"Trickle-down economics has never worked...It’s time to grow the economy from the bottom and the middle out.”
- President Biden, 2021 State of the Union
The past week showed how much "elections matter." The first 100 days of the Biden-Harris should lift all our hearts - as an inspiring vindication of all our hard work over the past 4 years - and solid reason for hope. Now that we finally have a President who believes in using the power of government to solve problems, let's do what we can to support his efforts. This week's top priorities:
Support Expanded Background Checks for Gun Purchases: Passed House
The US Senate has a historic opportunity to pass the first significant gun safety law in 25 years by coming together now on background checks,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “Democrats, Republicans, and gun owners alike overwhelmingly support background checks, and there’s a good reason why: they are common-sense, constitutional, and will save lives."
CALL: Sen. Rubio, Sen. Scott
SCRIPT: Hi, I'm a constituent calling from [ZIP]. I am asking that [NAME] co-sponsor H.R. 8 to expand criminal background checks on private sales and transfers of guns in order to prevent gun violence and homicides. H.R. 8 is a bipartisan bill and this legislation is supported by 90% of the American public.
Support Democracy Reform with H.R. 1/S. 1
The FOR THE PEOPLE ACT
House and Senate Democrats have introduced the For the People Act (H.R. 1/S. 1), a sweeping bill aimed at addressing the years of erosion of our democracy by shoring up voting rights, reforming campaign finance, and heightening ethical standards.
CALL: Sen. Rubio, Sen. Scott
SCRIPT: Hi, I'm a constituent calling from [ZIP]. I'm calling to express my support for [House: H.R. 1/Senate: S. 1], the For the People Act and urge [NAME] to work to swiftly pass this legislation. Addressing corruption, protecting voting rights, and reforming campaign finance should be bipartisan priorities to make our democracy better for all Americans, regardless of their political affiliation.
Florida Legislators Earn a D- This Year
Thanks to all of you who wrote & called our state legislators this session. Remarks in floor debates showed that elected officials were keeping track of and aware of our views. But there's no denying that this year's legislative session was a disaster for progressive voters. Bills passed and already signed into law criminalize public protest, make voting more difficult, and further undermine public education, and LGBTQ & Women's rights. And that's just the short list.
There were some bright spots: While Florida remains one of only 12 states still refusing to broadly expand Medicaid, this session did see a meaningful expansion of Medicaid benefits for new mothers & their children. And passage of a vital first step toward police reform.
What next? Most immediately, there is still time to write & call Gov DeSantis to urge him NOT to sign the bevy of bills preempting local governments. Call (850) 717-9337 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have friends who are angry about these outcomes, forward this email, invite them to a BAM meeting or encourage them to check out our website. We'll soon start registering voters & signing people up for Vote by Mail. The more volunteers we can rally, the better our chance of electing better leaders in 2022.
Duval Dems Hold Public Platform Sessions
Every two years, the party's Legislative Affairs & Platform Committee is responsible for crafting a new platform. Co-Chairs Ben Marcus & Nicole Hamm have launched public sessions to begin this important work. The first took place yesterday; the rest are below. These will all be virtual town halls, broken into three areas of focus: Equity, Justice, and Opportunity for All. To RSVP or get more info click here.
Equity Platform Town Hall:
• Thursday, May 6th @8:30pm
Justice Platform Town Hall:
• Sunday, May 9th @5pm
• Thursday, May 13th @8:30pm
Opportunity for All Platform Town Hall:
• Sunday, May 16th @5pm
• Thursday, May 20th @8:30pm
Fight Hunger & Homelessness in JAX BAM's May Zoom Meeting
The Covid pandemic hit our community hard - increasing hunger, homelessness, and despair. For our May meeting, BAM has invited 4 of the leading service organizations tackling these problems to tell us what they're doing to meet the needs - and how we can help. Join us Thursday, May 13 at 7 pm and invite friends. Click here to RSVP and get your zoom link.
More Coming Events
Wednesday, May 5 - Beaches Watch Zoom - To Recycle or Not? Anne Marie Moquin, Beaches Go Green founder, and a representative from Republic Services, will provide an overview of recycling services in our area. 7 - 8 p.m. Click here for details.
Monday, May 10 - Sierra Club of NE Florida - Oceana's Campaign to Protect the Ocean. Erin Handy, head of this global conservation organization will speak on their work in the US southeast. Click here for more info & Zoom link.
Sat & Sunday, May 15 &16 - 1-4:30 pm both days. Campaigning 101. If you're interested in running for office or helping others get elected, this live, online, interactive workshop, is for you. Two virtual sessions cover all the essentials including strategies and best practices for candidates, committees, clubs, and caucuses. $35 fee. Click here for more.
This Week's Good News
One small step for CO2 reduction: Unilever has introduced the first laundry detergent made from industrial carbon emissions, not petroleum.
One big step by Biden's EPA: New regulation cracks down on a big source of greenhouse gas.
Deputies in at least one Florida county are already being instructed NOT to enforce DeSantis' "anti-rioting" law.
A web of actions across the country are holding the Trump administration accountable for lies & criminal activity.