The Florida Family Policy Council had an unprecedented year of several dozen accomplishments and activities this past year. With too many activities to possibly capture them all, we would like to share with you just the top 12 accomplishments of 2012. Here is the “Top 12 in 2012”:
- Statewide Field Offices – Our sister lobbying arm Florida Family Action operated 10 field offices and 25 staff were hired to deliver the evangelical vote in Florida. Data from Pew Research shows a 6% increase in the Christian vote in Florida over 4 years ago in 2008. Florida Family Action and thousands of volunteers made a difference!
- Radio Ad Campaign – Daily educational radio ads were aired on Christian, News Talk and Country radio stations from August to November informing voters of election information and other alerts. You can listen to some of those ads here.
- GOP Convention Prayer Rally – A historic prayer rally was held in Tampa right before the Republican National Convention in August. The rally was attended by about 2,000 people, streamed online, and appeared on cable television. Speakers included Michele Bachmann, JC Watts, David Barton, Phyllis Schlafly, Rick Scarborough, Mat Staver, Jim Garlow, Bishop Harry Jackson, John Stemberger and many others. This was the most powerful event the FFPC has ever organized.
- Victory in Defeating Jacksonville Gay Rights Ordinance – The FFPC was involved in helping the clear thinking citizens of Jacksonville organize, and then achieve a significant victory in defeating a gender identity and expression ordinance in that very large city which would have affected landlords and businesses. The so called “non-discrimination ordinance” would have required Christians to violate their convictions. This was a MAJOR victory we had the privilege of taking part in.
- Citizen Magazine – Focus on the Family’s national CitizenLink Magazine featured FFPC President John Stemberger as their cover story and ran an in-depth and personal story about our President’s journey that brought him to lead the pro-family movement in Florida. The article also highlighted some of the legislative successes the FFPC has accomplished, protecting life and positively affecting Florida Families.
- Major Social Media Expansion – Our social media support tripled this past year with FFPC Facebook “likes” going from just over 1,000 to over 3,000. Like us on Facebook here. Our Twitter followers have also grown considerably in 2012. We are @FLPolicyInsider on Twitter.
- Judicial Voter Guide – The FFPC Judicial Voter Guide products made available online and distributed statewide were by far the best and most popular product of the several types of voter guides we produced. Between all the versions of our voter guides, both printed and online, for the general and primary elections we estimate we reached well over 4 million voters with these valuable information-based voter tools.
- Orange County School Board Battle – In late December 2012, School Board Chairman Bill Sublette unilaterally calendared a “gender expression and identity ordinance” after telling School Board members he would bring it up in January 2013. He deceptively labeled the matter as “Educational Opportunity” in hopes of railroading the rule change through. With only days’ notice, FFPC sprang into action and organized a press conference of parents, packing the house for the School Board meeting. Despite our emergency efforts, the rule change that will allow male transgendered students to use female bathrooms and showers passed 6-2. In the process John Stemberger debated Representative Joe Saunders, Florida’s first openly gay state legislator, on a local Fox TV station. A video of that aggressive 3 minute exchange can be seen here.
- Sponsored or Co-Sponsored over 30 Pastors’ Conferences – In addition to our flagship conferences with Wayne Grudem in six Florida cities, our president John Stemberger spoke directly to audiences of over 3,000 Florida pastors and their spouses at more than 30 conferences in 2012. View video clips from Wayne Grudem’s historic lectures on the five wrong views Christians have of politics here.
- Annual Awards Dinner and Jacksonville Rally with David Barton – Our very popular Annual Policy Awards Dinner featured historian David Barton only days after his zenith of being the number-one search name on Google. This was one of our most successful dinners and the next day we held a rally in Jacksonville featuring Barton. Hear the official video greeting given by Governor Rick Scott at the Jacksonville Rally on our YouTube channel.
- Defeated the Casino Industry’s Expansion Attempt in Florida – The FFPC led the charge in 2012 to oppose expansion of casino gambling and held the first major press conference in Tallahassee opposing the massive proposed expansion of gambling with a coalition of other faith groups including the Florida Catholic Conference and Florida Baptist Convention. Other major organizations like the Chamber of Commerce followed with all of Florida’s statewide elected cabinet members, law enforcement and many other leaders and organizations.
- Why Conservatives/Republicans Lost – Our president John Stemberger has written an insightful analysis on the results of the 2012 Presidential Election which has been read, reprinted and redistributed around the country. Read the article here: Why Republicans Lost: Analysis and Lessons from the 2012 Presidential Election
- Helped secure Governor Scott’s National Marriage Week Proclamation
- Promoted Family Life’s “Art of Marriage” seminars around Florida
- FL Southern Baptists Adopted Marriage Mentor Curriculum
- Strong Marriages Leaders Luncheon with Randy Hicks
REACHING THE NEXT GENERATION
- Truth Project Statewide Kick-Off to “Train the Trainers”
- Legislative Internship Program
- Legal Student Internship
- Using state of the art social media and viral marketing
- Networked prolife events statewide- largest statewide turn out ever
- Debated President of Planned Parenthood at FAMU Law School
- Five historic pro-life bills passed legislature and signed by Gov. Scott
- Press Conference & Rally for Pro-life FL State Rep. Campbell (D)
- Attended National Right to Life Conference in Jacksonville
- Authored “Abortion: The Beginning of the End” circulated nationwide
- Right to Refuse Project protecting minors being forced to abort
- Spoke to 45 crisis pregnancy center leaders in Palm Beach
EDUCATING AND MOBILIZING VOTERS
- Analysis of the Presidential Candidates
- Hosted U.S. Senate Candidate Debate
- Major Sponsor of CPAC Conference in Florida
- Voter Registration Drives in Churches
- Co-hosted Pastors Conference with 450 pastors and spouses
- Helped organize 35 “One Nation Under God” Events
- Attended Governors Inaugural Prayer Breakfast
- Meeting with DCF Sec David Wilkins re churches helping foster care
- Historic Pro-Life Bill Signing Ceremony with Gov. Rick Scott
- Both legal attacks by Muslim Lawyer resolved and dismissed!
- Led first press conference against the Casino bill in state
- Casino Debate at Chamber of Commerce
- Organize over 32 FL churches to simulcast Rediscover God in America
- Co- Sponsor National Human Trafficking Conference in Orlando
- 500 attendees and national media attend Michelle Bachmann Dinner
- Helped organize debate on same sex marriage at UCF Campus
- Lectured at Resound School of Ministry on Family Policy and Ministry
- Organized Statewide Sanctity of Human Life Campaign Coordinating local events and providing educational bulletin insert for churches
- Launched Legislative Internship Program in Tallahassee
- Provided support and legal counsel to pro-life side walk counselors statewide
- Helped organize and co-sponsor statewide pro-life event by Resound Mission Base
- Co-Sponsored Orlando IMPACT Pastors Briefing featuring Rubio and others with 500 pastors in attendance from around the state
- Lectured at Ava Maria Law School at invitation of Federalists Society in Naples
- FFPC Vice President, Nathan Dunn becomes a National Board Member of www.StopPredatoryGambling.org
- Spoke at Keep God in American Rally in Jacksonville
- Held first Power and Policy Meetings in Tallahassee for FFPC Mission Partners, Tour of the Capitol, Speakers Jennifer Carole, and Anitere Flores
- Organized Operation Outcry Press Conference and Public Display of Baby Shoes to Promote Ultrasound Bill in Capitol Rotunda and Governors Office
- Spoke at Woman’s Choice Banquet with Mike Huckabee in Lakeland
- SOS Cry Statewide Pro-Life Rally in Orlando with Bishop Wensky
- Lectured at the Winter Park Philosophy Club: “ The Bridge between Philosophy and Theology”
- Spoke at “Common Threads” Woman’s Group Luncheon: “Marriage and Family in America”
- Annual Policy Awards Dinner with Fred Barnes and Marco Rubio in Orlando
- Spoke at First Presbyterian Church in Orlando
- Co-Sponsored National Smart Marriages Conference in Orlando
- Summer Internship Program
- Participation in Marriage Co-Mission Conference in Georgia
- Chick-Fil-A Couple Check Up Campaign in Palm Beach and Martin County
- Produced and distributed Voter Guides in the Primary and General Elections
- Spoke at Pastors Conferences in Miami and Naples
- Conducted Voter Registration Campaign
- Debate with ACLU President Philosophy Club
- Spoke at Iowa Pastors Conference to 600 pastors
- Helped Lead and Organize National Day of Prayer for Gulf Disaster
- Spoke at South Carolina Pastors Conference to 500 pastors
- Spoke at Nevada Pastors Conference to 400 pastors
- Participated in Marriage Co-Mission Coalition
- Strong Marriages Florida work
- Strong Marriages Florida Campaign to strengthen marriages and reduce divorce is launched
- New President of Focus on the Family, Jim Daley is featured speaker at Policy Awards dinner
- Worked behind the scenes with attorneys and city commissioners to craft and pass the most restrictive adult entertainment ordinance in the City of Orlando’s history.
- Fought back massive statewide gambling expansion in Legislature.
- Helped organize Chick fil-A Live-Love-Lead Rallies in Central Florida to promote Strong Marriage Florida with over 6,000 people in attendance.
- Won a battle with the State Board of Education in Tallahassee for evolution to be taught as a theory and not as a fact
- Designed, printed and distributed 4 million full color presidential primary voter guides
- Brought Ben Stein to Tallahassee to promote his movie Expelled and the Academic Freedom Bill
- Spoke to groups in 76 FL cities educating people on marriage issue
- Summer Internship has four student participants
- Ben Stein is featured speaker at Policy Awards dinner
- Korie Kapal hired on as Director of Development
- FFPC Secures funding for and co-sponsors printing of 3 million voter guides with Christian Coalition
- John Stemberger preaches on God’s Design for Marriage at the largest church in Florida, Calvary Chapel of Fort Lauderdale
- 61.9% of Florida voters vote “Yes on 2” passing the historical Florida Marriage Protection Amendment!
- Established our permanent Tallahassee Legislative Office
- Testified before House and Senate committees in favor of a bill that would fund ethical adult stem cell research in Florida
- Worked to defeat a competing bill that would have funded life-destroying embryonic stem cell research
- Provided Exclusive Representation before a hastily called House committee for a bill that would have expanded Video Lottery
- Terminal gambling to almost every pari-mutuel facility in the state. (No other pro family group was present at this so called “emergency” meeting. This shows the importance of having a full time presence in the Capitol City)
- Led a coalition of pro-family groups in getting a bad bill vetoed by Gov. Crist that would have severely restricted the rights of citizens to amend the state constitution. The governor vetoed the bill on June 26, 2007.
- Led hundreds of supporters to send emails to Gov. Crist to oppose the expansion of gambling in Florida.
Led a statewide coalition of pro-family groups, pastors and churches and grassroots activists in the ongoing effort to educate Floridians on why marriage should be the union of one man and one woman only.
- Launched “Truth Project” small groups in Florida and promoted the program statewide.
- Co-Sponsored the Family Impact Summit in September featuring national Christian conservative leaders in Tampa
- Addressed 1,500 Baptist pastors regarding the Marriage Amendment in Daytona Beach in November
- Hosted more than 750 pastors, elected officials, community and business leaders and supporters at our May 2007 Policy Awards Dinner in Orlando former governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee and U.S. Senator Sam Brownback
- Hosted a November Gala dinner in Hollywood Florida to introduce South Florida to our mission. 325 were in attendance with national media present. Sun Sentinel ran a front-page story on the event.
- Sponsored an opening night showing of the Wilberforce movie Amazing Grace
- FFPC co-sponsored with Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio an exclusive showing of Amazing Grace for the members of the legislature in Tallahassee
- Organized a pre screening promotional showing of the critically acclaimed movie Bella to a packed theater in Orlando
- Partnered with “CONFIA” the Latin America social conservative organization to co- sponsor a pastor’s conference and build stronger ties and network with Florida’s Hispanic community regarding pro- family and pro-life issues
- Partnered with Heartbeat of Miami to raise awareness around the state about the alarming abortion rates in Miami and how John Ensor of Heartbeat of Miami is addressing the crisis
- Final Petition Push for Marriage Amendment in January
- Senate President Tom Lee addresses Board of Directors at Tallahassee meeting
- Judicial Accountability Project Launched in Tallahassee press conference and suit filed in Federal Court Northern District of Florida, to challenge gag order
- Oral argument held on single subject rule and rally afterwards held at Florida Supreme Court in Tallahassee for marriage amendment
- Florida Marriage Protection Amendment language approved by the Florida Supreme Court
- Governor Bush speaks to over 1,000 attendees at First Annual Policy Awards Dinner in May in Orlando and Webster Award is established and given to Dan Webster and Jeb Bush
- Beth Reinhard of the Miami Herald writes feature story on President Stemberger calling him “one of the most interesting and influential people you’ve never heard of”
- FFPC Judicial Voter Guide launched its first edition
- President Stemberger debated Florida Bar President Harry Cox at a Tallahassee Federalists Society meeting on Judicial Voter Guides and the accountability of judges vs the independence of the judciary.
- John Stemberger becomes first President and CEO of the Florida Family Policy Council.
- Focus on the Family formally associates with the Florida Family Policy Council
- Insurance Commissioner Tom Gallagher addresses FFPC Board meeting at luncheon in Tallahassee
- Marriage Amendment Petition Collection Kicked off on Valentines Day
- Helped organize a national rally in Tallahassee at Capitol for Terry Schiavo
- John Stemberger appears on ABC News Nightline and MSNBC advocating for Terri Schiavo’s life
- Stemberger authors seminal article on legal, medical and moral issues surrounding the Schiavo case which is distributed and widely quoted from nationwide
- Nathan Dunn is hired as the Vice President of Public Policy and Communications
- Pastor Jon Rogers of Ocala is hired as grassroots and church coordinator
- Official FFPC Website www.localhost is launched
- Focus does mailing to all its Florida supporters announcing official launch of FFPC
- Sister organization Florida Family Action 501(c)(4) is incorporated and made official
- President Stemberger speaks in 52 Florida cities on institution of marriage and petition collection effort
- Registered approximately 40,000 new voters in Florida before the 2004 election
- Helped distribute 3 million Christian Coalition voter guides in churches before the 2004 election
- Provided national grassroots leadership and media advocacy in the fight for Terry Schiavo’s life
- Co-sponsored four Florida pastor’s conferences with HB London and Focus on the Family reaching over 600 pastors
- Led the fight in Florida for the confirmation of good U.S. Supreme Court Justices
- Participated in the first phone call and meetings to organize the campaign for the Florida Marriage Protection Amendment to define marriage between a man and a woman in Florida’s constitution