ūüĎć Support 2019-894 -- Help STOP the Sale of JEA!

Councilwoman Priestly Jackson
Introduces Bill Aimed At Stopping JEA Sale

Last week, Democratic Councilwoman Brenda Priestly Jackson filed a bill (2019-894) calling on JEA’s board to put a halt to the ITN and sale of the utility. Priestly Jackson said the JEA board blindsided City Council members and the public when the board voted July 23 to put the utility up for sale by seeking offers from outside entities.

If approved by the City Council, the resolution would request the JEA board to vote at its Dec. 17 meeting to end the ‚Äúinvitation to negotiate‚ÄĚ process that began in August. Council Member(s) Dennis (D), Carlucci (R), and DeFoor (R) have signed on as co-sponsors of the bill.¬†

Duval Dems commend Jackson for speaking truth to power and support¬†her introduction on this bill.¬†ūüĎŹūüĎŹūüĎŹ¬†

Priestly Jackson has requested emergency passage by the Council, which would mean voting on it at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. In order for it to be taken on an emergency, 13-votes are needed for its consideration. 


Before Tuesday's meeting, take a few minutes to call and email each of the city council members listed below and ask them to support 2019-894!

Joyce Morgan: District 1, (904) 255-5201
Al Ferraro: District 2, (904) 255-5202
Aaron Bowman: District 3, (904) 255-5203
Scott Wilson: District 4, (904) 255-5204
LeAnna Cumber: District 5, (904) 255-5205
Michael Boylan: District 6, (904) 255-5206
Reggie Gaffney: District 7, (904) 255-5207
Ju'Coby Pittman: District 8, (904) 255-5208
Garrett Dennis: District 9, (904) 255-5209
Brenda Priestly Jackson: District 10, (904) 255-5210
Danny Becton: District 11, (904) 255-5211
Randy White: District 12, (904) 255-5212
Rory Diamond: District 13, (904) 255-5213
Randy DeFoor: District 14, (904) 255-5214
Terrance Freeman: At-Large Group 1, (904) 255-5215
Ronald B. Salem: At-Large Group 2, (904) 255-5216
Tommy Hazouri: At Large Group 3, (904) 255-5217
Matt Carlucci: At-Large Group 4, (904) 255-5218
Sam Newby: At-Large Group 5, (904) 255-5219

ūüĎé NO to J-1 BILL ūüŹę


 UPDATE: Senator Audrey Gibson and Representative Tracie Daivs are now on record as opposing J-1 bill!
But we still haven't heard anything from Representatives Byrd (R), Daniels (D), Yarborough (R) 

The J-Bill introduced by Representative Jason Fischer would call for a voter referendum to make the Superintendent of Duval County Public Schools elected instead of being appointed by the elected Duval County School Board. Duval Dems oppose Fischer's J-1 bill. We view any elected Superintendent would be beholden to special interests and campaign donors, instead of the students of Duval County Public Schools.
 
Duval County Legislative Delegation Meeting
Date: Friday, November 1st | 1:00PM-5:00PM

Location: Jacksonville City Hall (117 W Duval St)
 
Click Here to RSVP

Before Friday's meeting, here's what we need you to do
  • Make calls or send emails/letters to key members of the Duval Legislative Delegation;¬†
  • For script, letter or email content¬†click¬†HERE;
  • Join Duval Dems and attend the delegation meeting¬†on November 1st.
 
HOW TO CONTACT OUR LEGISLATIVE DELEGATION
 
Senator Aaron Bean (R)
(904) 757-5039
bean.aaron.web@flsenate.gov

Senator Audrey Gibson (D)
(904) 359-2553
gibson.audrey.web@flsenate.gov

Representative Cord Byrd (R)
Phone: (904) 242-3495
cord.byrd@myfloridahouse.gov
 
Representative Clay Yarborough (R)
Phone: (904) 723-5300
clay.yarborough@myfloridahouse.gov

Representative Tracie Davis (D)
Phone: (904) 353-2180
tracie.davis@myfloridahouse.gov

Representative Kim Daniels (D)
(904) 353-2134
Kimberly.Daniels@myfloridahouse.gov

Representative Jason Fischer (R)
District Office: (904) 359-2653
Jason.Fischer@myfloridahouse.gov

Duval Dems Chair Henry's Statement On Impeachment Inquiry

Daniel Henry, chair of the Duval County Democratic Party, released the following statement in response to the US House’s formal impeachment inquiry and the release of transcripts from Trump's call with Ukraine :

"Duval Dems stand by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Congressman Al Lawson, and Congressional Democrats in their efforts to safeguard our democracy. The clarity of President Donald Trump's actions to undermine his oath of office and the integrity of our elections cannot be ignored. Trump used taxpayer dollars to shakedown a leader of another country for his own political gain ‚ÄĒ while subsequently attempting to conceal his misdeeds. This exhibits a blatant disregard for our Constitution and rule of law. These actions demand a comprehensive investigation and power check from the Legislative Branch. Our government should be working in the interest of all Americans, not for the selfish gain of this President."


Call to Action on Half-Penny Sales Tax Referendum

 
Take a few minutes to call and email each of the city council members listed below. We need the City Council to approve the Sales Tax Referendum Today!

SCRIPT: Hi my name is [say your name], one of your constituents and I support the referendum for our schools. I urge you to vote NO on withdrawal and YES to place the referendum on the ballot for 2019!

Let’s do what’s right for our kids they need your support! Thank you!

Dueling recommendations will go today to Jacksonville City Council when it decides whether it will place a half-cent sales tax on the ballot or quash the Duval County School Board’s request.

Last week, the council’s Finance Committee voted 5-2 to recommend the full City Council withdraw the measure, which would prevent the referendum from going before Duval County voters. Hours later, the Rules Committee voted 4-3 against withdrawal and backed placing the referendum on the ballot for a special election.


Here are some facts on what Duval County Public Schools are facing:
  • DCPS has the oldest schools in the state
  • Costs $500,000 a¬†month to patch maintenance issues
  • PRESENT: $243 million in unfunded repairs and maintenance backlog
  • FUTURE: $5 billion¬†unfunded repairs and maintenance costs

Click Here to Learn more about the Half-Penny Sales Tax


ūüďěTake a few minutes to call and email each of the city council members listed below.
 
Joyce Morgan: District 1, (904) 255-5201
Al Ferraro: District 2, (904) 255-5202
Aaron Bowman: District 3, (904) 255-5203
Scott Wilson: District 4, (904) 255-5204
LeAnna Cumber: District 5, (904) 255-5205
Michael Boylan: District 6, (904) 255-5206
Reggie Gaffney: District 7, (904) 255-5207
Ju'Coby Pittman: District 8, (904) 255-5208
Garrett Dennis: District 9, (904) 255-5209
Brenda Priestly Jackson: District 10, (904) 255-5210
Danny Becton: District 11, (904) 255-5211
Randy White: District 12, (904) 255-5212
Rory Diamond: District 13, (904) 255-5213
Randy DeFoor: District 14, (904) 255-5214
Terrance Freeman: At-Large Group 1, (904) 255-5215
Ronald B. Salem: At-Large Group 2, (904) 255-5216
Tommy Hazouri: At Large Group 3, (904) 255-5217
Matt Carlucci: At-Large Group 4, (904) 255-5218
Sam Newby: At-Large Group 5, (904) 255-5219

 


Duval Dems Condemn Curry Administration's Ethics Code

 

DUVAL DEMS CONDEMN CURRY ADMINISTRATION’S DECISION TO WAIVE ETHICS CODE

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. ‚ÄĒ The Duval County Democratic Party condemns the bypassing of municipal ethics codes by Chief Administration Officer Brian Hughes to allow former CAO Sam Mousa to consult the Jacksonville Jaguars on development projects related to Lot J. This action continues a pattern of corruption in which only a small, select group of well-connected individuals within the administration are hand-picked from the top to oversee major city initiatives.

Revolving-door ethics rules exist to rid politics of money, fraud, and corruption, and pave a pathway to transparent processes. In recent months, this administration has shown a disregard for transparency while signaling that ‚Äúpay-to-play‚ÄĚ tactics are the most effective manner to conduct city business.

Since Mousa‚Äôs exit from the administration less than 60 days ago, he has already exerted himself into the ongoing debate over a school tax referendum and now a development project that will heavily impact the city‚Äôs downtown. In each scenario, Mousa‚ÄĒwho has close political and personal ties to the mayor and Hughes‚ÄĒhas professed himself to be the most capable individual for the task at hand.

The Lot J project seeks over $233 million in city incentives. Duval County residents deserve all city affairs be handled in the sunshine, especially those with such a staggering price tag. This move by the same group of problematic players we see time and again bend the rules for their gain raises concerns that residents will not get an independent assessment of the project and signals that decisions will be made outside of the public purview. This is exemplified by Hughes’ decision to bypass the ethics rules and approve Mousa for this lucrative consultant position in one of his first actions as the city’s Chief Administrative Officer.

‚ÄúThe Curry administration, including Brian Hughes and Sam Mousa, has once again been exposed as less interested in democratic processes and safeguards, and more concerned with lining their pockets,‚ÄĚ said Duval Dems Vice Chair Angie Nixon. ‚ÄúThey have capitalized on loopholes within the City Charter and used their political influence to strong-arm the residents, institutions and other elected officials of Duval County over and over again. In a political game of who-knows-who amongst political allies, the city of Jacksonville will always find itself on the losing side.‚ÄĚ

We call on Mousa to follow the spirit and the letter of Jacksonville’s Ethics Code and recuse himself from matters concerning the Lot J development. Furthermore, we call on Mayor Lenny Curry’s administration to adhere to our city’s ethics codes and govern in a manner that is in the best interest of all of Duval County residents, not just in the best interest of political allies.

Read more

Duval Dems call for Independent Multi-Agency Investigation into Mayoral Office's Actions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT:
Daniel Henry
daniel@duvaldems.org 

 

DUVAL DEMOCRATS CALL FOR INDEPENDENT MULTI-AGENCY INVESTIGATION INTO MAYORAL OFFICE’S ACTIONS

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. ‚ÄĒ The Duval County Democratic Party is calling for an independent multi-agency investigation by the City of Jacksonville Inspector General, State Attorney for Florida's Fourth Judicial Circuit, and U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida into the actions of Mayor Lenny Curry‚Äôs office during the city‚Äôs ‚ÄúStop the Violence‚ÄĚ initiative. Specifically, we call for a conduct review of then officials Brian Hughes and Sam Mousa, and if they ‚Äď or other members of the administration and the city's Office of General Counsel ‚Äď exerted unlawful pressure to give favored treatment to select organizations, helping them secure thousands of dollars in public grant funding.

In a recent report by the Florida Times-Union, Kids Hope Alliance CEO Joe Peppers cites the disdain of Hughes and Mousa over his decision to hire a contract manager to oversee the initiative‚Äôs $364,000 in micro-grant money. ‚ÄúThis is family talking; this is political,‚ÄĚ Peppers claims Mousa said. During this private conversation, Hughes and Mousa urged the funds be managed in-house as ‚Äúthere would be designated applicants that would get preferential treatment during the application process,‚ÄĚ according to Peppers.¬†

Peppers continued that he was expected to ‚Äúpass certain applicants based on [Hughes and Mousa‚Äôs] discretion regardless of how they scored on the [request for proposal].‚ÄĚ When he sought legal advice with the city‚Äôs Office of General Counsel, he was instructed by Deputy General Counsel Lawsikia Hodges to not ‚Äúbite the hand that feeds‚ÄĚ him and it was ‚Äúnot a big deal‚ÄĚ.

This intimidation signifies the administration’s willingness to exert influence over a community program that was designed to help those in need and groups providing assistance to them. We are deeply concerned these actions amount to unlawful procurement fraud, abuses of executive power and possibly more unethical activity.

Additionally, this incident occurred in the months building up to the mayor’s re-election campaign. This leads to troubling concerns that taxpayer-funded micro-grants could have been utilized by the administration for political pay-offs to quiet criticism of Mayor Lenny Curry during the upcoming election cycle.

We demand the offices of the Inspector General, State Attorney, and U.S. Attorney explore the roles Hughes, Mousa, and the mayoral administration played in selecting micro-grant winners, and what role these preferred organizations played in the Curry re-election campaign. We also demand the actions and responses of Hodges be reviewed for unethical misconduct by the Florida Bar’s Department of Lawyer Regulation.

Read more

Statement on JEA Board's Decision to Explore Privatization

STATEMENT ON JEA BOARD’S DECISION TO EXPLORE PRIVATIZATION

DUVAL DEMS OPPOSE THE SALE OF JEA

JACKSONVILLE, FL, July 24, 2019 -- Duval County Democratic Party released the following statement on the JEA board’s decision to explore privatization of the public-owned utility.

‚ÄúYesterday, the JEA board of directors unanimously voted to explore selling the city-owned electric and water utility ‚ÄĒ one of the largest such utilities in the nation. This decision would impact every resident of Jacksonville and hinder the public‚Äôs ability to hold JEA accountable and transparent.

“The impact of a sale would cede control of the city's most valuable asset, create a $118-million hole in the city’s budget, and would present negative long term consequences, long past any one-time rebate or short term benefit from a potential transaction. These effects would be felt by all ratepayers through the possibility of increased rates, additional fees, and lackluster service once a deal’s honeymoon period has surpassed. 

“We stand with the 73% of voters that expressed in 2018, their desire to have a say in the fate of JEA. The residents of Jacksonville deserve and demand transparency in a process that has operated in the shadows since the idea of selling the utility was first discussed in 2017. We also deserve better than reactionary quick-fixes to complex situations.

‚ÄúFor this and many additional concerns, the Duval County Democratic Party reiterates its opposition to the sale and/or privatization of JEA and encourages all ratepayers to express these concerns with their City Council members and demand transparency in discussions moving forward.‚ÄĚ

 

###

 


UNF Poll Shows Overwhelming Support for Tax Referendum

 
 
According to the UNF Public Opinion Research Lab, approximately 75% of Duval County registered voters support the proposed sales tax to save our schools. That support is reportedly the strongest among registered Democrats (86%) but still garnered 60% of the support of registered Republicans.

This support is, even more, telling given the public’s view on how the Jacksonville City Council is dealing with the issue. Voters indicated by a margin of 46% to 34% that they disapprove of the way the City Council is handling its job.

Although 2019-380 has been deferred, it can be brought to a vote by Council Members or Council President Aaron Bowman at Tuesday’s City Council Meeting. We need to show up in force next Tuesday at the City Council meeting! Remember, our efforts are amplified over and over again when we raise our voices together. 
 
ūüĎᬆVoting Yes on Defer Hurts Our Kids!¬†ūüĎá
 
 
Here are some facts on what Duval County Public Schools are facing:
  • DCPS has the oldest schools in the state
  • Costs $500,000 a¬†month to patch maintenance issues
  • PRESENT: $243 million in unfunded repairs and maintenance backlog
  • FUTURE: $5 billion¬†unfunded repairs and maintenance costs
 
What Will a Half Penny Do for Our Schools?
 
ūüíĽ¬†Council Members, you need to Contact:¬†ūüďě
*Email a Council Member by clicking their name below*
 
Joyce Morgan: District 1, (904) 630-1389
Al Ferraro: District 2, (904) 630-1381
Aaron Bowman: District 3, (904) 630-1392
Scott Wilson: District 4, (904) 630-1394
Lori Boyer: District 5, (904) 630-1382
Matt Schellenberg: District 6, (904) 630-1388
Reggie Gaffney: District 7, (904) 630-1384
JuCoby Pittman: District 8, (904) 630-1385
Garrett Dennis: District 9, (904) 630-1395
Terrance Freeman: District 10, (904) 630-1684
Danny Becton: District 11, (904) 630-1383
Randy White: District 12, (904) 630-1380
Bill Gulliford: District 13, (904) 630-1397
Jim Love: District 14, (904) 630-1390
Anne Lopez Brosche: At-Large Group 1, (904) 630-1393
John Crescimbeni: At-Large Group 2, (904) 630-1381
Tommy Hazouri: At Large Group 3, (904) 630-1396
Greg Anderson: At-Large Group 4, (904) 630-1398
Sam Newby: At-Large Group 5, (904) 630-1387

It’s Time for Action on 2019-380!

Sales Tax Referendum for Our Schools | 2019-380
It’s Time for Action!
There are rumors a Council Member will try to WITHDRAW the Sales Tax Referendum at the City Council meeting on Tuesday! If successful, it would start the entire process over and we can't let this happen!!

Although 2019-380 has been deferred, it can be brought to a vote by Council Members or Council President Aaron Bowman at Tuesday’s City Council Meeting. We need to show up in force next Tuesday at the City Council meeting! Remember, your efforts are amplified over and over again when we raise our voices together. 
 
 Voting Yes on Defer Hurts Our Kids! 
 
Here are some facts on what Duval County Public Schools are facing:
  • DCPS has the oldest schools in the state
  • Costs $500,000 a¬†month to patch maintenance issues
  • PRESENT: $243 million in unfunded repairs and maintenance backlog
  • FUTURE: $5 billion¬†unfunded repairs and maintenance costs
What Will a Half Penny Do for Our Schools?
 
 Council Members, you need to Contact: 
*Email a Council Member by clicking their name below*
 
Joyce Morgan: District 1, (904) 630-1389
Al Ferraro: District 2, (904) 630-1381
Aaron Bowman: District 3, (904) 630-1392
Scott Wilson: District 4, (904) 630-1394
Lori Boyer: District 5, (904) 630-1382
Matt Schellenberg: District 6, (904) 630-1388
Reggie Gaffney: District 7, (904) 630-1384
JuCoby Pittman: District 8, (904) 630-1385
Garrett Dennis: District 9, (904) 630-1395
Terrance Freeman: District 10, (904) 630-1684
Danny Becton: District 11, (904) 630-1383
Randy White: District 12, (904) 630-1380
Bill Gulliford: District 13, (904) 630-1397
Jim Love: District 14, (904) 630-1390
Anne Lopez Brosche: At-Large Group 1, (904) 630-1393
John Crescimbeni: At-Large Group 2, (904) 630-1381
Tommy Hazouri: At Large Group 3, (904) 630-1396
Greg Anderson: At-Large Group 4, (904) 630-1398
Sam Newby: At-Large Group 5, (904) 630-1387

Here’s where we are on the Sales Tax Referendum for our Schools

 
Sales Tax Referendum for Our Schools | 2019-380
Here's where we are...
 

On Tuesday after the City Council's Finance Committee took a step forward by approving the referendum and placing it on the November 2020 ballot, it faced a setback in the Rules Committee. The latest indication of outside interests and the Curry Administration exerting pressure and playing political games. Politics seems to stand between our children’s needs as well as the future of Duval.

 
 

Lori Boyer attempted to defer the bill in Finance Committee but failed after the heated debate (3-4 vote), ultimately voting for the amended bill. Two (2) hours later, she moved to defer the bill again in Rules Committee and was successful (5-2 vote). Voting to defer the bill until the new City Council is sworn-in next month. Boyer will become DIA CEO next month, a position that works closely with the Curry administration and will replace Brian Hughes, Curry's Chief of Staff.

The School Board was quick to remind the 'defer voters' a month delay will cost the District and taxpayers another $500,000 in maintenance/repair costs and bring further uncertainty. But their concerns were met with indifference.

 
 
ūüĎá Voting Yes on Defer Hurts Our Kids! ūüĎá
 
 
ūüĎá Urge City Council to bring¬†2019-380¬†up for a Vote! ūüĎá
 
Although 2019-380 has been deferred, it can be brought to a vote by City Council Members or Council President Aaron Bowman at Tuesday’s City Council Meeting. Remember, your efforts are amplified over and over again when we raise our voices together. Email or call City Council Members and urge them to bring 2019-380 to a vote!
 
What Will a Half Penny Do for Our Schools?
 
Here are some facts on what Duval County Public Schools are facing:
  • DCPS has the oldest schools in the state
  • $500,000 is spent each month to patch maintenance issues that don't solve the problem
  • PRESENT: $243 million in unfunded repairs and maintenance backlog
  • FUTURE: $5 billion¬†unfunded repairs and maintenance costs
 
ūüíĽ¬†Council Members, we need to Contact:¬†ūüďě
*Email a Council Member by clicking their name below*
Joyce Morgan: District 1, (904) 630-1389
Al Ferraro: District 2, (904) 630-1381
Aaron Bowman: District 3, (904) 630-1392
Scott Wilson: District 4, (904) 630-1394
Lori Boyer: District 5, (904) 630-1382
Matt Schellenberg: District 6, (904) 630-1388
Reggie Gaffney: District 7, (904) 630-1384
JuCoby Pittman: District 8, (904) 630-1385
Garrett Dennis: District 9, (904) 630-1395
Terrance Freeman: District 10, (904) 630-1684
Danny Becton: District 11, (904) 630-1383
Randy White: District 12, (904) 630-1380
Bill Gulliford: District 13, (904) 630-1397
Jim Love: District 14, (904) 630-1390
Anne Lopez Brosche: At-Large Group 1, (904) 630-1393
John Crescimbeni: At-Large Group 2, (904) 630-1381
Tommy Hazouri: At Large Group 3, (904) 630-1396
Greg Anderson: At-Large Group 4, (904) 630-1398
Sam Newby: At-Large Group 5, (904) 630-1387


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