Action Alert - Week of December 14
"“The State of Texas’s motion for leave to file a bill of complaint is denied for lack of standing...Texas has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another State conducts its elections.” - Supreme Court decision in Texas v. Pennsylvania et. al
Rutherford, Scott & Rubio Deserve Our Scorn
Many of us spent the weekend celebrating the Supreme Court's dismissal of the ludicrous "case" filed by the state of Texas challenging the voting systems of states Trump didn't win. Two-thirds of the Republicans in the US House of Representatives - including John Rutherford - signed on to support this "seditious abuse of the judicial process" (thank you PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro) violating their oaths of loyalty to the Constitution in the process. The fact that neither of our Senators have yet seen fit to acknowledge the legitimacy of the Biden-Harris victory is a further disgrace.
There is no remaining bar to the Electoral College certifying that victory today. Though there may be a bit more nonsensical drama in January when Congress formally accepts the Electoral College results, there is no longer any reason to doubt Joe Biden will be inaugurated on January 20. This is wonderful news, but before we celebrate, let's take time to let our elected representatives in Washington know what we think of their behavior. Many of us have already called, written & emailed. If you haven't yet, please do. If you've thought of a few things you wish you'd said, get in touch again.
More Letters to Write - Pro and Con
While you're writing, consider a quick thank you note to Council President Tommy Hazouri. His decision not to bring the Lot J proposal to a vote at the City Council's final meeting of 2020 took courage in the face of strong pressure from Mayor Curry and the Jaguars. Though public opinion increasingly questions the current deal and many groups are calling for a more transparent and detailed process, the pressure to move quickly will undoubtedly resume in January. Let President Hazouri know we appreciate his leadership.
On the flip side of the coin, consider also letting Governor DeSantis hear from you. There are so many possible ways in which his leadership is disastrous it's hard to pick, but consider:
His failure to issue a state-wide mask order, compounded by his order making enforcement of local mask orders impossible.
His efforts to criminalize public protests.
His support of the recent armed raid on the home of fired Department of Health data analyst Rebekah Jones
GA Senate Runoff - Voting Starts Today!
Thanks to the many of you who are already involved in the race for these two crucial Senate seats. BAM members have been writing, phoning and donating. Our best recommendations on all the ways to help will continue to be updated on our website.
For those who willing to consider physically going to areas in south Georgia where voters whose ballots have been rejected need help "curing" the problem, training is required in what GA law requires and what safety protocols are planned to keep volunteers and voters safe. Numerous dates are available between now & December 27. Click here to learn more.
Local Doctors Argue for Stronger Covid Measures
Nancy Staats, BAM member and one of the founding organizers of Doctors Fighting Covid, spoke to our BAM meeting via Zoom last week. As you may recall, her group rallied more than 500 physicians to sign a letter to Mayor Curry last June urging the need for a mask order in Jacksonville when the GOP Convention was still scheduled to be held here despite rising Covid numbers. Two days after that letter went public, Mayor Curry issued the mask order that is still in force here. The group subsequently rallied more than 1250 physicians statewide to sign a similar letter to Governor DeSantis, with less success.
As it's now clear Covid denial is the determined posture of our Governor, the group is focused on communicating directly with Florida mayors to urge science-based steps to help control the state's rapidly increasing Covid cases. This should be a bipartisan priority, an argument strengthened by the fact that 59% of the line of duty deaths in law enforcement this year have been directly tied to Covid. Nancy will keep us posted as their work continues. For now, it's encouraging simply to know this effort is in gear.
If You Missed Last Week's BAM Meeting
You missed a fascinating presentation. Carol Brady, Steve Haerter and John Weldon presented a recap of the good and bad news emerging from this past election. Duval-wide, we helped increase Democrats' registration advantage and our extensive efforts to register Dems to Vote-by-Mail made a dramatic difference in Democratic turnout. Here at the Beaches, the stark fact is that Republicans still hold close to a two to one advantage in most precincts - a challenge we will start to tackle in 2021. If you're interested in the details, you can take a look at the election recap powerpoint or watch the recorded meeting.
Tuesday, December 15 - Beaches Democratic Club Zoom at 7 p.m.
This month's meeting of the Beaches Democratic Club will feature Hattie Kaufman speaking on "The Supreme Court and Last Term". Professor Kaufman will be talking about a few of the more interesting and significant cases from the previous term (October 2019) of the Supreme Court. The majority, concurring, and dissenting opinions will all be considered, as well as likely impacts of these decisions.
Hattie Kaufman retired to Jacksonville from the University of Alabama, where she served as University Counsel for many years and as Associate Dean of the School of Law. Prior to that, she practiced law in Birmingham, Alabama and Syracuse, New York. If you are not a member of BDC and want to attend this zoom session, please contact Mike Finn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy Holidays All!
One very bright spot in a difficult year has been this group of like-minded people working together to advance the values we share. We hope everyone can relax over the next couple of weeks and enjoy a well-earned respite before our work begins again in 2021.
Unless urgent matters need your attention, this will be our last newsletter of 2020. Happy Hanukkah! Merry Christmas! Happy Festivus! However you celebrate the end of this unique year we wish you well.