ORANGE PARK, Fla. — The NAACP has issued a formal travel advisory for African Americans and the LGBTQ community to avoid the state of Florida.
The organization says Florida has become a “dangerous, hostile environment for law-abiding Americans and immigrants,” because of Governor Ron DeSantis, who’s expected to announce that he’s running for president this week.
Action News Jax spoke with Reverend Jeffrey Dove, who is St. James A.M.E Church of Orange Park and isn’t associated with the NAACP. He believes this move by the organization could affect the state of Flordia’s wallet big time.
“The actions of this governor have been downright demonic,” Dove said.
The organization back in late March came up with a proposed travel advisory in response to certain bills being discussed in Tallahassee that the NAACP said targeted some minority and LGBTQ communities.
Governor DeSantis recently signed some of those bills into law.
“I think it’s going to energize not just the black community, but the LGBTQ community. I think it’s going to energize women, and I think we are going to see a reaction at the polls,” Dove said.
The NAACP says, “Under the leadership of Governor DeSantis, the state of Florida has become hostile to black Americans and in direct conflict with the democratic ideals that our union was founded upon.”
Revered Dove says this travel advisory will have major implications for the economy in Florida
“You have to speak to the economic impact of structures, that means you have to hit them in the wallet,” Dove said.
Action News Jax spoke with Governor DeSantis in late March when the travel advisory proposal first came out, and he dismissed it.
“This is a stunt to try to do that, a pure stunt. And fine, if you want to waste your time on a stunt, that’s fine,” DeSantis said.
Although the NAACP has put this in place, Reverend Dove still doesn’t think it will change the Governor.
“It’s too late for him to act right. He doesn’t have enough God in him to act right,” Dove said.
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We reached out to the city of Jacksonville to get their response, and we are still waiting to hear back.
We also reached out to Mayor-elect Donna Deegan to get her reaction on this. She sent the following statement:
“Jacksonville’s strength lies in its diversity, making our city a better place for all who live in and visit it. Throughout my campaign, I made a steadfast commitment to bringing everyone to the table and creating a unified Jacksonville, and as the mayor-elect, I promise that under my leadership we will celebrate this beautiful mosaic we call home and ensure that it is a place of welcome for all.”