UU Justice Florida Legislative Days
Unitarian Universalist Justice Florida Legislative Days are coming! Monday and Tuesday, January 22-23, 2018, we’ll be bringing the voice of Unitarian Universalist values to the state legislative halls in Tallahassee.
Preparation for our Legislative Day begins at the UU Church of Tallahassee, 2810 N. Meridian Road, Tallahassee 32312 at 5:00 PM on Monday, January 22. Be sure to allow enough travel time to reach the church, since this is rush hour in Tallahassee, and the 2018 Legislative Session will be in progress!
Wine and hors d’oeuvres will greet you on arrival. Dinner will be served at 5:30 PM, to be ready for our speaker at 6:30. UUJF will pay for the reception and dinner at the UU Church of Tallahassee, and overnight hotel at the Days Inn near the shuttle to the Capitol, as our gift to all UUs who make the effort to come to Tallahassee and lobby with us as part of our UU Justice Florida Action Network on Tuesday. After our keynote speaker, we will learn about the layout of the Capitol, our state legislature, and strategies for lobbying.
OUR KEYNOTE SPEAKER: DESMOND MEADE
Desmond Meade heads up the Voting Restoration Amendment campaign, to put this amendment on the ballot in 2018. Desmond Meade is a formerly homeless returning citizen who overcame many obstacles to eventually become President of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC), Chair of Floridians for a Fair Democracy, Chair of the Florida Coalition on Black Civic Participation’s Black Men’s Roundtable, former State Director of the Florida Live Free Campaign, and a graduate of Florida International University College of Law.
As the former State Director of the Live Free Campaign, Desmond was actively engaged in a national campaign to reduce mass incarceration, reduce gun violence in urban communities, and re-enfranchise the over 5 million returning citizens nationally who are prevented from voting.
As President of the FRRC, which is recognized for its work on felon disfranchisement issues, Desmond has orchestrated the reorganization and incorporation of a coalition comprised of over 70 state and national organizations and individuals which includes, but not limited to the NAACP, ACLU, PICO, Florida League of Women Voters, A. Philip Randolph Institute, PICO Florida, and Florida Immigration Coalition. Desmond has also received many accolades, celebrating his hard work and dedication to leadership and commitment to social justice.
As Chair of Floridians for a Fair Democracy, Desmond is currently guiding a citizen’s initiative to restore the ability to vote to returning citizens in Florida.
On Tuesday morning, January 23, we will be in the State Capitol building pressing our case. We will provide handouts to take to your legislators on bills on different issues.
See the categories of bills we are tracking now on our website www.uujusticefl.org: Environmental Justice, Democracy in Action, Public Health and Safety.
See our tracker here and see to which committees bills you are concerned about are heading: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1va5gAWpWKqc3ggyr2iM_BZBioq5zkyRGDGjoIP8OqIM/edit#gid=0
We will be narrowing our choice of bills to discuss by Friday, January 19 and have information on several bills for handouts to legislators.
If you bring additional information on bills you are following, make sure your handouts are concise (ONE PAGE MAX), make enough copies for all (we will have the final count of attendees by Friday, January 19) and leave space for us to give our contact information at the bottom
Right after you sign up for Legislative Day, call your Representative and your Senator to make an appointment to see them or one of their staff members in their Tallahassee office, Tuesday, January 23. You need appointments in advance. No one will go alone to their meetings. If a group is coming from your location, have ONE person make the appointments.
Our UUJF core issues in 2017-2018 are Environmental Justice, Democracy in Action, and Public Health and Safety. Many issues fall in these three broad areas. We will have the latest updates on several bills we can best impact in our short time in Tallahassee. In the meantime, we encourage you to visit your state and federal legislators in their district offices to voice your concerns about issues of concern to you. The motto for the year is SHOW UP! If they don’t hear from us, they just hear from corporate lobbyists.
TRAVEL AND HOTEL
Ride sharing: If you need a ride, so indicate on the form below, and we shall try to put you in touch with others with whom you can share a ride. If you can help with transportation, please let us know.
For UUs attending from around the state, UUJF will pay for your room for the night of Monday, January 22 at the Days Inn, 3100 Apalachee Parkway. That is our investment in YOU for making the effort. Our non-UU guests from around the state are welcome to join us and pay the discounted rate we receive.
1) Fill in all information on the form below.
2) Bring your Standing on the Side of Love T-Shirt (or borrow one if you don’t have your own)! We will wear them in the Capitol on Tuesday morning! The visual impact of our LOVE SHIRTS is positive. (If necessary, you can wear an open jacket over the shirt, but the more visibility of Stand on the Side of Love, the better!) SSL T-shirts can be ordered from the UUA bookstore here: http://www.uuabookstore.org/Standing-on-the-Side-of-Love-C1307.aspx
2) Call your State Senator's and State Representative's office to make an appointment for Tuesday morning, January 23.
Find your State Senator at www.flsenate.gov
Find your State Representative at www.myfloridahouse.gov
Please call Kindra at 941-266-8278 should you have any questions.
Thanks for being part of our Florida UUJF Legislative Days 2018!These are just some of the 40+ UUs from 12 congregations in Florida who attended our Legislative Days in March, 2017:
See you in Tallahassee in January!