The REAL Picture

This is in response to J. Scott Gaillard’s Jan. 11 cover story, “A Progressive Counterrevolution in Northeast Florida,” to inform your readers of the real full picture of this movement.

First, it’s not with the Democratic Party as indicated by this article. The majority of progressive people do not belong to this party; in fact, they are mostly independent, no-party affiliation (NPAs), or third party, such as Green Party, voters. Progressives are actually leaving the Democratic Party as was shown at the Democratic National Convention convention in Philly, which the party tried to silence and hide, with the #DEMEXIT. The sound in the streets outside the convention was filled with “Jill not Hill.” This is easily checked online by watching YouTube videos.

It was very upsetting that you never talked about the longest-running progressive group here in Jacksonville and their work, the Jacksonville Progressive Coalition. Nor did you talk of the newest groups, the Green Party here in Duval, as well as the many other GP affiliates popping up all over Florida and the rest of the country since the primary elections.

You overlooked the millennial movement on the University of North Florida campus with their groups of “Students for a Democratic Society” and UNF “Divestment Group.” Also left out was the new Green Peace affiliate here, along with many other non-party progressive groups in our Northeast Florida region, mostly starting after the primary and not associated with the Democratic Party.

You did talk about the Sabal Trail Resistance protest on Jan. 14. However, if you would have attended, the only Democratic Party leader seen there was Tim Canova, who came from South Florida to support us. None of those Democratic leaders from Duval County you had in your article showed up. But all the groups talked about above had leadership present in support of Sabal Trail Resistance.

My final point on this article is in regard to Lisa King leading the Democratic Party progressively. We progressives, here in the Northeast Florida, see her as the person who organized Hillary Clinton’s campaign and fought against our Bernie Sanders progressive revolution movement. I don’t see progressives getting behind her and/or the party.

I’m not trying to undermine their attempt to change their party, but to recognize the many/majority of progressives who are part of the counterrevolution here. We are groups that should be working together, not trying to take over and/or run by claiming to be the movement. We would like to see the Democratic leaders in your article come to our meetings and work with us together — as we do by attending their meetings — and a coalition of groups, not a monopoly of one party.


Debus is a member of the Duval County Green Party.