"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
Early Voting Starts Today!!
And the next two weeks are crucial for our state & nation. We'll keep you up to date with ways to help Get-Out-the-Vote (GOTV) here in Duval. First, be sure you vote. Just as important, text, phone, or nag in person at least 4 like-minded people you know to do the same. Everyone's lives are busy and that small nudge from you could make the difference.
If you're voting by mail, get any last-minute advice you may need from BAM's Midterm Voter Guide (including how to seal & mail the ballot). Mail it this week, or deliver it in person to the secure drop boxes inside any early voting location. Then track your VBM ballot here and confirm it's been counted.
If you want to vote in person, you can use any of the county's early voting locations this week or next - all open 7 am to 7 pm daily. Remember to bring your photo ID!
You can also track Duval election turnout by location, party and type here.
Meantime, look for something you can do in the events below and make the time to help us GOTV across Duval!
10/24 - Watch Party for DeSantis-Crist Debate
The Duval Dems are holding a Watch Party for tonight's Gubernatorial Debate -- almost certain to be the only debate of this campaign. Come to DEC Headquarters at 3120 Beach Blvd at 6:30 & share light light hors d’oeuvres, drinks, and the company of people as eager to make DeSantis a one-term governor as you are. Debate action starts at 7. Click here to RSVP.
10/24 - Lakesha Burton Beaches Early Voting Kick-off at
This Week's Canvassing Across Duval
Face-to-face contact is the single most effective way to energize new or reluctant voters. This week offers many chances to Get Out the Vote this way. If you've never done it before, organizers will pair you with a seasoned volunteer. Help us reach out to registered Democrats who need a little encouragement (and information) to fit voting into their busy lives.
10/25 & 27 - Duval Canvassing for Dem Ticket. Multiple times this Tuesday & Thursday canvassers will be heading out from Democratic HQ (3120 Beach Blvd) to contact voters across the county. Click here for more info & registration.
Saturday, 10/29 - BEACHES Early Voting Canvass. Meet other local progressives to GOTV! This weekend is our last chance to reach out to encourage voters to use early voting and make sure we turn out the vote in this important midterm election. Sign up here to get the meeting location and bring a friend!
Sunday, 10/30 - Southside Community Canvass. Join Duval Dems reaching out to voters in District 11 from 3-5 pm. Register here.
Sunday, 10/30 - Neighborhood Canvass for Dem Ticket. A northside canvass starting from Highlands Regional Library, 1826 Dunn Ave. Click here to register.
Tuesday, 10/25 - Indivisible Florida Phonebank - 4:30-6 PM
If walking door to door is not your thing, consider phoning voters instead. Our own statewide coalition of Indivisible groups is joining together to phone likely progressives whose voting records show they may need encouragement to get to the polls in this non-presidential election. This phone bank will be held via Zoom, with all the training you need to jump right in and expert help available as you call. Register here.
This Week's Duval Texting - and More
Wednesday, October 26 6-7 PM - Join the Duval Texting Team and contact at least 1000 Duval voters in an hour from the comfort of your own home. A fun and informative Zoom link joins the volunteers to each other - and provides expert answers to questions as we all text. It's a great way to reach out to voters who need information and encouragement to get to the polls, while enjoying the company of people who share your views & values. Click here to join us this week and next!
And there's more! New plans for all kinds of action take shape every day and BAM tries to keep from filling your inboxes by emailing just once (or maybe twice) weekly. For the very latest overview of election-related action in Duval, check the Mobilize site where most groups post their activities.
Thinking Outside Our Box - Races Beyond FL
We all know that, historically, the party holding the presidency loses ground in Congress during the midterms. We also know this is not a "normal" year - and our work over the past two years has focused on beating that historical norm. By now most of us are avoiding the latest predictions by pundits and simply clinging to the legitimate hope that millions of our fellow Americans see the same threat to democracy we do and vote accordingly.
Control of the US House & Senate involves a dizzying array of races across all 50 states. And many of those races are tightening in the final weeks of this election. If you have your hands full worrying about Florida, feel free to skip this. But for the benefit of those who have contacted us asking about close races in other states that might deserve your help, here are a few good sources:
FiveThirtyEight is an excellent, free source that aggregates the latest polls in House, Senate & Gubernatorial races (and much more) nationwide.
Five Closest Senate Races - reported 4 days ago by Newsweek.
Close House, Senate & Gubernatorial Races - reported surprisingly well 2 days ago by People.
Assault on Schools & Teachers Continues
As this Orlando Sentinel article reports, the Florida Board of Education is now threatening to revoke teachers' state certification if they violate Florida's new "anti-woke" and "Don't Say Gay" legislation. And that's not all. In that same Board of Ed meeting, state officials named Duval as one of 11 counties still not in compliance with new state legislation, despite our School Board's decision to take down its LGBTQ Support guide, remove other student support signage and resources, and suspend supplemental sex education at all levels.
As this debate about how and what our students are taught continues, it's vital that we let our Duval School Board know what we think. Please write or call today and speak up for the safety of our students & teachers. If you want to do more, get to know and support Public School Defenders - one of the local groups leading the fight to, as they put it "ensure Duval County School Students are in the safe and inclusive learning environment they deserve."