"In 2022, we should all do more and worry less. No amount of worry will alter the outcome of events in 2022—but our actions will." - Robert Hubble
Happy New Year to All!
On behalf of BAM's leadership, best wishes to everyone on this email list for a happy, winning, and healthy 2022! As the state's Covid numbers continue to rise, please encourage everyone you know to mask up in public, keep your distance, and get your booster shot.
We look forward to a busy year ahead - with the Florida Legislative Session beginning next week, the run-off for Duval's open At-Large Council seat coming in early February, vital midterms on tap across the country, and more. But before we get too busy, take a little time to appreciate the real achievements of 2021.
In the coming year we need to be ready to counter negative talk with the facts about why sane, progressive leadership matters. Find great talking points and real hope in these year-end reviews of the Biden-Harris Administration's first year from historian Heather Cox Richardson and political commentator Robert Hubble.
How to Commemorate January 6
On January 6 last year a violent mob incited by then-President Donald Trump attacked the US Capitol, attempting to overturn Trump's defeat in the presidential election. Though that attack failed, America faces continued efforts to undermine the legitimacy of the current administration, and to undercut free and fair elections. The anniversary of that insurrection offers a wide array of actions we can take:
St Augustine Vigil for Democracy. 4-6 pm. Castillo de San Marcos National Park. Democrats in St. Johns County and other groups are organizing this non-partisan candlelight vigil as part of a nationwide observance of the anniversary of the insurrection and a call to action. Please plan to wear a mask & sign up here.
Postcard to Register Voters in Flippable Districts. 5-6 pm online. FieldTeam6 is a nationwide group with a strong record of using postcards, phone & text to register progressive voters. If postcards are your thing, consider this Jan 6 action and learn more here.
Write or call Senators Rubio & Scott. Adapt this script as you like to best express your views:
"This is [your name] from [your city & zip code] Florida. As you know, Democrats are considering changes to Senate rules if Republicans keep obstructing progress on voting rights. I solidly support this if it’s necessary, but would much prefer a bipartisan demonstration that the Senate cares about protecting voting rights for all Americans.
In the shadow of last year's violent attack on the US Capitol, I’m asking the Senator to change course and commit to voting for the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. As Liz Cheney stated this weekend, the Republican Party “can either be loyal to our Constitution or loyal to Donald Trump, not both.” Cheney and one or two others shouldn’t be the only courageous Republicans in Congress. Thanks."
January 6 @ 6:30 PM - Zoom Redistricting Briefing
One more way to mark the anniversary of last year's assault on democracy is to attend Councilwoman Brenda Priestly Jackson's Zoom briefing on the Duval Redistricting process. Jackson chairs the city's Rules Committee and will be holding 3 public hearings on the draft district maps, a rare opportunity for citizens to weigh in on decisions that will affect our votes for School Board and City Council for the next decade.
Before those official hearings begin, she has accepted DWIN's invitation to attend this Zoom for a candid conversation about the city's redistricting process, the draft maps under consideration, and the best ways for groups like ours to have a voice in the process. Use this Zoom link to join the meeting. Password is 317478.
National Groups to Know About & Support
BAM's primary focus in the coming year will remain at the local level - educating and motivating progressive voters in Florida, including ourselves. But most of us also have a strong interest in politics at the national level.
Here's a starting list of national groups doing good work you may want to support with donations of time, money or simply your attention. If you know of others you think BAM members should know about, tell us about them.
The Civics Center began work in 2019 with a simple idea: "If the reactionary majority is about to crush the civil liberties of younger voters and there are tens of millions of younger voters who are not registered, the obvious path to victory is registering younger voters." What started in California has expended into a national focus on voter registration in high schools.
Indivisible Give No Ground is a national effort by our parent organization to focus on members of Congress in 6 states whose strong support for Biden has made them Republican targets in this year's midterms. If you're wondering how to focus on critical races outside Florida this is a good place to start.
Swing Left is another effective national organization helping progressive campaigns with direct mail and fundraising since 2017. This year they will also focus on a wider universe of midterm races essential to preserving or increasing Democratic control in both House and Senate.
Great Reads to Brighten Your New Year
If you need a good laugh and haven't seen Dave Barry's 2021 Year in Review, you owe it to yourself to click.
Rebecca Solnit has been encouraging depressed progressives since George W won his second term. Now she offers longterm hope that "if we can make it through the huge backlash of the present moment, the possibilities are dazzling."