Great news, Florida! I’ve concluded we don’t have a democracy problem.
Unless you have been living under a rock, you might have noticed a heightened sense of apprehension over the state of our democracy. Everywhere in the news, on social media, and, yes, even when stopping for gas, you hear people discussing “politics.” Lots of people are claiming that the former president won the 2020 election and that it was somehow stolen. Others have begun to claim we have a democracy problem. I disagree.
“Wait, what?” I hear you saying. “Laurie, you are always championing voting rights and democracy that works for all, so why are you making the statement: Florida, we don’t have a democracy problem?”
As a mom, I know that when something goes wrong in my home I have to find the root cause of the problem. Sometimes it is simple, but often the cause is more complex. And a complex cause is what I see here in Florida. We are a state of people — not Democrats, not Republicans. We are a state of moms, dads, abuelas, abuelos, aunties, uncles, and chosen family and friends. And our Florida family has lost its way. We have forgotten we belong to one another, that we are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers. We have wayward leaders who have abandoned this family. So again, we don’t have a democracy problem. We have a senator problem.
Sen. Marco Rubio and Sen. Rick Scott took money from the NRA but looked the other way during the tragedies at Parkland and Pulse. They claim to support troops in all parts of the world but ignore those who stood guard at our Capitol during an insurrection. We spend almost $1 billion a day defending this nation in a “war on terror,” yet we have crumbling infrastructure with a limited budget for repairs. Children go hungry, seniors skip medication, and countless people in Florida die prematurely due to a lack of access to health care. Our air and water are polluted, and yet those companies that are most responsible continue to receive tax breaks. Florida, we have a Sen. Marco Rubio and Sen. Rick Scott problem. Democracy works better when leaders represent.
In my family, we meet challenges head on. We learn about the issue, we discuss, we debate, and we come together in action to fix the problem. We need our Florida family to do the same. And cue the naysayers, who have lost hope. I believe the second biggest threat to this Florida family, aside from Rubio and Scott, are the “dream busters,” those who make excuses to not take action. Hold your head high and ignore them. I have faith in my family. I know we are not perfect. I know we are a work in progress. I know that Rubio and Scott may or may not change their ways. I will not let their choices talk me out of fighting for this family, and neither should you.
Here is what our Florida family is fighting for. These are widely supported and mostly nonpartisan bills because they better the lives of all Floridians.
- For the People Act, S 1
- George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, HR 1280
- Equality Act, S 393
- Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, S 420
- Background Check Expansion Act, S 529
- Enhanced Background Checks Act, HR 1446
- Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, HR 1620
- American Dream and Promise (Dream) Act, HR 6
- Paycheck Fairness Act, S 205
- No Ban Act, HR 1333
- Washington, D.C. Admission Act, S 51
- John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, S 4263
In closing, I ask that you demand our leaders do better and I will leave you with one of my favorite Martin Luther King Jr. quotes:
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
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