For Immediate Release: July 22, 2023
President Debbie Deland, Florida NOW
THE STATE OF FLORIDA HAS BECOME DANGEROUS FOR PEOPLE TO VISIT; RELOCATE; ATTEND SCHOOLS, UNIVERSITIES & COLLEGES; AND MORE
Debbie Deland, President of Florida NOW said, “We join the NAACP and other civic organizations, to issue a Florida NOW Travel Advisory to the public. Visiting, relocating, or attending schools in Florida come with heightened risks and definite violations of the US and FL Constitutions by the State Government. Due to the hostile faction of the Florida Government, its Conservative legislators and Governor DeSantis, new laws went into effect on July 1 that discriminate against women, people of color, the LGBTQIA+ community, teachers, students, unions, documented and undocumented immigrants, etc.”
There is no separation of Church and State. These laws subscribe to a dangerous neo-confederate regressive ideology and are fostering a new Jim Crow. They promote school segregation, cancel Black history, cancel both Black studies and Gender studies in colleges, ban classic books and books with any mention of LGBTQIA+, cancel tenant rights, bust unions, and worse.
Florida is now a permit-less gun carry state. It is legal to carry a concealed weapon without required mandatory background checks and weapon training. As of July 11, 2023 there have been 18 mass shooting in Florida and the year has five moths to go!
The State Government of Florida is driving hate, fear, and confusion at the LGBTQIA+ communities, especially for transgender persons. The Governor signed six expressly anti-LGBTQIA+ laws this year, more than the last seven years combined.
The State Government of Florida is driving hate, fear and confusion at all levels of education by canceling Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging Programs and prohibiting the teaching of the actual history of People of Color, especially for Black communities. They do not support diversity in any way.
The State Government of Florida is anti-teacher by restricting educators from discussing diversity, gender identities, LGBTQIA+ and social justice issues with the threat of losing their licenses to teach. Its book banning mandate and racial justice prohibitions have already cost educators their jobs. The new union busting laws was aimed at women, teachers.
People who are more than 15 weeks pregnant, do not have access to full healthcare options. In September, the 15-week abortion ban is expected to become a virtual abortion ban when it goes down to a six-week abortion ban.
FLORIDA NOW REACTS:
Debbie Deland, President of the Florida National Organization for Women, further reports, “Florida is no longer a state that can support constitutional protections of democratic values. Its governance has perverted freedom to mean for only those who subscribe to the fascist beliefs of Governor DeSantis. The government drives hate and violence against the populations that do not fit the white supremacist criteria. It isn’t safe for LGBTQIA+, especially Trans individuals, to move here or visit Florida. It isn’t safe for people of color to live, visit, or be educated in Florida. Teachers should not move here due to union busting, very low pay, the ‘don’t say gay’ law from K-12 in our schools, book banning, and the risk of losing their licenses based on new laws that are so vague. Florida resident teachers are already leaving the state! Students who want a balanced education can no longer get that in Florida. High school students in Florida will have a hard time getting into schools outside of Florida due to DeSantis battles over the books students will be allowed to read, not supporting the accepted standardized tests for college entrance, rejecting well-researched with expert input Advance Placement courses, and the rewriting of textbooks to be sure no one feels ‘uncomfortable.’ We learn when we are made uncomfortable. A lot of our history should make us uncomfortable. No matter who you are, it is not safe or beneficial to visit, go to school, or move to Florida. It is not a free state, but rather one of autocracy, revenge, and one that tramples on first amendment rights, voting rights, and more. The legislature majority and Ron DeSantis are white, mostly male, supremacists, racist, sexist, misogynistic, homophobic, anti-education, anti-teacher, anti-union, anti-Disney, and more. For Florida NOW, I sadly issue this travel advisory against Florida and reiterate that the Florida National Organization for Women is in open rebellion against this desecration of our democracy. We will do everything in our power to inform and educate the public. We will partner with those who fight for the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness of those whose lives are being cruelly shattered. Florida is not a free or safe state.”
CALL TO ACTION:
Clearly, we need different leadership in Florida. Our state has gone beyond a tipping point. Please speak withothers, vote informed, call/email/visit your legislative leaders and let them know the weight of your concern, participate in demonstrations, write letters to the editor, more. We must preserve and nurture our base with truth and compassion to push the arc of history towards decency and a sense of humanity.
: is an intersectional grassroots organization that promotes feminist ideals, leads societal change, eliminates discrimination, and protects the equal rights of all women and girls in all aspects of social, political, and economic life. It is the largest civil rights organization in the country demanding women’s rights.