ACTION ALERT – GUN SAFETY

LWVF Logo (better resolution?)
ACTION ALERT – GUN SAFETY
CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE TODAY.
Tomorrow, April 4th, three bad bills will be debated in the House of Representatives.
HB 849 will be heard on the floor of the House. This bill would allow concealed carry permit holders to carry their weapons on private school property.
HB 245 AND SB 128 will be heard on the floor of the House.  These bills would require prosecutors to try Stand Your Ground (SYG) cases twice – once in a pretrial hearing and once in front of a jury.
Call your Representative (click here to find Rep.) and tell them that you are their constituent and that you strongly urge him/her to vote NO on HB 245, SB 128, and HB 849!
CALL YOUR SENATOR TODAY
 
Also, tomorrowApril 4th, the Senate will hear SB 1052. 
 
This additional Stand Your Ground proposal would remove a requirement that a person first must be attacked in his or her dwelling, residence, or vehicle before using or threatening to use force. This would allow a person who perceives a threat to use force without first being attacked.
Call your Senator (find them here) and tell him/her to vote NO on SB 1052.
Thank you for all that you do!
In League,
 
Pamela Goodman
President 
LWV of Florida
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Honoring Dr. King’s Death this Tuesday

From: Awake Pinellas <contact@awakepinellas.org>
Date: March 31, 2017 at 6:20:16 PM EDT
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Subject: Honoring Dr. King’s Death this Tuesday
 
WHAT: Workers, Race and Class: 1968 Black Resistance
WHERE: James B. Sanderlin Center: 2335 22nd Ave S, St. Petersburg, FL 33712
WHEN: THIS Tuesday April 4th @ 6:00pm
See Facebook EVENT PAGE HERE
On April 4th, the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, the Fight for $15 and the Movement for Black Lives will hold over two dozen actions nationwide to honor the legacy and vision of King and recommit to the struggle against systemic racism and poverty wages. When Dr. King was killed nearly 50 years ago, he was in Memphis to support black sanitation workers who were on strike against politicians intent on busting their union. King saw a deep link between the labor and civil rights movements and believed that union rights were fundamental to achieving racial justice. He died while in Memphis for a strike because he knew that when people join together they build power to make change. Let’s continue that vision together.
Here in Florida, we will be hosting three special events connecting the dots between Dr. King’s struggle for racial and economic justice and the battles we are fighting today. We will also examine our current predicament as communities of color prepare to fight back against this administration and Republican efforts to curtail protest and decimate worker rights via draconian legislation.
In St. Petersburg, racial justice and labor leaders are convening a Town Hall Discussion entitled Workers, Race, and Class: Black Resistance from Then to Now” bringing together veterans from the 1968 Black-Led St. Petersburg Sanitation Worker Strike and current leaders and workers in the Movement for Black Lives and Fight for 15. We will hear from leaders of the historic 1968 sanitation worker strike, a pivotal moment that defined race and labor relations in the City and how those events connect with the fight for fair wages and worker rights today as the Trump administration gears up to expand Right to Work legislation nationwide.
See FB EVENT PAGE HERE.
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Execute justice not people Rally in Tally

Join FADP, Equal Justice USA, NAACP, Latino Justice, Florida Council of Churches, Orange County Black Voice, and Color of Change in Tallahassee on Thursday, March 30 at 12:30 PM to call on Governor Rick Scott to execute justice NOT people!

A bus will leave the Allendale United Methodist Church (3803 Haines Rd N, St. Petersburg, FL 33703) @ 7am. Register online if you’d like to be on it!

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Pax Christi Tampa Bay Newsletter

(Also available as PDF by clicking here: Pax Christi Tampa Bay March 2017.)

WEEKLY EVENTS calendar

  1. New Surly Fems Events Calendar
    2. People’s Budget in St. Petersburg
    3.  Laundry Love: Soap and Pizza
    4. Farmworkers march in Tampa
    5.  Rally in Tally against the death penalty
    6. Thomas Merton on War Lenten Retreat
  2. Tiny Homes Festival
    8.  Black Resistance in St. Petersburg
    9. International Peace in Space Conference
    10. Think Globally, Act Communally: An Evening with Becca Stevens
    11. Jeffrey Toobin on the Trump Court
    12. Sasha Abramsky: The American Way of Poverty
    13. Hopeful things from Rita Lucey

Good folks,

The resistance against the policies of the Trump administration continues.  Along with the events listed below, a recently formed calendar of local events is remarkable in the quantity and scope of its activities.

Notable this week are the monthly Laundry Love in St. Petersburg on Monday, the Coalition of Immokalee Farmworkers March in Tampa on Wednesday, and the Rally in Tally against the death penalty on Thursday.  Other opportunities below include protests, lectures, and chances for hands-on service.

Pax Christi Tampa Bay

WEEKLY CALENDAR

PEACE FIRST SITE: Since 2002, Peace First has gathered on street corners weekly to speak for peace and justice.  This presence is especially important now as a continuation of resistance to the current administration.

Peace First will demonstrate at the corner of 34th Street/US 19 and 22nd  Avenue N. in St. Petersburg every Wednesday through April from 4:30-5:30 PM (map)Participants usually gather afterward at a nearby restaurant for a meal. For more information (FMI): SMcCown@tampabay.rr.com


FRIDAY NIGHT PICNIC ON THE PLAYGROUND IN ST. PETE
The Friday Night Picnic is a potluck picnic for hungry people, most of whom are low income or experiencing homelessness.  The picnic continues to need potluck food, beverages, picnic supplies, and volunteers. The picnic, which serves over 100 people a week, is at 6:00 PM every Friday at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 719 Arlington Avenue N. at Mirror Lake Drive in downtown St. Petersburg.  FMI: http://uustpete.org/2014/09/17/friday-picnic-playground or (973) 768-3256.

WEEKLY BREAKFAST: Loaves and Fishes is a breakfast held at Trinity Lutheran Church on Saturday mornings. Volunteers serve a hot breakfast to about 200 people. The breakfast is held on the third floor of Trinity Lutheran Church, 401 4th Avenue North in St. Petersburg.

The breakfast runs from 8:30-10:30 AM, and volunteers can participate in one or all of the shifts: early (7:30-8:30 AM) to help prep the meal; mid-meal (8:30-9:30 AM) for serving; and late (9:00-10:30 AM) for cleanup. Volunteers should go to the side of Trinity Lutheran Church and take the elevator to the third floor.   Please contact G. W. Rolle at (727) 424-1088 to help.
SINGLE EVENTS

1. EVENTS CALENDAR: The Surly Fems Events Calendar is a comprehensive listing of progressive political, educational, activist and cultural events in the Tampa Bay area:    https://localendar.com/public/surlyfemevents?style=M4

2. PEOPLE’S BUDGET: Residents of St. Petersburg can go to https://andicastall.typeform.com/to/mFxb1q to take the People’s Budget survey to tell  the City of St. Petersburg decide how to spend its budget surplus.


  1. Laundry Love is an opportunity to help financially struggling people in St. Petersburg do their laundry. It is sponsored by the Missio Dei church and takes place the last Monday of every month.  This month Laundry Love meets from 6:30-8:00 PMon Monday, March 27 at the coin laundry at 365 8th St S, St Petersburg, Florida (map). Organizers provide soap, coins and pizza for those washing their clothes.

Your assistance is always needed and appreciated.  FMI on how you can support and participate in Laundry Love, call G. W. Rolle at (727) 424-1088.

 

  1. FARMWORKERS END NATIONWIDE TOUR WITH MARCH IN TAMPA: Join farmworkers andTampa Bay Fair Foodfor the grand Florida finale of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ Return to Human Rights Tour in Tampa on Wednesday, March 29. They will call on Wendy’s and Publix Supermarkets to make a real, verifiable commitment to protecting the fundamental human rights of farmworkers in their supply chains by joining the CIW’s Fair Food Program.

    The march begins at 5:00 PM at Publix GreenWise (2401 W Azeele St.) and concludes at Wendy’s (1615 W Kennedy Blvd) in Tampa. Parking will be provided.

    The fourteen-day, twelve-city Return to Human Rights Tour (March 16-29, 2017) is the longest protest action in the last ten years of the Campaign for Fair Food, joining thousands of consumers in mobilizing for the national Wendy’s Boycott. The boycott, launched by farmworkers last March, has garnered support from tens of thousands of students, faith leaders, human rights, activists, and consumers of conscience across the country. In spite of the growing pressure, the final fast food holdout has dug in its heels and defended its decision to shift purchases away from Florida’s tomato industry —which the New York Times called the “best working environment in American agriculture” — and towards a Mexican industry, riddled with inhumane working conditions.

    FMI: Tampa Bay Fair Food  or tbfairfood@gmail.com

    5. ANTI-DEATH PENALTY RALLY IN TALLY: Join FADP, Equal Justice USA, NAACP, Latino Justice, Florida Council of Churches, Orange County Black Voice, and Color of Change in Tallahassee this Thursday, March 30 at 12:30 PM to call on Governor Rick Scott to execute justice NOT people! 

The death penalty unnecessarily wastes millions of taxpayer dollars above the cost of sentencing people to life in prison with no parole.  Florida leads the nation with 26 people on death row exonerated and released due to wrongful convictions. Florida’s death penalty is rooted in racial bias: never in Florida’s history has a white person been executed for killing a black person. And there is no proof that the death penalty prevents violent crime or protects law enforcement officers.

Last week, after an extensive and non-partisan investigation of the facts of the death penalty process, State Attorney Aramis Ayala, elected on a platform of criminal justice reform, announced she would not seek death sentences in any cases in her jurisdiction. She acted responsibly and within her rights as State Attorney. Governor Scott, an extreme proponent of the death penalty, interfered in the lawful discretion and duties of the State Attorney and removed Ayala from an upcoming potential death penalty case.

This Thiursday people are rallying in Tallahassee to deliver a message to Gov. Scott’s office: Floridians are here to #StandWithAramis and to end the death penalty in our state. The rally will take place at The Capitol, 400 S. Monroe St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001.

There will be buses picking up participants in the following cities:

Tampa | Faith Lutheran Church @ 7am
12703 North Florida Ave, Tampa, FL 33608

St. Petersburg | Allendale United Methodist Church @ 7am
3803 Haines Rd N, St. Petersburg, FL 33703

Orlando | Walmart Neighborhood Market @ 7am
1101 S Goldwyn Ave, Orlando, FL 32805

Jacksonville | Mount Sinai Missionary Baptist Church @ 7:30am
2036 Silver St, Jacksonville, FL 32206

FMI, to register, and to secure a spot on the bus, click here.

  1. THOMAS MERTON ON WAR: RETREAT WITH JIM FOREST: Thomas Merton is well known as a spiritual writer and explorer and a person of conscience, deeply concerned about issues or racial justice and peace in a time when those issues were not front and center for many religious folks. Merton’s forthright comments on American society, war culture, and racial injustice are still on the mark. What can we learn from him about our war culture and about ourselves and our efforts to resist it?

Jim Forest was a member of the New York Catholic Worker, an editor of their newspaper, friend of Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton. A life-long worker for peace, Jim is Secretary of the Orthodox Peace Fellowship and has written many books, including All is Grace, a biography of Dorothy Day, Loving Our Enemies, on living the Beatitudes, and The Root of War is Fear: Thomas Merton’s Advice to Peacemakers. Merton’s “Letter to a Young Peacemaker” was written to Jim Forest.

The retreat will include talks by Jim, times of discussion, silence, and prayer.  March 31st – April 3rd, 2017 at The Rush Center, Midfield, AL  Cost:  $60 day only, $65 for overnight  FMI: Contact Mary’s House  205-780-2020 or email shelleymdouglass@gmail.com
  1. TINY HOMES FESTIVAL: Tiny Home Festival features designs, construction options, and the benefits and challenges of living tiny.  The Festival features five tiny homes on wheels and tiny home owners, builders and experts.  The Festival will be on Saturday, April 1, 2017 from 10:00 AM–6:00 PM at St. Pete EcoVillage, 302 15th Street North in Saint Petersburg, FL 33705 (map) FMI and tickets, click here
  2. WORKERS, RACE AND CLASS: BLACK RESISTANCE FROM THEN TO NOW: Fight for $15, an organization of activists working for fair wages, honors the legacy and vision of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the anniversary of his assassination by hosting a special panel discussion with leaders in St. Petersburg connecting the dots between Dr. King’s struggle for racial and economic justice and the battles we are fighting today.

    Leaders of the historic 1968 sanitation worker strike in St Petersburg will speak on how those events connect with the fight for fair wages and worker rights today as the Trump administration gears up to expand Right to Work and decimate the working class. The discussion will take place on Tuesday, April 4 from 6:00-8:00 at the James B Sanderlin Center 2335 22nd Ave S., St. Petersburg, FL 33712.  FMI: https://www.facebook.com/events/132159317314497/

 

 

 

  1. INTERNATIONAL PEACE IN SPACE CONFERENCE: “Pivot Toward War: US Missile Defense and the Weaponization of Space,” is the subject of the 25th Annual Space  Organizing Conference and Protest of the Global Network against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space. The annual conference, which features activists and experts from seven countries and sixteen states, will take place from April 7-9 in Huntsville, Alabama.  Huntsville, also known as the “Pentagon of the South,” is the home of weapons contractors, the Redstone Arsenal, and the Space and Missile Defense Command.  Huntsville receives over $7 billion dollars in military spending every year.  Even so, 14.2% of people in the area live below the federal poverty level.

    The conference will focus on resisting the effort by the Trump administration to develop and deploy the next generation of Star Wars weapons, which will increase global instability and cost hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars. Col. Ann Wright (US Army retired, diplomat) will be the keynote speaker.  FMI, including a video to the conference and to the history and contractors of Huntsville, go to http://www.space4peace.org/

    10. THINK GLOBALLY, ACT COMMUNALLY: An evening with Becca Stevens: Becca Stevens is an author, Episcopal priest and founder of Thistle Farms, a community of women healing from prostitution, trafficking and addiction.  She began Thistle Farms in 1997 as ​a residential ​program offering housing, medical and dental care,​ ​therapy, and ​education free to women for two years. Residents and graduates are given employment through one of four social enterprises, allowing them to move towards independence.  Stevens was named a “Champion of Change” from the White House in 2011 and a 2016 Top 10 CNN Hero.​ ​She will speak Tuesday, April 25, 2017 at the Tampa Theatre, 711 N Franklin St, Tampa, FL 33602. Doors open/welcome reception at 6:30 PM. Program begins at 7:30 PM.  The event is free and open to the public.  FMI and to register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/think-globally-act-communally-an-evening-with-becca-stevens-tickets-32354352740?aff=efbeventtix

    11. JEFFREY TOOBIN: A senior analyst for CNN and staff writer for The New Yorker, Jeffrey Toobin is one of the country’s most esteemed experts on politics, media and the law. Toobin, who has covered all the major legal stories of the era, ranging from the nomination of four Supreme Court Justices to the trials of Michael Jackson and George Zimmerman, offers a unique look into the inner workings of the Supreme Court and its influence, as well as how the current administration will shape the court and, in turn, the nation.  Toobin will speak Thursday, April 27 from 7:30 – 9:30 PM at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N WC MacInnes Pl, Tampa, Florida 33602. FMI: https://www.facebook.com/events/409409009397905/

    12. Sasha Abramsky and the american way of poverty: Join author and journalist Sasha Abramsky, author of The American Way of Poverty: How the Other Half Still Lives for the Leif Nissen Social Justice Lecture Series of Temple Beth-El on April 30, 2017 from 5:00-8:00 PM at Temple Beth-El, 400 Pasadena Ave S, in Saint Petersburg, Florida 33707.  Born in England,  Abramsky studied at Balliol College, Oxford, and at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York City. Currently living in Sacramento, he teaches in the U.C. Davis writing program, while also a fellow at the NYC-based Demos think tank.

    The lecture is sponsored in partnership with the League of Women Voters of the St. Petersburg Area, University, University of South Florida St. Petersburg, Unitarian Universalists of Clearwater & Unitarian Universalists of St Petersburg. The event is free and a light dinner will follow.  For more information, contact Temple Beth-El Social Action co-chair, Robin Warren at rwarren200714@gmail.com or the Temple office at (727) 347-6136.

  2. HOPEFUL THINGS: When asked how he remained hopeful after so many years of activism, Father Daniel Berrigan said, “By doing hopeful things.”

Here is a list of hopeful things compiled by hopeful activist Rita Lucey:

  • Brisbane, Australia: Catholic workers remove a sword embedded in a cross – a symbol of war.
    ● Warton, England: a Methodist and a Quaker attempt to disarm warplanes bound for Saudi Arabia
    ● Jeju, South Korea: the community of resistance continues public protest while networking with Okinawa, Taiwan and other countries to halt military expansion.
    ● Falsane, Scotland  home of Britain’s Trident nuclear missile submarine fleet:  numerous activists arrested for protests
    ● Paris, France: Nineteen Greenpeace activists jailed for protesting against energy giant EDF for indiscriminate use of inferior materials in construction of nuclear facilities
    ●  Menwith Hill, England  the campaign for Accountability of American Bases (CAAB) continues.  Founder (1992) Lindis Percy arrested again  by British soldiers protecting the US run spy base.
    ● Okinawa, Japan Three activists jailed for opposition to expansion of US military bases in Okinawa.
    ● Brussels, Belgium A major international NO to NATO planned for May.
    ● Buchel AFB, Germany – 20 weeks of nonviolent resistance actions March 26-August 9  demand that U.S. nuclear weapons stockpiled there be sent home.  Support for U.N. effort to ban nuclear weapons.

    The most recent activities in the U.S.:
    ● Bath Maine: Twelve warship blockaders found guilty by jury. Judge sentences to 30 hours community service.
    ● Beale AFB, California: Drone resistance actions and continuous demonstrations, including yellow “-Crime Scene – Do Not Cross” tape plastered over the Beale AFB sign. “Perpetrators” given federal trespass citations.
    ● Washington, D.C.: At a Witness Against Torture (WAT) die-in at Hart Senate Office Building, nine activists arrested, the same number of deaths at Guantanamo of individuals never charged with crime.

    For more, Google war resisters groups for a listing.
    National War Tax Resistance: www.nwtree.org
    Nuclear Resister   nukeresister@igc.org
    falsanepeacecamp@protonmail.com
    www.greenpeace.fr
    savejejunow.org
    caat.org.uk (Campaign Against the Arms Trade)

 

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Rally with us in Tallahassee

 

Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty

Rally with us in Tallahassee!

Join FADP, Equal Justice USA, NAACP, Latino Justice, Florida Council of Churches, Orange County Black Voice, and Color of Change in Tallahassee on Thursday, March 30 at 12:30 PM to call on Governor Rick Scott to execute justice NOT people!

Rally In Tallahassee Flyer

Not only does trying to enforce the death penalty unnecessarily waste millions of taxpayer dollars over and above the cost of sentencing those same people to life in prison with no parole, it prolongs the judicial process for decades, forcing victim’s families to re-live the worst day of their lives over and over again.

Shockingly, Florida leads the nation with 26 people on death row exonerated and released due to evidence of wrongful convictions. Florida’s death penalty is rooted in racial bias – never in Florida’s history has a white person been executed for killing a black person. There is no proof that the death penalty prevents violent crime or protects law enforcement officers.

Last week, after an extensive and non-partisan investigation of the facts and reality of the death penalty process, State Attorney Aramis Ayala, elected on a platform of criminal justice reform, announced she would not seek death sentences in any cases in her jurisdiction. She acted very responsibly and within her rights as State Attorney.

This was a big win for the safety and well-being of Orange and Osceola County families and all Florida taxpayers. However, Gov. Scott, an extreme proponent of the death penalty, abused his power and interfered in the lawful discretion and duties of the State Attorney and ultimately removed Ayala from an upcoming potential death penalty case.

That’s why we’re rallying in Tallahassee; to deliver a message to Gov. Scott’s office: Floridians are here to #StandWithAramis and to end the death penalty in our state.

Will you Rally in Tally with us?  We encourage you to bring friends, family, and carpool to Tallahassee. But if you don’t have a ride, there will be buses picking up participants in the following cities:

Orlando | Walmart Neighborhood Market @ 7am
1101 S Goldwyn Ave, Orlando, FL 32805

Jacksonville | Mount Sinai Missionary Baptist Church @ 7:30am
2036 Silver St, Jacksonville, FL 32206

Tampa | Faith Lutheran Church @ 7am
12703 North Florida Ave, Tampa, FL 33608

St. Petersburg | Allendale United Methodist Church @ 7am
3803 Haines Rd N, St. Petersburg, FL 33703

Register to attend and secure your spot on the bus today!

See you in Tallahassee,

Mark Elliott
Executive Director
Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty
www.fadp.org

FADP is a non-profit and non-partisan Florida organization of individuals and groups united to abolish the Death Penalty in Florida.

 

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The Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence

The Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence is a project of the League of Women Voters. Lakewood United Church of Christ is a partner in this coalition. There is a link at the bottom to a list of all the Coalition partners.

Advocating for meaningful gun law reform for a safer Florida

Preventing gun violence is not a 2nd Amendment issue;
it’s a public safety issue.
Dear Coalition partners and supporters,
March has been a very busy month so far for the Coalition!
Senator Gary Farmer, D-Ft. Lauderdale, outlined his proposed bill to close the “Mile-Wide” background check loophole at gun shows during a press conference in Tallahassee hosted by the Coalition.
Powerful GOP Lawmaker Sen. Anitere Flores came out in opposition to guns in airport terminals and on college campuses. These bills were proposed by Senator Greg Steube, R-Sarasota.
Coalition Co-Chair and LWVF 1st VP Patricia Brigham participated in an enlightening conversation on Gun Safety and legislation with veteran journalist Mike Lafferty in the LWVOC Hot Topics event: Ballots Not Bullets. Brigham also joined Republican Attorney Wade Vose on the “Decision Florida” Facebook Live Show with WMFE Health Reporter Abe Aboraya on gun bills moving through the Florida Legislature.
Hot topics Gun Safety
Hot Topics:  Ballots no Bullets

Hot Topics: Ballots Not Bullets, A Gun Safety And Legislative Solutions Conversation With Veteran Journalist Mike Lafferty & Coalition Co-Chair/LWVF VP Patricia Brigham. We Have Included A Facebook Live Video Of The Event.

Brigham said that the Florida Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, of which the League is leading, is backing one bill that would ban semiautomatic weapons and high-capacity magazines and another that would close a loophole by expanding background checks for gun-show sales. There is no guarantee either will be heard during the committee process. The Coalition plans to bring these proposals back every year until they pass.
The coalition will be vigilant. “We will protect the public from bad bills; the League believes in responsible gun ownership,” Brigham said. “Gun control is not a Second Amendment issue but a public-safety issue.”
There is a plethora of bills for this legislative session, Brigham said, because the National Rifle Association and its Florida lobbyist Marion Hammer lost ground in the last few sessions. “The gun lobby is not used to being challenged.”
This year, Brigham said, both campus-carry and open-carry (for those 1.7 million Floridians who hold concealed-weapons permits) may be on “shaky ground.” Campus-carry, as last year, is particularly “shaky” because, Brigham said, it makes no sense in an environment of alcohol and drug use, not to mention student depression (leading to suicide). In addition, university officials and law-enforcement groups are on the record opposed to campus-carry.
Passing responsible gun legislation is laid upon the states because, Brigham said, the federal government did next to nothing, even after the Sandy Hook tragedy in 2012 when a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. (Congress has even banned funding for the Centers for Disease Control to study gun violence.)
All bills, with their filing numbers, are on the League Web site (see Citizen Toolkit), and Brigham encourages partners and coalition supporters to study them and let legislators know if you’re opposed.
“The better informed we are, the safer we are,” Brigham said.

FACEBOOK LIVE

Farmer Press Conference, Back ground checks legislation
Proposed Bill to Close Gun Show Loophole
Senator Gary Farmer, D-Ft. Lauderdale, outlined his proposed bill to close the “mile-wide” background check loophole at gun shows during a news conference in Tallahassee hosted by the Florida Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence.
“What does this bill do? It requires all firearm sales be conducted by a licensed firearms dealer,” Farmer said.
Decision Florida, WMFE
Decision Florida on WMFE
Watch the “Decision Florida” show about gun legislation hosted by 90.7 WMFE health reporter Abe Aboraya. Abe talked about gun bills moving through the Florida Legislature with Republican attorney Wade Vose and League of Women Voters of Florida‘s Patricia M. Brigham.

Upcoming Events
Join the Sarasota Chapter of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence for the forum, “Why Can’t We Do Something?” Featured speakers: Mark Barden, Co-Founder of Sandy Hook Promise, Cristen Rescigno, also with Sandy Hook Promise, and Patti Brigham, Co-Chair of the Florida Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence.
We’re taking on the NRA, the gun lobby, and the politicians they fund to make Floridians safer from gun violence
The mission of the Florida Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence is to reduce and prevent gun crimes, injuries, and deaths via:
  • A state ban on all semiautomatic assault weapons and large-capacity feeding devices
  • Comprehensive universal background checks and ensuring that the State provides all relevant records to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)
  • Continuing our efforts to defeat unsafe gun legislation including Open Carry, Campus Carry and Stand Your Ground expansion
Contact: Patti Brigham
1st Vice President LWV of Florida,
Co-chair, Florida Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence
The League of Women Voters of Florida, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. For more information, please visit the League’s website at: www.TheFloridaVoter.org.
League of Women Voters of Florida, 540 Beverly Court, Tallahassee, FL 32301-7530
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We need a budget that uplifts the common good!

President Trump released his “skinny budget” last week. The President’s budget is only a proposal, Congress will ultimately set our Nation’s spending priorities, but it is still important because it signals what the new president is thinking and what his vision for our common life is.

The President’s budget proposal calls for a large increase in military spending. This cost would be offset by severe cuts across much of the rest of the government. It would eliminate dozens of long-standing federal programs that assist the poor and slash funding for environmental protection, scientific research, foreign aid, and diplomacy.

This proposed budget also codifies a promise to build a wall on our southern border. It sets aside more than $4 billion to begin the building process as well as beefing up staffing needs to support more deportations.

Act now – Urge Congress to work towards a budget that reflects our commitment to the common good, uplifts all people and protects God’s Creation!

Reminding us that Jesus calls us to attend to the needs of the least of these, General Synod 25 challenged the United Church of Christ to support policies that serve the common good, saying:

“Our Christian faith speaks directly to public morality and the ways a nation should bring justice and compassion into its civic life.  In the story of the last judgment, Jesus tells us that nations will be judged by how they care for their most vulnerable citizens, those Jesus describes as, ‘the least of these who are members of my family.’ This story in Matthew (Matthew 25: 34-35) is not about personal salvation; rather it is presented as a story of the judgment of nations.”

This budget doesn’t reflect the values or commitments which we as people of faith hold dear. Now is the time to speak out!

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THE ART SQUAD and the Activists ride again!

THE ART SQUAD and the Activists  ride again!  This time at the beach with red towels! (Start collecting extra red towels now.)

We plan to go to Treasure Island Beach the Beach and organize folks into giant human letters.

After we take aerial photos, sing, drum and watch the sunset we will join circles all over the world lighting at the 7PM candle lighting and meditation for World Peace and Justice.

 

THIS IS SET FOR NEXT WEEK! We need help to make it happen. Please pass this notice to whoever you can and ask your friends to repost it everywhere!

ALSO PLEASE come to my art studio  on  this Sat. March 4 at   1 :00 PM   to work on staffing the committees.  

Do this by going to the Facebook page, friending us and signing up for our event.  

You will find the committee sign-up and all the transportation and parking information there as well as my address and directions to my house and the committees there.

Our e-mail :  gianthumanletters.RESIST@gmail.com

 

We are closing the event at 2000 so please go to the Facebook page and sign up NOW .

Here are the list of possibilities.

Media : get the word out and meet the press at the event

Set up – people to come early to the site and actually inscribe the letters in the sand

Clean-up– people who will take big plastic bags and scour our area at the end

Peacekeepers to keep disrupters from causing mayhem (and bad vibes)

Posters: cutters ahead of time and poster making supervisors at the site,

Letter Leaders who will fill up the outlines of their letter with people

Loud Voices  Chanting/Singing Drumming leaders who will encourage/conduct free form music throughout

March 8, 2017   5:30-7:15 PM

Come sit in the sand with us, form letters that say RESIST

and light a candle for world peace and justice.

 

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Sentencing in Capital Felonies

 

Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty

Too Flawed to Fix

– Please post and share with Floridians –

A bill titled “Sentencing in Capital Felonies” (SB 280 and HB 527) in the Florida legislature is rapidly making its way towards passage. Your help is needed to try to stop it. This bill takes steps to reform and restart Florida’s flawed death penalty program by requiring a unanimous jury for a death sentence. However, this reform will not fix the many fatal flaws of this wasteful and unnecessary government program.

Now is the time to end the death penalty in Florida, not mend it!

The math is simple:

  • Florida’s Death Penalty costs taxpayers over $50 million a year more than the cost of life in prison with no parole;
  • Taxpayers could pay up to $200 million or more in additional costs to try to re-sentence 135-200 men and women on Florida’s Death Row to death;
  • Due to budget cuts, vital public safety programs could be cut by 10% in 2017;
  • So far 26 individuals have been exonerated after being wrongfully convicted and sentenced to Florida’s Death Row;
  • Recent polling shows 62% of Floridians now support life without parole over executions;
  • Prosecutors are actively seeking death in 313 cases and report 66 are ready for trial;
  • The alternative sentence of life in prison with no parole makes executions unnecessary.

The cost of maintaining Florida’s death penalty program far outweighs any imagined benefits.

Contact your Florida legislator today and call for an extension of the current pause on executions, and for the State of Florida to conduct a complete and impartial review of Florida’s death penalty program to determine cost, deterrence, accuracy, impact on victims’ families, impartiality, and most importantly – necessity.

Click here to find your legislator’s contact information and then use variations of the messages below and any of the points above to call their office or send them an email.

Sample Email

Subject: Vote against SB 280/HB 527 – End FL Death Penalty

Dear Representative/Senator,

I’m contacting you today to voice my opposition to “Sentencing in Capital Felonies” (SB 280 and HB 527). Now is not the time to mend the death penalty in our state, it’s time to end it. Instead of trying to put a Band-Aid on a terminally flawed program, we need to call for an extension of the current moratorium on executions and direct the State of Florida to conduct a complete and impartial review to determine cost, deterrence, accuracy, impact on victim’s families, impartiality, and necessity.

When up for review, please vote no for these bills and help to end this wasteful and unnecessary government program.

Your constituent,

Sample Phone Script

Hello, I’m calling today to voice my opposition to “Sentencing in Capital Felonies” (SB 280 and HB 527) and ask (Senator/Representative Last Name) to vote NO on these bills if they come up for a vote.

Florida’s death penalty program costs taxpayers over $50 million a year over and above the cost of life in prison with no parole.

Now is not the time to try to mend the death penalty in our state, it’s time to end it. The State of Florida should extend the pause in executions and conduct a complete and impartial review to determine cost, deterrence, accuracy, impartiality, impact on victim’s families, and necessity of the death penalty.

 

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Matthew 25 Pledge

In America right now, too many people are feeling very afraid because of the new political realities in Washington, D.C., both because of the political rhetoric of this election campaign and how they were targeted as groups of people. In response, the message of Matthew 25 is rising up at the grassroots level and among faith leaders — within faith communities, congregations, denominations, seminaries, and faith-based organizations. It’s the Gospel text where Jesus says: How you treat the most vulnerable is how you treat me. You can take the pledge to protect and defend vulnerable people in the name of Jesus at matthew25pledge.com

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Environmental Film Festival

The Creation Justice Task Force at LUCC invites you to attend as many of these free films as possible to raise our awareness of creation justice issues locally and throughout the world. If you need a ride to the film, call the office at church at 727-867-7961. The church will help connect those planning to attend with folks needing rides.

After the film, whoever is interested in further discussion will walk over to the Triton Pub café on campus and enjoy sharing a beverage and our thoughts.

On Sunday, February 26th we will host a potluck lunch and discussion after church of the environmental films and related concerns.

  1. What I learned about the environment
  2. What impressed, surprised, or motivated to act
  3. What LUCC as an organization might address or how we might follow up on our concerns

Please join us in raising our awareness about our beautiful and endangered planet and our role in caring for our creation.

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Support for Refugee Resettlement and Entrant Assistance in Florida


A letter from Janet Blair, a member of Lakewood UCC:
Most of us are aware of the federal issues concerning refugee arrival now–but many are not aware of the actions being taken within our state.  I’m hoping we can spread the news on two ways that our congregation can support refugees here in FL. The Florida State Legislature has introduced a bill that will end our state government’s involvement in refugee services by the end of this year.  Information on this initiative and a letter of support for refugee work can be found at: Floridians Standing with Refugees – Support for Refugee Resettlement and Entrant Assistance in Florida.
All who want to speak out in support of refugees can email our local Refugee Services office at: Janet.Blair@myflfamilies.com
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Writers Resist: Stand Up For Standing Rock

Saturday, February 4 at 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Lakewood United Church of Christ
2601 54th Ave. S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712
lakewooducc.org

This gathering will allow a space for community voices to be heard in support of water protectors at Standing Rock. Bring your poems, speeches, songs, and words of solidarity. We will be collecting donations for Standing Rock (specific organization to be announced soon). We will also be making a large banner with our collective words of hope and healing for those who are peacefully inhabiting their treaty-protected land.

The Executive Order has been signed for the building of the Dakota Access Pipeline, and according to Mother Jones on 2/1/2017, “Clashes broke out today near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota following the announcement that the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) would be completed. Seventy-six protesters were arrested near the town of Cannon Ball after setting up a camp on land owned by Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), the company overseeing construction of the 1,172-mile pipeline.” (Source: http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2017/02/dakota-access-pipeline-standing-rock-trump) This information has been verified with multiple other sources.

For more information see https://www.facebook.com/events/256232794815500/.

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Celebrate Florida February/March 2017 issue

We hope you will find this issue informative, especially the info about:

+ The Women’s March on Washington … and in Florida (beginning on page 1)
+ Your Board of Directors’ January meeting (pages 1 and 11)
+ “Time for Conversations” (beginning on page 16)
+ The WOW Youth Retreat and upcoming Quest Youth Retreat (pages 32-33)
+ Advent and Christmas Florida-style (beginning on page 36)
+ The many opportunities open to our Florida congregations, clergy and members (see box on page 1)

Click HERE for PDF.

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