a publication of Action Together Tampa Bay
Step Right Up!
A word from ATTB Founder Christine Hanna:
Congratulations on a beautiful weekend! We were delighted to have so many new members join us over the past few days. We know there are a lot of groups popping up now, and we sincerely appreciate you joining us. It is our hope that you will find value here, that we will answer questions and provide opportunities and a unique point of view. We hope that we will earn your involvement and your recommendation! To learn more about our group, please check out this introductory video.
URGENT CALL TO ACTION: Public Hearings on Expansion of 'Stand Your Ground'
The Florida Senate Judiciary Committee will hold public hearings re: an expansion of ‘Stand your Ground’ THIS TUESDAY Jan 24th. Senate Bill 128 revises the burden of proof in cases where a defendant wants to avoid prosecution under the theory that he was standing his ground in self-defense. Long story short, it gives a defendant two equally awesome bites at the apple in order to avoid punishment. In the words of our member Justin D. “As a lawyer and someone who often deals with these topics first hand in the courtroom, I cannot stress to you the importance of defeating this bill if you care even slightly about gun violence in our state.”
CONTINUE THE PHONE BOMB
Call the members of the Florida Senate Judiciary Committee and ask them to say NO to Senate Bill 128:
Anitere Flores (R-District 39): 305-270-6550
Debbie Mayfield (R-District 17): 321-409-2025
Rene Garcia (R-District 36): 305-364-3100
Lizbeth Benacquisto (R-District 27): 239-338-2570
*Greg Steube (R-District 23): 941-342-9162 *Introduced these bills.
Bobby Powell (D-District 30): 561-650-6880
Randolph Bracy (D-District 11): 407-656-6716
Audrey Gibson (D-District 6): 904-359-2553
Perry E. Thurston, Jr. (D-District 33) 954-321-2705
Use the Fact Sheet to prepare, and ask to speak to the staffer handling gun control when you call. Sample script: “My name is ___, I live in ___ Florida, and I am calling on behalf of Action Together to register my opposition to Senate Bill 128 because ____.” Speak from the HEART, and always be Respectful, be Insistent, be Persistent.
IN PERSON PROTEST – TALLAHASSEE
Moms Demand Action will show up in force at the hearing ON TUESDAY, and there is a contingent of activists going up from the Tampa Bay area! Michelle Gadja is the Moms Demand Action Florida Chapter leader and a member of ATTB - reach out to her via PM or call 804-370-7221 to volunteer! Michelle says they need as many physical seats filled as possible at the 2 PM hearing with people who oppose SYG expansion, who are loud and proud enough to provide cover for representatives who want to vote it down.
Political Advocacy Update – Top Three of the Week!
(1) Criminal Justice Reform is a priority for ATTB. On Monday, January 23, the Florida Senate Criminal Justice Committee will hear Senate Bill 192, which limits the circumstances where juveniles can be charged as adults, and Senate Bill 196, which broadens the juvenile civil citation program to help keep kids out of the criminal justice system. If you are someone who wants to help reform the way kids are handled in the juvenile justice system, then these two bills deserve your support! Go to the website for the Senate Criminal Justice Committee and find the names of the committee members (4 Rs, 3 Ds, however, a D is Committee Chair) – when you click on their names, you will find their contact information. Call the local offices and tell the staffers how you feel about SB 192 and SB 196. (Note: Senator Jeff Brandes and Senator Darryl Ervin Rouson are from the Tampa Bay area; if one of them is your senator, mention that you are a constituent when you call.) You'll also find posts about this Call to Action (CtA) in the FB group.
(2) We continue to make progress on placing ATTB members inside the Democratic Party, specifically to help with the work of turning individual precincts a deeper shade of BLUE. Come learn more about our Hillsborough County DEC Precinct Project ; more than 20 members have already put in their applications with the Hillsborough County Democratic Executive Committee (HCDEC). Many of those applications are to become a Precinct Committeeperson (Note: the next HCDEC meeting is January 30th). Political Advocacy is looking for motivated individuals to step up and help run and coordinate the Precinct Project in Hillsborough and also launch the Precinct Project in Pinellas. ATTB is working with Organize Now to provide some of the best possible training, which in turn is helping ATTB members to make a real difference in pulling Tampa Bay to the LEFT and pushing the region FORWARD.
(3) Action Together Tampa Bay believes in a comprehensive, multi-pronged approach to creating social and political change. A vital part of this strategy is to BE RESPECTFUL, BE INSISTENT, AND BE PERSISTENT… BE HEARD. A non-violent protest is moral and ethical because force is not used. It is a powerful tool because authority is put on the spot and does not know how to respond without offending the general public. It generates public awareness of a serious problem that requires a solution. ATTB has created the Wolf Pack to facilitate participation in all forms of non-violent protest. We encourage members who are experienced at protesting to come together and work as a team to tackle the many opportunities to protest in the Tampa Bay area. Members who are less experienced but want to learn will be mentored. No member will be asked or expected to participate in any protest that they feel uncomfortable supporting 100%. When needed, the Wolf Pack will link up with other protestors throughout Florida, either to coordinate efforts in solidarity rallies or even to travel to participate and boost numbers – and thus boost media attention and political impact. Do not underestimate the impact we can have on representatives in City Hall or in Tallahassee who see signs and hear protestors on their way in to work or at a public event. The Wolf Pack is a critical component of the Resistance. Please reach out to the Political Advocacy Task Force for more information.
Any and all political advocacy related issues: email us at ATTBpoliticaladvocacy@gmail.com
Keep Up: Pester your legislators with the Countable app
Once upon a time, you needed to read a hard-copy newspaper, attend a rally or town hall meeting, or spend time in the stacks at a library to figure out what a legislator’s platform contained and what the hottest political issues of the moment were really all about. Doing all those things is still important today, but there’s now an option literally at your fingertips to determine who’s doing what, when and how in Washington, thanks to Countable.
Basically, Countable is a legislative tracking vehicle. Per a description on its website, Countable lets you “get clear, concise summaries of bills going through Congress, see what others think, then take action. Telling your reps how you feel is easier than ever with email and now video messages. Make your democracy more responsive!” Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? The app itself can be a bit buggy and may lag a little when it comes to updating information, but all in all, it’s a good resource and vehicle for you to stay informed and for Congress to stay accountable. Tremendous! (Countable is available for both iPhone and Android.)
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