|Nov. 3 "Vote No on 1" rally in Sarasota|
On November 3, just days before Election Day, the breadth of the opposition to the anti-solar Amendment 1 was displayed in 12 cities across Florida when Tea Party and Libertarian voters joined forces with solar industry representatives, religious leaders, consumer advocates, and environmentalists to send a clear message to the public:
Vote No on anti-solar Amendment 1.
In Ft. Myers, Gainesville, Hollywood, Pensacola, Miami, Orlando, Sarasota, and Tallahassee, the events were held at or near early voting locations. Others gathered at City Hall in St. Petersburg, Riverwalk in Tampa, a residential solar array in Titusville, and City Dock in West Palm Beach. The state’s newspapers, TV News and radio stations were all over it with over 20 media stories covering the protests, press conferences and rallies statewide.
|Orlando: Nov. 3|
“Communities across the country are replacing fossil fuels with solar power at an increasing pace; we can’t let Florida utilities deceive voters and hold back the promise of solar energy in the sunshine state,” said Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club from the steps of St. Petersburg City Hall flanked by Pinellas County Commissioner Kenneth Welch, Mayor Rick Kriseman, city council members Karl Nurse, Darden Rice and and Lisa Wheeler-Brown and Tom Kimbis, National President of the Solar Energy Industries Association. See/listen here.
Recently released recordings show Florida utilities using misleading information to promote the amendment -- and utilities have also already spent more than $2 million pushing the amendment, which would actually raise the price on solar power for homeowners and businesses and drive out the state’s burgeoning solar industry.
“I'd like to see them take that $20 million and put it in a fund for low income people and elderly people to subsidize solar for them,” said Bishop Carroll R. Johnson, Jr., of Lifevision Church Orlando.
|West Palm Beach: Nov. 3|
It is not often that organizations from opposite ends of the political spectrum work together but the fight against Amendment 1 has brought the strangest of bedfellows together. In Tallahassee Catherine Baer, Tea Party Network Chair said: “As true conservatives, we value free market and competition. Big monopoly utility companies are spending tens of millions of dollars to trick voters into thinking that amendment 1 will promote solar power. However, Amendment 1 will pave the way for the utilities to make it more costly for you to generate your own solar power.”
Jonathan Webber, deputy director of Florida Conservation Voters spoke for everyone when he said “Amendment 1 is a wolf in sheep’s clothing designed to trick voters into keeping the utilities’ monopoly on our energy.”
Solar power is a rapidly growing industry nationwide, and the state should be following that lead to clean clean energy. “The people of the Gulf South, who live, work, and play along the Gulf of Mexico, are ready to transition into clean energy sources that lessen impacts to the environment, create a sustainable job market, and protect human health,” said Mary Gutierrez, Executive Director of Earth Action. “We will no longer allow big industry to dictate the type of energy source we want for our communities. We want our voices heard.”
|Tallahassee: Nov. 3|
Other elected officials spoke in Gainesville, Miami, Hollywood, Tampa, and West Palm Beach and included State Representative Lori Berman, Alachua County Commissioner Ken Cornell, Broward County Commissioner Beam Furr, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Daniela Levine Cava, Palm Beach County Commissioner Paulette Burdock, and Tampa City Council Member Quido Maniscalco.
Organizations and businesses participating in the statewide effort included: Sierra Club, The Tea Party Network, Florida Solar Energy Industry Association, League of Women Voters, SolarCity, ReThink Energy Florida, Solar Direct, Brilliant Harvest, U.S. Green Chamber of Commerce, Floridians for Solar Choice, First GREEN Bank, Citizens” Climate Lobby, The Energy Store, Space Coast Progressive Alliance, Organize Now, Infinite Energy, Inc., Audubon Society of Sarasota, Cutler Bay Solar Solutions, Florida Conservation Voters, Catalyst Miami, Women4Solar, Clean Renewable Energy Worldwide, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Lifevision Church Orlando, ESA Renewables, 15 Light Years, Solar Energy Industries Association, EarthSTEPS, Florida Council of Churches, The Florida Renewable Energy Association, Marine Resources Council, Solar Energy Systems of Brevard, Green Building Council Gulf Coast Chapter, Solar Impact, Vinyasun, American Institute of Architects Florida Chapter, For Our Future, and Earth Action, Inc.
Check out even more photos and videos too here.