Government Shutdown Averted - For Now
A last minute bipartisan compromise passed late Saturday night will keep the government open for another six weeks as Congress works to pass a budget. Congressman John Rutherford (R-District 5) was one of 126 GOP members who supported the stopgap measure. Jacksonville's other congress member, Aaron Bean (R-District 4), joined 90 MAGA obstructionists in voting against the resolution which ensures continued funding for military personnel, national parks, nutrition assistance for pregnant women and a myriad of other discretionary programs. Worth noting that Bean was elected in a gerrymandered district aimed at diluting Florida's Black representation in Congress. Both the state's U.S. Senators - Rick Scott (R) and Marco Rubio (R) supported the resolution, which was signed by President Joe Biden shortly before the midnight deadline. While the cynic in us notes the GOP's concern over voter backlash to a shutdown, and that MAGA efforts to remove the House Speaker will likely precipitate threats of yet another shutdown, a reasonable bipartisan solution prevailed this time around.
Take a minute to thank Rutherford for putting the needs of Americans above the extremist demands of MAGA members led by FL Congressman Matt Gaetz. Urge him to support a clean budget, as well as funding for Ukraine and its war against Russia's invasion. Remember, he represents all of us. Email him here or contact his Jacksonville office at (904) 831-5205.
Join Us for PRIDE Events this Weekend!
Join BAM as we partner with the Beaches Democratic Club and Duval DEMs in registering voters at the Jacksonville River City Pride Festival, Saturday, October 7 at Riverside Park. Sign up for a shift here or stop by our table anytime during the day-long event. You can also join the Jax Pride parade on Sunday, October 8 at Willow Branch Park. Groups will gather at 1 p.m. for the parade which winds through Riverside to Five Points, and ends at Riverside Park. Check out all of the 2023 Jax River City Pride events this week here.
Help Outreach to Returning Citizens
Tens of thousands of former felons who have done their time and returned to Duval County are not yet registered to vote. Join us on Thursday, October 12 to support efforts by the League of Women Voters to inform these returning citizens about their rights and the resources available to help them reclaim their voting rights. This non-partisan, in-person event will be held at the Adele Grage Cultural Center in Atlantic Beach from 7 - 9 p.m. Postcards and stamps will be provided. Our goal is to complete 1000 postcards! RSVP here.
Double Your Support for BAM in October
BAM is tapping into a fundraising effort by national Indivisible which will provide a dollar-for-dollar match (up to $500) of any dues or donations we receive by October 31! The money we receive supports the operation of our volunteer organization. Our work together this year has been impressive: from GOTV efforts that helped elect Donna Deegan Mayor of Jacksonville, and legislative advocacy against terrible measures enacted during the 2023 session, to work in securing signatures needed to put reproductive rights on the ballot in 2024, and our Back-to-School Book Bash which provided books (including some “banned”), fun, food and services to over 200 community members from our Beaches area. Next year’s Presidential and Congressional races will be absolutely critical, not just to individual policies but to democracy itself. Help us make a difference this year and next. Your active engagement means the most, but if you can offer financial support as well, please do. Double your impact by donating before October 31 and help us take advantage of Indivisible's offer to match contributions up to $500.
Coalition to Protect Our Public Schools
A coalition of organizations working to protect public education in our community and state will meet on Wednesday, October 4 at 11 a.m. at the Southeast Regional Library. The ACLU will discuss government overreach and censorship, as well as their efforts to challenge the state in court. Other coalition members include Moms Rising, Families for Strong Public Schools and Public School Defenders.
Some Fun: Check out ABET Latest Play!
We've heard rave reviews about Alabama Story, the current production by the All Beaches Experimental Theatre (ABET). The play offers a contrasting story of childhood friends—an African American man and a woman of white privilege, reunited in adulthood—and provides a private counterpoint to the public events swirling in the state capital. Spoiler alert: it deals with book banning. The production runs Fridays - Sundays through October 15th. Tickets are $20 through Eventbrite.