April 2019 Newsletter

Kindra Muntz - Friday, April 05, 2019

Unitarian Universalist Justice Florida


UUJF April 2019 Newsletter


UU Justice Florida Legislative Days March 11-12

The UU Church of Tallahassee graciously hosted this year’s UU Justice Florida Legislative Days event that broke new ground expanding its outreach and effectiveness. The church shared its classrooms for an afternoon Orientation program followed by a briefing on Legislative Issues and opportunities for networking after a wonderfully prepared reception and dinner in the sanctuary. Twenty-seven UUs from 11 UU Florida congregations participated along with eleven members from 5 Florida Indivisible chapters, four members of Protect Our Public Schools (POPS) from Sarasota County and four community leaders affiliated with UUJF’s Climate Ministry. On Tuesday, participants met with their elected representatives and showed support for other groups visiting the Capitol on Tuesday that included Equality Florida, FRRC and ReThink Energy.

The focus was on these key issues - Climate change resiliency, environmental protection, support for well funded public schools, criminal justice reform, reproductive justice and gun safety plus implementation of Amendment 1 for Land Conservation and Amendment 4 for Voting Rights Restoration.

Efforts will continue until the Florida Legislative session ends May 3. Watch for Action Alerts emailed to constituents of members of committees that are hearing legislation on the UU Justice Florida Tracker. As UUs and impassioned advocates we must make every effort to contact our representatives, make our voices heard and show our strength in numbers.

Highlights from the Current Legislative Session

The Tracker follows 253 bills of interest as they progress through 3 committee referrals on their way to a final vote. Of this total, 195 are viewed favorably and the rest are targeted for rejection. There are still 142 bills that have yet to be heard in their first Committee stop which means prospects for passage are uncertain, considering most committees will most likely hear no more than three of these bills at each remaining weekly meeting. Strong constituent advocacy is urgently needed for to show support for changing public policy consistent with our legislative priorities.

Climate Justice Tuesday with UU Justice Florida in Tallahassee

UUJF Climate Ministry grassroots groups met in Orlando at The Fifth Florida Interfaith Climate Actions Network Assembly and brought messages of inequity and need to Tallahassee as one component of UUJF Legislative Day.

Community activists from different areas of Florida spoke at a news conference and with their elected officials about the impact of weather events on their communities. They called for better planning before extreme weather events, more shelters (pre and post event) and addressing safety issues caused by long-term environmental situations such as poor air quality and contaminated ground and water exacerbated by severe weather events.

Commonsense suggestions were made for better septic and sewage systems, immediate Health Impact Studies when areas are known to be contaminated with toxins and climate resilient emergency housing.

The Community Forum Foundation was represented by Crystal Johnson and Rev. Velma Black-Smith speaking on environmental toxins and preparation and recovery plans. Orlando’s Parramore neighborhood was represented by Lawanna Gelzer speaking on planning and recovery after storms and environmental toxins. Rebuild Bay County was represented by Janice Lucas speaking on the long-term devastation wrought by Hurricane Michael and the long-term needs of the residents. 

Follow these links to press coverage from the Tuesday March 12 press event, the Facebook Live recording and the 5:30 News on

Click these links for photos from the UUJF Legislative Day Evening program and Tuesday’s UUJF Legislative Lobby Day in the Capitol. Use the download arrow on the right side (top right or bottom right) to download photos to your device.

UUJF Climate Resilience Ministry ZOOM Call 

Please join Janice T. Booher, MS, Director UUJF Climate Resilience Ministry and others from the faith community this Sunday, March 31st at 7pm EST on a ZOOM meeting (or call in to 720-707-2699) regarding how we can support Pray for Bay—Six Month Anniversary of Hurricane Michael Worship Event. The Meeting ID is 299 951 787.

If you have press contacts, if you know people with stories that we can raise up from Bay County, or if you would like to arrange for car-pooling to attend FROM ANYWHERE IN FLORIDA...let's talk.

It takes all of us to make a resilient Florida, and worshiping together brings us together.

Watch the video of Janice Lucas (Panama City resident) speaking in Tallahassee.

Tampa - Introduction to Drawdown

March 31, Sunday, 1:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Unity of Tampa, 3302 West Horatio Street, Tampa

Facilitators Cher Tanner & Douglas Bonar

Bring your FRIENDS! Pass it on!

Reverse Global Warming: Introduction to Drawdown based on Paul Hawken’s book - Drawdown. #1 Best-Selling Environmental Book of 2017. Project Drawdown is the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming. We did not make or devise the plan - the plan exists and is being implemented worldwide!

Through videos, group activities, critical discussions, and contemplation, you’ll discover the latest research on how this is possible and emerge filled with hope and ready for action!

Eventbrite Registration & Ticketing

Douglas Bonar 727-482-4319, or

Cher Tanner 727-432-9494, PachamamaAlliance@Tampabay.rrcom

Suggested donation $15.00. No one will be turned away.

Registration encouraged. Walk-ins WELCOME too.

National Action for Individuals and Congregations

UU for Social Justice (UUSJ) Advocacy Corps – Write Here! Write Now! April 2019 update.

Looking ahead, the next issue focus is immigration with visits and constituent letter-delivery to the House of Representatives of April 9. Please schedule letter writing in your congregation on March 31 and/or April 7.  UUSJ must receive all letters by noon April 8.

Additionally, April is Earth Month. UUSJ is partnering with UU Ministry for Earth to invite congregations around the country to collect letters on climate change during the month of April and mail them to UUSJ for delivery to Senate offices on May 14. Because of anticipated volume, UUSJ must receive your letters by mail (no emails this time) no later than Thursday, May 9.

Sign up here for reminders about monthly issues.

Let’s get some Florida congresspersons and senators offices in a photo. Let’s get letters delivered on Immigration during April 2019, and in May, on Climate Change.

We deliver!

Below is a photo of UUs for Social Justice delivering the hand written letters by UU of Miami for the Congressperson, Debbie Mucasel-Powell.


Send news of your congregations’ past Social Justice events and calendar of future events to before the April 20 deadline for the May newsletter.


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