Florida Democrats Today

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Florida State Legislators, Climate Action Leaders Slammed Trump for Ignoring Florida’s Climate Crisis in Proposed 2021 Budget 

 In a news call Thursday morning, Florida state legislators and leaders of the Democratic Environmental Caucus of Florida (DECF) excoriated Trump’s failure to address the climate crisis in Florida in his proposed 2021 budget — or during his previous three years in office. Sen. José Javier Rodríguez of Miami, Rep. Anna  V. Eskamani of Orlando, President of DECF Janelle Christensen, and Science Advisor to DECF John Capece urgently called for national climate action and spoke to their efforts to address the climate crisis in Florida. 

From record-breaking heat waves to extreme hurricanes, Florida is already experiencing the devastating impacts of the climate crisis. Despite the clear and present threat this issue is posing to the Sunshine State, Trump did not use the word “climate” once in his 138-page budget proposal. Worse, he is supporting drastic cuts to the agencies responsible for addressing the climate crisis, including the radical plan to slash the EPA’s budget by 26%.

Below are highlights from the news call: 

  • Sen. José Javier Rodríguez,  Miami-Dade District 37
    “This is the third legislative session in a row that I wear rain boots at the capitol to highlight the urgency of climate action. Climate is not an issue that is separate from our economy, from public health, from every other issue that we deal with.” 
    […] “[Trump’s budget proposes] deep cuts to the Army Corps, which here in Florida has a direct impact on us — they are the entity that helps us with flood control and many other things that are critical to dealing with the impacts of climate. This is not a budget that in any way reflects the reality that Floridians need.” 
  • Rep. Anna V. Eskamani,  House District 47
    “Florida is ground zero for climate change. From rising sea levels to seeing the impacts of natural disasters to blue green algae, we know that Florida is at risk — not just of environmental degradation but of economic disaster if we don’t take this crisis and these challenges seriously. 
    “We have the potential as a state to also be a leading voice in taking on climate change, but unfortunately President Trump has made it very clear –to not just us, but the entire country and world– that he cannot be trusted when it comes to protecting our environment and taking on climate change.”
  • Dr. Janelle Christensen, PhD, MPH, President of the Democratic Environmental Caucus of Florida:
    “We are seeing many of our coastal cities already beginning to flood; we have an older population which is particularly vulnerable when there are heat waves; and even though President Trump lives on the coast of Florida, he seems to be banking on the fact that he will not be personally affected. We will be though. Not only do we need to think about our children, but our own grandparents who live here. If we have people we care about in Florida, we need to be demanding more aggressive climate action.” 
  • Dr. John Capece, Agricultural Engineer and Hydrologist, Science Advisor of the Democratic Environmental Caucus of Florida
    “The climate impacts on Florida are wide ranging and the public in Florida is already very sensitive to the sea level rise impacts, understanding that over the long term, in the next 50 to 250 years, much of Florida will eventually return to the sea… In the short term in Florida, sea level rise, even in small amounts, will dramatically affect salt water intrusion into our coastal drinking water aquifers.” 
    […] “You really can’t have a state-by-state approach to climate mitigation and carbon policy. It needs to be a national program supported by state initiatives to develop renewable energy and other transformations that need to occur within our communities.” 

Trump’s 2021 Budget Slashes Funding for Programs, Agencies Addressing the Climate Crisis

  • Trump proposed cutting the EPA’s budget by a quarter and its workforce by 11% — the lowest it’s been in 35 years 
  • Trump’s proposed EPA cuts would reduce air and energy research programs that support future regulations by two-thirds; reduce funding for the Montreal Protocol (a global treaty tasked with phasing out hydrofluorocarbons, potent greenhouse gasses); and eliminate funding for EPA’s climate change partnership programs
  • Trump proposed a $1.7 billion cut to the Army Corps of Engineers, which E&E News reported would reduce the agency’s spending on flood control 
  • Trump proposed cutting FEMA’s flood-mapping budget by more than 50% — from $263 million to $100 million 
  • Trump proposed eliminating funding for NASA’s Climate Absolute Radiance and Refractivity Observatory, a program that helps us better understand the climate crisis

Trump Caved to the NRA: One Year After Promising Parkland Survivors Background Checks, Trump Broke His Word

Friday is the two-year anniversary of the Parkland tragedy. Though Trump initially responded by demanding action, including “very strong” background checks, he not only failed to deliver on those promises, but bowed to NRA’s pressure and threatened to issue a veto background check legislation.

In February of 2018, Trump promised he would take decisive action following the Parkland tragedy, repeatedly calling for “very strong” background checks. 

Trump in a meeting with Parkland survivors: “And I just want to say before we really begin — because I want to hear your input — we’re going to be very strong on background checks.  We’re going to be doing very strong background checks. Very strong emphasis on the mental health of somebody. And we are going to do plenty of other things.” [February 22, 2018

Trump in a meeting with Members of Congress: “And I think it — I really believe it has to be very strong.  I’d rather have you come down on the strong side instead of the weak side.  The weak side would be much easier. I’d rather have you come up with a strong, strong bill.  And really strong on background checks.” [February 28, 2018]

One year later, on February 25, 2019, Trump broke those promises.

Trump threatened to veto legislation that would require background checks for gun purchases one year after promising to prioritize that very issue:“The White House on Monday issued a statement warning that President Trump would veto proposed legislation to enhance background checks for gun purchases if it passes the House and Senate.” [February 25, 2019]

Trump is bought and paid for by the NRA and their investment in Trump paid off. He has bowed to their demands to prevent meaningful action on gun violence time after time.

The Center for Responsive Politics found the NRA spent over $30 million to elect Trump in 2016: “The NRA Spent Over $30 Million In Support Of Trump’s Candidacy — Or More Than Its Combined Spending In All Races During The 2008 And 2012 Presidential Election Cycles, Which Include 45 Senate And 145 House Races.”

According to Reuters, Trump did not follow through on a proposal to increase the minimum age for gun purchases: “Under pressure from gun rights groups, President Donald Trump backed away on Monday from raising the minimum age for gun purchases from 18 to 21, one of several measures he had supported after the latest U.S. school shooting.” 

Trump asked the Department of Education to bury their heads in the sand instead of discussing gun reform during School Safety Listening Sessions: “The day before she was to testify before President Trump’s school safety commission, Jennifer Johnston, an expert on media coverage of mass shootings, received a phone call from an Education Department advisor who asked her to ‘refrain’ from any gun-control remarks. The official, Kent Talbert, cited a section of her pre-submitted testimony that called for federal officials to ‘greatly restrict the sale of semiautomatic and automatic weapons across states,’ Johnston recalled.”

Florida Democratic Party Launches Weekend Of Action Ahead Of Voter Reg. Deadline on Tuesday

The Party Has Seen A Staggering 800+ Volunteer Shift Sign Ups
Tallahassee, Fla. — The Florida Democratic Party is doing a weekend of action to register voters ahead of the Florida Presidential Primary registration deadline of February 18, with events happening weekend long across the Sunshine State. The party expects to see hundreds of volunteers knocking on doors and engaging at community events to register and sign voters up to vote-by-mail.

The party has invested $5.2 million to register 200,000 voters before the general election. FDP has already registered 31,000 voters and conducted 23,000 volunteer shifts.

Terrie Rizzo, chair of the Florida Democratic Party, called the weekend an important part of engaging Floridians in our democracy:
“Floridians have a right to vote, and the Florida Democratic Party is working to make sure every American in the state of Florida has the opportunity to register to vote and be heard at the ballot box. We are thrilled with the outpouring of volunteers who are excited to register voters and organize for the general election to make Donald Trump a one-term president!”

Coconut Grove Arts Festival

WHERE: Booth inside and volunteers outside the arts festival at 2700 S Bayshore Dr Miami, FL 33133
WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 15 and Sunday, Feb. 16 from 11 am to 6 pm

Lakeland Black History Festival

WHERE: Booth inside the festival at 1104 Martin L King Jr Ave, Lakeland, FL 33805
WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 15 from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

Palm Beach County Voter Registration Canvass in Lake Worth

WHERE: 15 S J St., Lake Worth, FL 33460
WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 15 at 10:00AM and 2:00 PM 

As part of the Florida Democratic Party’s efforts to register voters and turn Florida blue in November:

  • FDP began our field efforts in June of 2019, registering 31,000 voters and completing 23,000 volunteer shifts in 2019.
  • FDP’s has more than 90 full-time staff and an additional 32 part-time staff working to defeat Trump and turn Florida blue (larger than the RPOF and Trump’s Florida campaign team combined).
  • In 2019, Democrats added more new registrants to voting rolls than the GOP in 2019 compared to the GOP adding more new registrants to voting rolls than Democrats in 2017.
  • FDP’s Voter Protection Hotline is (833) VOTE-FLA or (833) 868-3352

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Florida Democrats believe in effective and efficient government that prioritizes quality education, affordable health care, and an economy in which anyone who works hard can succeed.

Most importantly, we believe that we are stronger together. We believe the fundamental American promise — that you can go as far as your own hard work will take you — should shine brightest in Florida.

That is why we champion the middle class and cherish the principle that all Floridians should have the opportunity to work hard and succeed. That is why we will never stop fighting for better public schools, because education is the surest path to a better life for millions.

From standing for affordable health care and better schools to fighting for civil rights and access to the ballot box, Florida Democrats are leading every day to move our state forward.

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