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Education, Economy, and Worker's Rights Among Issues Floridians Care About for 2018

Hundreds of Floridians Contacted Local Elected Officials at the Start of Session through “Dear Florida” Campaign

Tallahassee, FL - Floridians across the state have a common feeling when asked about their local elected officials: fight for us in 2018. Over the last several weeks, hundreds of residents have contacted their representatives in Tallahassee on the issues that matter most to them and their communities. Education, the economy, and worker's rights - among other issues - were a constant theme Floridians focused on in their messages.

“It is not surprising that Floridians are more outspoken in 2018,” said Monica Russo, President of SEIU Florida. “The last 20 years of Republican leadership in Florida has led to an attack on worker rights, an underfunded public education system, and stagnant, low wages that have held back our economy - just to name a few. But, if this first week of session is any indication, Republican legislators’ willingness to listen to their constituents is nonexistent. And even though their plan is to work without listening to those they represent, we will continue to speak up against the horrendous policies they are ramming through to break a part our communities."

Through the Dear Florida campaign, users were able to seamlessly contact their local elected official by email and through their social media channels. Healthcare, voting rights, criminal justice reform, transportation, immigration, and a secure retirement were among other issues Floridians talked about in their letters to their local elected officials. These letters came from communities across the state and saw a mix of submissions from self identified Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and non-party affiliated residents. Letters also spanned socio-economic classes from those who face unemployment, workers both full and part time, veterans, current military enlisted members, contractors, and more.

Education, the economy, and employee rights were front of mind for Floridians who sent their communications through DearFL.com.

Education

“As my representative, I'd like you to focus on education funding for public schools. Our tax dollars should be allocated according to our greater needs,” Resident in Miami, FL.

Economy

“I'd appreciate anything you can do to help raise the minimum wage in this state. Good economic studies have shown that raising wages reasonably does not have a damaging effect on businesses. I'm also very hopeful that the legislators will support and foster grants to build affordable housing in Tampa,” Resident in Tampa, FL.

Worker's Rights

“My children attended Palm Beach County Public Schools and I am so grateful to the dedicated teachers, staff and administrators that helped my children achieve their education goals.HB 25 is yet another attempt to weaken the important work their bargaining unit does to protect our students and ensure that schools stay focused on student success. Our State need well trained and reasonably compensated teacher to ensure it schools are competitive. As my representative I expect you to vote NO on HB 25,” Resident in West Palm Beach, FL.

Immigration - HB9

As a constituent of yours, @TeamRepWatson, I hope to see you focus on the issues that matter to me come January. I just sent you my #DearFL letter from http://DearFL.com . Stop the HB9." Resident in Miami, FL. View tweet.

The Dear Florida campaign was a collaboration between SEIU Florida and local unions 1199SEIU, 1991SEIU, 32BJ, Florida Public Services Union, and the Committee of Interns and Residents. DearFL.com will be open throughout session to allow for Floridians to continue to seamlessly send letters and connect with their local elected officials.

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SEIU Florida represents over 55,000 active and retired healthcare professionals, public employees, and property service workers in the state of Florida. SEIU members provide vital public services in Florida’s hospitals, nursing homes, public schools, community colleges, municipal and county governments, malls, and universities. With over 2.1 million members, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in North America.