“Too many people struggled, suffered, and died to make it possible for every American to exercise their right to vote.” – John Lewis
Support Voting Rights at all Levels
Voting rights seem to be under attack everywhere. But we owe it to trailblazers like John Lewis to show that the diverse and energized America of today is NOT the America of the 1950s & 60s. With our continued pressure, current efforts to turn back the clock will not succeed:
The US. House has passed HB1 - The For the People Act, reinstating the protections of the Civil Rights Act, outlawing partisan gerrymandering, and much more. With the Senate in recess, write a letter to the editor instead.
Here in Florida, Senate Bill 90 which will undermine Vote-by-mail and depress voting has a Senate Rules committee vote on Tuesday, 4/6. Senator Bean serves on that committee. Please call:850-487-5004.
In Georgia, Stacey Abrams has urged people NOT to boycott the state to protest recently approved voter suppression legislation. If you're looking for a way to express your outrage consider a thank you note to the corporate leaders who are speaking out against the new law, and a donation to Abrams' group, Fair Fight, which is not giving up their fight.
Other Legislative Alerts This Week
Senate Bill 484, the DeSantis Anti-Protesting Bill has passed the House & will be voted on by the Senate this Wednesday, 4/7. Write or call Senator Bean today to urge a NO vote.
Our friends at NOW have just updated their legislative page with priority issues (both pro and con) at the national & state level. Click here for details & speak up on the issues that matter most to you.
Beaches Watch has also published an overview of pending Florida bills which threaten Home Rule.
Thursday, April 8 - BAM Zoom Meeting
Join us this Thursday night at 7 pm for a wide-ranging conversation with City Councilman & Mayoral candidate Matt Carlucci. Learn more about his vision for Jacksonville - and express your own hopes and concerns. Bring your questions to the meeting or submit them in advance.
All are welcome but registration is required. Click here to RSVP and get your zoom link.
More Coming Events You Don't Want to Miss
Tuesday, April 6 at 7 pm. Mandarin Indivisible Zoom Meeting. Legislative Summary from David Johnson of UU Justice Florid, plus update on Duval School Renaming by Duval County Public School representative. RSVP for zoom link here.
Wednesday April 7 at 7 pm. Beaches Watch - Zoom Meeting. Town Hall with City Council Rep Rory Diamond.
Saturday April 10 at 10 am. Atlantic Beach Tree Code Update. Town Hall Meeting at AB City Hall - Gail Baker Community Center, 2072 George St. Public Comment welcome.
What About Our Missing Mask Mandate?
We've heard from several BAM members this week - furious about the Mayor's decision not to renew Duval's mask mandate. As more infectious variants of Covid proliferate in Florida and cities across the state brace for increasing rates of Spring Break-inspired infection, it seems a very bad moment to rescind this most basic of public health measures. If you haven't already done so, let the Mayor know what you think of this decision via phone (904) 255-5000 or email.
Reasons To Be Hopeful
We focus a lot in this newsletter on problems that need solving and outrages that need protesting. But it's important to remember the good things as well. We hope to shine a spotlight on more of those in coming editions and welcome your suggestions. For now, carry these two bright spots into this week:
Carla Miller, founding director of the Jacksonville Office of Ethics, Compliance, & Oversight, is retiring in October. But she leaves a legacy of transparency, integrity & accountability all JAX citizens can be proud of. Read about her work here. And send her a thank you note.