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State lawmaker Manny Diaz. Image via Phil Sears.

South Florida

Democratic groups target José Oliva, Manny Diaz over Legislative Session

“Now we are coming for them.”

A new front page ad in the Miami Herald is targeting House Speaker José Oliva and state Sen. Manny Diaz, both from South Florida, over several bills approved by the Republican majority this past Legislative Session.

Among the measures highlighted by the ad are bills to expand private school vouchers, allow teachers to be armed after undergoing training in the state’s Guardian Program, and ramp up penalties for so-called “sanctuary cities.”

The ad was paid for by pro-Democratic groups such as the Family Action Network Movement (FANM in Action), the New Florida Majority and Organize Florida.

Oliva and Diaz, both Republicans, each represent legislative districts in Miami-Dade County.

Both were instrumental in Republicans’ efforts this past Session, with Diaz heading the Senate Education Committee and Oliva as Speaker.

“During the Legislative Session these two elected officials worked hard to make Florida worse,” the ad reads before listing several bills opposed by the organizations.

“Now we are coming for them.” The ad also urges readers to call Gov. Ron DeSantis to have him veto the measure, though some have already been signed into law.

“We are extremely disappointed at Diaz and Oliva, whose votes are a slap in the face of the immigrant communities they are supposed to represent,” said Andrea Mercado, Executive Director for New Florida Majority.

“We will educate South Florida voters on their extreme positions and take this fight directly to the ballot box.”

“Our members will hold our elected leaders accountable who chose not to stand with women and families this session,” added Stephanie Porta, Executive Director of Organize Florida.

All three groups promote the election of Democratic members to the Legislature. The move can be seen as a transition from the recent Legislative Session onto the 2020 election.

“We are disappointed with many of our lawmakers in Tallahassee for making poor decisions and passing bad laws that will negatively impact the quality of life of hard working families. We are more disappointed at Diaz and Olivia because they are immigrants themselves,” said Marleine Bastien, Executive Director of FANM In Action.

“They knowingly decide to put politics and  selfish interests over common sense and our state future. Let their actions be a reminder that elections have consequences, let them be the fuel that will ignite our passion to organize throughout the state to register every eligible voter, and ensure that election in our state are open, inclusive and fair.

“The great people of Florida deserve it, our democracy demands it.”

Written By

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to ryan.t.nicol@gmail.com.

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