Earlier today, leaders from organized labor, civil rights, and reproductive freedom advocacy organizations from Florida and Michigan held a virtual press conference ahead of Governor Ron DeSantis’ presidential campaign stop at the Midland County Republican Party’s Spring Breakfast in Michigan tomorrow.
For those who missed the press conference, it can be viewed online here.
Speakers warned about the extreme agenda being pushed by Governor Ron DeSantis in Florida that attacks public education and the honest teaching of history, limits the freedom to vote, makes it harder for workers to organize for their rights to better wages and benefits, targets LGBTQ+ and immigrant communities, and seeks a near-total abortion ban that would roll back the progress being made in Michigan.
“Governor DeSantis is pushing this Betsy DeVos agenda in Florida. He is pushing and doubling down on vouchers and charters as he tries to divert billions of dollars away from Florida’s public schools. He talks about freedom, but look at what he’s doing. He’s pushing policies that take away the freedom of children to read books that they can connect to… He’s taking away the freedom to learn and the freedom to teach here in the state of Florida. He talks about parental rights while he’s taking away the rights of parents.” – Florida Education Association President Andrew Spar
“Because none of [Governor DeSantis’] policies have real solutions to the problems that people have, to increase their income, to increase their quality of life, he’s pushing forward policies to create fear and division. And that is concerning. That is concerning on any politician from any party. We don’t need that here in Michigan… We want to go in the opposite direction and we definitely don’t need those policies here in the state of Michigan.” – Michigan United Organizing Director Adonis Flores
“After the post-Roe world metastasized last summer, Ron DeSantis really launched himself to attack and to promote himself to really dismantle reproductive health care as we know it here in Florida… This Governor’s version of free Florida has politicians at the cornerstone of the care between a woman and her doctor as they make decisions… DeSantis has injected his own extreme right-wing politics into every aspect of our lives from kids in the classrooms to women in the exam room.” – former President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida Barbara Zdravecky
“Unlike Florida, Michigan is now positioned as a national leader in LGBTQ+ equality thanks to good policies enacted at the statewide level… LGBTQ+ friendly policies succeed here because in Michigan we believe in fairness and in treating each other with dignity and respect. Ron DeSantis does not reflect these values that are important to Michigan… DeSantis has also opposed efforts to protect LGBTQ+ individuals from discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodations in Florida… Equality Michigan Action Network wants to make it known that Ron DeSantis’ hateful rhetoric and harmful LGBTQ+ policies are not welcome in our state.’” – Senior Director of Communications for Equality Michigan Action Network Leila Vallarino
“The difference between Michigan and Florida under DeSantis’ leadership could not be more clear. Since taking office, Governor DeSantis has done nothing but sow division and chaos while attacking the LGBTQ+ community, public education, voting rights, and communities of color, essentially silencing any voices who don’t agree with his personal right-wing ideology… The dystopian stories coming out of Florida should make Michiganders angry for what’s happening to folks in the Sunshine State… In Michigan, Ron DeSantis and his culture of chaos and hatred is not welcome.” – Progress Michigan Deputy Director Sam Inglot