"You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world's problems at once but don't ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own." - Michelle Obama
Florida Legislature -- Let's Start Early
Although this year's Session won't formally begin until March 2, our legislators are getting a head start on a host of dangerous measures. Among the proposals moving swiftly through committees now are the DeSantis anti-protesting bill, a Senate resolution to undercut the minimum wage increase just approved by 60 percent of Florida voters, and much more. What can you do?
Attend BAM's Feb 11 Zoom meeting at 7 PM for an overview of pending legislation plus information on how to track & speak out on the issues you care about.
For additional background, don't miss this week's Beaches Watch Zoom meeting - February 3 at 7 PM when Scott Dudley of the League of Florida Cities will talk about the priority concerns of local cities and Home Rule.
Sign up now for legislative alerts on bills you care about.
Help Deliver the Promise of Measure 4
BAM has supported restoring voting rights to ex-felons since we helped gather signatures to put the measure on the ballot in 2018. Though the Florida Legislature put financial barriers in front those returning citizens, the League of Women Voters is now organizing a statewide effort to offer them the legal help they need to register. Volunteers are needed for two important tasks:
Contact returning citizens by text or phone from the comfort of your own home - the first step in learning what kind of help they need to become registered voters. You must be a League member to volunteer; consider your membership fee another good way to support this important work.
Attorneys or paralegals willing offer pro bono help with individual cases do NOT have to be League members and can sign up for training here.
Celebrate Black History Month with Action
Since the November election, more than 100 different voter suppression bills have been introduced in state legislatures across the country, including swing states crucial to the Biden-Harris victory. These attempts to make voting harder must not succeed. The best defense lies in several pieces of national legislation now before Congress:
The For the People Act is comprehensive pro-democracy legislation (HR 1 in the House; S1 in the Senate)
One crucial provision of For the People is the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act with strong safeguards against racial discrimination and voter suppression.
Write or call Rubio, Scott & Rutherford and encourage them to support these essential protections.
Senator Rubio: 202-224-3041 or https://www.rubio.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact
Senator Scott: 202-224-5274 or https://www.rickscott.senate.gov/contact_rick
Rep. Rutherford: 202-225-2501 or https://rutherford.house.gov/contact
It's Gun Violence Survivor's Week Put Yourself in Their Shoes
Our Jax Beach chapter of Moms Demand Action made a beautiful gesture to mark this difficult week. Reflecting on what it would feel like to lose a loved one this way, they honored survivors with action -- pledging to collect 150 pairs of shoes to honor the reported 150 victims of gun violence last year. In the end, MomsDemand collected 350 pairs - now being donated to Mission House & Hubbard House. BAM shares their dream and applauds their work.