David,

President’s message

Help! Organize Human Energy with UUJF.

We agree with Teilhard de Chardin who believed our future depends on how we organize human energy. We can complain about corporate corruption or the 1% that some refer to as the ruling class, or we can organize with other individuals to resist greed and oppression by organizing in ways that are desirable, sustainable and effective. 

UUJF strives to collaborate and that’s where you come in. Make a positive difference in your world? Help us organize human energy consistent with UU values? Get in touch with us at info@uujusticfl.org.  We’ll have a conversation and explore ways that you can get involved.

Rev. Bud Murphy, President UU

Action Alert Updates

Every book and workshop on achieving organizational and personal success teaches that high expectations must be set and progress must be measured.  UUJF monthly newsletters and the Legislative Advocacy page on the newly restructured website are tools developed for this purpose.

Expectations and processes for shaping public policy

  • The Legislative Agenda expresses UU values and principles to be reflected in public policy
  • These documents list Senate and House bills targeted for support or opposition
  • Pre-session meetings with Senators and Representatives are effective and highly encouraged
  • Action Alerts are targeted to reach legislators just before they vote in committee or on the Chamber floor
  • Outreach to Florida UUs and members of partner organizations must be broadened

Progress

  • A recap of bills passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor in 2019 is both disappointing and discouraging
  • Most targeted bills were never placed on committee agendas and died in committee as a result
  • Pre-session meetings with legislators have led to constructive dialog and developing relationships
  • Only 900 out of 5000+ Florida UUs are on the UUJF mailing list
  • Only 25% of email recipients open Newsletter and Action Alert emails
  • 700 names on our email list still do not have complete street and 9-digit ZIP+4 address codes in the email data base so they are not receiving targeted Action Alerts
  • Outreach to organizations sympathetic to our cause is growing. Members of FL-iCAN, Indivisible, Sierra Club, NOW, Moms Demand Action, and Florida educators have all been adding their names to the UUJF email list. 

How can we improve?

  • Encourage all members of your congregation and its leadership to actively promote this effort and subscribe to the Action Alert email list
  • Develop relationships with your legislators in teams or individually
  • Respond to Action Alerts to ensure our progressive voices are heard
  • Network with likeminded organizations, family and friends

If this is not your correct 9-digit ZIP+4 address code (32073-5455) you are not receiving targeted Action Alerts.  Please sign up with your street address and 9 digit ZIP code on the UUJF website Take Action page. Don't know your 9-digit ZIP+4?  Look it up here

Don’t know your legislator? Look up their names and committee assignments here.

Legislative committees are now meeting through the end of the 2020 session starting on January 14.  UUJF Legislative Days are January 27-28.  Make your voices heard!

UUJF Climate Resiliency Ministry

Work is continuing in Bay County on the Hurricane Michael Recovery. UU Fellowship of Bay County has made remarkable progress on restoring its building and campus. Key leaders at UUFBC are providing community leadership for the recovery; particularly in the areas of housing and disseminating information about resources in the community. UUJF's Climate Resilience Ministry is supporting their efforts by supporting their work with community partners. UUSC, UUJF and The LEAD Coalition of Bay County launched the PhotoVoice Project at the Rosenwald Alternative School on October 15th. The Faithify Campaign in support of the PhotoVoice project in Panama City was successful. Thank you to all who contributed!! Twelve students who have been affected by the post Hurricane Michael housing crisis are participating in this trauma informed curriculum that provides each student with a camera to take pictures in three areas: My life after Hurricane Michael; What has shelter meant to me? What makes me feel at home? The photography exhibit will be held at the Arts Center January 15th-31st, and the students will be in Tallahassee January 28th to tell their stories to their legislators at UUJF's Legislative Day. Please register to come and support these students as they speak to their legislators. See SB502 (2020) that still needs a companion bill!

In other news, Blue Green Climate Action Planning has begun in 4 of the underserved Orlando communities that participated in the Florida Disaster Resilience Initiative preparedness, surveying, and communications training work.

Legislative Days

UUJF Legislative Days are January 27-28 which begins the second week of the legislative session, but preparation and strategizing started last spring.

Action Alerts have been emailed if your elected official is on a committee that is addressing legislation that UUJF is following. Please share those Action Alerts as appropriate.  The committee work will continue and our attention to legislation’s progress through the committees is important (attention and communication). You may even wish to encourage your representative to co-sponsor a piece of legislation that you support.

On Legislative Days in January, UU Justice Florida will schedule time for networking  and planning on the campus of UU Church of Tallahassee and will offer views concerning the priorities of the session during the evening program.  On Tuesday UU Justice Florida hopes you will visit your legislators’ offices, attend and perhaps participate in one or two committee meetings and/or observe the House or Senate if they are in session.  You might also wish to meet with a state official concerning a specific concern if their office is near the Capitol building.  In addition, there is usually at least one press conference in the building or outside that will appreciate your support. Looking forward to seeing you.

From Martha Harnit Hartgering:

In case you were traveling this summer and missed some Florida news, the following offers a few events that Governor DeSantis supported. They may offer some insight into the possibilities of the upcoming legislative session. Next month, I hope to report on some of the House and Senate leaders’ legislative goals.

Some environmental news from Governor DeSantis:

Governor announced new water legislation which will focus on being proactive when it comes to our waterways.  The proposed comprehensive water quality bill is based on the Blue Green Algae Task Force reports. The proposed legislation could cover issues such as maintenance of wastewater systems, biosolids, supervision of septic tanks, runoffs and regulating stormwater systems. Details and financing still to come.

The governor attended the October groundbreaking ceremony of the Caloosahatchee River West Basin Storage Reservoir (C-43 reservoir) in LaBelle, which is one of the major projects of the governor’s multi-million dollar Everglades restoration project. Completion is scheduled for 2023. Also, in October a permit was issued giving permission for 5.45 miles of roadbed along the Tamiami Trail (U.S. 41) to help restore water flow southward.

Monies to address hurricane damage from Michael for northwest Florida were announced.

With great fanfare. October was the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Michael. Many are still homeless, and businesses are still recovering.

Concerning clean air, $166 million, Florida’s portion of Volkswagen Diesel mitigation Plan, will be allocated to cleaner school transportation vehicles (electric perhaps), charging stations, and, of course, administration costs.

Every county has environmental issues.  UU Justice Florida would like to hear about your county’s water and environmental issue(s) and how local, state and federal governments are addressing them (or not) and what your community is doing to correct situations.

More Water Concerns:

On another matter, the Florida Springs Council is opposed to the Seven Spring/Nestle application for withdrawing water.  Visit the website for more information about this

Permit and to read about the Council’s goals for Florida fresh water.

The Florida Springs Council is also asking Florida residents to call the governor at 850-717-9337 and leave a message that water management district boards have vacancies and that it is time to fill these vacancies will representatives from fields of science and conservation. You can also text the word ‘Governor’ on Messenger, Twitter, Telegram, or to 50409 on SMS.  Include your name, ZIP code and contact information in your message.

See Florida Springs Council website for more info.

Meetings about the environment have been happening all over Florida during the summer and are scheduled for November.  The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is a great source of information and has a list of planned meetings. Just in November, there are meetings in Satellite Beach, Legislative Delegation meetings in Brooksville, Kissimmee, Bradenton, DeBary.

This is one way to express yourself.

Regarding Amendment 4.

A commentary by Paula Dockery in the Orlando Sentinel concerning the restoration of voting rights to ex-felons and the U.S. District judge’s decision to halt the implementation of SB 7066 which required ex-felons to pay all restitution, fines and fees before they are eligible to vote is a good summary of the present grey area regarding registration.  She offers a solution.

Florida Congregations for Conservation is now live with a website and a letter people of faith can sign to show their support for protection of Florida's natural lands and waters, especially high priority areas along the Florida Wildlife Corridor.

Rally to Protect DACA

Alert: 11/12 Rally to Protect DACA — DC & Nationwide

UUs Witness in Solidarity for Migrants

In recent years, UUs have been present at major mobilizations for Dreamers, DACA, TPS, children separated from parents, detainees in camps and refugees. Let's add the urgency of now to advocacy efforts by creating pressure in the streets. Let's keep that tradition strong and flank the impacted on Nov. 12.

Participate in coordinated witness events on Tuesday November 12, the rallies to protect Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) as part of — #HomeIsHere — in response to the U.S. Supreme Court hearing on that date.

On November 12 supporters will gather at the steps of the Supreme Court and at events across the nation to protect DACA!

The fate of DACA now sits with the Supreme Court, hundreds of thousands of people could lose their homes, their livelihoods, and their families. Help show the Supreme Court that DACA recipients and immigrant families aren’t going anywhere — because their #HomeIsHere — and to demand the court protect DACA recipients and all immigrants. It’s time to put an end to this fear and uncertainty.

Find a rally near you to join the expected millions nationwide.

#UUtheVote

The UUA's Organizing Strategy Team is cooking up a plan to support all of us as we #UUtheVote in 2020.  UUs have deep history working for justice in the streets and on the ballot, and in partnership with people of all backgrounds as we fight for our democracy. This year, our values and our principles are more at stake than ever before and we're wanting to make sure we do all we can so that our friends, neighbors, cities, and towns #votelove.

While some of it will be new, a lot of our work will be connecting to and supporting what so many of us are already doing.  Based on that, would you take 5 minutes to fill out a survey to help the core team design what's going to be most useful and make the most impact this year?

Click here to give us your input about #UUtheVote2020

Your input will make sure that we put our efforts in the best places with the right focus possible.

 

Please submit news and upcoming events in your congregation for the December newsletter to info@uujusticefl.org by November 25.

Was this Newsletter forwarded to you? Join our mailing list! Sign up here.

Unitarian Universalist Justice Florida
P.O. Box 18954| Sarasota, Florida 34276
 | info@uujusticefl.org

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