Florida’s legislative session is ending. And what a session it was.
The lethal injection secrecy bill met with fierce resistance – something the bill sponsors didn’t expect. The debate gave us critical insight into where legislators stand on the death penalty and revealed their deep discomfort with having to discuss executions.
That’s a shame because we’re not standing down.
Our priority bill to protect people with serious mental illness from the death penalty (the SMI bill) is exactly where we hoped it would be at this point in the campaign.
At the start of the year, we didn’t have a lead Republican sponsor in the Florida House of Representatives to join Senator Jeff Brandes in the Senate. But thanks to our work and the work of our mental health partners, Republican Representative Vance Aloupis sponsored the bill in the House.
And thanks to your emails, calls, and letters, many Republicans and Democrats have indicated they will support the SMI bill next year.
This is a sea change. And there’s more.
We gained new grassroots and organizational allies: more than 1,500 Floridians joined our email list and more 60 groups declared support for the SMI bill. The media took notice of this momentum and covered the SMI bill. As for our social media networks, well… they grew exponentially.
But you’ve been with us in the fight for years so you know: this is not enough to defeat the machinery of death. We have to build more power so we can do more. The SMI bill can pass in the next legislative session, in early 2023. But that means our advocacy together must start now.
We need you to get your networks activated to help build our email listfrom 4,000 supporters to 10,000.
We need you to help build our list of groups that support the SMI billfrom 60 to 200.
And we need you to keep the pressure on state lawmakers.
I know we’ve asked a lot of you this year. But we have to keep building our grassroots power. A critical need is additional organizing and communications capacity to reach greater numbers of Floridians with our messages.
We don’t ask for donations very often but this is a unique moment of opportunity. Please give a gift today, and if you can, stretch a little for a great cause of justice.