Recently, I received an email from a new organization called Florida Conservation Voters. If you love Florida, you might want to take a moment to think about what it says, but first let me share my thoughts.
For several years, about 8 now, it has become clear that our political representation in Tallahassee has turned away from concern and care for what makes our great state what it is, its natural systems. Without its natural systems in robust good health, Florida's economy, which is so dependent upon a quality experience for the 100-plus million visitors that come to enjoy them each year, is doomed. Anyone who has lived here more than just few years can quickly recount examples of how much better our lakes, our forests, our coasts, our wildlife, our rivers - the list is endless - used to be.
On many occasions and political levels, I have lamented the fact that the state's natural environment, specifically its protection and restoration, has no real political voice. Yes, there are environmental groups like Audubon, Sierra Club and a host of other very prominent and effective conservation voices out there but most if not all of them raise money to exist and to pay for their ability to raise questions and educate about environmental issues of concern. None of these organizations, however, to my knowledge are lawfully authorized to be able to raise and spend money to contribute to a campaign or advocate the election or defeat of a specific politician as special interests and their lobbyists do. This has been a huge weakness, in my opinion, in the ability of the environmental community to be able to get the attention of elected officials the way special interests have. Simply and sadly put, money speaks.
The email I received from Florida Conservation Voters raises new hope that this weakness is being overcome and I for one am going to support it all I can. Whether you are a D, R, or I, please visit their website at http://www.fcvoters.org/ and support them. Your children and theirs will thank you. Here's the email:
From: Jonathan Webber <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: October 20, 2016 at 12:22:57 PM EDT
For too long, Tallahassee politicians have been allowed to vote against our environment at the Capitol, then claim to be environmental heroes during election time. It is our job (this means you, too!) to make sure our elected officials know that Florida’s environment is more than just a campaign talking point. No matter your party or district, Florida’s parks, waterways, and conservation lands matter to the future of our state.
Together, we are building a new movement in Florida – where conservation doesn’t have a party.
Florida Conservation Voters