Last Call – A prime time read on what’s going on in Florida politics.
Under the pomp and circumstance of Sen. Lauren Books re-election as Senate Democrat leader, father of Parkland Fred Gutenberg said a prayer for the end of gun violence.
Guttenberg who lost his daughter Jaime, during the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, gave a talk Monday that he said was a reflection of his faith rather than a prayer. However, his address hinged on his dream that the Legislature would convene to do more to stop gun violence in the Sunshine State and America.
His message on Senate floor comes less than three weeks after the shooter was sentenced to life imprisonment.
Parkland’s father, who is Jewish, has said publicly that he has struggled with his faith since the shooting and has stopped attending synagogue.
“Others will backtrack on efforts to reduce gun violence and gun-related deaths,” Guttenberg said. “I hope you will all speak up loud and forcefully to tell them it’s wrong. I hope you will use your voice in Tallahassee to fight harder than ever to save lives.”
Guttenberg shared his thoughts in front of Democratic and Republican participants alike, including the Senate President-elect Kathleen Passidomo. Despite the bipartisan audience, Guttenberg delivered veiled criticism of the Republican leadership that had controlled the chamber for the past several years, calling for a return to decency, courtesy, and strength when necessary.
“I hope that all of you, under the leadership of my friend Sen. Lauren Book, will do whatever it takes to stop the current administration from forcing dangerous changes that will lead to more gun violence and more gun violence-related funerals,” Guttenberg said.
House Democrats will also formalize their leader for the new term.
The caucus meets Monday at 6:30 p.m. to select the representative. Fentrice Driskell. The Tampa lawmaker will become the first black woman to chair a Florida House convention.
This issue of Last Call is also the final call to Thanksgiving reflection.
Sunburn’s Tuesday edition will be the last one before the holidays. Please send Thanksgiving messages to [email protected].
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quote of the Day
“We may be down, but we’re certainly not out, and what matters now, my friends, is how we rise.”
— Sen. Lauren book on the future role of Democrats in the Senate.
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