The right to vote is a core principle of our republic. Many Floridians – often people of color and low-income communities – are subject to increased barriers in the political process. When Floridians act on their right to vote, they hold their lawmakers accountable for protecting our environment.
FCV believes that threats to our planet and our democracy are intertwined. We are committed to ensuring fair and just participation in the electoral process by all Floridians, and we believe that access to voting is an essential foundation for citizens to engage in issues such as safe drinking water, air quality, or affordable clean energy. When our environment suffers, so do people. But all people do not suffer equally. Air pollution, flooding, and sea-level rise are just a few of the environmental challenges that have disproportionate consequences for communities of color and low-income communities, which is why racial and economic justice are at the center of our work.
Democracy is key to FCV’s mission, as FCV was born out of the successful Land and Water Conservation Amendment in 2014, which began as a citizens’ initiative. We are staunch advocates for the citizens’ initiatives process, which allows citizens to amend the Florida constitution by proposing amendments that the public then votes for or against. We believe this is one of the best tools for direct-democracy that we have in Florida and are committed to defending it against attacks by the legislature.
We also believe in fair elections and unfettered access to the ballot box, and we seek to empower voters to exercise their rights. Along with many other partners, we pushed for the successful passage of Amendment 4, the Voting Rights Restoration Act in 2018, which automatically restores the right to vote to returning citizens. And in the summer of 2020 we launched Vote-By-Mail Florida, a digital organizing program, to ensure that Floridians can vote safely and securely during the COVID-19 pandemic.