Frightening outcome: New House Speaker
Mike Johnson was elected House Speaker last week ending 22 days of Congressional paralysis. By now you know the bona fides of this little-known, four-term lawmaker from Louisiana, and Trump defender: a Christian nationalist who has spent his career litigating and legislating against reproductive and LGBTQ rights, and promoting other right-wing stances. While it is tempting to despair, we need to keep in mind that Johnson's positions are wildly unpopular with vast numbers of voters. As David Pepper notes, Johnson is the direct beneficiary of GOP gerrymandering and lack of accountability to voters (Of note: the 1st District Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear a lawsuit challenging DeSantis' redistricting plan on Halloween. The plan eliminated a majority Black district which included parts of Duval County -- see Interesting Reads below).
Our success in safeguarding democracy and the outcome of the 2024 elections depends on the work we do now. Here are some actions you can take this week:
Thanks, but no thanks: U.S. Rep. John Rutherford fell into line with the rest of the GOP and cast his vote for Johnson. While you can share your thoughts on this vote with Rutherford, it is more important to stress the importance of avoiding a government shut-down and leaving our allies in the lurch. Remind him that his constituents depend on programs like WIC and SNAP, as well as Medicare and Social Security, and that we want a clean budget that meets the needs of all Americans. Reach him via email or at his Jax office: (904) 831-5205.
Honor Lewiston shooting victims with action: Join Moms Demand Action in demanding Congress reinstate the assault weapons ban now. Use this link to contact U.S. Representatives and Senators today. Enough is enough!
Reach out to voters: Sign up to help voters register, check their voter status, and renew their vote by mail request this Saturday, November 4 at the annual Springfield Porchfest.
Get involved! Jax NOW needs help postcarding women voters, and there is still time to sign up for the Duval Delegation Hearing on Thursday, November 2. See more on both options below.
Join We the People at the Legislative Delegation Hearing
Thursday, November 2
Today (Monday, October 30th) is the last day to sign-up to speak at the Duval Legislative Delegation hearing on Thursday, November 2. More than a dozen local advocacy groups, including BAM, plan to present a coordinated request at the hearing. The coalition, organized under the moniker We the People, is targeting five priority issues legislators need to address this session: Democracy & Voting Rights; Education; Rights of LGBTQIA+ and Black Students & Staff; Gun Violence Prevention; Healthcare Access & Affordability; and Affordable Housing & Property Insurance. The coalition will provide the delegation with a Resource Guide outlining their concerns and recommended legislative solutions. Find summaries for each of the priority areas here. The group will hold a press conference at noon in front of City Hall immediately preceding the delegation hearing. People are encouraged to attend and support the effort --- even if you don't want to speak. If you'd like to address the Duval delegation, submit a speaker request form by 5 p.m. today. Please write We the People somewhere on the form, along with your organization. For more information contact Nancy Staats or Joy Burgess.
Get Repro Rights on the 2024 Ballot: Help Jax NOW Postcard Women Voters
Jax NOW needs your help encouraging women voters in Duval and the surrounding counties to sign the petition putting the amendment protecting access to abortion on the 2024 Florida ballot. The organization is sending out postcards with information, and a link to download the petition. The effort is part of a final push to get the 1 million+ ballots needed before the deadline in February, 2024. Postcards, stamps, and address lists will be provided. Sign up here if you can help!
Beaches Watch Hosts Town Hall with Lawmakers
Beaches Watch will host a town hall meeting with our Beaches state legislators Rep. Kiyan Michael and Sen. Clay Yarborough Wednesday, November 1 at the Beaches Branch Library. The meeting, which starts at 7 p.m., is open to the public. The 2024 Legislative Session opens January 9th. For more information email Beaches Watch (firstname.lastname@example.org).
DWIN Honors Redistricting Coalition
The 2022 Redistricting Coalition of Duval County was recognized with the 2023 Ruby Shores-Maurice Generosity Award at the Democratic Women's Information Network's (DWIN) Shades of Blue Dinner & Awards event last weekend. The coalition developed a resource document and organized testimony at public hearings held throughout the county. Organizations contributing to the effort included DWIN, BAM, Duval DEMS, Jax Young Dems, and Duval Hispanic & Black Caucuses. Pictured (l-r) are honorees Phillip Miner, Jessica Ransome, Elizabeth Sams, Deborah Brill, Patricia Presley, Jonathan Burgess, Velma Rounsville, Joy Burgess and Ingrid Montgomery.
This Week's Interesting Reads
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Only 373 days until the 2024 election!