Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Contact Representatives to Oppose HB 1 ✊


HB 1 was created to silence and criminalize everyday Floridians from speaking out for justice.

Governor DeSantis made this bill his top priority for 2021 legislation, despite an ongoing pandemic and social unrest.  He would rather silence Floridians than offer real solutions.

Call before noon on Wednesday!

These bills are not needed. Violence, destruction of property, and seditious acts are already prohibited by law. HB1 is overbroad and vague in defining an “unlawful assembly,” opening nearly endless possibilities for abuse.

The health of our communities and our local and state economies are intrinsically linked to the health of our natural resources. Conservation organizations like ours work to inform decision makers and drive policy regarding environmental issues in Florida and off our coasts. We use a variety of tools to carry out our respective missions to better Florida’s environment, including litigation, science, media, lobbying, and various forms of assembly. Floridians rally, protest, march, sign wave, and gather in vigils to better Florida’s environment. There is a rich history of public protest in the interest of protecting and restoring Florida’s natural resources. Recent examples include rallies to support increased funding for conservation land acquisition -- where ranchers stood alongside environmentalists -- and rallies by Floridians for Solar Choice: an alliance of libertarians, Christian Coalition conservatives, liberal environmentalists, and Tea Party groups aimed at securing the future for solar power in the state.

This legislation threatens our First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and assembly as tools for change. This stands to worsen discriminatory treatment of protestors and stifle protected speech. HB 1 would chill participation in protests because potential demonstrators would have to risk arrest and prosecution for “riot” just for being in the vicinity of others who might choose to perform unlawful acts. Even our large scale Climate Marches could be subject to this additional burden of participation.

People travel from around the world to visit our springs, rivers, beaches, bays, forests, wetlands, parks, and preserves. We live and work here because we enjoy Florida’s natural environment. These bills would undermine our ability to achieve our shared conservation goals and as a result would put at risk our very way of life.

 Please call the Judiciary Committee members and tell them you OPPOSE HB 1 for these reasons and more: 

  • This bill would undermine our ability to achieve conservation goals.
  • It would embolden bad actors who would violently harm peaceful protestors.
  • It creates a chilling effect on participation in climate marches, justice protests, and gatherings in favor of solar energy.
  • It would take away local decision making on law enforcement budgets and put natural resources at further risk of underfunding.

Call these Representatives before noon Wednesday.

Representative Tommy Gregory: (850) 717-5073
Representative Robert Brannan: (850) 717-5010
Representative Demi Busatta Cabrera: (850) 717-5114
Representative Wyman Duggan: (850) 717-5015
Representative Elizabeth Fetterhoff: (850) 717-5026
Representative Erin Grall: (850) 717-5054
Representative Scott Plakon: (850) 717-5029
Representative Spencer Roach: (850) 717-5079
Representative Michelle Salzman: (850) 717-5001
Representative John Snyder: (850) 717-5082
Representative Keith Truenow: (850) 717-5031
Representative Cord Byrd: (850) 717-5011