Possible Protests for Jefferson-Jackson Tonight Over Parent Trigger Bill Supporter

Tonight Florida Democrats hold their annual self congratulatory dinner in Hollywood. But outside, TPH has learned of possible small protests and large discontent among education activists thanks to the continued unwillingness of the state’s Democrats to stand up for public education.

Florida ranks 49th in the nation in public education funding per $1,000 of personal income according to the National Education Association.

Tonight’s headline speaker, Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa is a supporter of the Parent Trigger bill and Michelle Rhee’s “reform” group whose primary goal is to bust teachers unions. The push for “parent trigger” started in California, where the effort was organized not by local parents but by a pro-charter school organization called Parent Revolution, a Los Angeles organization funded in part by the Walton Family Foundation, much like All Children Matter the organization headed John Kirtley. Parent Revolution helped Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Florida’s Future push the bill through the Florida Legislature.

Thankfully, a coalition of moderate Republicans (many of whom were term-limited) and Democrats killed parent trigger in the 2012 Legislative session. However, with those moderate Republicans almost certainly being replaced by more conservative ones (for example, both contestants to replace term limited parent trigger opponent Dennis Jones in SD-22 voted for the bill in the House) parent trigger is certain to return next year. This year it was defeated on a tie 20-20 vote in the state senate.

Many legislative Democrats continue to raise money from the forces committed to further destroying public education in the state. Florida’s ranking of 49th is due to the ideologically driven effort by Florida Republicans since their 1996 takeover of the state legislature to defund public education and promote voucher programs. The Democrats are becoming more complicit with this every passing year, while other states have stronger progressive champions who have rallied the party to fight these damaging efforts.

When will Florida’s Democrats finally stand up for our public schools? It probably won’t be tonight, sadly.

UPDATE: Dave Trotter will report on the protests tonight if they in fact do occur. I have also heard in the past few hours from some activists who choose not to attend the Jefferson-Jackson because of who the keynote speaker was. Look for updates throughout the evening.

21 thoughts on “Possible Protests for Jefferson-Jackson Tonight Over Parent Trigger Bill Supporter”

  1. Concerned Democrat

    I was emailed about protesting by some activists. I am not bothering though. I agree with the protests, but this party doesn’t get it. I don’t dare ti even give the FDP any time of day until the current leaders and staff are gone.

    Regarding the issue itself the Democrats are getting cozier and cozier with the school voucher supporters. Money talks and the party is forsaking its party if the people mantra for big money. Plain and simple.

  2. Ellen Holt member of the Platform committee

    Tomorrow the Democratic Executive Committee will vote to accept the Florida Democratic Platform which firmly defends public schools and makes it clear that all state funding should go to public schools not charter schools. It also states that Democrats support full funding by the state according to the state constitution. As a party, the Florida Democrats fully support Public education.

  3. Thanks Ellen! That’s encouraging to hear. Now we need to get our Dem legislators to adhere to the party’s platform and principles. I know our activists and partisan leaders believe in this…I however think our elected officials have gone wobbly thanks to some big money waved in their faces and the bad influence of Tallahassee lobbyists. Keep up the good work on the platform level!

  4. I’m a conservative Democrat in many ways but on this voucher thing I cannot be in the middle. It is a huge mistake and actually devastates the African-American communities.

    Why would the party get involved with someone like this?

  5. That is great to hear Ellen since we are not yet at 50! It is too late. I am going to vote for Obama but the party sucks and Obama still stucks on education. He is the lesser of two evils.

  6. I don’t think protesting the JJ on this issue is smart.

    Put your energy into protesting out front of specific legislators offices.

    Ari Porth and Darren Soto voted for the bill.

    Saunders supports vouchers.

    Protest them. They not the good activists who go to JJ deserve to be attacked.

  7. I think protesting is justified. I’m not even going but the party has to be put on notice.

  8. The Ds stayed fairly united on parent trigger.

    But the whole drift towards accepting vouchers has to be mitigated. We have to stop these monied interests including Amway and the Walton Foundation from buying off every Democrat they can.

    This site has been great exposing this. Too bad you’ve blown some credibility with that FJA article where Trotter failed to disclose he works for Game, the opponent of Horner.

    So I ask in the interest of full disclosure. Is Krishnaiyer working for any anti voucher groups? I hope the answer is no and you are 100% volunteer in this because your writing is great and I hope your views are not affected by cash.

  9. I have never taken a cent from the Teacher’s Unions or been paid by any Education advocacy organization. I currently have zero PAID political clients of any kind and am working as the Communications officer for an international soccer organization. I am involved with some candidates as a volunteer consultant and always disclose my involvement with those candidates and races when I post stories on them.

    Thanks for you continued support of TPH.

  10. Does the FDP have any explanation for this invite? Good work here digging up his record and finding out about the protests.

  11. Further disclosure. I am on the boards of several organizations that take stands on progressive issues and causes. However, I am not paid by any of them. I receive currently no money outside of my day job and other soccer media work.

  12. Our single greatest legislative triumph since Scott became Governor ……

    The party manages to cock up by inviting a supporter if the bill to speak the biggest event ….

    Only FlaDems could be SO DUMB!

  13. Is he not a major skirt chaser also?

    Excellent for the party’s already battered image here. So much for making Jennifer Carroll an issue 🙁

  14. I am glad you are writing about this but should have done it earlier. I’m not going for this abs other reasons related to my disgust with the FDP but many who went wouldn’t have if they knew this.

    Those going should walk out on his speech.

  15. I did not go either this year or last because of the speakers.

    The FDP insult Dem activists with their selection of speakers.

  16. Concerned Palm Beach Democrat

    I believe the entire Florida party is broken. Morally bankrupt and not even concerned about issues.

  17. And you wonder why Laxer and Skidmore didn’t run? lol
    South Palm Beach County is sick. You have not seen anything yet.
    At least Laxer wasn’t as dumb as Skidmore to take the bait and pay off these scum.