Vice President – O.D. Elliott
101-78TH -Ave, N.E.
ST Petersburg FL 33702
In 2016, during our state’s Legislative Session, carriers from various branches of the FSALC joined with other unionists with the AFL-CIO’s Working Family Lobby Corp in Tallahassee to lobby for issues important to the working men and women of Florida. We were also pursuing a Vote by Mail bill for the third consecutive year. Florida had allowed voters to vote by mail for years, but only in the context of an absentee ballot. Our bill changed the wording from “Absentee Ballot” to “Vote by Mail” and provided that anyone wishing to Vote by Mail could request a mail ballot. Our goal was to make voting as easy and convenient as possible for voters. Our efforts in 2016 were successful and the bill passed both Houses overwhelmingly.
Since the passage of the Vote by Mail bill in 2016, the requests for Vote by Mail ballots in all elections have increased tremendously. During this year’s Florida Legislative Session, the FSALC is once again sending members to Tallahassee to work with the Working Family Lobby Corp. Also, again we are addressing the Vote by Mail issue. This time, we are seeking to get an amendment to a bill concerning vehicle registration. Presently, the bill for Motor Vehicle Registration provides a laundry list of various items the Department of Motor Vehicles “may” enclose with the notifications for renewal of vehicle registrations. We are seeking to add a provision to these Vehicle Registration Renewal notices to indicate the procedure for applying for a Vote by Mail ballot and to require that county tax offices make available at all Department of Motor Vehicle locations applications for Vote by Mail.
During the week of February 18 thru February 22, the following FSALC members were in Tallahassee working with the Working family Lobby Corp.: Jo Ann Cannon, District 2 Chairperson; Kevin Byrne, State Legislative Liaison; Bob Henning, District 4 Chairperson; Maceo George, Letter Carrier Political Liaison for Congressional District 4; O.D. Elliott, FSALC Vice President. During this week, we all met with our own Representatives and Senators and many others as well. Most seemed to like our idea. Although in politics there are no certainties, by the end of the week, we were just a little more than hopeful that we might be successful this term. To be successful, there is still considerable work to be done and for that we will be sending more members to Tallahassee during the remainder of the session.
I wish to thank our State President, Al Friedman for offering me the opportunity to serve as Vice President. Al appointed me to replace former Vice President, Anthony Ali, following Ali’s appointment as a new Region 9 RAA by NALC President Rolando. In addition to appointing me as VP, President Friedman appointed Billie Nutter of Branch 1071 to serve as Director of Retirees.