Moral Monday Florida Social Justice Campaign Launches at the Florida State CapitolMarch 04, 2014
(Tallahassee, FL)—The Florida NAACP and more than 20 organizations and groups led the first rally and march of Florida’s Moral Monday Social Justice Campaign at the Florida’s State Capitol.
“The assembly here this morning shows not only just Florida, but the country, how important it is for Americans to lift their voices and for those voices to be heard. You are beauticians and barbershop owners, you are state government workers, you are low wage workers looking for better wages, you are Florida, you are America, and you deserve the right to petition your government,” stated Lorraine Miller, NAACP Interim President and CEO, during remarks at the State Capitol.
The campaign, led by a diverse and non-partisan coalition, targets Florida Governor Rick Scott and the state legislature, calling on them to protect the rights of all Floridians by expanding Medicaid, protecting voting rights, addressing economic inequality and repealing stand your ground practices.
“Today we raised our voices to protect our votes and to hold our elected officials accountable if they attempt to suppress them," said Adora Obi Nweze, Florida NAACP State Conference President. “Together we will shine a bright light on the failed policies that have wreaked havoc on Floridians.”
The coalition included the NAACP Florida State Conference, AAMIA, AAMLC, AFSCME Florida, Equality Florida, Florida AFL-CIO, Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood, Florida Chain, Florida Consumer Action Network, Florida New Majority, Florida SEIU, Mi Familia Vota, National Organization for Women, NCLR Action Fund, Organize Now, PICO United Florida, Progress Florida, Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and UniteWomen.org
During the rally Rabbi Jack Romberg, called on the state legislature to pray before the start of the session and “invoke God’s presence,” recalled a story of young boy he tutors in an overcrowded and inadequate system as an example of how Florida’s failed policies will work. “I have to ask, that if we are treating a little boy that way, are we invoking God’s presence? What happens to him at age 12 when scribbling in a book out of frustration becomes graffiti on a wall or something worse? Does he become part of the prison pipeline and is that invoking God’s presence? I say no. What happens when he gets older and because the school system fails him he cannot get an appropriate job and then he can’t get appropriate Medicare because Medicaid has not been expanded to him? What happens to him and have we invoked God’s presence? No. What happens then if God forbid he commits a crime and has to go to prison? Has he then forfeited his right to vote forever? Can he ever become a useful citizen again?”
Ahead of efforts to register and engage more voters than in the 2012 Presidential Election, Lorraine Miller also saw this event as a call to action for people at the rally, “But just as you have the right to petition and have your voices heard, you have to take the next step and register to vote. Politicians respect the people that know the issues and take the time out to vote. You have to tell the governor, city council, the state legislatures, and your county commissioner that you are not representing me. And, the way we do that in this country is to vote them out.”
Moral Monday Florida is the latest campaign in a social justice movement that began in North Carolina and has expanded to Georgia and South Carolina.
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our five “Game Changer” issue areas here.