"I am not an optimist, because I am not sure that everything ends well. Nor am I a pessimist, because I am not sure everything ends badly. Instead, I am a realist who carries hope, and hope is the belief that freedom and justice have meaning—and that liberty is worth the trouble." -- Vaclav Havel
Monday, May 2 - The State of Voting Rights in FL 6:30 PM Zoom
If the recent legislative session has left you anxious about voting rights here in the Sunshine State, tonight's Zoom is for you. Rosemary McCoy, Vice President and Public Education Chair of the Northeast Florida Chapter, ACLU of Florida, is hosting this virtual event. Featured speakers will include Cecile Scoon, civil rights attorney and President of League of Women Voters of Florida, who will discuss voting rights and current voting registration guidelines in light of the recent court ruling on SB 90, and the passage of SB 524.
Scoon will be joined by John Paul Taylor, Rights Restoration Field Director with Southern Poverty Law Center, and Sam Coodley, State-wide Voting Rights Organizer with ACLU of Florida. All are welcome, but registration is required.
Tuesday, May 3 - Two Chances to Meet Val Demings
Imagine having a Senator in Washington who shares your concerns about climate change, quality health care & affordable housing for all, and who took a leadership role in challenging Donald Trump's illegal acts as president. If this idea excites you, plan to take advantage of two opportunities to meet Senate candidate Val Demings this week here in Jacksonville.
Demings Fundraiser 5:30-7 PM. It's not too late to RSVP or donate. Location information provided after RSVP.
Meet the Chief. 7-8:30 PM. Open invitation to meet Congressman Demings at the IBEW Hall. Register here.
Duval School Board Meeting Tuesday, May 3 Help Us Get to 300!
More than 150 people signed the petition yesterday opposing a Duval County School Board resolution introduced by member Charlotte Joyce endorsing the state's new "Don't Say Gay" law. This resolution is a blatant attempt to use our school system to advance a divisive political agenda, and reduce critical supports available to ALL students.
We can easily double the current number of signatures! Please sign if you have not already done so. Share within your networks and encourage signers to share the petition with theirs. Help get 300 signatures by Tuesday!
Dan Merkan, Policy Director for JASMYN, has put together some talking points and guidance on speaking at the school board meeting on May 3rd. Merkan spoke at our joint BAM-Indivisible Mandarin Zoom in March and shared important information on Moms for Liberty and their efforts to push a right-wing agenda in schools throughout the country. If you can attend the meeting and speak out, please do. If not, please reach out to School Board members and encourage them to vote NO.
"I know that hate can only win if people like me stand by and let it happen."
If you missed this excellent speech by Michigan State Senator Mallory McMorrow, do yourself a favor and take 10 minutes to watch it now. A Republican in the Michigan Senate sent a fundraising letter accusing McMorrow of being a pedophile, alleging she was “grooming” kindergartners for sex. Her crime? Walking out of the Senate during a "prayer" by that Senator attacking LGBTQ students.
McMorrow's furious rebuttal deserved to go viral, and did. It's an inspiration, and a lesson in how to call out the Republican party's growing reliance on hate and fear. You can watch it here and take heart. We are not alone.
New Petition Drive to Protect Florida's Waterways
The bad news: We all know Florida's fabulous natural wonders are under constant and growing assault from development. The good news: A creative new petition drive hopes to give citizens the right to sue on behalf of clean water. Until we change our representatives in Tallahassee, this may be our best route forward.
Craig Pittman of The Florida Phoenix details both the problem and the solution in this recent article. The petition drive is in its early stages, but click here to learn more - and to help get this measure on the 2024 ballot.
Check Out Last Week's BAM-IM Zoom
If you missed last Thursday night's Zoom with Florida Senate candidate Tracie Davis and Northside Coalition's Founder & President Ben Frazier you missed a chance to get better acquainted with two important Duval voices. They discussed redistricting, laws to suppress voting & protesting, and other GOP efforts to disenfranchise minorities & Democrats. They also highlighted ways we can work to counteract these alarming strategies. Screen it here.
The Good, Bad, & Ugly - This Week's Reads
Heather Cox Richardson: Why DeSantis Is More Dangerous Than Trump
New York Times: How DeSantis Transformed FL Politics
Rare Win for the Good Guys: DeSantis Vetoes Net Metering Bill
The latest Legal Update on Redistricting