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Florida Experts and Advocates Discuss The Harmful Impacts of Governor DeSantis’ Agenda

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To access recording of today’s call, click HERE

Washington DC – Florida’s legislative session concluded with the passage of numerous legislative proposals backed by Gov. Ron DeSantis that will have devastating impacts across the state. Florida experts and advocates gathered on a Tuesday afternoon press call to highlight the implications of the DeSantis agenda for Florida communities, the economy and the rest of the nation.

Congressman Maxwell Frost, Florida’s 13th US Congressional District said, “Ron DeSantis running for president and being even within striking distance of the Oval Office, should frighten anyone who values democracy, voting rights, and freedom. Between championing permitless carry and one of the strictest abortion bans in the country, Ron DeSantis has turned his back on Floridians looking for compassionate leadership. His focus on toxic culture wars, book bans, and attacks on LGBTQ+ folks have spelled disaster for families looking for help on kitchen table issues like housing, healthcare, and wages. I have no doubt that Americans across the nation will take a look at the Governor’s record and reject his extremist agenda.”

Anna Eskamani, Florida State Representative said, “Governor Ron DeSantis is an extremist who preaches about freedom while he strips away our freedoms as Floridians. Whether it’s the 6 week abortion ban, the targeting of LGBTQ+ people, the attacks on academic freedom, union busting or the weakening of gun laws and consumer protections, DeSantis does not care about the needs of everyday people and Americans should reject him as a candidate for President.”

Felipe Sousa Lazaballet, Hope CommUnity Center, Executive Director said, “Immigrants are not the problem. We are the solution! Governor DeSantis has waged a war on the very people who have made our state a great place to live and visit. We are essential workers, we rebuild the state after hurricanes, we support the economic and social fabric of Florida. We have always known that these attacks were politically motivated for Governor DeSantis’s personal interest instead of the wellbeing of everyday Floridians. He played with our lives, but we are standing stronger than ever with our allies to fight back against extreme laws. As a LGBTQ+ immigrant myself, I know firsthand what’s at stake.  We are calling on our entire nation to join us in the fight for the soul of this country.”

Brandon Wolf, Equality Florida, Press Secretary said, Under DeSantis’ leadership, Florida has become synonymous with the anti-LGBTQ, anti-freedom hysteria gripping his right wing base and its reputation has been dealt incredible damage. Now, he’s preparing to export his war on civil liberties, imperiling freedom across the country. Each of us is called to step up in defense of democracy, to push back against his brand of right wing extremism, and take a stand for a Florida and a nation with true liberty and justice for all.

Tessa Petit, Florida Immigrant Coalition, Executive Director said, “What we need to ask ourselves is, are we asking fascism to take over America? … What we have seen, what this Governor has done with his supermajority has been to create an absolute power for the state over the people. Which is the reason the state is regulating every single one of our freedoms. It is regulating what we do with ourselves, it’s regulating who we talk to. Who we love. Who we welcome into our homes. It regulates every thought that we have … even our capacity … it limits our education and limits our capacity to understand where we came from, where our country came from so we can make better decisions for the future.”

Madison Markham, Student leader at New College, Class of 2023 said, “DeSantis is not making decisions with students’ best interests in mind. He is ruining Florida’s public education. What is happening at New College is an example of how harmful DeSantis’ agenda is for higher education as a whole, and is becoming a model for leaders in other states, as we’re seeing at colleges like UT Austin or the University of Virginia.”

Jonel Edwards, Dream Defenders, Co-Executive Director said, “DeSantis has done everything in his power, and beyond his power, to make living in Florida less of a dream and more of a nightmare. Now we know who he is. He is no longer a nameless congressperson, but a power hungry pseudo fascist who says the quiet part out loud … He is sacrificing our safety, our freedom, our economy all for a presidential bid. As much as it has been a running joke, Florida Man, Florida this, Florida that, that’s not the whole story of Florida. We have always fought back. In my lifetime I have seen Floridians rise up and fight for a better state. As DeSantis prepares to officially announce his candidacy and continues championing making America Florida, remember all that you heard today and remember that we are ready, we are coming and we want you to join us.”



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