by Dream Defenders
The election of state attorneys with progressive policies has become a central focus of national civil rights organizations. This year, Dream Defenders, along with many allied social justice organizations, is supporting strategic state attorney races across Florida. The landslide victory of Amendment 4 is undeniable proof that the majority of Florida voters want a system that treats people humanely.
At the local level, Bill Cervone has been the acting State Attorney of the 8th Circuit for 20 years. The hard-on-crime public official announced recently that he is not running for re-election. Yet, for years, Cervone has been grooming Brian Kramer, Assistant State Attorney and Executive Director of the Office, to take the seat of State Attorney. Kramer is expected by local organizations to be a ‘business-as-usual’ candidate, continuing Cervone’s hard-on-crime legacy.
With Republicans finally losing the incumbent advantage in this seat, now is our best chance to prioritize progressive policies. Beverely McCallum, if successfully petitioned onto the ballot, is poised to run as the Democratic candidate. McCallum has worked as both a private and United States attorney before returning to run for the 8th Circuit seat.
We have come to understand that the general public is not informed on these matters. It is imperative that we direct our efforts towards community awareness in this 2020 election.
For the first four months of 2020, we are proud to announce that we will be leading a teach-in series. All community members are encouraged to attend.
The series will be held as follows; be on the look-out for further announcements.
January: Learning for Freedom: Recreating the School-to-Future Pipeline
February: Learning for Freedom:
Local Steps Towards Decarceration
March: Learning for Freedom: Transformative Justice Now
April: Learning for Freedom:
Ask the Candidates
Our first teach-in is scheduled for Jan. 25 at noon. It will be free and food will be provided. Location is at GTEC at 2153 SE Hawthorne Rd, Gainesville, Florida
Through our efforts, we hope to build a collective consciousness on what transformative justice can look like in our community and what we can do, together, to reach this vision. We imagine a Gainesville – and a world – where kids will not be arrested in schools and people will not sit in jail for being unable to pay bail upfront. This will be possible with the support of a state attorney with progressive policies.
Let’s build community and learn about the issues together!
For updates, follow us on Instagram: @goddsvilledreamdefenders and facebook.com/UFdreamdefenders