A progressive coalition of organizations called Florida For All held a “People’s Press Conference” today, bringing forth concerns about unions, education, and the upcoming state legislative session starting tomorrow. Ruth Moreno is the Deputy Director for Florida For All, and challenged the Governor directly.
“Floridians agree that we need our elected leaders to invest in increasing our quality of life and making Florida a state where we can all live work and play. For that, we need real investment in healthcare, education, and affordable housing. As a proud immigrant mother, I believe that is what we need and we’re all here to speak on that and to ask that our elected officials put their money where their mouth is.”
Angelina Mohica was a low-income student in Florida growing up, and she said a program called Project Upward Bound helped her succeed in spite of her challenges thanks to educational funding, but she said bans on AP African American Courses by Republican lawmakers make it harder for students feel connected with their curriculums.
“Those types of classes could really benefit and create more well-rounded students and a space where all students could see themselves because I did not grow up really feeling that I was really represented or that I saw myself in my school system or really anywhere in our society. It affected me greatly. It’s important that children are represented.”
Florida For All also called for a People’s Budget that includes affordable housing and fair wages. Members of the AFL-CIO also mentioned challenges raised by SB 256, which makes paying public union dues less convenient, thus making collective bargaining potentially less effective when workers negotiate for better wages. These issues and more will be dealt with in Tallahassee Tuesday for the start of the 2023 legislative session.