Statement from Coy Jones of 1199SEIU On Florida Bridge Lighting

May 24, 2024

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“We know Ron DeSantis is trying to divide, distract and draw a reaction as usual with another petty political stunt... this latest one related to bridge lighting. This is standard while ignoring runaway housing costs, skyrocketing insurance premiums, healthcare staffing and so many other crises faced by Floridians.

However, co-opting “woke” and now "Freedom Summer" and turning it on its head with the opposite of freedom is especially heavy-handed and cynical even for this administration. Hiding or erasing history apparently isn’t enough for Tallahassee. Now they're stealing it, as well.

Sadly, this is endemic of a larger narrative. So many politicians nationally aligned with Florida’s governor display only bullying, bloviating, insults and self-serving divisiveness. 

But our union is inspired by those who marched and sacrificed for justice and opportunity, and against oppression, prejudice and violence in the real Freedom Summer of 1964, including many of our own members and retirees. We won't let Ron DeSantis hide his failures to Floridians with false principles and fake names. Most importantly, we’ll work to elect sincere leaders who will truly serve us all.”


Coy Jones is Florida Political Director for 1199SEIU and Southern Region President of SEIU's African American Caucus. 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East is the largest union of healthcare workers in Florida, representing more than 30,000 active and retired caregivers across the state. Members of 1199SEIU serve in about
80 nursing homes and 30 hospitals in Florida.

Media contact:
Ed Gilhuly