BBUUC stood shoulder to shoulder with 37 other Jacksonville congregations at ICARE’s Nehemiah Assembly Monday, March 28. Church members joined this year’s virtual event on Zoom and at a church zoom viewings.
For the first time in recent history, no public officials were present. The sheriff, who broke commitments he made to ICARE last year “chose not to attend.” The mayor, who was invited a few weeks prior, cited a scheduling conflict.
ICARE pressed on, making pleas to empty chairs, while media outlets took note of the snubbing by elected officials at the event WJCT called Jacksonville’s largest annual social justice gathering.
When public officials don’t show, what happens next? “We march,” ICARE board member Geneva Pitman told us. So, stay tuned.
In the meantime, our church can be proud of helping to draw community attention to pressing justice issues. Never forget what’s at stake, and who’s accountable for taking action:
A more resilient Jacksonville – Mayor Lenny Curry
- Will you take the lead on initiating a flood vulnerability assessment in Jacksonville? (We need this to qualify for up to $100 million in state dollars annually for sea-level-rise adaptation projects.)
- Will you include funding for the flood assessment in the upcoming city budget?
- Will you coordinate an opportunity for the chief resiliency officer to present the plans for the flood vulnerability assessment to ICARE?
- Will you encourage the chief resiliency officer to share semiannual updates with our members so we may support this effort?
No arrests for minor offenses – Sheriff Mike Williams
- Will you meet with Sheriff Gualtieri and ICARE to learn about the structure and approach of the Pinellas County adult civil citation program?
- Will you meet with State Attorney Nelson and ICARE to create an initial agreement and a timeline for an adult civil citation program?
Stop gang violence – Sheriff Mike Williams
- Last year, you committed in writing to contact the National Network of Safe Communities. But we were asking you to contract with them. We know you are currently in contract negotiations with them, and we’d like the correction on record. Will you contract with the National Network of Safe Communities to do an analysis of group violence intervention in Jacksonville?
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world—indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. ~ Margaret Mead