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Moms For Liberty Expands to 310 Chapters Across 48 States: What’s Next on Their Agenda?
Over the course of three years, Moms for Liberty, a conservative parental rights organization, has risen to prominence in national education politics, particularly in Florida where it was founded in 2021.
During a recent speech in Florida’s Capitol courtyard in Tallahassee, Moms for Liberty co-founder Tina Descovich highlighted the group’s growth, stating, “We started with two chapters, Brevard and Indian River. And in three years, we are now at 310 chapters in 48 states with 130,000 members, and I think that’s extraordinary. It’s because of the work that you started here in Florida.”
The organization came about in response to school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic, as parents felt their concerns about remote learning and mask mandates were being ignored by local school boards.
Moms for Liberty found support in Tallahassee, particularly under the leadership of Governor Ron DeSantis and the GOP-controlled Legislature. This has led to the passage of legislation such as the Parental Rights in Education Act (known as the “Don’t say gay” bill) and the stop-WOKE Act in the 2022 legislative session, both of which have faced criticism.
However, the organization remains controversial and has been labeled as an “extremist group” and a “far-right” organization by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
The SPLC describes Moms for Liberty as a group that opposes what it perceives as the “woke indoctrination” of children. The organization advocates for book bans in school libraries, endorses political candidates aligned with their views, targets teachers and school officials on social media, calls for the abolition of the Department of Education, spreads conspiracy propaganda, and promotes hateful rhetoric and imagery against the LGBTQ community.
Moms for Liberty co-founder Tiffany Justice disputed the SPLC’s characterization, stating that the organization is made up of concerned community members and that they are “very concerned about the direction of the country.”
Moms for Liberty was founded by three individuals: Tiffany Justice, Tina Descovich, and Bridget Ziegler. However, Ziegler, a Sarasota School Board member, left the organization soon after its creation. Ziegler has recently been in the spotlight due to personal issues, including a consensual sexual encounter with another woman.
According to Descovich, Moms for Liberty initially focused on influencing school board members but soon realized they needed to focus on state legislatures to effect legislative change. As a result, the organization expanded its efforts and formed legislative committees in Florida and 18 other states.
Brevard County School Board member Jennifer Jenkins suggests that the culture wars, driven by Governor DeSantis, may be losing momentum. However, she acknowledges that Moms for Liberty’s impact in Florida is still significant.
Moms for Liberty is expected to remain active in local elections this year and has already identified 33 candidates and public officials in Florida who they claim “stand with parents,” including Senators Rick Scott and Marco Rubio.