Advocacy Day 2019 in Tallahassee

Area Captain Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson with the OSFR group, along with UF political science student Nicolas Palumba, still standing at the end of the day.


Reclaiming Florida’s Future for All is the theme of Advocacy Day 2019.  Organized principally by ReThink Energy, many co-sponsors included Environment Florida, Food and Water Watch-Florida, Floridians Against Fracking, Physicians for Social Responsibility Florida, Sierra Club Florida, Center for Biological Diversity, Ignite Change, Florida Student Power Network, Earth Justice, Foundation for Florida Environmental Protection, Florida Native Plant Society, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and many more!

First stop is the registration desks to pick up information packets. Fracking super-opponent Craig Stevens, ReThink Energy director Kim Ross, phenomenal environmentalists Merrillee Malwitzk-Jipson, and (back turned) OSFR President Mike Roth.

OSFR was well represented, with four board members present and working.  The carefully-made, complicated schedule worked part of the time, with little leeway between meetings, and with meetings always in alternating Senate/House buildings, making for scurrying and searching.

Planning the attack. Orlando leader Eric Rollins, OSFR board member Kristin Rubin, Merrillee and Mike.

30 minutes was not enough for lunch, served several blocks away, even if it was free.  But your historian did not go hungry thanks to the Tampa Bay Bucs for a smile and a small bag containing a Cuban sandwich, cookie and chips, freely given in the Courtyard, much closer than the planned lunch on College St.

Another reason I am a bucs fan.

Sen. Bradley was not in, but assistant Tonya is very knowledgeable and up-to-date on all issues and can speak for the Senator. Here she converses with powerhouse advocate Amy Datz.

Various members of the OSFR core group, headed by Area Captain Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson, and including President Mike Roth, Kristin Rubin, Sarah Younger and your historian, visited several legislators/aides, including Bradley, Perry, Watson, Stone, Brannan, Clemons, and had walkbys with many others, some of which included Ferguson, Payne, Cummings, Montford and Galvano.

Clovis Watson is always a fun visit because he is on our side all the way. Terming out, we are sorry to lose this voice for the environment in Tallahassee. Clovis, please go to Washington.

The day was not a day for harvest but rather one for sowing seeds and hoping for later fruit.

Mr. Vogan was all we got representing Sen. Perry. His answers did not satisfy all those who asked. Our feeling here is that our voices may not have been heard.

Rep. Chuck Brannan from District 10, which we know well, listened patiently to our comments but made no committments. Present was Suwannee Riverkeeper John Quarterman from Georgia, carefully and consistently advocating for the Suwannee River basin.

Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
-A river is like a life: once taken, it cannot be brought back-