Update - Legislative Advocacy 2021

There are only 4 weeks remaining in the 2021 Legislative session before it adjourns on April 30. The last day for regular committee meetings is April 20.

To date, the House has passed the following bills that
•    limit academic freedom of expression in state colleges and universities (HB 233),
•    permit firearms on schools affiliated with religious institutions (HB 259),
•    require 1-2 minutes of silence in public schools (HB 529) and,
•    curb free speech and dissent (HB 1).
Both houses have passed and sent to the Governor a bill that shields private companies and health care providers from liability for any negligence resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic (SB 72/HB 7). 
Action Alerts will be forthcoming opposing their companion bills in the Senate and urging the Governor to veto as none of these bills are consistent with UU values, principles and purposes.

Other bills are advancing in both Chambers that
•    threaten the safety and well being of LGBTQI students (SB 582/HB 241, SB 2012/HB 1475)
•    expand voucher programs that divert funds from public education to unregulated private schools (SB 48/HB 7045)
•    change mail-in ballot protocols, voting days, identification requirements, signature checking, and more to make it more difficult for people of color and/or those with health problems or low income to exercise their right to vote. (SB 90/HB 7041)
•    pre-empt enactment of local laws and regulations to the state.

A few bills requiring de-escalation and competency training for law enforcement officers and prison sentencing reforms are slowly progressing through their Senate committee assignments.  However, their companion bills along with other bills on criminal justice reform, gun safety, curbing excessive use of force and accountability of law enforcement officers are languishing in the house Criminal Justice committee and Senate Criminal Justice and Judiciary committees.

The final four weeks of this session will be devoted to enacting a budget agreeable to both Chambers which includes where to spend the anticipated $12 billion in Federal American Rescue Plan funding needed to balance the budget. Meanwhile funding for public education, prison management, environmental protection, re-employment compensation and public health is at risk due to shortfalls in sales tax revenues and reluctance to eliminate corporate tax breaks.

To break this cycle of neglect and disregard for public safety and human and civil rights, Unitarian Universalists must partner with members of other progressive organizations, develop relationships with their State Legislators and respond to Action Alerts.

News and Events from the UUA, Congregations and Affiliated Organizations

UU Ministry for Earth
Sacred People, Sacred Earth

View a 2 minute video compilation of SOUNDING THE ALARM in Washington DC (3/11/21) and call for action.


Widening the Circle of Concern with Paula Cole Jones

Friday, April 2 - 12 noon ET

The UUSJ Board invites you to join the first of two sessions with Paula Cole Jones on Widening the Circle of Concern (WTC) with content provided by the UUA.


Paula will facilitate this two-hour dialogue/consultation with UUSJ leadership. She brings perspectives to her work with UU organizations having career experience inside of a state, local, federal partnership that advocated annually for federal policies that impacted local communities and landowners. Her work with the 8th Principle has been a successful experience in building a new national grassroots movement within Unitarian Universalism.


UUA Draft Statement of Conscience on Undoing White Supremacy

The UU Association’s draft of this year’s Statement of Conscience, “Undoing Intersectional White Supremacy: A Call to Prophetic Action,” is now available for review and study. It calls for Unitarian Universalists to “engage in urgent action to confront the moral crisis of our time,” and is expected to be offered at this year’s virtual General Assembly, June 23-27


UUA Organizing Strategy Team 

UUA Organizing Strategy Team 

UUA Organizing Strategy Team  approach recognizes that there are many issues and partnerships that individual Unitarian Universalist and UU congregations are invested in.

At this time four key intersectional priorities are being addressed.

• Climate justice, inclusive of indigenous sovereignty and climate resilience 
• Anti-criminalization, inclusive of racial justice and immigrant justice and the criminalization of poverty 
• LGBTQ and gender justice, inclusive of LGTBQ equity and reproductive justice 
• Electoral justice, inclusive of voting and voting rights, democracy and election year engagement.  

Guided by the following questions: 

• Where are frontline organized communities who want the support of people of faith? 
• Where can we push faith-based justice work to be more unapologetic and courageous? 
• Where is the organic energy flowing among Unitarian Universalists and frontline organizers? 

Click here for OST staff team members and priorities.    

Note, the UUA's Side With Love and UU the Vote campaigns and our joint Love Resists campaign with the UUSC are staffed by OST. 


Please submit news and upcoming events in your congregation for the May newsletter to info@uujusticefl.org for publication April 20.

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Is your congregation involved in upcoming social justice initiatives in our area? Send us a link or more information to publicize your programs and actions.

Unitarian Universalist Justice Florida Action Network
P.O. Box 1310 | Orange Park, Florida 32067

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