Sit-in slows push for "One Florida" plan
February 2000

It took a sit-in by two Florida Representatives and a NOW member to halt it, but Bush's One Florida plan was finally delayed for public input in January.

Barbara DeVane was the National Organization for Women member who sat in for 25 hours in Brogan's office, with Florida state Representatives Tony Hill and Kendrick Meek. The media chose to ignore Barbara DeVane in all the coverage. Could it be because she is white and the media wants to try to portray affirmative action as a white vs. black issue? Could it be that they're scared that if white women join with people of color on this issue, affirmative action could be saved and even strengthened? Here are her comments:

"This week has been very exciting and rewarding. I didn't plan it that way, but there definitely was a reason that I was in the right place at the right time. I made a split-second decision to stay and represent the women of Florida. I felt it was very important in our campaign to save affirmative action in the state of Florida. We must get the message out to women that this is our issueÑthat women, more than any other group in society, have benefited the most from affirmative action programs. If we fail to get this message out, we will not succeed.

"I believe we have the power to get this message out, and I firmly believe that, working together with minorities and like-minded men, we shall not and must not fail. We owe this to ourselves and those who follow us--my daughter, my granddaughter and even my grandson!! We must persevere, at all costs, to ensure a world where everyone is guaranteed equity, equality and justice.

"The female agents who dragged me out of the governor's suite asked me to make it easy on myself. My life is replete with rich detail of choices. I have never chosen to take the easy way. Anything worth having is worth fighting for and the struggle will never end.

"This is just the beginning, but what an exciting jumpstart. We made history this week and gave our campaign much needed outreach. We mustn't stop, now is the time to call your members of your chapter and other women in your community. Tell women we must keep the heat on and their donation to the cause will go far in carrying us to victory.

In Solidarity, Barbara DeVane"

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