DEC and FYDIR Officers Press Mayfield and Grall on Gun Safety and Universal Heath Care

The Democrats of Indian River County urged Republican legislative representatives Sen. Debbie Mayfield and Rep. Erin Grall to support the group’s positions on gun control and universal healthcare. 

 Representing the Florida Young Democrats of Indian River County and the Democratic Executive Committee at the annual legislative delegation meeting held on Jan. 16 were Megan G. Hoots and Adriana de Kanter.

 Hoots emphasized the importance of implementing new gun safety laws. Recognizing the public’s right to bear arms, she reiterated the DEC’s stance that it is irresponsible for legislators not to take reasonable action to reduce the epidemic of gun violence. 

Among the changes sought are bans on the sale of military-style assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, and armor-piercing bullets. She also called for stringent background checks and training for firearms purchasers.

Hoots recognized in her remarks thatFlorida Rep. Walter “Mike” Hill, a Panhandle Republican, files a bill that would repeal many of the gun-safety provisions passed as part of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act.  

This testimony was consistent with that of Indian River County Schools Superintendent Rendell’s who encouraged the legislators to continue funding the Parkland gun safety legislation passed last year, emphasizing the need to have a security officer on every school campus and to provide mental health services. It was particularly interesting since Representative Erin Grall voted against the legislation last year and remained silent on Rendell’s request.  

By way of introduction, DEC Vice Chair de Kanter explained her appearance in place of Chair Kim Lorimier: Lorimier was with her teenage daughter at an Orlando children’s hospital. Her daughter has an illness that has required multiple surgeries and hospitalizations. The teen will require affordable healthcare for life.

“This is the story of only one such family in the districts you represent,” de Kanter said.

She advocated for universal healthcare, Medicaid expansion and women’s reproductive rights. Florida Democrats believe that healthcare is a human right.

Hoots also spoke for Plastic Free Florida, calling for a ban on single-use plastics in the state of Florida. She was one of several governmental and nonprofit representatives to address the legislators regarding environmental issues.