“Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us.” – Wilma Rudolph
Tallahassee Today - Protect Vote by Mail
HB 7041 (companion to SB 90) is on the Monday, April 19, meeting agenda of the Florida House State Affairs Committee, meeting at 2:30 pm. This bill places new restrictions on obtaining vote by mail ballots and access to ballot drop boxes - and will cost an estimated $14 to $16 million to implement.
CALL/EMAIL: FL Representative Jason Fischer, (850) 717-5016, firstname.lastname@example.org
CALL/EMAIL: FL House State Affairs Committee Chair, Ralph Massullo, Jr., (850) 717-5034, email@example.com
SCRIPT: Hi, I'm a voter calling from Duval County. I am calling to urge [NAME] to vote NO on HB 7041. Easy access to voting is a bipartisan necessity and this bill will restrict Vote By Mail unnecessarily. After the 2020 election, Governor DeSantis said: “The way Florida did it, I think inspires confidence, I think that’s how elections should be run." Don’t fix what isn’t broken. Please vote NO on HB 7041.
SB 90 - the Senate counterpart, will face its own votes later this week. Remind Senator Bean how you feel. Tell him FL Veterans agree with you.
More Legislative Action - Pick Your Issues
As the FL Legislative session approaches its end, other vital issues deserve your attention.
Budget wrangling is increasingly dominating the conversation. Though there is bipartisan support for increasing Florida's bottom of the heap unemployment rate, the Governor opposes it. Speak up if you disagree.
Police Reform - a bright spot. While the Governor's anti-protesting bill has gone to his desk for signing, this reform bill is gathering unexpected steam and deserves our support.
This Week's Important Zoom Meetings
Monday, April 19 - 6-7:30 pm. Duval Dems Zoom with Nikki Fried. More information & registration here.
Monday, April 19 - 6:45-8:45 pm. ICARE Zoom with State Attorney Melissa Nelson & Sheriff Mike Williams. The Interfaith Coalition for Action, Reconciliation & Empowerment hosts a tough conversation on unnecessary arrests, community violence, police training & more. Click here for ways to participate.
Tuesday, April 20, 7:00 - pm. Beaches Democratic Club hosts Nicole Hamm, Legislative Affairs Co-Chair for the Duval Democratic Party with a legislative update. Zoom link.
If You Missed Desmond Meade's Presentation
You missed a moving and inspiring and conversation. More than 60 progressives from the 5 groups sponsoring last week's Zoom joined online to hear Mr. Meade's personal story and left inspired by his determined belief in the power of individuals to transform democracy - and visa versa. Asked the most important step we could take to help the FRRC register returning citizens, he said to register everyone we can reach - of any party - and any walk of life. Most simply, he urged us to "talk to your neighbor" - make the human connections that transcend party labels. As FRRC remains the main organization helping ex-felons investigate and pay outstanding fees & fines, he also welcomes donations to their work. Click here for donation information & a link to the recorded zoom.
Talk Gun Control with Rutherford
Though Democratic gun control measures failed in Tallahassee, there are rays of hope. As the article above outlines, many of these ideas are being advanced by the Biden administration. In addition, recent polls show a increasing majority of Americans favor stricter gun control. This tide will eventually turn if we keep pushing.
Best of all, Senator John Rutherford has asked for our opinion on the President's proposed assault weapon ban. Click here today to let him know what you think. And please pass this link along.
This Week's Good News to Share
The battle for American democracy is a continuing struggle. Each email sent, letter written, donation made - each conversation with another human being is important and their cumulative power incalculable. But it's also important to pace ourselves, to choose our battles, to rest when we need to, and to remind ourselves, daily, of the beauty, kindness and potential alive in the world around us.
A majority of Americans support the proposed federal election protection law. (Tell Scott & Rubio.)
Nearly 200 US companies are speaking out against the current explosion of voter suppression laws.
Historian Heather Cox Richardson details all the ways the Biden Administration is serving women & children and restoring faith in government.
A Covid bright spot: David Attenborough's new documentary of environmental hope.
Forward this blog and remember to breathe!