What a Difference a Week Makes
From despair to jubilation. What a difference a week makes! Nervous pundits and pollsters were wrong once again as voters across the country cast their ballots for people and issues that reflect their vision of the country -- a vision that contrasts with the MAGA message, and right-wing efforts to dismantle democracy. So what did it take? Experts attribute success to three things: good candidates, issues that voters care about, and hard work on the ground. Let's make this our mantra in 2024.
We won't repeat the list of victories here but we will call attention to one -- the resounding defeat of Moms for Liberty candidates in school board races nationwide. Founded in Florida, the group has upended school systems everywhere, including locally. A reminder that three of seven Duval County School Board seats are up for election in 2024, with a possibility that six of seven could be on the ballot due to redistricting. Two of the seats have been targeted by Gov. Ron DeSantis. Candidates are already qualifying for these races, Moms for Liberty members among them. Pay attention to these contests -- public education in our community is at stake.
Meanwhile in Congress, November 17th is looming. That's the day the continuing resolution passed a month ago to keep the government running lapses. The new House Speaker, Mike Johnson, has been unsuccessful in passing any budget bills. Ladders, two-steps, whatevers -- the solutions currently on the table involve additional extensions, postponing the adoption of a final budget. The GOP remains fractured and unable to act. We need to reach out AGAIN to U.S. Rep. John Rutherford and demand action. The House must adopt a clean budget that addresses the needs of all Americans, without poison pills and riders promoting an extreme social agenda. That includes not cutting funding for food stamps and other critical social safety net programs. Passing a budget is Rutherford's job and he needs to do it. Email him or call his Jax office (904) 831-5205.
Celebrate Civil Rights Leadership in Jax Tonight
Join the Jacksonville Branch NAACP and a coalition of voting rights advocates in celebrating community champions and the statewide launch of a pro-voter agenda for Florida tonight (Monday, November 13) at 6 p.m. at the group's headquarters on Beaver Street. Food and refreshments will be served. The event will celebrate the re-opening of the Early Voting site at Edward Waters University following five years of protests and advocacy, as well as highlight strategies for supporting voter rights and ending voter suppression efforts. It will also recognize local voting rights champions. The gathering will seek additional support for the new Florida pro-voter agenda advanced by the Duval County Voting Rights Coalition in collaboration with All Voting is Local. More than 35 organizations, including BAM, have already signed onto the initiative.
SWIFT Offers Preview of Legislative Session
Genesis Robinson, Political Director of Equal Ground, will preview the 2024 state legislative session at the November 14th virtual meeting of the Statewide Florida Indivisible Task Force (SWIFT). The collaboration meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. via Zoom, and is open to all Indivisible group leaders, members, friends, and activists in the state. The coalition comprises more than a dozen Indivisible affiliates in Florida, including BAM. The purpose of SWIFT is to offer connections, resources, and support to Indivisible activists across the state around progressive organizing initiatives. The group meets monthly to coordinate strategy and learn together. Register here to join this month's discussion.
Beaches Democratic Club Hosts Nat Glover
The Beaches Democratic Club will host a presentation and book signing by former Sheriff Nat Glover on Tuesday, November 21st at 6:30 p.m. at the Community Expo Hall in Sunshine Park at 2508 S. Beach Pkwy, Jacksonville Beach. Glover, the author of Striving for Justice: A Black Sheriff, transcended segregation and poverty to become the first Black sheriff in Jacksonville and the state of Florida in over 100 years. He is known as one of the nation’s most innovative and highly regarded law enforcement officials, and a champion of education, equal opportunity, and racial harmony. RSVP here.