healthcare, Reproductive Healthcare, and Workforce Demands,

  • Affordable Housing, including Tenants’ Rights,

  • Democracy & Voting Rights, including Rights for Returning Citizens,

  • Education, including the Rights of LGBTQIA+ and Black Students & Staff,

  • Gun Violence Prevention,

  • Diversity and Inclusion, and

  • The Environment.

At BAM's January meeting last week, Holly Bullard, of the Florida Policy Institute, provided an overview of the 2024 session. You can find a recording of the meeting here. She outlined the priorities of legislative leaders, and highlighted bills impacting child labor, health care access, gun violence, child care and education. Bullard noted the importance of constituent advocacy, particularly letters to legislators and press conferences and other public events that call attention to bad bills. She also noted how sensitive legislators are to voters who take the time to write or call and pointed to instances where as few as 30 constituent comments affected the fate of a given bill.


Help amplify BAM's impact in Tallahassee this year. Review BAM's 2024 Legislative Priorities here. Pick out the ones that matter most to you, then find additional resources here to help you craft letters to the editor, or calls/emails to our legislators. Our voices do matter. Let's use them.

MLK Breakfast Stresses Unity


BAM and Jax NOW members shared a table and joined over 2,100 participants at the 37th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast last Friday at the Prime Osborn Convention Center. The event, Love and Light: Strength through Unity, featured Mayor Donna Deegan and other city and business leaders, musical performances and moving presentations by winners of the Tomorrow's Leaders essay contest. The City, NAACP, Jacksonville Urban League, and Jacksonville Chamber joined in organizing the 2024 breakfast after holding separate observances for the last eight years.


Share this email with your friends!

Only 295 days until the 2024 election!

13 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page