BY LOUIS C. WARD
LEESBURG – The threat of heavy downpours of rain with lightning, and thunder didn’t stop more than 300 people from attending Lake County’s Tri-City Branch of the NAACP’s Juneteenth Celebration where the John Lewis Make Some Good Trouble Votercade Bus showed up on Tuesday, June 20, 2023 at the civil rights organization at 1107 Beecher Street, Leesburg, Florida 34847.
The informative and inspiring program for the event hosted speakers representing the NAACP Florida Conference, commissioners from various cities in Lake County, League of Women Voters, Transformative Justice Coalition, All About the Ballot, and others highlighting the negative policies and laws passed by Governor Ron DeSantis and Florida’s predominantly Republican administration.
Colin Mitchell, President of The Florida NAACP Conference’s College and Youth Council discussed DeSantis’ WOKE policies and House Bill H543 and Senate Bill S266, and he thanked DeSantis for “reminding us to be WOKE”.
Commissioner Allison Berry felt it was a good day for District 1 with the John Lewis Make Some Good Trouble Votercade Bus visiting Leesburg. “John Lewis reminds us to always be in good trouble. Leesburg wishes the utmost success on your caravan through the cities.”
The City of Mount Dora paid our employees for the Juneteenth holiday, said Commissioner Nathaniel Walker. “Give them what they deserve.”
Eustis City Commissioner Emily Lee encouraged everyone to celebrate the Juneteenth holiday and “everyone over 18 to cast your vote in every election.”
12-years-old Zahir Ward, Secretary of Tri-City’s Youth Council, talked about DeSantis’ policy of banning books. He said, “Banning books about the Black experience in America will not only affect Black People. It will all affect all people because they will not know the truth about America and the role Black people played. We need to know the truth about America. The good and the bad.”
Banned books provided by the NAACP, Transformative Justice Coalition, and All About the Ballot were distributed at the event.
Commenting on the successful Juneteenth Celebration, Martha Taylor, President of the Tri-City Branch of the NAACP, and coordinator for the Juneteenth Celebration in Leesburg, said, “The intent was to remind people that the negative policies coming out of Tallahassee impact us all. If we do what we can individually, such as attend community meetings and vote in every election, then join together as with the Lake County Tri-City NAACP Branch, we can send a powerful message that we are truly WOKE.”