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Action Alert - January 16, 2023

"To hope is to give yourself to the future - and that commitment to the future is what makes the present inhabitable." Rebecca Solnit

JAX Municipal Elections - What's at Stake

This March 23 (and in early voting, March 6-19), Jacksonville voters will choose the people who manage our consolidated local government via "unitary election." The jobs on this upcoming ballot are critical to our city's future direction: all our City Council seats, JAX Mayor, Sheriff, Supervisor of Elections, Property Appraiser, and Tax Collector.

Instead of a party-based primary system, a unitary election presents a single ballot to all voters within each electoral district, regardless of party affiliation. Though candidates’ party affiliation will be listed on the ballot, voters are free to choose from all the candidates for each job. If a candidate wins a majority of the votes in that first round, he or she wins that post. If no candidate wins a majority, then the general election scheduled for May 16 will be a runoff between the top two candidates for each role, regardless of their party affiliation.

Turnout will be a critical factor in these important elections. Everyone who used Vote by Mail in 2022 must register for it again to use it in 2023. If you've not already done so, please renew your VBM status now - and remind friends & family to do the same. If you use the online request form, be prepared to put in BOTH your driver's license # and the last 4 digits of your social security number, though only one is legally required. You can also print out a paper application and mail it in to the address provided on the form.

In addition, plan now to help us get out the vote here at the Beaches. We'll be canvassing and dropping literature for likely voters from 10:30- noon on February 25 & March 4. Sign up now to help.

Tuesday, Jan 17 - Donna Deegan & Joyce Morgan at Beaches Democratic Club

Join the Beaches Democratic Club this Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. at the Beaches Branch Library for their first meeting of 2023, the first of several spotlights the BDC will shed on candidates for our upcoming municipal elections.

This week's speakers will be Donna Deegan, Democratic Candidate for Mayor; Joyce Morgan, candidate for Duval County Tax Appraiser; and longtime BDC member Mike Flynn, running as a write-in candidate for our own District 13 JAX City County Council Seat.

All 3 speakers will discuss their visions for Jacksonville and the relationship between Jacksonville and the beach communities.

In February, BDC will host Audrey Gibson, another Democratic Candidate for Mayor, who will provide her take on these topics. Several City Council At-Large Candidates have also been invited to the February meeting.

RSVP here. And if you want to come early, bring a friend, and enjoy some social time, come at 6. Face masks are optional & hand sanitizer will be provided.

Wednesday - DWIN Empower & Engage Voters! (11:30 AM - 2:30 PM)

Meet Democrats from across Duval and help with the essential task of re-registering the more than 30,000 Duval Dems whose Vote-by-Mail status has lapsed (but whose votes we need), or simply contacting voters to be sure they know which precinct the "new" new map puts them in. Join our friends at the Democratic Women's Information Network this week either in person - or via Zoom. The upcoming election offers us a rare chance to make significant changes to our city's leadership. Help make sure like-minded voters understand & turn out. Register here.

Wednesday, Jan 18 - 7 pm - Beaches Watch "State of the Dunes"

This Wednesday night Beaches Watch will host a public update on the state of our dune system after the the 2022 hurricane season. Guest speakers Kevin Bodge, coastal engineer with Olsen Associates, and Kevin Brown, retired marine sciences teacher from Fletcher, will discuss the current health of the dunes & plans for renourishment - as well as additional options to protect and strengthen them. All are welcome at the Beaches Branch Public Library (600 Third St., Neptune Beach.)

Wednesday, Jan 18 - Moms Demand Action vs. Permitless Carry

Also this coming Wednesday: Moms Demand Action is meeting at 6:30 pm at Pablo Creek Library (13295 Beach Blvd, JAX). The meeting's focus will be fighting the Legislature's plans to eliminate Florida's current requirements that people carrying handguns in public pass a criminal background check and undergo firearms training. As Katie Hathaway's eloquent Letter to the Editor in last week's Beaches Leader said, "Lawmakers who claim to ‘back the blue’ should listen to the sheriffs and chiefs who have said permitless carry puts them and the greater public in danger.”

Recent polls suggest this is NOT a popular idea with GOP or Democratic voters. Despite Republican control in Tallahassee, this insanity can be fought. We need more letters to the editor, more letters to our legislators, and if you have a small business, consider signing on to this open letter opposing perrmitless carry. And stay tuned for more information on Moms Demand's plans for a lobbying day in Tallahassee.

Sunday, Jan 22 - Bigger than Roe Rally! 3-5 PM

On January 22nd, 1973, the Supreme Court's Roe V. Wade decision guaranteed women's constitutional right to abortion. Last June 24th, the current Supreme Court's Dobbs decision stripped that right away. This legally dubious, court-sanctioned elimination of a constitutional right must not stand. On this year's 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, add your voice to a nationwide outpouring of support for Reproductive Freedom. Bring a sign that best expresses your feelings about this vital issue. And join BAM, NOW, DWIN, and a host of other local groups as we listen to speakers, register voters, and hand out information on the upcoming unitary election. If you want to help staff the BAM table, or need a ride to the event, email us.

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