Duval Dems Condemn DeSantis Signing Voter Suppression Bill (SB 90)

JACKSONVILLE, FL – Today Governor DeSantis signed Senate Bill 90, a Georgia-inspired voter suppression bill. This new restrictive election law will impose a series of restrictions on Floridians’ ability to cast a ballot and thrust unfunded mandates on local Supervisors of Elections. It restricts secure vote-by-mail (VBM) drop boxes, requires voters to submit VBM requests each election cycle, and criminalizes giving food and water to people waiting in line to vote.

Daniel Henry, Duval County Democratic Party Chairman, responded with the following statement:

“Despite proclaiming the universal success of Florida’s election system, Republican legislators and Governor DeSantis have joined the nationwide voter suppression movement. Turning debunked ballot conspiracies from the 2020 election into a democracy destroying, autocratic policy that suppresses the votes of Floridians.

“Instead of expanding voting access, passing equitable voting laws, and breaking down the systemic barriers that make it difficult for communities of color to vote, DeSantis has signed yet another Jim Crow-inspired bill to play to his partisan base.

“It’s clear DeSantis is more interested in creating barriers to our hard-fought freedoms in an attempt to solidify his re-election. Come next year, Democrats will ensure his authoritarian regime as Governor comes to an end at the ballot box.”


Duval Democratic Party Chair Speaks on the death of Daunte Wright and Police Brutality Against The Black Community

In the wake of the death of Daunte Wright and many incidents of police brutality plaguing the Black community, Duval County Democratic Party Chair Daniel Henry released the following statement:

“My condolences to the family of Daunte Wright and his one-year-old son, Daunte Jr. — who now must live his life without his father. Mr. Wright was just 20 years old, and he had a bright future ahead of him. But tragically, his life was cut short and his name has been added to a long list of countless Black Americans who have died at the hands of police brutality. We demand justice for their deaths and the police officers involved in this incident must be investigated and held accountable. 

“Now is the time for Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice In Policing Act, and prevent tragedies like these from happening again. Local and national leaders must commit to fighting the injustices we see and call out the societal ills it perpetuates. We should no longer tolerate discrimination or brutality in policing. Now is the time to take action and demand change. #BlackLivesMatter”

Duval Democratic Party Chair Speaks Against AAPI Hate

In the wake of many AAPI Hate tragedies plaguing our communities, Duval County Democratic Party Chair Daniel Henry released the following statement condemning the violence and anti-Asian hate:

“My heart is with the countless victims, their families, and the greater Asian American community across the country that has seen a rise in senseless hatred and acts of violence. These hate crimes are a traumatic example of the serious epidemic of racism facing our country. The rising AAPI hate, which is fueled in part by racist COVID-19 rhetoric, needs to stop. Local leaders must commit to fighting the hate we see and call out the societal ills it perpetuates. There’s no room for hate and discrimination.”

Duval Democratic Party Chair Welcomes Vice President Harris

Statement: Duval Democratic Party Chair Welcomes Vice President Harris to Jacksonville on her "Help is Here" Tour

JACKSONVILLE, FL -- This afternoon, Vice President Harris will visit Jacksonville on the administration's "Help is Here" tour. The visit will highlight the recently signed American Rescue Plan, a comprehensive piece of legislation that will provide critical COVID-19 relief to Jacksonville and Florida as a whole.  

In response, Duval County Democratic Party Chair Daniel Henry released the following statement:

“We're excited to welcome Vice President Harris to Jacksonville on the administration's "Help is Here" tour. Her visit seeks to highlight the relief Floridians are set to receive from the American Rescue Plan and how the administration is working to overcome the unprecedented public health and economic crises we face.

"With only 61-days in office, President Biden and Vice President Harris have consistently been on the forefront to deliver big, bold relief to the American people. With the signing of the rescue plan, the administration is already delivering on rapidly expanding vaccine access, providing direct payments of $1,400 to well over 10 million Floridians, expanding the child tax credit, and extending unemployment insurance.

"In the coming weeks, we will see additional relief from this historic piece of legislation; which includes rental assistance, reduction in health insurance premiums, and assistance for small businesses.

"The Biden-Harris administration, and the Democratic Party have kept their promise to provide the American people the help they urgently need. Our community is grateful and lucky to have such dedicated public servants fighting to deliver results.”

More on what the American Rescue Plan will do for Jacksonville and Florida as a whole
  • Over 10 million Florida households are going to receive stimulus payments of $1,400 because of the American Rescue Plan.

  • This plan more than doubles the weekly unemployment benefits for the average Floridian, with a $300 enhancement included in the weekly benefit.

  • This bill also expands the Child Tax Credit which will benefit over 3.8 million children in Florida and will lift hundreds of thousands of Florida children out of poverty altogether. 

  • The American Rescue Plan is going to provide over $10 billion to our state government and $187 million to the city of Jacksonville, in state and local funding. 

  • This bill will offer Floridians over $1.1 billion in rental assistance. 

  • The plan will provide $111.7 million to 4 Jacksonville colleges (EWC, FSCJ, JU, UNF) for student financial aid and services.

  • Over $2.3 Billion in FEMA funding will help provide more vaccine access to more Floridians, more quickly.


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Duval Democrats React to RNC Cancelation


JACKSONVILLE, FL — The Duval County Democratic Party released the following response to President Trump's cancellation of the Republican National Convention in Jacksonville.

"President Trump has finally listened to science and conventional wisdom to cancel the Republican National Convention in Jacksonville. Our local party membership came together, held a press conference, sent letters, sent emails, made social media posts, and sounded every alarm we could – all to urge our elected officials to say NO to this convention.

"However, Governor Ron DeSantis and Mayor Lenny Curry rejected our calls. It’s sad that the leaders who created this potential crisis didn’t have the leadership in our city and state to put a stop to the convention weeks ago.

"Tonight's news is a victory not just for Floridians or Democrats – but for the people of Jacksonville as a whole. We stood for our city, our families, and our children. At the end of the day that is what’s most important.

"Now is the time for leadership to come together to do what we must to make this same effort to defeat COVID-19.

"Our focus as a party returns to ensuring everyone has the opportunity to vote in the upcoming elections and turning Duval Blue this November."

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Duval County Democrats Welcome Issuance of Face Mask


JACKSONVILLE, FL — With more than 2,572 new cases of the novel coronavirus reported in Northeast Florida, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry has issued a county-wide face mask order.

"I'm glad the Mayor took our advice and the advice of the majority of people in Jacksonville to keep us safe", said Duval Democratic Party Chair Daniel Henry, "Now, as the RNC brings an influx of people here, there is even more to do.”

Henry, with the full support of the executive committee, sent a letter to the Mayor last week urging him to issue a mask wearing order. 

State Representative Tracie Davis (D-13), who has also been opposed to the Republican National Convention being held in Jacksonville this summer applauded the decision. 

"We are living in unprecedented times. It takes all levels of government working across party lines to keep people safe and healthy", said Davis. 

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Duval County Democrats Ask For Face Mask Order To Keep Citizens Safe

JACKSONVILLE, FL -- Today, as the US hits a new high of 36,000 coronavirus cases, and the President cuts Federal funding for COVID 19 testing, the Duval County Democratic Executive Committee once again calls on Mayor Curry to ensure that attendees to the Republican National Convention in August wear face masks as recommended by the CDC, and Florida State Surgeon General.

On June 20, Florida State Surgeon General Rivkees recommended that people maintain a distance of at least six feet from each other and wear a face covering.” Far from being “group think,” scientific evidence supports the use of face masks to reduce the spread of COVID-19.  Dr. Antony Fauci reiterated this advice in his testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee on June 23.

Duval County does not currently require anyone to wear a mask. Other major metropolitan counties in Florida, Orange, Hillsborough, Broward, Palm Beach, and Miami-Dade do. The RNC moved the convention from North Carolina to Jacksonville precisely because of the lack of a mask requirement

Citizens of Jacksonville, are very concerned about rising cases of COVID-19. A majority of Duval County residents polled by the University of North Florida oppose the RNC Convention coming to Duval County, largely due to concerns about COVID-19. 

The rising spread of COVID-19 is bad for the health of our citizens and bad for our economy. Businesses cannot stay open and people cannot go to work when COVID-19 is spreading unchecked. 

Yesterday, the Democratic National Committee announced a scaled-back convention amid the coronavirus pandemic. State delegations are being asked not to attend in person and several portions of the convention will be virtual.

We call on the Mayor to immediately enact an executive order requiring masks to be worn by anyone in public. Additionally, the mandatory enactment of other forms of social distancing at all businesses, events, and public events, including the RNC Convention in August. 

Tarsha Watts, a registered Democrat in Jacksonville is like many families on the First Coast. She is trying to keep her family safe while wondering when will life get back to normal after COVID-19.

“I believe that had we been more vigilant and worked to keep others safe, my brother and others like him would still be alive today”, said Watts.

Her brother, who tested positive for the novel coronavirus died in April.

“I can’t believe that we have to beg our leaders to do the right thing so that we can all stay safe”.

This week in a news conference, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, declined to issue a mandate for the public to wear masks.

“I do not think that’s a prudent action to take”, said the Mayor.

“This is absolutely absurd”, said Duval County Democratic Executive Committee (DCDEC) Chair Daniel Henry.

“This is about responsible public health. It’s not about politics. This is about science. Our government has a duty to help even those that don’t know they need help”.

Henry, and the DCDEC have sent a letter to the Mayor urging him to rethink his decision not to mandate mask wearing in public places.

“We have started, calling, emailing, and using any other methods we can to urge the mayor to do his job to keep this city safe. 

Currently, Florida has one of the highest COVID-19 cases in the country with 123,000 confirmed cases.
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Duval County Democrats Oppose Bringing the RNC to Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, FL - On the same day that the single-day highest number of COVID-19 cases were reported in Florida, the Republican National Committee announced a major part of the National Convention will head to Jacksonville.

According to the Florida Department of Health, the state is now on an upswing of Corona-Virus cases with nearly 70,000 total cases being reported.

Both Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry and Governor Ron DeSantis had been publicly wooing the convention to the city.

“This is decision is reckless and irresponsible”, said Duval County Democratic Party Chair, Daniel Henry. “The Center for Disease Control has consistently warned people against large gatherings. Yet our local political leadership chose to put partisanship over citizenship and their sworn duty to keep this city safe.

Henry and local party leaders have met several times over the past few days. The group unanimously opposed the decision to bring the convention to Jacksonville.

“Now more than ever we will continue our efforts to mobilize voters in Jacksonville to make sure that Democrats are empowered, energized, and ready to go to the polls,” said Henry.

The Republican National Committee decided to move its convention from Charlotte, North Carolina because of President Trump’s insistence on a full convention, with no face masks or social distancing. To-date, Mayor Curry remains silent on whether he has acquiesced to the same demands.
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Duval Dems and the Northside Coalition Demand Answers on Early Vote Site Closures

Questions Have Gone Unanswered for Two-Weeks

JACKSONVILLE, FL, Feb. 3, 2020 — The Duval County Democratic Executive Committee and the Northside Coalition of Jacksonville released the following statement in response to the Duval County Supervisor of Elections decision to close Early Voting sites on college campuses:

“The Duval County Democratic Executive Committee calls for transparency from the Supervisor of Elections regarding his decision to close early voting sites at the University of North Florida and Edward Waters College during the Presidential Preference Primary. Supervisor Hogan's decision deviates from the seven other counties that chosen to keep college campus early voting site open across the state: Alachua, Escambia, Hillsborough, Leon, Miami-Dade, Orange, and Palm Beach.

The Supervisor of Elections has cited past low performance as the reasoning for closing these sites. However, no additional information as been released on the multiple mitigating factors that should have been considered before the closures: Depressed turnout in underserved communities, voting access for college students, inconsistent access to voters, and on-site notification of closures.

We request that the Supervisor publicly release all pubic records and data that was used to close these early vote sites. We also ask that signage be placed at closed sites directing students and local residents to the nearest early voting location. Encouraging participation in democracy by voting is the foundation of our government. The Supervisor of Elections should work to make it easier, not harder, for citizens to vote.”


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"Violence is Never the Answer"

Duval Dems Condemn Attack on Duval GOP

JACKSONVILLE, FL, FEB. 08, 2020 — The Duval County Democratic Executive Committee released the following statement in response to the February 8th incident where a van plowed through a Duval GOP voter registration tent, narrowly missing volunteers:

"The Duval County Democratic Party condemns this cowardly act of violence. No one’s life should be placed in danger for exercising their first amendment rights. As Democrats, but more importantly, as residents of this great city of Jacksonville, we call on our fellow citizens to act with dignity, civility and respect for one another during this election cycle and beyond. We look forward to JSO’s arrest of the perpetrator."