Legislative Advocacy

Legislative Advocacy

Support for the positions of public policy and specific items of legislation noted on this page and in Action Alert emails are initiatives of the UU Justice Florida Action Network.

Supporters of UUJFAN urge our elected representatives and appointees in local, state and national offices to support public policy and legislation consistent with values of faith and principle. We insist that the administration of justice and governmental operations be unbiased, transparent, compassionate, accountable, fair, ethical and focused on long term challenges and opportunities facing our state and nation. Proposed actions to address areas of specific interest and concern are listed below.

UU Justice Florida Action Network supporters are encouraged to meet with their legislators before the start of the 2020 session, develop relationships with them and respond to email Action Alerts from UUJFAN regarding legislation that will come before their representatives in Committee hearings or in subsequent votes on the House or Senate floor.

The biggest obstacles to passage of bills we support is getting Committee Chairs to place bills of interest on their committee agendas for hearings and votes. Use the guidelines in the following section to address and overcome these obstacles.

Resources and Strategy for Meetings with Elected Representatives

  • Edit the Legislative Agenda to include contact and demographic information about your congregation or partner organization and print copies for your legislators and staff.
  • Print these two documents listing bills that failed in the House and bills that failed in the Senate in 2019.
  • Ask your Legislators to support these bills if and when they are re-introduced for the upcoming 2020 session.
  • Print copies of these two documents listing newly introduced bills and their committee referrals in the House and in the Senate.
  • Note that these documents are frequently updated so be sure to review the most current version just before your meeting.
  • Look up your legislator’s committee assignments and note whether he or she chairs or sits on committees to which bills of interest have been referred.
  • Request that your legislators urge their Chamber Leadership and Committee chairs to place bills you support on the agendas of committees to which these bills have been referred for hearings.
  • Refer to the Bills-2020 tab on the Legislative Tracker for links, talking points and additional information on bills of interest.

Legislative Agenda

Clean Water and Renewable Energy

  • Replace septic tanks with sewers and water treatment systems
  • Replace fossil fuels with sources of renewable energy
  • Ban fracking
  • Finance purchase of Florida Forever lands and enact protections from development
  • Protect Florida’s springs, aquifers and the Everglades from overdevelopment and pollution
  • Reduce the solid waste stream – compost organic waste and expand recycling efforts

Criminal Justice Reform

  • Reduce Florida’s prison populations and recidivism
  • Facilitate re-entry programs with occupational licensing reforms and job training
  • Support juvenile civil citations and similar diversion programs
  • Recognize and end racial disparities in the criminal justice system
  • End the money bail system that criminalizes poverty
  • End the war on drugs and reduce or eliminate mandatory minimum sentencing
  • End solitary confinement and protect the dignity and well being of prisoners
  • Abolish the death penalty
  • Hold police accountable for use of excessive force

Disaster resiliency and recovery

  • Require infrastructure vulnerability assessments and fund flood mitigation projects
  • Require post disaster rebuilding to account for sea level rise estimates

Education

  • Require and fund programs to address bullying, domestic violence and human trafficking
  • Eliminate the school to prison pipeline
  • Provide optional sex education and parenting classes
  • Affirm that religious instruction and practice belong in the home and places of worship and not in public or private schools funded by state or federal government
  • Oppose diverting general revenue dollars to charter, private and religious schools

Election Reform

  • Pass the National Popular Vote Compact
  • Implement Open Primaries and ranked-choice or instant-runoff voting
  • Implement Automatic Voter Registration
  • Restore voting rights for returning citizens in accordance with Amendment 4

Gun Safety

  • Respect Second Amendment Rights to gun ownership
  • Require universal background checks and waiting periods
  • Ban assault weapons, high capacity magazines and bump stocks
  • Authorize risk protection orders
  • Repeal “Stand Your Ground” to discourage the unlawful and reckless use of firearms

Immigration Reform

  • Appreciate and welcome the diversity, talents and skills of immigrants and their cultures
  • Recognize and develop the potential of immigrants to become contributing and self-supporting participants in Florida’s labor force
  • Protect the rights of families and those seeking asylum while maintaining border security
  • End family separation and inhumane detention of immigrants

LGBTQI

  • Pass the Competitive Workforce Act and nondiscrimination protections for the LGBTQI community
  • Expand hate crimes laws
  • Ban conversion therapy

Public Health and Safety

  • Declare that universal and affordable health care is a human right Expand Medicaid
  • Treat mental illness, substance abuse and addiction as non criminal public health issues

Women’s Rights

  • Support the Equal Rights Amendment to the US Constitution
  • Support reproductive freedoms, the right to choose and prescription contraceptive coverage
  • End taxpayer funding for fake anti-abortion clinics (repeal SB0444/HB0041)
  • Ensure access to family planning clinic entrances

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