Gov. DeSantis signed the following bills which we strongly opposed this past session. These bills placed limits on women’s reproductive freedoms, immigration rights and citizens’ petition initiatives. Other bills degrade the environment and divert much needed resources to support charter schools.
In addition, there were dozens of worthy bills we supported that died in Committees to which they were referred.
The Legislature’s resistance to progressive movements, budget constraints and the Coronavirus pandemic are a few of the obstacles we face in reaching out to our representatives and asking for their support for our legislative agenda.
We encourage all Florida UU’s to join in this effort. Respond to Action Alerts. Form teams in your congregation and schedule virtual meetings with your representatives. Drop a note to email@example.com to request assistance or talking points or to offer suggestions and/or progress reports.
With COVID-19 surging a good way to do activism from the comfort and safety of your home is Vote Forward. They focus on writing brief letters to progressive leaning infrequent voters in swing states. This is proven and effective; in multiple randomized trials, voters who received a handwritten letter were significantly more likely to vote.
After you sign up with Vote Forward you will receive names and addresses of infrequent, progressive voters in swing states. After printing out a simple letter you will write in the person’s name, write a sentence or two about why it is important to vote, and sign the letter. Then you write the person’s name and address on an envelope and write your name and a return PO box provided by Vote Forward. After stamping the letter, you hold on to it, and mail it about 2 weeks before the election.
Sending a Vote Forward letter is one of the easiest things you can do to increase turnout. It takes about four minutes and one stamp, and meaningfully increases the odds that the recipient will vote. This is a concrete action you can take, no matter where you live, to get unlikely-to-vote fellow citizens to the polls.
##UUtheVote supports to all efforts that aims to get out the vote.
UU Justice Florida
At the Virtual 2020 UUA General Assembly, ##UUtheVote partnered with the Showing up for Justice phone bank and recruited Unitarian Universalists to call registered voters in Texas.
Watch this video documenting this nationwide initiative.
Editor’s Note: Many individuals and groups are encouraging Floridians to check their registration to make sure it is current and to vote by mail. To support those efforts, please include the following in your letter and send it earlier than 2 weeks before the election as suggested above.
Visit RegistertoVoteFlorida.gov to submit a new registration, update your existing record or change party registration. Deadline is July 20 to take effect for the August Primaries.
The Commission reported: We were honored to bring forward such powerful prophetic words and actions called forth via these AIWs; words voiced from the margins and courageously calling us as a faith toward a collective vision of beloved community. The Commission urges the assembly to heed the calls in these AIWs, bringing them into your congregations and groups and engaging with the UUA on implementation.
In addition, the 2018-2022 Congregational Study Action Issue (CSAI), "Undoing Intersectional White Supremacy," has been refined to address the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic in this third year. Read the full text of this CSAI draft.
The Commission reminds us that this CSAI could not be timelier, as our country and world is called to address intersectional white supremacy and to dismantle the underlying structures that support systemic racism and colonialism.
The Commission concludes that we live in a time of rapid change and uncertainty surrounding so many pillars of beloved community in the nation and world. The Commission of Social Witness recognizes the unique histories, capabilities, and contexts of our congregations and communities.
Will Florida’s elections be secure and have adequate preparations been made to accurately count and verify the high number of ballots expected to be cast by mail and in person considering challenges posed by the Coronavirus pandemic?
For answers to these and other important election related questions tune in to NPR's Florida Roundup on Friday, July 3rd at noon on your local NPR station. Craig Latimer, president of the Florida Supervisors of Elections (an organization representing the supervisors of Florida’s 67 counties), will be interviewed by Melissa Ross of WJCT (Jacksonville) and Tom Hudson of WLRN (Miami).
Attention: Presidents, Social Justice Chairs and Administrators of UU Congregations
The UUJF Board is updating its directory of Leaders of Florida UU Congregations. Many congregations will have changes in leadership. Please help us by sending the names and generic or personal email addresses for your congregation’s Minister, President and Social Justice Chair to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please also add our email address to your mailing list for your congregation’s bulletins and/or newsletters.
SAVE THESE DATES!
FRED GUTTENBERG, a strong voice for gun policy change in the wake of the mass shooting in which his daughter Jaime was killed, and the Florida Moms Demand Action leadership team kick off the 2020 Elections season.
Elevate your minds and hearts and become more adaptable, productive, and committed to a higher level of personal development in this rapidly changing world. Join the virtual program: “Adaptive Living: From Fear to Love - - Pathways to Progress”, a free, 9-session series from July 1 - August 26 each Wednesday at 12-1:30 PM ET. Click here for information and registration.
The RNC National Convention is scheduled to convene in Jacksonville the last weekend in August and is expected to attract tens of thousands of Coronavirus superspreaders among convention delegates, security personnel, demonstrators and the press.
We must be concerned with significant threats to public health and the potential for social unrest and violence from outside protestors and resulting negative media attention.
Contact Jacksonville Mayor Curry (Phone (904) 255-5000, Email email@example.com) and Governor DeSantis (GovernorRon.Desantis@eog.myflorida.com) and urge that they rescind their invitation to hold this potentially dangerous Convention in Jacksonville in order to minimize the spread of this disruptive and costly pandemic.
UUJF Climate Resilience Ministry Committee Report, Jan Booher, director
Data collection and mapping are essential tools for evaluation, assessment and the determination of solutions-and justifying funding. The Climate Resilience Ministry led by Jan Booher with assistance from two summer interns paid for by the UU College of Social Justice, are using their skills to assist communities in three areas of Florida:
In Bay County, data collection and mapping are guiding work in clean up and rebuilding from Hurricane Michael damage and Pandemic local health information. Assisting community organizations is its major goal.
In Sarasota and Manatee counties, data collection and mapping continue. There the interns assist the outreach work of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Sarasota.
In Central Florida, The Better Shelter will soon be assembled and used for food distribution and pandemic information at the Iglesia Episcopal Jesús de Nazaret in Azalea Park which is in an area hit hard COVID-19. Assisting with data collection and grant administration, the Ministry is working with 100 Black Women as they education and protect their high-risk community members during the COVID-19 crisis. Also, working with Organize Florida concerning environmental issues.
Please submit news and upcoming events in your congregation for the August newsletter to firstname.lastname@example.org by July 26.
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