NOTES OF THE FLORIDA SIERRA CLUB MEETING on December 3, 2016


By Maryvonne Devensky 

 

1)Report By Paul Thibault re: JOHN MUIR  – 150th Anniversary Project  1867-2017

Paul Thibault, Sierra Club member, presented his research on the hike John Muir did from Fernandina Beach to Baldwin 147 miles (in 8 days) in October 1867. Start of trail at Park in FB. At the time 153 miles on the RR track.  An historical marker to honor John Muir was put by SC in 1983, at the Cedar Key Museum State Park.

Paul presented three projects at the Sierra Club meeting for 2017:

Two short term projects in 2017: Celebrate John Muir’s birth (April 21) and his walk in October 2017. Long term project: Create a John Muir Scenic Trail (or parts of it).

Note: Kids in Scotland are familiar with the 17 scenic trails named for John Muir. They hike the trails during school outings.

2) WEBINAR to ENGAGE NEW MEMBERS (Report by Alyssa, from Lox group)      Many new members are using Social Media, FB and Meet Up. A sponsored ad (Boost) on FB is $10.00 or $15.00. Get people involved and then give them a membership, or ask them to sign to be a member. National is spending money to advertise SC on the social media.

3)Report from Sierra Club staff: Phil Compton. St Petersburg is committed to 100% clean energy by 2035. The 20th city in the US to commit (Integrated Comprehensive Action Plan). Our biggest source of pollution now comes from cars, trucks and buses.                                                                                                                             At Kennedy Center, NASA is going to replace their 44 buses with EV buses. It will be the largest fleet of Electric buses in the USA.

4)Jon Ullman report re: Miami. Bus demo from BIV in Miami. Mayor said that he wanted to change to electric buses. Federal grant was given to Miami to buy 3 Electric buses. Dec. 24 is the deadline for proposal and in Feb 2017, they will buy 33 more buses. Miami is also planning to buy 300 LNG so Jon would like to see slowing down the LNG buses purchase.

5)FRANK JACKALONE REPORT. Workshop is happening today in South Bay: Stop The Burn! Go Green Harvest! Community workshop that is an Environmental Justice issue. Corporation knows that rural communities will not oppose burning of sugarcane. Cris Costello and Patrick Ferguson are doing this workshop today. Solution proposed: New machines are used to uproot the sugar cane without burning them. It’s done in Brazil, in Australia.  Health and people issue.  Mulching and cane trash is more valuable than smoke and ash.

Rally to support senator Negron’s EAA Land Purchase Plan and Save the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge. Fla SC will push for Negron plan to be about Everglades, Springs and all land and water resources.

Support against Sabal Trail and Southeast Connection pipelines need to be continued as long as people are opposing them.

Amendment #1:  Sierra Club spent $50,000 vs 40 M from the industry. Social media were crucial to bring success.

Canova in Broward co. wants to pass a constitutional amendment against fracking.

Ready for 100 Campaign: Cities like WPB, Jax, Ocala, Gainesville, Orlando, Miami 20 cities on the Fla map, with possible easy goals, attainable goals for 2035. A staff person will be hired for Miami-Dade. We have a grant from National, and a local grant donor…Three organizers can be hired for Ready for 100 and EV.

Wildlife Campaign will continue in 2017.

6) DAVE CULLEN REPORT – our Lobbyist in Tallahassee.  a) Dems are up 30% due to fair district amendment. Dems have 41 seats vs 39 seats two years ago. By having 1 more than the third of the house, it gives us some bargaining power.  b) Senator Negron has appointed democrats in Senate.  Leadership priorities: Higher Ed, EEA Land.

 

  1. c) COMMITTEES:                                                                                                                            

1) Appropriations

2) Commerce: now it includes Agriculture and Property Rights.

3) Natural Resources and Public Lands.  Senator Bradley is Vice Chair of Environmental Preservation and Conservation and Senator Lauren Brook is the Chair of that Committee. We will work with Senator Rodrigues who is on our side.

  1. d) MOST ISSUES TO WORK ON: Amendment 4;  BUY LAND AND SEND IT SOUTH (water in the Everglades); Fracking ban; Fertilizer; Growth Management; Real recycling;  Bears Manatees Panthers;  Park Conservation Land ;  Renewable energy improvement ;  Plastic bags, containers and styrofoam; Increase our Impact.
  2. e)  Suggestions: Volunteer constituents make a difference by influencing legislators and running for office. Process is Reactive and Proactive (by establishing relationships with the members elected officials).  Tell them what you want and ask them what they want.

Keep on going to their office, create friendships with staff and elected officer.

Notice of bills/ docs goes out only 7 days before a meeting, and 3 or 2 Days before House. Session is short with 60 days but only 45 working days.

Organize efforts to work with Senators first, then committees, chairs and members Leadership.  Know and work with the Staff. Increase the number and effectiveness of volunteer advocates. Use their feedback effectively.

We need to be disciplined about representing SCF positions in public meetings:  One club, One position.

LEGISLATIVE PLATFORM WILL BE SENT OUT BY DAVE CULLEN.