The work toward equality and fairness cannot cease simply because our lives, for the most part, are moving onward indoors.
Right now, we are living in some pretty uncertain times. However, as each of us wrestles with our anxieties and fears about COVID-19, we are reminded of how closely connected we are to one another through our immediate communities and across the globe. We must continue strengthening our communities and families by advocating for justice and equity.
Each of us who are able must remain vigilant advocates for whatever issue or issues matter most to us and adapt to doing so from home. Here are a few ways to do just that:
Join our virtual community forums on criminal justice reform:
People in jail and prisons are highly vulnerable to outbreaks of contagious illnesses. As we work to decarcerate prisons and jails across the country to limit the spread of COVID-19, we're still working on a vast number of criminal justice issues that need your attention. Join us to learn more about our fight to advance criminal justice reform.
- Tuesday, April 21, 6:30 p.m. | Senator Galvano's District
- Thursday, April 23, 6:30 p.m. | Senator Simpson's District
- Saturday, April 25, 11 a.m. | Senator Simmon's District
- Tuesday, April 28, 6:30 p.m. | Senator Perry's District
- Thursday, April 30, 6:30 p.m. | Senator Bradley's District
- Saturday, May 2, 11 a.m. | Senator Brandes' District
- Tuesday, May 5, 6:30 p.m. | Representative Oliva's District
- Thursday, May 7, 6:30 p.m. | Representative Sprowl's District
- Saturday, May 9, 11 a.m. | Representative Renner's District
- Tuesday, May 12, 6:30 p.m. | Representative Grant's District
- Thursday, May 14, 6:30 p.m. | Representative Yarborough's District
Join our virtual house parties to advance voting rights
It is now even more critical that we make it as easy as possible for all eligible voters to vote in 2020. On these webinars, we’ll discuss how you can advance one of our most fundamental rights – the right to vote – in your community. In addition we’ll provide a brief update on Amendment 4 and what we’re doing to challenge the discriminatory law, SB7066, that blocks hundreds of thousands of Floridians from voting.
Update your voter registration or register to vote
Fill out your census form
- Participation in the Census by everybody makes for a healthier democracy. If people are not counted, their communities will receive less representation in government and fewer resources.
- Census data informs our nation’s most important decisions, including how the federal government spends $900 billion on critical services like building roads, providing for health insurance, and supporting education. More information here.
Write your Representatives and Senator to check in now that legislative session is over
This year, the Florida Legislature had the opportunity to end the horrific practice of arresting youth under the age of 12. Instead, they passed a bill allowing for more school vouchers, which we know harms students, particularly students of color and LGBTQ+ youth. They also had the opportunity to pass common sense criminal justice reform that would have prioritized rehabilitation in prison, saved more than $870 million over five years, and reduced our prison population by at least 9,000. Instead, they refused to discuss these common sense ideas in committee and ultimately didn’t pass a single criminal justice reform.
If you’re tired of seeing bills like this or inaction on important civil liberties issues we all care about, email your lawmakers right now and remind them that you’re going to the ballot box with their voting history in mind. Just be sure to research how your lawmakers voted first.
- You can check out our 2019 legislative scorecards here (2020 coming soon).
- Tips and tricks for your advocay efforts here.
- 2020 legislative priorities and bill tracker.
Set up phone calls or Zoom chats with folks in your community to prep for what’s next
Right now, everyone might be sequestered to their houses, but that doesn’t mean planning for the future is out of the question. Set up a time to chat with your friends, neighbors, or colleagues and formulate a plan of attack for when it is safer to congregate publicly to tackle your plans for advocacy. Sign up for a free account here.
If you can, watch the news
Keep informed on what's happening out in the world so you can keep ahead of issues in your community and know when to act. Just make sure your sources are credible.
Get your family involved where it is appropriate
We know that advocacy comes in all forms and quite frankly, is appropriate for nearly any age. Whatever work you do, be sure to get your family involved – even the little ones! Check out the ACLU coloring pages below that can be printed off on demand. They’re perfect décor for your fridge or home office.
We'll get through this, Florida. And, be sure to check out our COVID-19 and your rights webpage here.