We've Heard this Song Before. . .
The GOP is doing everything possible to throw the country into yet another shutdown crisis, renege on support for Ukraine, and generally create as much chaos as possible --- all while blaming the DEMS for the dysfunctional results of its own (lack of) leadership. It's a familiar tune. We hate to sound like a broken record, but it is critical that we continue to reach out to members of Congress to let them know we are tired of the drama and expect them to do the job they were elected to do. If you haven't contacted U.S. Rep. John Rutherford (R- FL District 5) do it today. And if you have communicated with him, do it again. The message: We need a clean budget that addresses the needs of Americans, avoids cuts to critical programs, and holds true to compromises worked out with the Biden Administration. We need funding for Ukraine. The GOP will bear responsibility for another threatened government shutdown, not the DEMS. America needs leaders who care more about the nation than partisan score-keeping. Email him here or contact his Jacksonville office at (904) 831-5205.
. . . Meanwhile, Biden Continues to Deliver
Lost in all the noise are recent actions by President Biden that address some of the most pressing problems faced by the country:
The U.S. added 300,000+ jobs in September, almost twice the number expected. It was the largest monthly increase this year.
The administration canceled $9 billion in student loan debt by fixing flaws in three existing debt relief programs, including one for public sector workers and another for borrowers with disabilities.
Biden recently created the first-ever federal office of gun violence prevention, which will be overseen by the Vice President. The office will focus on executive and legislative strategies to curb the national epidemic of firearm violence.
The administration added the American Climate Corps to its vast portfolio of climate action initiatives. This workforce training and service initiative will ensure more than 20,000 young people have access to the skills-based training necessary for good-paying careers in the clean energy and climate resilience economy.
And, Biden continued to demonstrate his commitment to labor by joining the UAW picket line, the first president in history to show this level of support.
It is up to us to spread the word about these accomplishments and not allow them to be drowned out by the disruptive antics of the GOP!
Vote-by-Mail: It Works!
A new study provides impressive evidence on the impact - regardless of party - of Vote-by-Mail. Simply put, states that send a VBM ballot to every voter see a marked increase in their voting rates. Currently, eight states use "universal vote-by-mail." Of course, Florida is not one of them. In fact, state lawmakers have made it harder to participate in VBM, passing legislation that requires a voter to request a mail-in ballot every year. Study authors lament the lack of attention paid to the impact of VBM and its potential for increasing participation in elections. An important reminder to make or renew your VBM ballot request now! Click 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 of any dues or donations (up to a total of $500) collected by October 31! And thanks to your contributions, we're half-way there!
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 a total of $500.
Repro Rights Amendment: Good News
Floridians Protecting Freedom reports that the state Division of Elections has officially verified over 400,000 petitions to get an amendment ensuring access to abortion on the ballot in 2024! That's approaching half of the verified signatures needed. Petitions collected by volunteers (YOU!) have a 97% verification rate! It's great news and a reminder that our efforts to secure petitions are still needed to reach the campaign goal of 1.23 million. If you need copies of the petition, or have signed petitions to return, we have a beach drop-off site. Email us for information on the location.
BAM member Jane Kosut collects signatures for the reproductive rights amendment at the recent Jax River City Pride Festival. BAM and Jax NOW collected more than 50 petitions at the event!
Local Legislators Host Virtual Community Forum on Gun Violence Tonight
Join Florida Senator Tracie Davis and state Representative Angie Nixon tonight (October 9) from 6 - 8 p.m. to discuss strategies for making communities safer in the wake of increasing gun violence. There have been 92 homicides -- including 10 children-- in the city in 2023. Nearly 300 people have been shot in Jacksonville so far this year. Register here to attend and get a link to the meeting.