While the 2020 Florida legislative session does not officially begin until January 7, your state elected officials are now busy making decisions and crafting deals that affect you, your community, and your environment.
Before they head to Tallahassee, legislators will be meeting with residents in their districts at county delegation meetings. This is a great time to share your concerns and speak up for our environment!
Despite press conferences and articles touting record environmental spending in 2019, the total environmental budget was a measly 0.003% higher. And that’s following a year of record environmental disasters, from red tide, blue-green algae, wildlife die-offs, natural disasters, and increasing impacts from climate change. 2020 is the year to do better!
As FCV’s Government Relations Director, I’m fortunate to speak on behalf of all Floridians who care about our environment. But, it is YOUR voice that matters most at county legislative delegation meetings. It is something special when a local resident takes time out of their day to attend a meeting, stand up at the podium, and share their concerns. It doesn’t have to be scary, because we’re here to help you tell your conservation story. It is an honor and a duty to be part of this democracy and I would encourage you to attend and speak at your local delegation meeting.
I have and will continue to advocate for our greatest concerns this year. For the 2020 Legislative Session, FCV hopes to see…
- Climate action that includes a swift, equitable shift to clean renewal energy sources,
- Water quality policies that will hold polluters accountable and reduce harmful pollution from flowing into our precious water bodies,
- Full funding for vital water and land conservation programs, like Florida Forever and the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program, and
- Inclusive policies that maintain our democracy so that all Floridians have a chance to be engaged in the political process.
What keeps you up at night? Are you hopeful for a bright future in Florida? If you had three minutes with your Senator and Representative, what would you tell her or him? Tell your elected officials that 2020 is the year to take action. We have a clear vision for our environment, our health, and the future of our communities – and we need your voice to elevate our environmental needs in the Capitol.
Below, we’ve included a schedule of some of the delegation meetings happening across the state. Our Suggested Talking Points may give you a good idea on how to approach your lawmakers.
|Bay County||Oct. 1||1 – 5 p.m.||Bay County Government Building, 840 W 11th St., Panama City, FL 32401||(850) 747-5454|
|Manatee County||Oct. 2||9 a.m.||1112 Manatee Ave, West, Bradenton, FL||[email protected]|
|Palm Beach County||Oct. 3||9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.||Norton Museum of Art, 1450 Dixie Hwy, West Palm Beach FL 33401||561-355-3452 or [email protected]|
|Escambia County||Oct. 7||5:30 – 7:00 p.m.||Pensacola State College Jean and Paul Amos Performance Studio, 1000 College Boulevard Pensacola, FL. 32504.||(850) 595-1036 or [email protected]|
|Polk County||Oct. 7||1 – 6 p.m.||Polk State College Center for ublic Safety 1251 Jim Keene Boulevard, Winter Haven, FL 33880||863-688-3028|
|Charlotte County||Oct. 8||8:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.||Punta Gorda Isles Civic Association, 2001 Shreve Street, Punta Gorda 33950.||[email protected]|
|Lake County||Oct. 9||1:30 – 2:30 p.m.||Paul P. Williams Fine Arts Auditorium, Lake-Sumter State College, 9501 U.S. Highway 441, Leesburg, FL 34788||[email protected].|
|Pasco County||Oct. 11||8 – 11 a.m.||Performing Arts Center at Pasco-Hernando State College West Campus, 10230 Ridge Road, New Port Richey, FL 34654||[email protected] or (727) 861-4806|
|Collier County||Pct. 3||9 a.m.||North Collier Regional Park, 15000 Livinston Rd. Naples, FL 34109||(239) 417-6200 or [email protected]|
|Lee County||Oct. 30||9 a.m. – 5 p.m.||Florida Southwestern State College, Nursing Building (Room AA-177), 8099 College Pkwy, Fort Myers, FL 33919||239-772-1291 or by email to|
|Palm Beach County||Oct. 31||9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.||4000 Morikami Park Rd, Delray Beach, FL 33446||561-355-3452 or [email protected]|
|Hernando County||Nov. 18||1 – 4 p.m.||Hernando County Government Center, 20 N Main Street, Courtroom A, 2nd Floor, Brooksville, FL 34601||[email protected]|
|Osceola County||Nov. 19||9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.||1 Courthouse Square, 4th Floor, Commission Chambers, Kissimmee, FL 34741||407-742-2275|
|Palm Beach County||Dec. 3||9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.||15845 Southern Boulevard, Loxahatchee, FL 33470||561-355-3452 or [email protected]|
Suggested Talking Points:
- I’m a Conservation Voter. Protecting our environment and our democracy are important to me and my family. Our economy and quality of life are dependent on a clean and healthy environment. What bills will you file this year to help restore or protect what’s left of natural Florida?
- Last year was one of the worst environmental disasters in memory. Countless numbers of dead fish and marine life washed up on our shores as we were poisoned with toxic algae and red tide for months. Yet, the legislature refused to pass even one single new law to prevent water pollution. What are you going to do differently this year to make sure Florida’s waters and our health are safe?
- The climate crisis is now a full-blown emergency. Scientists have said that humanity has less than 12 years to get on the right track or society as we know it is doomed. What are your plans to drastically cut carbon emissions in Florida and reduce our reliance on dirty fossil fuels? Also, who in state government is standing in our way from making progress?
- It’s been five years since voters overwhelmingly approved the Water & Land Conservation Amendment. Yet, the Legislature still has not restored substantial regular funding to our most water and land conservation program, Florida Forever. Can I count on your active support in advocating for full funding for Florida Forever in this year’s budget appropriations process? Will you speak up publicly?
- Ensuring that all eligible citizens have easy access to vote is paramount to our republic. Many other states have same-day-registration or automatic voter registration, yet here in Florida, we do not. Do you support ideas like this to ensure maximum voter turnout?
- Nearly 1000 people are moving to Florida every day. It’s been proven that developing within urban service boundaries first and incorporating more walkable communities puts less strain on our water and economic resources. Three new toll roads could open up vast amounts of rural landscape for unchecked development, putting a strain on natural resources and our quality of life, impacting our water, health, and wildlife. What are your plans to make sure that Florida is growing in a sustainable way and would you consider restoring Florida’s landmark Growth Management Act that was repealed nearly a decade ago?