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Gish Gallop - July 1, 2024

Taking a Breath

President Joe Biden's disappointing debate performance last week was met with reactions ranging from cool-headed analysis to hair-on-fire panic and self-flagellation. Biden faced what more than one commentator described as a "firehose of lies" or "Gish gallop,"from his likely GOP opponent in November, the former president and convicted felon Donald Trump. The President was clearly off his game as evidenced by post-debate appearances where he did what he does best --- connect with voters, call out his predecessor for crimes and his past and promised assaults on democracy, and display his humanity and commitment to the freedoms foundational to this country. We wish his debate prep team had focused less on force-feeding him facts and just let "Joe be Joe." But it was what it was. Now it's time to take a breath and regroup --- the stakes are too high to allow the MAGA minions to control our fate and the narrative of this election. As former President Barack Obama reminds us, "This election is still a choice between someone who has fought for ordinary folks his entire life and someone who only cares about himself. Between someone who tells the truth; who knows right from wrong and will give it to the American people straight — and someone who lies through his teeth for his own benefit. Last night didn’t change that."

One bright spot last Thursday was the BAM Debate Watch Party! We gathered with old friends, met new friends, and heard from future leaders at the event. We had great discussions and conversations while weathering the ups and downs of the night. We were grateful to be with others who share our values on the important issues facing this country and concerns about the dire threats posed by a second Trump term. We also had lots of food and drink and some fun --- congratulations to Holly Swantek, the winner of BAM Debate Bingo! Thanks to everyone for making it a special night!

Get Involved This Week!

Here are some things you can do this week to re-energize and make a difference in elections closer to home:

  • Protect Voter Access to the Polls in District 10: The recent re-distribution of election-day polling sites has reduced access for voters in District 10, which is more than 80% Black, according to an analysis by All Voting is Local and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. The same neighborhoods have also lost early voting sites. BAM is among the organizations that have signed on to a petition asking the Jax City Council to address this situation before the 2024 elections by adding another site. You can lend your support to this effort by signing the petition here

  • Advocate for Community Benefit Funds: Funding for a new Jaguar stadium is a done deal but the Eastside Community most impacted has been left dangling after a decision to separate action on the Community Benefit agreement. Urge Mayor Deegan, Beaches City Council Member Rory Diamond, and the other Council members to make good on their promises and support the funding!

  • Voter Outreach for School Board Races: Public School Defenders Duval County and Families for Strong Public Schools need our help with voter outreach in two key School Board races with Moms for Liberty candidates (Districts 3 & 7). While the Beaches don't have a School Board race in the 2024 election, the entire board votes on issues that affect us. The groups are organizing nonpartisan canvassing to remind voters, particularly NPAs, about the August School Board election. Since August is usually focused on party primary contests in which only registered Democrats and Republicans can participate, NPA voters need to know the school board vote is open to everyone and urged to support candidates committed to public education. Sign up here.

  • Over the Fence: Sign-up for Neighbor 2 Neighbor and talk to 10 like-minded people who live near you! Contact Nancy Staats if you have questions. N2N, a proven tactic for increasing voter turnout, launched in June.

  • Help Flip State House District 16: We need a state representative who will actually work for us in Tallahassee. Florida Watch just published a list of the 8 worst laws passed by the 2024 Florida Legislature and our current state representative voted for EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. OF. THEM. Please find out more about her District 16 challenger Rachel Grage and her plans and volunteer! She needs our help to flip the seat and chip away at the GOP's supermajority.

  • Restore Reproductive Rights in Florida: Yes on 4! is hosting canvasses, virtual phone banks, and other events throughout the state to GOTV for Amendment 4. Mark your calendar for July 20th when Super Saturday events will be organized locally and statewide. Check out volunteer opportunities here.

U.S. Senate candidate Debbie Murcarsel-Powell visited Jacksonville last week and shared her plans for beating GOP incumbent Rick Scott. Lots of BAM members and beachfolks turned out for her downtown fundraiser, one of several stops during her visit. According to June polling (be sure to scroll down), DMP has cut Scott's lead to a mere 2% - within the polling margin of error.  If Democratic control of the Senate matters to you, check out her website and consider a donation.

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Only 127 days until the 2024 election!

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