A beautiful Saturday afternoon in downtown Gainesville was an invitation for approximately 75 enthusiastic people who came out laden with signs and a message for Senator Bradley at the entrance to his office on West University Ave. Sen. Bradley, who was invited to the rally, did not show up but if he had, there were a lot of voting citizens who wanted him to hear what they had to say.
And what they had to say was that they do not want fracking in the State of Florida. That they want clean water in the aquifer and no poisons injected into it. And that they have no more patience with our so-called “representatives” in Tallahasse who are not representing the will of the people of Florida. HB 191 has just passed by our legislators who care more for money and industry than clean water, and SB 318 is poised for one more subcommittee and a floor vote this coming week.
The political climate is rapidly changing in Florida, thanks to people like those at the rally today, and the “good ‘ole boy” mindset and protocol is becoming a thing of the past. The power of the people is now coming to the forefront, and there will be some intransigent legislators who will not be back in Tallahassee if they are unable to change with the times.
Bills to ban fracking have been filed but those who can put them into the legislative process have chosen not to do so, ignoring the fact that a majority of Florida voters have expressed a wish to ban fracking in their districts.
Rallies took place today all over Florida, organized by the Floridians Against Fracking Coalition. The local organizer in Gainesville was OSFR policy director Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson. Many prominent local environmentalists were present, among them Margaret Tolbert, Marihelen Wheeler, Tracy Marinello, Vicki Machado and Alachua County Commissioner Ken Cornell. Also among the loyal group were mulitple members of OSFR.
Hats off to Policy Director Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson who put this rally together on short notice and made it one of the best this day in Florida. Education took place today and a step forward was taken in fulfilling the mission of Our Santa Fe River.