"Let’s not be ok. Let’s find power in not being ok. Let’s honor our brokenness – and the brokenness of our country – by finding the collective strength to fight for change." - Dahlia Lithwick
"Why Politics Is Both the Poison and the Cure"
If this headline or the quote above it grabbed your attention, you owe it to yourself to read Dahlia Lithwick's beautiful and timely essay by that title. She speaks eloquently to the wearing challenge of caring deeply about politics in these divisive days - and makes a persuasive case for why it's still essential both to care and to act. Read it for your own inspiration and pass it on to friends who may also need a boost.
In the spirit of her words, BAM and Mandarin Indivisible have agreed to a brief summertime hiatus of our monthly Zoom meetings so we can focus all our energies on action. In this summer's lead-up to crucial elections, it's vital we all act on the issues that motivate us by speaking out, rallying, and registering & turning out like-minded voters. We'll keep you posted on future meeting plans in this newsletter. In the meantime, we invite everyone reading this to find at least one item in the many actions detailed below, invite a friend to join you, and do your part for change!
Protect LGBTQ Students in Duval
Duval County Public School's original LGBTQ Student Support Guide is under attack, with over half its contents targeted for elimination this coming school year. To ensure our schools provide a safe and inclusive environment for all LGBTQ students, we need supporters to attend and speak at the next School Board meeting on Tuesday, June 7 at 5:45pm in favor of a comprehensive LGBTQ Student Support Guide. There will be a rally beforehand at 5pm at school board headquarters, 1701 Prudential Drive in the Cline Auditorium. Register here and come prepared to speak from your heart.
School Board Leadership Has Never Mattered More! Help Re-Elect Elizabeth Anderson
Elizabeth Anderson has been a consistent voice for quality education, sane Covid policies, and the protection and nurturing of all Duval's students. We are lucky to have her representing us on the Duval School Board and strongly support her re-election. As she faces primary opposition from a Moms for Liberty candidate, our active support for her is essential now. Ways to help:
Join the fun and meet other Beaches Dems at Happy Hour Canvassing every Wednesday & Thursday. 4:45-6 pm. More info and registration here.
Sunday, June 12 - Join a Duval Community Canvass from 3:30-5 pm.
Can't canvass? Donate here to support her campaign.
No One Is Above the Law: Jan 6 Hearings Watch Event Thursday, June 9
Nearly a year after beginning their work, the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol will launch a series of televised hearings this week to present their findings to the public. Details on witnesses to be called and exact timing of the event remain in flux, but will likely begin at 8 pm this Thursday night.
Be alert for local news updates on the timing and details of this first look at the Committee's findings. And if you'd like to watch the hearing in the company of other activists, Orlando's Broward for Progress is hosting a virtual Watch Event. Register here.
Friday, June 10 - Nikki Fried for Governor - Meet & Greet
Still wondering which Democratic candidate for Governor has the best chance of beating DeSantis? This week offers a chance to meet & assess current Ag Commissioner & gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried. She'll be here in Duval at Breezy Jazz House (1402 San Marco Blvd) on Friday, June 10th from 7:00-8:00 pm. RSVP & more info here.
Saturday, June 11 - March for Our Lives - 4-6 pm
According to the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive, in the 13 days since the carnage in Uvalde there have been 33 more mass shootings in this country, killing 35 people and injuring 126. Yet despite this overwhelming evidence America has a gun problem, and public support for sane solutions, current bipartisan negotiations in Washington promise limited hope for significant change.
To insist on more, March for Our Lives is calling for a national outpouring of protest this weekend. Join the St. Augustine chapter Saturday at Castillo de San Marco and march with other supporters of gun reform. Details & registration here.
If you'd rather speak up than march, consider writing or calling writing our Senators in DC. With bipartisan negotiations in progress, and at least one of them in a tight reelection race, they may be more willing than usual to listen. For inspiration, consider adapting this letter proposed today by Jessica Craven, author of the daily Chop Wood, Carry Water:
"Hi, I'm a constituent calling from [zip]. My name is ______.
I understand the Senate is negotiating a so-called gun bill that doesn’t actually contain gun regulations. From what I’m hearing it focuses on mental health, on putting armed veterans in our schools, and on SUGGESTING that states enact red flag laws. This is absolutely not good enough. We want an assault weapons ban, expanded background checks, mandatory red flag laws, and safe storage laws as a bare minimum. And we know that “hardening our schools” doesn’t work. Robb Elementary had newly beefed up security plus armed officers. It didn’t stop the shooter. Nothing will work but reducing the number of guns people like him have access to. I am livid that the Republican party continues to block common sense gun laws and I will work to make sure every lawmaker who does so now is voted out when their term is up."
More Coming Events!
Canine Carnivale Rescheduled AND Relocated. Visit the BAM table at the inaugural Atlantic Beach Canine Carnivale Saturday, June 11 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Jordan Park, 1671 Frances Avenue. The event was rescheduled due to bad weather. We'll be registering voters, signing folks up for Vote-by-Mail, and gathering signatures for candidates and issue petitions. Come by and test your knowledge of Presidential Pets!
June 14 - 7 pm. Tracie Davis Fundraiser. Representative Tracie Davis spoke out for our values in the Florida House and is now running for FL Senate. Come to Mandarin & meet her and hear about her priorities. RSVP here. (If you're interested in a Beaches carpool, email us at email@example.com.)
Text out the Vote. Activate Duval Dems from the comfort of your own home. Thursday, June 16 - 6-7 pm. Register here.
Melanin Market Juneteenth Celebration. Join JAX NOW and other partners in engaging and registering voters at the much-anticipated Melanin Market event which returns after a pandemic hiatus. The event will be held on Saturday, June 18th from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. along A. Philip Randolph Blvd. If you want to help with voter registration, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Proud to Say Gay Rally Rescheduled. Say no to hate by joining LGBTQ+ activists on Saturday, June 25 at 3 p.m. in front of the Duval County Courthouse. If you want to help with voter registration, email us at email@example.com.