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The next City Council meeting will be held at 5PM on June 14, 2022 at Jacksonville City Hall, 117 West Duval Street, Jacksonville, FL. This meeting will include a dedicated time to public comments within the first two hours or so of the meeting (they often go late).

The bill is Ordinance 2022-0401 and proposes to provide City employees with a $4,000 monetary benefit regarding travel to receive Reproductive Health Care. Travel expenses for termination of pregnancies (abortions) are made eligible costs. Essentially what this bill is proposing is that tax payer funds go to pay for city employees to get abortions out of state. This ordinance was submitted by City Councilman Reggie Gafney who is also running for the Florida Senate.

Here’s a link to the bill itself that is being proposed that we are opposing.

Here’s a link to contact someone’s individual city council member.

Update 6/09/2022:

Two city council committees have already voted this week to withdraw this proposed ordinance. That decision is not finalized until the full City Council votes on 6/14, but there is good reason to be optimistic. There is still an opportunity to both contact your individual council person and to make public comments at the 6/14 meeting. It is recommended that you both express your appreciation that these committees have voted to withdraw the ordinance, and that the whole City Council finalize that decision at the 6/14 meeting.

How You Can Respond

  1. Contact your individual city council person and tell them you oppose this ordinance and that you want them to vote against it.  You can use this link to search your address to look up what district you are in.
  2. Show up at the 6/14 City Council Meeting, fill out a request to speak form, and when called up to the mic clearly express your opposition to this bill.
  3. Pray for our government leaders to bless good and curse evil (1 Peter 2:14). Pray for Jacksonville citizens to speak against this ordinance boldly and winsomely. Pray for the protection of the lives of the unborn in our city.

Essential Rules for Public Speaking

  1. Follow the guidelines in the attached picture below. In essence, show up early enough to fill out a request to speak card, indicate the ordinance you are addressing, and put your address on the card so it is on file.
  2. You get 3 minutes to speak when called to the mic, but there is only a total of 90 minutes allotted for public comment, and if enough people want to speak (there were 84 people who requested to speak at the last city council meeting), then they shorten everyone’s time accordingly. This last meeting everyone was only allotted 1 minute (exactly!).
  3. Begin your comments by saying: “My name is [name], my address is on file, and I’m speaking tonight in opposition of Ordinance 2022-0401 which has been submitted by City Councilman Reggie Gafney…” You aren’t allowed to address individual councilmen, only the collective group, but you can single out the person who proposed the ordinance if you word your comments in this way.
  4. We recommend writing out/typing up your comments ahead of time and timing yourself to make sure you can get them in. You might want to consider a 3-minute, 2-minute, and a 1-minute version.  If we bring a bunch of people, 1 minute is likely all each person will get, so we must make it count!