The ACLU of Florida is a nonpartisan organization dedicated to protecting and strengthening the civil rights and liberties of all Floridians. As a nonprofit membership organization with over 180,000 members and supporters in Florida and more than 1.8 million supporters nationwide, we advance this mission through litigation, advocacy, and education.
Over the past several years, lawmakers have assaulted core civil liberties principles and values. Access to reproductive health care is severely restricted; honest discussion of Black history is barred from the classroom; books that even mention LGBTQ+ people can be banned from libraries; immigrants are treated like criminals, and in the state that has wrongly sentenced more people to death than any other in the U.S., it is now even easier to impose the death penalty.
During this legislative session, Florida politicians will continue to make decisions that affect your everyday life. They are accountable to you. Make sure to use your voice and advocate for policies that reflect civil liberties values. This is our lives, our future, and our democracy.
Here are our legislative priorities for 2024.
Preserving Electoral Democracy and Defending the Right to Vote.
The freedom to vote is fundamental to democracy. We will work to ensure that we have a system of fair elections in which all voters — regardless of gender, race, socioeconomic status, disability, or any other category — are able to cast a vote and have it accurately counted. We will oppose any legislation that seeks to manipulate our electoral system, disenfranchise eligible voters, or make it more difficult for voters to exercise their fundamental freedom to vote and participate in our democracy. – and we will work to undo such measures that the Legislature has already enacted.
Protecting First Amendment Values.
Over past legislative sessions, challenges to the First Amendment rights of Floridians have come in many forms, including authorizing law enforcement crackdown on demonstrations by mass arrests. There have also been consistent efforts to restrict Florida educators and students from learning and talking about issues related to race and gender. Policymakers have even imposed restrictions on the curriculum, limiting topics that educators can address in the classroom. Gov. DeSantis and the Legislature have claimed that this is necessary to prevent what they call “indoctrination.” These measures undermine academic freedom, limit access to diverse perspectives and deny students a complete education about the world they will inhabit. We will oppose any legislation that seeks to silence and criminalize the exercise of any person’s First Amendment rights.
Fighting for Immigrants' Rights.
In Florida, where one out of every five people was not born in the U.S., it is critical that every person in our state, regardless of their status, be able to live, work, go to school, raise children, and travel without fear of violence, harassment, and discrimination. This legislative session we will continue efforts to defeat anti-immigrant legislation and advocate for greater protections for all Floridians, regardless of their place of birth.
Ensuring Reproductive Justice.
The overwhelming majority of Floridians support the freedom to make personal healthcare decisions without interference from politicians. And yet, over the past several years Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida Legislature have worked to erode the constitutional right of individuals to access abortion and reproductive health care. Safeguarding reproductive rights is essential to individual equality, autonomy, economic self-sufficiency, and dignity. We will oppose legislative efforts to further erode the constitutional right to abortion and protect the privacy and ability of every Floridian to make healthcare decisions free from interference by politicians in the Legislature.
Defending LGBTQ+ Rights.
We will support comprehensive LGBTQ+ protections in areas such as employment, housing, public accommodations, education, medical care, and government services. We are committed to advocating for legislation that ensures LGBTQ+ Floridians and gender non-conforming individuals can live openly with dignity and respect. We will oppose any legislation that denies them basic human rights.
Centering Racial Justice and Police Accountability.
We will oppose legislation that would abolish almost two dozen civilian police oversight boards that operate throughout Florida. The proposed legislation would also prohibit the creation of any new governmental units that investigate citizen complaints of police misconduct – which disproportionately impacts people of color and those with fewer resources. Civilian oversight boards, created by city and county councils and citizen-initiated Charter amendments, provide accountability of law enforcement agencies to the public they serve. Their abolition would mean a return to “police policing themselves,” which would erode public trust and confidence in law enforcement. We will continue to work to ensure our state pursues better justice for us all.