Norma Schatz July 2020 Letter

To Plymouth Harbor Democrats…and others who care -                                          July, 2020

    Most of us who grew up with “Officer Friendly” probably were unaware that being inebriated could  put you in handcuffs or that a traffic stop could lead to your being killed or that, no matter how well-dressed or on your way to work or shop, you could be patted down for drugs. From deaths to indignities, these are the contacts with police that too many people of color have experienced. if we didn’t know about it before, we have surely learned about disparate treatment in the justice system.
    The mood of the country, especially among young people, is to acknowledge the need and to support change in both law and practice. Congress is currently facing a stalemate on police legislation.  The Senate’s Republican bill that encourages change is considered too weak by Democrats; the House bill requiring change will not be considered in the Senate. Effective legislation is needed.  If the size and diversity of the protests all over the country is any indication, change is coming. Systemic racism has too long been a shameful part of American history.

     In Florida - Unlike in several other states, Gov. DeSantes has not called a special session to deal with policing issues.  In addition to fighting the return of voting rights to ex-felons,  the Governor cancelled this year’s clemency hearing; more than 17,000 Floridians are waiting to have their clemency cases heard. In DeSantis’ first year in office, only 24 people have had their voting rights restored.
     In response to the Marjory Stoneham Douglas High School Shooting almost 200,000 petitions were signed and collected by the Ban Assault Weapons Now movement for an amendment to be on the November ballot..  No  - we don’t get to vote on it because the Florida Supreme Court rejected the language on the ballot initiative as “confusing”.
    DeSantes has signed another school voucher bill. This one ups the income level for which families can receive a voucher for students to attend private and religious schools.  These students are not required to take state accountability assessments under the Every Student Succeeds Act.  Included in the bill is a reduction in the state’s oversight of these programs from one to every three years.
    Controlled news, approved news seems to be a White House priority.  Remember Stars and Stripes, the Armed Forces’ own newspaper?  The White House wants it cut out of the military budget.  The Voice of America's two top executives stepped down following Senate confirmation of President Trump's pick to run the agency that oversees the international broadcaster.  “Critics fear that Michael Pack, a close ally of Trump would jeopardize VOA’s independence, giving more favorable coverage of the Trump Administration” (The Topping 6/16/20).  According to Dos Kos 6/28/20: “Vice President Mike Pence ordered government health experts to route pandemic news through his office in the relentless Republican repetition of the truly insane Trump insistence that all news personally embarrassing to him is actually ‘fake’.” Don’t underestimate the reach and influence of Fox News and local and nationally syndicated radio to support and spread Trump misstatements, false accusations and conspiracy theories.

    With all the misinformation and disinformation and plain hot air, you might need these resources: or  Snopes (the most well-known of fact-checking websites) or Hoax Slayer. focuses on political spending and Politifact is a nonpartisan fact-checking website that evaluates the accuracy of political statements.
    The U.S. Post Office is a vital part of our economy and the personal lives of so many of us; its funding is at risk. Call Sen. Marco Rubio 202/224-3041, Sen.Rick Scott 202/224-5274, Rep.Vern Buchanan 202/225-5015.
    To register to vote - or for a Vote By Mail ballot - or to check if an earlier request needs to be updated - call the Supervisor of Elections at 941/861-8600. VBM ballot requests are good for two election cycles.    
     Let me know if you want to be taken off this letter list.
    Norma H. Schatz
       “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”  Martin Luther King jr.

Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.