Florida's Muslim Citizens Lobby in Tallahassee
Emerge USA, in coalition with other organizations, led teams of students and adults to Tallahassee for the 8th Annual Florida Muslim Capitol Day on Thursday, Feb. 11th last week.
Engaged American Muslim citizens from all over Florida met with legislators in Tallahassee to discuss issues that affect the Muslim, Arab and South Asian (MASA) constituents. The legislative agenda consisted of SB 1712 | HB 1095 which discriminate against refugees and immigrants by calling for a 'watch list.' It also included SB 86 | HB 527 which aim to create a blacklist of companies that participate in constitutionally protected boycotts directed at Israel.
Senator Dwight Bullard, D-Cutler Bay, hosted a press conference for our group and showed support for the Muslim community and the civic engagement efforts.
"Thomas Jefferson was Secretary of State is when he received his first copy of the Koran, on his travels abroad. So we’ve had a presence of Muslims in America, an interwoven part of the American tapestry, since the 1700s."
-Senator Dwight Bullard
The Islamic Center of Tallahassee hosted a dinner for attendees and had Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum pay a visit to talk about the importance of fighting against discrimination and negative rhetoric directed at minorities.
The day ended on a high note when SB 1712 was stalled in committee by Senator Miguel Diaz de la Portilla (R). You can contact Senator de la Portilla here and thank him for standing up for Florida's immigrants. The engagement of our communities is vital for us and the law makers representing us. Our voice helps the community at large and our law makers understand issues from a different perspective.
"It's your vote, your money, and entirely your right to be here and be heard."
-Emerge USA Regional Coordinator Amina Spahic addressing attendees of FMCD.
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