"Fighting voter suppression in this fall’s midterm election calls for a voting registration drive this coming summer analogous to the 1964 Freedom Summer in Mississippi....It should focus on Georgia, Florida, Arizona, Texas, Wisconsin, and North Carolina....Now as in 1964, young people could play a key role." - Robert Reich, The Future of Voting Rights & Democracy
Continuing the Fight for Voting Rights
Robert Reich is correct: Registering and turning out like-minded voters is the key to protecting our democracy. As Covid recedes, BAM will broaden our efforts here in Duval. In Washington, a growing bipartisan Senate group is working on national election reforms that could still pass. In the meantime, take heart & share these positive developments:
If you've not donated recently to the list of groups challenging SB 90 on our behalf, consider doing so today.
This Week in Tallahassee
The most timely way to follow and respond to the action on a wide range of issues is to sign up for the UUJF's Action Alerts. But here are a few of the important bills moving this week and what you can do about them.
On Tuesday, February 1, the House Judiciary Committee will hold hearings on HJR 1127 - a bill to limit Citizen Initiatives - the revisions to the FL Constitution we the people can propose. If this bill had been in place, popular ballot measures restoring voting rights to ex-felons, establishing the Florida Forever Land Trust, and raising the Minimum Wage would all have been blocked. Click here, adapt the provided message to your own words, and urge our legislators to vote NO.
On Tuesday, February 1, the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee will hold hearings on SB 524 - a bill that would prohibit rank choice voting as an option in local elections. Click here to learn more, adapt the suggested language, and urge a NO vote by Senator Aaron Bean on this latest, anti-democratic erosion of local control.
Wednesday, Feb 2, 11 am-1 pm. the Senate Health Policy Committee will hold hearings on SB 146 - a 15 week abortion ban that is moving rapidly through committees. Our own Senator Aaron Bean serves on this committee and needs to hear from us. Please call his office now at 850-487-5004 to express your opposition. Adapt this suggested script as you like:
"Hello my name is ________, from zip code ______. I am urging Senator Bean to vote NO on SB 146, an abortion ban, on Wednesday. The people of Florida will remember. Abortion bans are unpopular with most Floridians, who respect the privacy of medical decisions.”
On Wednesday, February 2, 7-8 PM, join Beaches Watch via zoom to hear Scott Dudley, with the Florida League of Cities Grassroots Advocacy, talk about the bills that are most concerning for our local governments and how you can speak out this session against these measures. Click here for Zoom info.
Thursday, Feb 3 - Duval Redistricting Hearing
This Thursday night from 6-7:30 PM, the second of four Public Hearings on Duval County's proposed redistricting maps will take place at Atlantic Coast High School, 9735 R.G. Skinner Pkwy. This is the hearing closest to the Beaches and we hope a number of BAM members will attend. If you're interested in carpooling with neighbors, let us know.
This is our chance to weigh in on the voting districts that will shape our area's politics for the next decade. Each speaker is allowed just 3 minutes to comment or ask questions. Resources to help us prepare include the JAX Tributary's Redistricting Primer and the Citizen's Guide prepared by DWIN, BAM, and a host of other local groups. The city needs to hear all our voices.
Polson Campaign Updates
We have just 22 days until election day in the special election to fill the remainder of Tony Hazouri's term as At-Large member of City Council. Help Democratic candidate Tracye Polson expand her primary lead. Turnout is the key to special elections, so the most essential task is making sure people know this important vote is taking place and remember to vote. Here's how you can help:
If you voted by mail, check here to confirm your vote's been counted.
Text out the Vote several times weekly with Duval Dems.
Canvass every Sunday 3-4:30 PM.
Donate to help get Tracye's message out.
Town Hall on Jacksonville Recycling - Tonight!
Most of BAM's members live at the Beaches, where we're fortunate to still have trash collection that includes recycling. But our members and friends who live in Jacksonville have been dealing for months now with the mayor's decision to halt recycling collection there.
Thanks to Councilman Matt Carlucci, two public hearings are now scheduled on this urgent issue:
Monday, January 31, at 6:45 p.m. West Branch Library, 1425 Chaffee Road S., Jacksonville 32221 Co-hosts: Councilwoman Randy DeFoor, Councilwoman Brenda Priestly Jackson and Councilman Randy White
Tuesday, February 15, at 7 p.m. Chapel Hall at Arlington Baptist Church, 6009 Arlington Road, Jacksonville 32211, Co-host: Councilwoman Joyce Morgan
Mark your calendar and attend, or email Carlucci with your thoughts.
Good News to Start the Week With
Close attention to politics is not a relaxing hobby. So we're always on the lookout for news that reminds us of the positive momentum in our world. If you find something worth sharing, please email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New JAX nonprofit offers safe haven to sex trafficking survivors.
Covid pills coming to FL Walmart, Publix, CVS & Walgreens.