• SSH - FL

Press Release: Lakeland Voter Poll: Keep the Munn Park Memorial


PRESS RELEASE November 2, 2017

Media Contact: David McCallister 813-778-1202 Email: floridasshe@gmail.com

LAKELAND VOTER POLL: KEEP THE MUNN PARK MEMORIAL PRESERVATION COALITION ANNOUNCED

Barbara Hemingway announcing Poll Results at Thursday Morning News Conference with Coalition Members

​Lakeland – Save Southern Heritage – FL (“SSH FL”) announced in a news conference at Munn Park this morning that a Voter Opinion Poll conducted by one of the Nation’s top polling companies shows 86% of Lakeland voters opposed moving the Historic War Memorial in Munn Park. Gravis Marketing of Winter Springs, Florida, conducted the survey by contacting 442 voters in the City of Lakeland, randomly chosen based on their participation in elections. Save Southern Heritage commissioned this Poll to determine if the voters in Lakeland support or oppose the Selvege-Malless agenda. "If this had been an issue referendum - this would be considered a "voter mandate" said Barbara Hemingway SSH FL spokesman (Links to survey results here: Executive Summary, Cross Tabs.) Commission Candidate Ricky Shirah pledged "If I am elected I will not allow the memorial to be moved". In a prepared statement, Commission Candidate Mike Dunn said "this monument pays homage to those who made the ultimate sacrifice during this ugliest of wars." The Poll showed almost every demographic group opposed removing the memorial with 78.3% of Democrats opposing removal; 80% of African Americans and 83.3% of Hispanics opposing removal. “This is the highest percentage of support of all demographics we have seen in any of our previous polls” Hemingway noted. "Americans build monuments - they don't remove them" said Hemmingway. "And the poll results show Selvege and Malless and other candidates for removing the Memorial are out of step with the voters" she added. The results were announced at a news conference, attended by a coalition of citizens, veterans and groups opposing removal or alteration to the Memorial. Gail Jessee, a Lakeland resident, representing a coalition of residents, veterans and groups in favor of keeping the memorial said "We are calling on the Commission to cancel the planned public meeting and end all discussion of removing the memorial...its disrespectful". This is born out by the Poll results that show 4 of 5 Lakelanders polled believed it to be disrespectful to even discuss the issue. Hemingway echoed those sentiments this morning by posing the question "Can you imagine ‘starting a conversation’ about taking down the Vietnam Wall?'" "We don’t think that dog hunts here in Lakeland” she added. "We have been watching these purges of American history around Florida and have documented the 'take down' advocates to be comprised of radical leftist hate groups like Black Lives Matter, the New Black Panther Party, "Anti-Fa”, “Occupy”, ‘Indivisible” and socialist - communists - marxists, who are hell bent on destroying American history" Hemingway said. "We don't want the hate groups in our town, and this meeting is a public invitation to have a Charlottesville, Ferguson, or Baltimore, and we don't want that here" Jessee said. "The City of Lakeland voters have spoken - they don't want the big city Tampa - Orlando - New Orleans spectacle repeated here. Enough is Enough" Hemingway said. "And if any City Commissioners or candidates think otherwise, the issue should be placed on a voter referendum for the voters to decide," she concluded. The Poll also addressed Lakeland's "Boss" Mayor issue - 82% of Poll respondents would be less likely to support a strong mayor who removed the Memorial without a vote of the people. By multiple Congressional Act, Confederate Veterans are entitled to the same benefits as other American Veterans. Yet, the Munn Park Memorial was targeted for removal by the Southern Poverty Law Center in 2016. The Monument is one of the elements of Munn Park and historic downtown, that earned National Register Designation for the Historic Downtown area twenty years ago in 1997. Lakeland is currently holding elections for the Commission and Mayor. Two candidates for the Commission have come out strongly in favor of keeping the Memorial, Michael Dunn and Ricky Shirah.

SAVE SOUTHERN HERITAGE Inc. is a non-profit corporation that educates & advocates on behalf of Southern Heritage & History. It was started in 2015 in response to the knee-jerk Anti-Southern institutionalized bullying and “Erase-ism” levied against the people of South Carolina by Governor Nikki Haley, after she broke all previous agreements about how South Carolina’s historical veterans and their symbols should be treated and respected. SSH FL does not condone racism and as such we do not support any group or person that does. We respect the rights and privileges of all as bestowed on them by their creator and expect those in our association to respect and treat others as they themselves would wish to be treated. The Florida branch was activated in mid-January 2016, in response to three initiatives in the Florida Legislature that are part of a hate campaign led by Anti-American extremists, who refuse to respect the various cultures that make up the fabric of Florida’s society. Since that time, it has grown in membership and has been active in Heritage battles throughout Florida including the “We'll Remember in November Campaign” that resulted in #heritagehater candidates to lose elections in Florida. More info: www.sshfl.org.

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