St. Petersburg – November 2, 2011 -
Progress Florida Release
Across Florida, concerned citizens gathered on November 1st, one year from Election Day 2012, to mobilize the state’s middle class to fight back against Rick Scott’s extremist anti-middle class agenda and return middle class values and priorities to our government in 2012.
“Awake the State is a movement of everyday Floridians fighting to reject devastating budget cuts, stop the assault on middle class families, and invest in Floridians again.” said Mark Ferrulo, executive director of Progress Florida. “Yesterday, thousands of Floridians occupied the streets and sidewalks of Florida. One year from now, millions will occupy the voting booth and that’s how we will take back our state.”
The message at the rallies was clear: Florida’s tax structure already forces middle class families to pay a higher tax rate than the rich and corporations. More unnecessary tax giveaways to corporations who barely pay any taxes in Florida won’t help anyone except the very wealthy.
“People came out all across the state to demand simple fairness for Florida’s middle class,” said Susannah Randolph, executive director of Florida Watch Action. “Rick Scott isn’t even on the ballot in 2012 but already Florida voters are lining the streets ready to hand him a pink slip.”
Speakers pointed out that politicians in Tallahassee are paying lip service to creating jobs in Florida but in fact, they are cutting thousands of jobs and making it harder for our state to recruit quality teachers, first responders, and other vital service workers.
The Awake The State movement began on March 8, 2011. Thousands of Floridians attended local Awake The State rallies from Pensacola to Key West and delivered a clear message to Florida’s political leaders: we can’t afford more budget cuts. And still, Gov. Rick Scott and his extremist allies in the Tea Party-controlled Legislature cut more than one billion dollars from our already cash-strapped schools and picked the pockets of our nurses, police and firefighters to further pad the pockets of corporate CEOs.
Awake The State represents working Floridians and middle class families who play by the rules but continue to face higher costs of living, lower wages, and reduced benefits.