"If you're not hopeful and optimistic, then you just give up. You have to take the long hard look and just believe that if you're consistent, you will succeed."
Ready to Pounce? Three Things You Can Do Now
This week, we are embracing the optimistic analysis by Salon's Kristian Ramos on the Democrats' chances of securing victory in the 2022 midterms. Buoyed by positive polling data, Ramos says it is time for Dems to pounce as GOP favorability declines due to the January 6th hearings, SCOTUS actions, and the latest economic reports. He admonishes Dems to seize the moment and make the case to voters about how left-leaning policies have directly contributed to economic recovery.
Ramos offers a litany of indicators to support his point: unemployment rates hovering at a 50-year low, increases in hourly wages, incredible job creation under President Biden, falling gas and commodity prices (hopefully a sign of slowing inflation), investments in manufacturing plants, and improvements in the global supply chain. This isn't what we are hearing from the media or the onslaught of right-wing campaign ads. While the GOP clings to Trump and stokes the culture wars, Ramos says Dems must highlight their hard work and accomplishments - the things that really make a difference in the lives of voters. The country is better today than in 2020. The GOP is vulnerable. We need to act.
If you are ready to pounce, here are three things you can do right now to support victory for candidates who reflect our priorities and values:
Vote. And urge your family and friends to vote too. Turn-out and Vote-By-Mail (VBM) made the difference in 2020. We can't afford to sit out the mid-terms. VBM ballots went out last week. If you didn't receive one, check with the Duval Supervisor of Elections (SOE). Changes in state law mean most voters need sign up again this year for VBM. You can still request a VBM ballot until August 13. Reminders: use black ink, bubble in your choice, sign using the name on your voter registration, date, and provide contact info so you can be notified if your ballot was rejected and correct it. If you need a quick refresher, check out this short BAM how-to video, or the more detailed SOE version. Mail in your completed ballot or drop off at any early voting site August 8 - 21. Ballots must be received in the SOE Office by 7 p.m. on Election Day (August 23).
Engage. Canvass, text message, phone bank, postcard, register voters, poll watch, or get involved in a group working on issues you care about. It is easy to feel outnumbered particularly in GOP-dominated districts but you are not alone! Regardless of your interests - voter rights, social justice, environmental issues, criminal justice, reproductive rights, party politics - there's an organization for you. If you need ideas or help in connecting, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Spread the word. Politics is relational. Talk to your family, friends, and neighbors - especially those with divergent political views. For help in framing those dinner table and over-the-fence conversations, check out this primer developed for Jacksonville's Win Elections Network (WEN). Words that Win! It's about finding common values, calling out GOP actions, and sharing what we are doing to make things better. Spread the word!
BAM School Board Forum Moved to August 11th
The BAM Virtual Forum on School Board District 2 Candidates and the School Tax
Referendum has been moved to August 11th due to scheduling conflicts. Join us for a discussion with incumbent Elizabeth Andersen and challenger April Carney about their plans and priorities. Jacksonville Public Education Fund President Rachel Tutwiler Fortune will also be on hand to answer your questions about the proposed 1-mill increase in property taxes for schools. Mark your calendar and look for more information in the coming weeks.
Meet the DEM Candidates for Sheriff July 19th
The Beaches Democratic Club and Democratic Women's Information Network (DWIN) will host a Sheriff Candidate Forum with the four Democratic candidates - Lakesha Burton, Wayne Clark, Tony Cummings and Ken Jefferson - at their July 19th joint membership meeting. The meeting will be held from 6:15 - 7:30 p.m. at the Beaches Library. Come out and meet the candidates in person or join the forum virtually. The four Democratic candidates, and GOP contender T.K. Waters, are vying to finish out the term of Sheriff Mike Williams, who vacated the position after moving out of the county. The special election is on the August 23 primary ballot. If no candidate garners a majority of votes, the top two finishers will meet in a run-off in November. Register here to attend the forum in person. To participate via Zoom, register here.
Updated WEN Voter Education Guides Available
Voter engagement and education is one of the priorities of the Win Elections Network
(WEN), a new coalition of more than 20 community-based and activist organizations, including BAM. The group has published a comprehensive voter guide with information on all the races and issues on the 2022 midterm primary and general election ballot. Compiled by Dr. Marcella Washington, retired FSCJ professor and DWIN member, the goal of the guide is to empower and support voters. Two mini-guides/brochures are also available in English and Spanish for use in canvassing and voter outreach events. Quantities of the mini-guides can be obtained by contacting WEN.
Were You Spotted? Angie Nixon Meet & Greet
Stormy weather did not stop the Beaches from turning out last week to meet Rep. Angie Nixon and support her re-election in District 13! She shared her story and advocacy efforts during the last legislative session. Her vocal opposition to flawed redistricting plans, support of reproductive rights, among other issues angered legislative leaders and earned her an opponent in the upcoming primary. Nixon's advocacy benefits all of us, no matter what our district or zipcode. Thanks to event organizers and to everyone who participated and gave generously. Check out our slideshow to see if you were spotted!
Honor Seneca Falls Anniversary & Urge Senate Action on Abortion
Widely regarded as the birth of the women's rights movement in the U.S., the Seneca Falls Convention was held July 19 - 20, 1848. The meeting agenda addressed women's suffrage and a host of other social and economic justice issues. It would take more than 70 years for the 19th Amendment to be ratified, and the recent SCOTUS decision overturning Roe v Wade demonstrates that rights - even when given- can be taken away.
The Women's Health Protection Act (WHPA) and Ensuring Access to Abortion Act (EAAA)passed the U.S. House last week largely along a party-line vote. The bills, which legalize abortion nationally, and protect patients’ rights to travel for abortion services, are now headed for a vote in the U.S. Senate. While few are optimistic about their passage, it is important that FL Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott be reminded that 56% of their constituents support legalized abortion in most cases. And women (last time we checked) still have the right to vote. Email or call Rubio and Scott and ask them to forego the filibuster and stand up for reproductive rights by voting for the Women's Health Protection Act and Ensuring Access to Abortion Act!
Must See TV
January 6th Hearings resume in prime time (8 p.m.) on Thursday, July 21st. This is the eighth and final scheduled hearing, according to the committee investigating the Capitol insurrection.
Democratic Gubernatorial candidates Charlie Crist and Nikki Fried are slated to participate in a televised debate on Thursday, July 21 at 7 p.m. Broadcast by NBC-6 and Telemundo in South Florida, there are plans to live stream the event. Details on how to view are forthcoming.
Get Involved This Week!
Sign up to Poll Watch for the Duval DEMS. They are recruiting! Sign up here.
Wednesday, July 20 & Thursday, July 21 - Happy Hour Community Canvass for Elizabeth Andersen. Join the Beaches Democratic Club & partners at 6:45 pm every Wednesday & Thursday for a quick community canvass event. RSVP for Wednesday here and Thursday here.
Thursday, July 21 - Text Out the Vote Virtual Text Banking 6-7 p.m. Register here.
Sunday, July 24 - Community Canvass for Elizabeth Andersen- 10:30 a.m. Register here.