Sarasota’s Awake the State rally focuses on the “worst legislative session in Florida’s history”

11/02/11 Doug Driscoll
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At the Awake the State rally in Sarasota, about 120 people geared up to get out the vote in 2012. They represented a large cross section of people affected most by Florida’s deep spending cuts and social agenda.

Donna Cubit-Swoyer is secretary for the Sarasota Alliance for Fair Elections. She says they are pushing legislators to enact fair districting in time for the next elections.

Rita Ferrandino, President of the Sarasota County Democratic Party, says she is fed up with the “job killing Governor Rick Scott,” and an unreasonable state Legislature.

Ferrandino criticized Florida’s conservative lawmakers for trying to curtail women’s access to family planning and defunding Planned Parenthood.

Echoing comments by Pat Gardner, President of the Sarasota Classified Teachers Association, Al Jackson said teachers are confused and frustrated by the new policy of merit pay.

Ann Walker attended the protest with her daughter. She is concerned with cuts to education and corporate influence in politics, and wants to ensure her daughter is given the opportunities of a good education, and a voice in the country’s future.

Reflecting the awakenings spreading across the country, Walker said she was also there to make up for 30 years of not participating in issues of the day, and encouraged that she isn’t alone in protesting.

Awake the State will hold rallies across the state again in January.

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