Saturday, April 27, 2019

Poor People’s Campaign in the Glades

On Thursday, April 18, the Florida Poor People's Campaign held a field hearing in Belle Glade at the Sierra Club office as part of the National Emergency Truth and Poverty Tour organized by the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival.  The Poor People’s Campaign (PPC), originally led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. has been revived under the leadership of Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis. PPC’s Moral Agenda addresses the following issues afflicting the poor: systemic racism, poverty and inequality, war economy and militarism, ecological devastation, and “our nation's distorted morality.”  The Belle Glade field hearing was the final stop of a week-long tour across Florida and was organized to allow local and regional elected decision makers to hear directly from their constituents. While no local electeds were present, attendees were pleased that U.S. Congressman Alcee Hastings sent an aide to listen and report back.
The field hearing began with words of wisdom and music shared by Seminole Tribe member Samuel Tommie, a resident of the Big Cypress Reservation. Tommie spoke about the need for the healing of the land, water and air, the sacredness of water to the Seminole people, his Tribe’s long ties to the Everglades, and how much that unique ecosystem has suffered. He expressed concern over the poverty in the Glades region and the polluted water in nearby canals where he often sees people fishing. He blessed the audience by sprinkling water he brought from cypress domes in his reservation that black bears and panthers often drink. One of the flute songs he shared came to him during a long walk around Lake Okeechobee.


Steve Messam, a businessman, leadership development consultant, and associate pastor, born and raised in the Glades and the son of a Jamaican migrant sugar field worker, opened with a prayer, and then introduced the crowd to the injustice of the current sugar field burning regulations. He shared how affluent communities living east of the Glades are protected from the ash and smoke (“black snow”) by wind-based burn restrictions while those living in the midst of the fields are not and how his family suffers from respiratory issues during cane burning season. He challenged the sugar industry to modernize by switching to green  harvesting which would produce jobs and economic opportunity for his community. “We’ve always known there is a problem. It’s just that since it’s always been this way no one has been speaking up. Well, that’s changed because we’re here, we’re not going anywhere, and we’re just asking the industry to be good neighbors, stop burning, go green and let us be able to enjoy this community where we were born and raised and where we live, work and play…”


Daniel Jones, with the national Poor People’s Campaign, recounted the immoral policies coming out of Tallahassee, and those who benefit from them. “They have a rich people’s campaign coming after us, we need a poor people’s campaign to counter that”.  His message of hope to the Glades was: “We see you, we love you, we support you and we want to figure out how do we build… the kind of power that can really start to change policies, start to change the narrative”.  Martin County resident Michael Panella shared that when 22 years old, he was among those that took part in the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign in Washington DC.  He said “it changed my life” and that it led him to dedicate his life to the civil rights movement.  Panella’s remarks were followed by the singing of the famous “Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around” song, with just a slight change in lyrics: “Ain’t gonna let Big Sugar turn me ‘round, I’m gonna keep on a walkin’, keep on a talkin’, marching up to freedom land.”


Shanique Scott, former mayor and commissioner of the City of South Bay, and owner of a local youth dance studio, described hearing from her constituents who asked “what are we going to do about sugar burning?”  She said “we have to wash our cars, no one is sending us checks for that… we have to pressure clean our homes.. It’s a cost that is associated with injustice.”  Many of her dance students suffer from asthma and bring their breathing machines to practice. She shared her frustration when doctors say “you need to move” because of course not everyone has the option to move. She talked about the burning close to schools and homes and showed a photo she took of her neighbor’s house when she honestly thought the house was on fire. She said the first time she heard of Sierra Club was from a sugar company itself and debunked the false claim that Sierra Club contacted her.  She mentioned that the big sugar company owners don’t live in the Glades, “their kids do not have to suffer from billows of smoke for 8 months…that's why I’m speaking up…whatever title I have, I’m going to speak up on behalf of the City of South Bay, Belle Glade, and Pahokee, because the Glades is where we live and this is our home.”


Kina Phillips, a sixth generation Glades resident, inspired all with her reasons for fighting against the burning: “I have to do the fight that I don’t want my kids to do…I’m not going to leave…on them to fight something we should and our ancestors before us should have done already…  The community says “Our Soil is Our Fortune” [but] we have allowed a company to come in and…kill us slowly with what belongs to us.”  She shared her concerns that their soil is disappearing because it’s not being taken care of like it should and about pesticides sprayed by airplanes on the fields in her community.  Phillips described how her daughter was a student at Rosenwald Elementary School when it had to be evacuated due to smoke from burning sugarcane fields around the school, and how she had to fight to get school improvements.  She shared her frustration that the sugar companies get whatever they want because of the relationships they have with elected leadership that they help put in office. She said it’s “racial injustice” that some people get protections and warnings while others do not and described how the industry has attempted to intimidate her personally.  Lastly, she detailed how the industry sent out mailers full of false statements about Sierra Club but has never reached out to the local activists to invite them to the table: “They are trying to make it seem as though the Sierra Club .. brainwashed us… the Sierra Club didn’t come at us, we went [to] Sierra Club”.  And then jokingly she said, “we probably brainwashed them into our stuff!”


Colin Walkes, a former Mayor of Pahokee, shared how vital it is for the voices of the people, not the industry, to speak out and be heard because they do want change: “They speak it under the trees…in their cars...in their homes” but that it is very difficult to speak out freely if they feel their livelihood could possibly be threatened. He shared how his own family worked hard in the fields and some even died in them, and thanks to their sacrifices, their children didn’t have to. He detailed how the community is trying to address preterm births and infant mortality, which happen at an alarming rate in the Glades. He believes that there are numerous environmental factors that could be contributing, including pregnant women being medicated with steroids for their respiratory issues and older houses with lead paint and asbestos.


Maria Gonzalez, a Pahokee resident who provides family support at a daycare for children of migrant workers, the majority of whom work for the sugar industry, spoke passionately about the many kids suffering from asthma problems, but whose parents have a difficult time getting the help they need, and that many are afraid to speak out. She explained that a big area of need is educating them about their legal rights as immigrants, as is the lack of affordable housing; rents are too expensive. She often sees even three different families living together in small two-bedroom trailers.  She recounted her advocacy attempts, thus far unsuccessful, to improve housing conditions for local workers and noted that Pahokee still has not recovered from Hurricane Irma, which continues to aggravate the longstanding problem. She spoke of her hopes that the Poor People’s Campaign and the Sierra Club can help elevate their struggles.

Catherine Martinez, a Belle Glade resident actively involved with Palm Beach Chapter of the League of Women Voters spoke passionately about how “voting is power...politicians pay attention to communities that vote”.  She shared that it has been a challenge to get people registered and to come out to vote in the Glades but that addressing this challenge is critical to meet the needs of the people here.  She rang the alarm about how the Florida legislature is considering laws that would weaken Amendment 4, which was passed by voters in 2017 to reinstate voting rights to ex-felons, and then closed her remarks with a prayer.

Rev Theoharris, Co-Chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, via a recorded message, shared that movements begin with the telling of untold stories. She said that the country needs to hear them, weep and then take up action and that she believes that those gathered are part of the “new and unsettling force” that Dr. Martin Luther King spoke about.

Donna Cotterell with the Florida Poor People’s Campaign, who moderated the hearing, gave the closing remarks. She stated that our country has abundant resources to protect the environment and ensure dignified lives for all people and that the problem is one of priorities as more and more wealth flows into the pockets of a small but powerful few and into a bloated Pentagon budget. She then led all in a song to remind that we are indeed the “new and unsettling force” and that “we’ve got nothing to lose but our chains.”

Click here to watch the full inspirational hearing. Below are play time periods for the various speakers.
00:30 - 22:20 - Samuel Tommie
23:30 - 34:36 - Steve Messam
35:10 - 40:00 - Daniel Jones
41:50 - 54:20 - Shanique Scott
55:15 - 1:29:00 - Kina Phillips
1:22:15 - 1:27:10 - Colin Walkes
1:27:42 - 1:39:30 - Maria Gonzalez
1:39:37 - 1:44:50 - Catherine Martinez
1:46:15 - 1:48:00 - Reverend Dr. Liz Theoharis
1:48:10 - 1:52:00 - Donna Cotterell

More photos can be found here and here.

To learn more about the Florida Poor People's Campaign, contact florida@poorpeoplescampaign.org or visit their Facebook page.

"There are millions of poor people in this country who have very little,
or even nothing, to lose. If they can be helped to take action together, 
they will do so with a freedom and a power that will be
a new and unsettling force in our complacent national life” - Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.







Thursday, April 25, 2019

Call your Representative NOW: Don't let toll roads decimate FL Panther and Black Bear habitat!

We need you to make another call to save Florida wildlife!

The full House will address HB 7113, the catastrophic plan to build hundreds of miles of new toll roads into rural Florida, in the next few days. 

Check out this map to see what is at risk.  Your call is needed right now.

These tollways will fragment natural landscapes, accelerate urban sprawl, destroy wetlands, and doom plans to preserve and restore critical wildlife corridors for animals like the Florida black bear and the endangered Florida panther. 

YOU can help STOP this. CALL your representative NOW.  
We make it easy:
  • Call 1-347-767-2063.
  • A brief message will explain why HB 7113/SB 7068 is bad for Florida.
  • You will then be immediately connected with your state representative’s office.  
  • If someone picks up, give your name and your zip code, and leave this message:  I urge my representative to VOTE NO on SB 7068 and HB 7113.  
  • If no one answers, leave the same message and include your name and zip code.
Thank you for contacting your representative.  We must do everything we can to protect the last of rural, wild Florida from unwanted, expensive toll roads.  Please get everyone you can to make a call too.


Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Fake Billboard for a Fake Claim

“SAFE Communities” is at it again, making false claims that insult the intelligence.  This time it is with a photo-shopped picture of a fake anti-Sierra Club billboard.  “SAFE” is using social media to distribute the clearly photo-shopped graphic superimposed on a billboard.  Not only does the billboard not exist, but the billboard used for this trick actually is found far away from the Glades, near St. Augustine, Florida.

Photo-shopped billboard photo shared by “SAFE Communities” on social media. 
If you look closely, you can see how the photo does not fit well (look at left side of billboard).  Another giveaway is the fact that this company's billboards no longer carry the CBS logo!

Actual billboard near St. Augustine (credit: Google, StreetView, November 2018)
While the fake billboard is a laughing matter, the current economic situation in the Glades certainly is not. Statistics show that the Glades have some of the highest poverty and unemployment rates in Florida: Take a look here.

The real question is how many jobs could the industry create if they stopped burning and switched to green harvesting?  Where green harvesting is practiced elsewhere we know the trash is utilized to create commercial mulch (in Australia), biochar (in Louisiana), and biofuels and electricity (in Brazil).

One example of the green harvesting job creation potential in Florida comes straight from an economic impact study for a proposed Brazilian-style biofuels plant in nearby Highlands County. The study projects the plant would create 60 full-time high-paying green jobs and nearly 700 indirect and induced jobs.  Check it out here. In addition to creating new jobs, the proposed plant would provide a new revenue stream for local sugar growers by utilizing sugarcane trash rather than sending it up in smoke.

The sugar industry has now resorted to spreading their fake narrative on a fake billboard.  What will they come up with next?

It is time the sugar industry stopped investing in promoting fake conspiracy theories about the Sierra Club and start investing in the health, welfare, and economic future of Glades residents. It is time to switch to green harvesting!

Want more information?  Contact: patrick.ferguson@sierraclub.org

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Call your Senator NOW: Don't let toll roads devour natural Florida

The full senate will vote tomorrow (Wednesday, April 24) on the catastrophic plan to build hundreds of miles of new toll roads into rural Florida. 

Check out this map to see what is at risk.  Your call is needed right now.


Credit:  FDOT
These tollways will fragment natural landscapes, accelerate urban sprawl, destroy wetlands, and doom plans to preserve and restore critical wildlife corridors for animals like the Florida black bear and the endangered Florida panther. 

YOU can help STOP this -- CALL your senator NOW:
  • Click here to find your state senator.
  • Find your state senator's phone number below.
  • Call and leave this message:  VOTE NO on SB 7068.


FL Sen. Ben Albritton (R-26)       (850) 487-5026
FL Sen. Dennis Baxley (R-12)       (850) 487-5012
FL Sen. Aaron Bean (R-4)          (850) 487-5004
FL Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto (R-27)       (850) 487-5027
FL Sen. Lori Berman (D-31)         (850) 487-5031
FL Sen. Lauren Book (D-32)       (850) 487-5032
FL Sen. Randolph Bracy (D-11)       (850) 487-5011
FL Sen. Rob Bradley (R-5)       (850) 487-5005
FL Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-24)       (850) 487-5024
FL Sen. Oscar Braynon (D-35)       (850) 487-5035
FL Sen. Doug Broxson (R-1)       (850) 487-5001
FL Sen. Janet Cruz (D-18)       (850) 487-5018
FL Sen. Manny Diaz (R-36)       (850) 487-5036
FL Sen. Gary Farmer (D-34)       (850) 487-5034
FL Sen. Anitere Flores (R-39)       (850) 487-5039
FL Sen. George Gainer (R-2)       (850) 487-5002
FL Sen. Bill Galvano (R-21)       (850) 487-5021
FL Sen. Audrey Gibson (D-6)       (850) 487-5006
FL Sen. Joe Gruters (R-23)       (850) 487-5023
FL Sen. Gayle Harrell (R-25)       (850) 487-5025
FL Sen. Ed Hooper (R-16)       (850) 487-5016
FL Sen. Travis Hutson (R-7)       (850) 487-5007
FL Sen. Tom Lee (R-20)       (850) 487-5020
FL Sen. Debbie Mayfield (R-17)       (850) 487-5017
FL Sen. Bill Montford (D-3)       (850) 487-5003
FL Sen. Kathleen Passidomo (R-28)       (850) 487-5028
FL Sen. Keith Perry (R-8)       (850) 487-5008
FL Sen. Jason Pizzo (D-38)       (850) 487-5038
FL Sen. Bobby Powell (D-30)       (850) 487-5030
FL Sen. Kevin Rader (D-29)       (850) 487-5029
FL Sen. Jose Rodriguez (D-37)       (850) 487-5037
FL Sen. Darryl Rouson (D-19)       (850) 487-5019
FL Sen. David Simmons (R-9)       (850) 487-5009
FL Sen. Wilton Simpson (R-10)       (850) 487-5010
FL Sen. Kelli Stargel (R-22)       (850) 487-5022
FL Sen. Linda Stewart (D-13)       (850) 487-5013
FL Sen. Annette Taddeo (D-40)       (850) 487-5040
FL Sen. Perry Thurston (D-33)       (850) 487-5033
FL Sen. Victor "Vic" Torres (D-15)       (850) 487-5015
FL Sen. Tom Wright (R-14)       (850) 487-5014
Thank you for contacting your senator.  We must do everything we can to protect the last of rural, wild Florida from unwanted, expensive toll roads.  



Monday, April 22, 2019

Dear FL Senator: STOP THE TOLL ROAD DISASTER


April 22, 2019
The Honorable Senate
The Capitol
400 S. Monroe St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399

RE: Oppose proposed toll roads –SB 7068/HB 7113

To the Florida Senate:

The fifty-six (56) below-signed organizations ask that you oppose legislation that seeks to construct three toll roads through rural Florida. These highways will not reduce traffic or provide safety during hurricane events.

1000 Friends of Florida found in its Florida 2070 report that Florida is on track to increase developed land to a full third of the State in the next half century. Sprawl is not progress. These toll roads will cost Florida hundreds of thousands of acres of farms and rural lands and fragment landscape and wildlife habitat. The intended “benefits” of these toll roads include water and sewer infrastructure which, with on and off ramps, will accelerate urban sprawl. 

This legislation would carve three corridors through Florida’s undeveloped areas:
  • "Southwest-Central Florida Connector" extending from Collier County to Polk County; a previous highway planned for the route was called the Heartland Parkway
  • "Suncoast Connector" extending from Citrus County to Jefferson County
  • "Northern Turnpike Connector" extending from the northern terminus of the Florida Turnpike northwest to the Suncoast Parkway 

Building these roads will be very expensive. The funding would grow from $45 million next fiscal year to $90 million in the 2020-2021 fiscal year, about $135 million the next year, and a recurring amount of $140 million starting in the 2022-2023 fiscal year. And that’s just for planning. Billions will be bonded to actually build hundreds of miles of limited access highways. Florida will be paying off the debt for more than a generation instead of funding education, healthcare, or needed infrastructure for wastewater, drinking water, and the roads and bridges we already have.

These hugely expensive road projects and accompanying urban sprawl will devastate habitat for the Florida Panther and dozens of other endangered and threatened Florida species.  They will destroy important wetlands, forests, springs, and aquifer recharge areas from Florida Bay to the Georgia border even though they would not serve an identified transportation purpose. In fact, the FDOT Interstate 75 Relief Task Force recommended in 2016 that rather than new roads, a better approach was expanding the vehicle capacity of the interstate and connecting highways.

Transit and planning relieve congestion, not building roads. Relieving congestion in urban areas requires a focus on transit. The American Society of Civil Engineers’ 2016 Report Card notes that only 2% of Floridians’ commutes to work were made by public transit and that Florida needs to develop and connect its transit networks with an additional $1.3 billion investment.

Road building is not a sustainable economic development strategy for rural communities.  In fact, these roads will route traffic away from communities established on existing roads, harming their economies.

New tollways through west-central Florida are not the answer to hurricane preparedness.
Floridians need more safe spaces in their communities to shelter during storms; only 42% of schools are designated hurricane shelters, indicating many schools do not meet the structural requirements.  Providing safe shelters for evacuees is a more practical and affordable response to extreme weather events than new toll expressways.

We urge you to spend Florida tax payer dollars wisely and reject the toll roads.

Sincerely,

1000 Friends of Florida
Thomas Hawkins, Policy & Planning Director

Aquatics for Life
Susan Steinhauser, President

Audubon Everglades
Scott Zucker, Vice President & Conservation Co-Chair

ASBRO LLC.
E. Allen Stewart III, P.E. Managing Partner

Bullsugar Alliance
Alex Gillen, Policy Director

Center for Biological Diversity
Jaclyn Lopez, Florida Director

Catalyst Miami
Gretchen Beesing, CEO

Chart 411
Lucinda Johnston, Executive Director

City of Seminole Community Garden
Mary Ann Kirk, Garden Coordinator

Clean Water Coalition of Indian River County
Judy Orcutt, Vice President
Conservancy of Southwest Florida

Nicole Johnson, Director of Environmental Policy

Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast
Christine P. Johnson, President

Defenders of Wildlife
Kent L. Wimmer, AICP, Senior Representative

Englewood Indivisible
Jane Hunter, Leader

Environmental Confederation of Southwest Florida (ECOSWF)
Becky Ayech, President

Environment Florida
Jennifer Rubiello, State Director

Florida Bay Forever - Save Our Waters
Elizabeth Jolin, Director

Florida Conservation Voters
Aliki Moncrief, Executive Director

Florida Native Plant Society
Susan Carr, President

Florida Native Plant Society, Conradina Chapter
Carol Hebert, President

Florida PIRG
Matt Casale, Transportation Campaign Director

Florida Voices for Health
Scott Darius, Executive Director

Florida Water Conservation Trust
Terry Brant, Legislative Chairman

Forging Alliances, Inc.
Alexander Easdale, Owner/Principal

Friends of the Everglades
Philip Kushlan, President

Hands Along The Water
Samantha Gentrup, President

Ichetucknee Alliance, Inc.
John D. Jopling, President

Indivisible Clay County
Sandy Goldman, Chair

Indivisible Mandarin
Karen Droege, Chair

International Dark Sky Association, FL Chapter
Diana Umpierre, Chair

Izaak Walton League of America, Florida Keys Chapter
Michael F. Chenoweth, President

League of Women Voters of Florida
Patricia Brigham, President

Lobby For Animals
Thomas Ponce, Founder/President

Martin County Conservation Alliance
Donna Melzer, Chair

Miakka Community Club
Cathy Lewis

NW St. Johns County United for Progress
Richard Chapman, President

Our Santa Fe River, Inc.
Michael Roth, President

Peace Justice Sustainability Florida
Alice Wujciak,  Member Activist

Peacehome Campaigns
David Gibson, Organizing Director

Pelican Island Audubon
Richard Baker, Ph.D., President

Progress Florida
Mark Ferrulo, Executive Director

Rainbow River Conservation, Inc.
Burton Eno, PhD, President

Rebah Farm
Carol Ahearn, Owner

Responsible Growth Management Coalition
Connie Langmann, President

Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation
Rae Ann Wessel, Natural Resource Policy Director

Santa Fe Lake Dwellers Association Inc. (SFLDA)
Jill McGuire, President

Save the Manatee Club
Katie Tripp, Ph.D., Director of Science and Conservation

Seminole United Methodist Church Community Garden
Bob Huttick, Garden Coordinator

Sierra Club Florida
Frank Jackalone, Chapter Director

South Florida Wildlands Association
Matthew Schwartz, Executive Director

Space Coast Progressive Alliance
Philip E. Stasik, President

Speak Up Wekiva, Inc.
Chuck O’Neal, President

Springs Eternal Project
John Moran, Co-director

St. Johns Riverkeeper
Lisa Rinaman, Riverkeeper

Stone Crab Alliance
Karen Dwyer, Ph.D., Co-founder

Sunshine Citizens, Inc.
Christopher Vela, President


Good, Bad, Ugly, and Ugliest List for Florida's Environment: Earth Day 2019

THE UGLY
  • Climate change is hitting Florida harder every year with higher temperatures, stronger hurricanes, and rising seas.Toxic algae blooms have become an annual ever-worsening statewide crisis.
  • Legislature refuses to follow the will of voters on Amendment One, grossly underfunding land acquisition through the Florida Forever and Rural Family Lands Protection programs. 
  • Anti-Voter bills threaten democracy in Florida.
  • THE UGLIEST:  Toll Roads bill is the worst environmental bill in 20 years. It would fuel massive sprawl which would destroy much of natural and rural Florida.  It would also increase water pollution, flooding, and deplete our natural resources.
THE BAD
  • Bills that ban all forms of fracking are hung up in the Legislature.
  • Bills that preempt local regulation on issues of environmental concern result in no regulation.
  • Governor talks climate change mitigation, but has no plan to address the root cause. 
  • Legislature only talks red tide mitigation; it has no plan to stop the pollution, which makes red tide worse, at its source.
  • Everglades Reservoir is badly designed – a boondoggle if not fixed.
  • Springs restoration continues to get short shrift.
  • Donald Trump wants to conduct seismic blasting off Florida’s Atlantic coast and oil drilling in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico closer to Florida’s west coast.  He just appointed an oil industry lobbyist to head the Department of Interior. 
THE GOOD
  • Florida cities making strong commitments to convert to 100% renewable energy and clean transportation.
  • Homeowners and businesses are adding rooftop solar at record rates.
  • Florida Agriculture Commissioner’s opposition to drilling in the Everglades.
  • Governor DeSantis is talking the environmental talk, but will he walk the walk? Will he veto bad environmental bills?


Sunday, April 14, 2019

URGENT! Ask your legislators to STOP catastrophic and costly tollways from destroying rural Florida

A catastrophic plan for hundreds of miles of new toll roads into rural Florida is advancing quickly in the Florida Legislature. Senate Bill 7068 and House Bill 7113 would commit the state to spend billions of dollars to build three new tollways through some of the last remaining rural and environmentally sensitive areas in our state. See a map of what’s at risk.


Credit:  FDOT

The tollway plan would divert an escalating amount of dollars from the state’s General Revenue, which funds parks, schools, healthcare, transit, affordable housing, hurricane recovery, and the maintenance of roads we already have. 

Even then, the state would still have to borrow billions more for construction and to buy land for right-of-ways. Our Florida tax money would be spent to the tune of $10 - $40 million per mile for hundreds of miles of new toll roads! This extravagant spending plan is unnecessary and will hurt the real and more pressing needs of Florida’s families. 

Moreover, these tollways will fragment natural landscapes, accelerate urban sprawl, destroy wetlands, and doom plans to preserve and restore critical wildlife corridors for animals like the Florida black bear and the endangered Florida panther. 

YOU can help STOP this. Here’s how:

1st and foremost:  Call your state legislators NOW

  • Calls are the most effective way to direct your legislators to vote NO on the destructive bills. Go here to find out who your FL state senator and state representative are.
  • Then, call (614) 610-1203.
  • A brief message will explain why your legislators must VOTE NO on SB 7068 and HB 7113.
  • It will immediately proceed to connect you with your state senator’s office. Demand they VOTE NO on SB 7068. If they do not answer, leave a message demanding the same.
  • After you complete that call, you will receive a text with a prompt with a separate phone number to call your state representative. Demand they VOTE NO on HB 7113.

2nd most important action: send your legislators an email (with a personal message if possible!)

While phone calls are the more effective way to make your demands known, if you’re not comfortable with calling (or have already called them), make sure to click here to send them an email asking them to vote NO on SB 7068 and its companion bill, HB 7113.

Add a personal message with your own reasons for why these toll roads must be stopped. You can also customize the subject line of the email. Personalizing emails makes a HUGE difference!

Thank you for contacting your legislators and asking them to protect the last of rural, wild Florida from unwanted expensive toll roads, to NOT PAVE PARADISE with more highways, to say NO to #TollRoadkill.


Roadkill, a dead gopher tortoise (a FL-designated threatened species)