Council members appear to be taking sides on antisemitism bill — an issue they say they agree on

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JACKSONVILLE, Florida. – Last week, members of the Jacksonville City Council introduced two bills, which are expected to be on Tuesday night’s agenda. They seem to do the same thing.

The response to anti-Semitic images allegedly projected onto a Jacksonville building seemed unanimous – outright condemnation from Council members.

RELATED: City leaders are proposing several bills to stop hate and anti-Semitism messages in Jacksonville

“We get all these hate messages in all of our buildings. It’s just disgusting and it’s time to stop it,’ councilor Rory Diamond previously said.

“My thoughts are like everyone else,” Councilman Matt Carlucci said. “They’re sick – well, they’re cowards.”

“We’re going to call it what it is, and we’re not going to allow that to happen in our city anymore. Period,” said Councilwoman LeAnna Cumber.

City council members seem to take sides, even on an issue they all say they agree on.

Carlucci attended the announcement of the bill outside the CSX building. He supports the bill introduced by Cumber a week ago.

However, Carlucci sent a letter on Monday, complaining that council rules had been circumvented and that a lack of respect had been shown to other members.

Part of it (in full at the bottom of the story) says: “It’s a disappointment to see Council members undermining the work of others, especially on an issue of such importance to our city.”

Later, says Carlucci, “In the spirit of professional courtesy and political sense, I respectfully request the withdrawal (of Bill) 2023-0044.”

City Council Speaker Terrance Freeman led a press conference the same day as Cumber’s press conference last week and briefly addressed the dueling bills.

“We have a problem that was impacting our city. We have a process and a plan now to fix it, and it’s going to be fixed,” Freeman said. “Who gets the credit that shouldn’t matter. That shouldn’t be the story. The story should be that we are not like a city. We are not going to accept that hate speech is acceptable in our city. And that is what is most important to me as president.

Freeman responded to a request for comment Monday night with the following statement about Carlucci’s letter:

“It’s too bad that in a moment of unity, with the mayor, sheriff and 13 of my colleagues coming together to support Bill 2023-44, Mr. Carlucci has chosen to go into politics. We should focus on condemning anti-Semitism and standing up for our Jewish neighbors – not self-righteous demagogy about who gets credit for what.

It’s unclear what will happen Tuesday night when the bills are read and potentially voted on.

Carlucci’s full letter reads:

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Council members appear to be taking sides on antisemitism bill — an issue they say they agree on

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