A Letter from Terrie Rizzo

Dear Florida Democrats,
     As we continue through such an unprecedented time, this past week marked the beginning of Ramadan, a month of spiritual devotion, reflection, and charity. Ramadan Mubarak to all those observing!
     I hope everyone in our Democratic family is healthy and staying safe. Even while we observe guidelines, Democrats across the state are still working hard to build toward November, and it has been amazing to see all the online meetings and town halls, digital work, and stay-at-home organizing everyone is doing. Thank you all for pivoting quickly and keeping up the work needed to register voters, sign up VBMs, make wellness checks, conduct meetings, organize precincts, and take care of the business of turning Florida Blue!
     While we all are hoping for a safe re-opening and gradual return based on science and medical recommendations, the so-called leaders in our Governor’s Mansion and White House are making this crisis worse.
     So many Floridians are affected by the employment crisis, but Governor Ron DeSantis isn’t doing nearly enough to help our state’s struggling workers and, in fact, has failed the hundreds of thousands of Floridians who have lost their jobs from the pandemic. The horrible unemployment system that then-Governor Rick Scott and the GOP Legislature rammed though in 2011 was deliberately designed to make it difficult for workers who lost jobs to qualify or even apply. As a result, claims are being processed far too slowly, and far too many claims are being rejected. Floridians urgently need a more robust system, fewer restrictions on applicants, and stronger benefits. Florida’s government must act to expand benefits and expand access to unemployment assistance. If DeSantis was serious about this crisis, he and his Republican allies would get to work on a legislative fix for Florida’s broken unemployment system. Until then, Floridians will tragically continue to suffer needless economic hardship.
     And it goes without saying that Donald Trump is a threat to our health, our environment, and our country. His reckless leadership continues to worsen the coronavirus pandemic, and his administration’s latest attacks on clean air, not to mention his unscientific recommendations such as hydroxychloroquine and bleach(!) are quite literally putting more lives at risk. Trump has not taken the steps necessary to safely reopen the economy and still does not have a strategy to implement mass COVID-19 testing. Public health experts have been crystal clear: we need mass national testing before we can relax social distancing. We truly cannot afford another four years of his destructive policies. Our country needs a proven leader like Joe Biden!
     As of Sunday, April 26, there are exactly 191 days — 6 months and 10 days — to November 3, 2020.
Terrie Rizzo
Florida Democratic Party