Stand Against Hate, Protect our Florida Public Schools & a Bill Too Far

Body

Text RESIST to 50409 to send a message to DeSantis and your representative in the Florida Legislature.

Call Ron DeSantis here: (850) 717-9337

Find your state Senator and Representative Find your state Senator and Representative here

 

#1 - STAND AGAINST HATE

ISSUE: Although Florida has a hate crime law, it doesn’t cover Floridians targeted for a crime because of physical disability, gender or gender identity. 

New legislation has been introduced by State Senator Lori Berman to close these critical gaps in the hate crime law. 

Let’s make our voices heard and demand that our legislators protect all Floridians from hate!

SCRIPT: My name is xxx and my zip code is xxx. I am a proud member of Palm Beach Indivisibles. I support Senate Bill 194 and House Bill 43. I demand that you close the gaps in Florida’s hate crime law to include people who are targeted for crime because of physical disability, gender or gender identity.

Go deeper

 

#2 - PROTECT OUR FLORIDA PUBLIC SCHOOLS

ISSUE: Senate Bill 48, introduced by Republican State Senator Manny Diaz of Hialeah, expands eligibility for school voucher programs and allows parents to use taxpayer-backed education savings accounts for private schools and other costs. It has already passed the State Senate Education Committee along party lines. 

Under the proposed plan, the state would fold all existing voucher programs into two main scholarships, with one serving students with special needs and the other directed as “traditional” students.

Democrats in the State Legislature and a number of public school advocates, including the Florida PTA, fear the bill would divert substantial money from public schools and even be a “death knell” for public education. They note that Florida’s Constitution requires a well-funded public education. Due to the pandemic, public school attendance is down, which will already result in decreased funding from the state, and operating costs are up. 

SCRIPT: My name is xxx and my zip code is xxx. I am a proud member of Palm Beach Indivisibles. I demand a well-funded public education system in Florida. I oppose any bill, including SB 48, that would drain funds from our public schools. We need more investment in our public schools and stricter standards for private schools that receive state funds.

Go deeper here and here.

Contact the members of the Senate Education Appropriations Committee here.

 

#3 - A BILL TOO FAR

ISSUE: Governor Ron DeSantis, with the support of powerful Republicans in the State Legislature, is using the full force of his office to push through a law that is a sweeping effort to silence dissent and punish peaceful protestors seeking justice for police brutality,

The bills (House Bill 1 and Senate Bill 484) are not about public safety. They are about criminalizing peaceful protests that advocate for racial justice and blocking police and criminal justice reform.

Some of the awful highlights of the proposed law:

  • Protects confederate monuments
  • Increases penalties that can be charged against a person who participates in a peaceful protest that turns violent through no fault of their own
  • Makes several offenses no longer eligible for release on bail prior to first appearance
  • Allows the Governor and Cabinet to directly reject and amend any city budget that reduces police funding
  • Waives sovereign immunity for cities, allowing them to be sued for any amount of damages by a person alleging injury, death or property damage sustained in a demonstration or assembly if law enforcement’s response was “unreasonable”
  • Allows a counter-protester to escape civil liability for injuring or killing a protester with their car, a gun or other means

Many opposing groups, including the ACLU of Florida, note this is all unnecessary, as Florida currently has sufficient criminal laws on the books to punish the unlawful behaviors addressed in the bills.  Both bills also intentionally ignore existing law giving law enforcement tools to deal with those who seek to violently overthrow our government. 

The House bill has passed the House criminal justice committee and the Senate bill is headed next to the Senate Criminal Justice Committee. There will be other committee stops along the way. 

Let’s make our voices heard, loudly and clearly, that we won’t stand for this bill!

SCRIPT: My name is xxx and my zip code is xxx. I am a proud member of Palm Beach Indivisibles. I strongly oppose HB 1 and SB 484. This proposed law is a blatant attempt to criminalize peaceful protests advocating for racial justice and block police and criminal justice reform. We need fair and just police and criminal justice reform in Florida. The State Legislature has no business meddling in city budgets. And no law should impinge on my lawful right to peaceful assembly and protest. I will be sure to use my vote and encourage everyone I know to use theirs, so that any legislator who supports this bill is voted out of office at the earliest possible date.

Go deeper

LEARN WHAT THE FLORIDA LEGISLATIVE BLACK CAUCUS PROPOSES FOR POLICING CHANGES – go here

Get information to contact the members of the State Senate Committee on Criminal Justice here.