Chicago, IL – While Ron DeSantis neglects Floridians to take center stage as a real-life Disney villain, Illinois Democrats are continuing their work to uplift working families across Illinois and defend freedom, justice, and opportunity for all.
Ron DeSantis could stand to learn a lot from Democrats when he visits Illinois on Friday:
1. DeSantis banned abortions at six weeks; Illinois Democrats codified reproductive rights into the state constitution, protecting and expanding bodily autonomy even in the face of attacks by a retrograde Supreme Court and restrictive laws in neighboring states.
2. DeSantis has taken extreme positions on gun safety, speaking out against assault weapon bans, bump stock bans, and limits on high-capacity magazines, saying that he would have vetoed gun safety legislation even in the wake of the Parkland shooting, and signing into law “constitutional carry” legislation, which will allow people to carry guns without a background check, permit or any training; Illinois Democrats are leading the nation on gun reform, passing an assault weapons and high-capacity magazine ban, implementing gun dealer licensing to eliminate straw purchases, banning ghost guns, and strengthening background checks on all gun purchases.
3. Under DeSantis’ leadership, Florida has banned more books than nearly every other state; Illinois Democrats just passed anti-book banning legislation as an additional safeguard against censorship of ideas and ideological diversity in schools and libraries.
4. DeSantis blocked a new Advanced Placement African American Studies course which he derided as “[lacking] educational value,” signed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill blocking discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in Florida classrooms, and signed the “Stop WOKE Act” restricting teachings on race and gender. Illinois Democrats enacted legislation requiring the teaching of LGBTQ+ and Asian American history and expanded existing Black history curriculum rather than whitewashing history and censoring different worldviews.
5. DeSantis disenfranchised Florida voters through omnibus legislation restricting access to voting through new rules on drop boxes, vote-by-mail requests, voter registration, and voter ID requirements. Illinois Democrats expanded voting access by increasing access to curbside voting, establishing permanent vote-by-mail registries, establishing central polling locations in counties across the state, and providing viable voting opportunities for justice-impacted individuals to empower Illinoisans to make their voices heard in every election.
“In Florida, Ron DeSantis has taken an authoritarian, anti-freedom approach to governing that puts wealthy donors and special interests ahead of Florida’s working families. As DeSantis attempts to ‘make America Florida,’ Illinois Democrats are making it clear that we will never give in to hate, censorship, and attacks on our rights. We will always defend our values against harbingers of fear and regression like Ron DeSantis,” said DPI Chair Lisa Hernandez.