Florida Democrats in Legislature Get Ready to Fight for 2023 Goals, Including Affordable Housing

Florida Democrats in Legislature Get Ready to Fight for 2023 Goals, Including Affordable Housing

Image via Fentrice Driskell website

By Giselle Balido

January 12, 2023

They are getting ready to fight to pass legislation “on the issues that matter” to Floridians, such as affordable housing, the state’s shortage of teachers, and gun safety.

Florida Democrats return to the Capitol with super minorities in both chambers of Congress this March 7, when the state’s Legislative sessions are set to begin. 

After Republicans secured supermajorities in each chamber, Democrats are getting ready to face increased challenges to pass legislation “on the issues that matter most and leave the culture wars aside,” House Minority Leader Fentrice Driskell, D-Tampa, told South Florida’s Fox 4 TV station. 

By culture wars, Driskell, whose District 63 covers part of Tampa and northern Hillsborough County, refers to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ and the state’s Republican leadership push to pass bills like the Stop WOKE Act, which restricts school districts, colleges, and universities from discussing certain race-related concepts, and the Parental Rights in Education Law, which bans the discussion of gender identity and sexual orientation in kindergarten through third grade classrooms, even though those issues are not taught in Florida public schools.

RELATED: DeSantis Moves to Turn New College of Florida Into a Far-Right Conservative Institution

What these needless “culture wars” are doing, agrees Florida Senate Minority Leader Lauren Book, is distracting Floridians from the issues that affect every aspect of their everyday lives. 

“Instead of ensuring that there is affordable workforce housing or making sure [that] Floridians are having their basic needs met, [Republicans] choose to focus on these culture wars,” the Democratic senator told Floricua. 

Forging Ahead

But not if Driskell, who has received an “A” in the People First Report Card for consistently voting in favor of her constituents, has anything to say about it. She and the Democrats in Congress are vowing to fight for “hardworking Florida families, small business owners, and seniors.”

Florida Democrats’ goals for 2023 include: 

  • Working to fix Florida’s shortage of teachers.
  • Providing more affordable housing for hardworking Floridians.
  • Allowing parents or guardians to seek firearm restrictions for a loved one by strengthening Florida’s red flag law.
  • Preventing further abortion restrictions.
  • Ensuring a formal repeal of the prohibition on same-sex marriage in state statute.

RELATED: De Santis’ New Law Requires Students to Observe ‘Victims of Communism Day.’ State Democrats See the Irony.

Florida’s GOP committee chairs will decide if any of these bills get a hearing. In the Sunshine State, Democrats face a hard battle ahead after the unsupported socialism label was foisted on the party by former President Donald Trump, Gov. DeSantis, and the GOP. 

“No amount of hard work or resources can overcome a bad message,” Manny Diaz, chair of the Florida Democrats, wrote after announcing his resignation on Jan. 9. Still, he remains optimistic of the work that Florida Democrats can do in 2023.

“Floridians overwhelmingly adopted constitutional amendments that reflect our values,” he said, citing higher minimum wage, medical marijuana, and felon voting restoration as some examples.



  • Giselle Balido

    Giselle is Floricua's political correspondent. She writes about the economy, environmental and social justice, and all things Latino. A published author, Giselle was born in Havana and grew up in New Jersey and Miami. She is passionate about equality, books, and cats.

Share This