Opponents of Mosaic Fertilizer's plans to mine phosphate on 14,000 acres of rural DeSoto County filled the DeSoto County Commission's Boardroom on Wednesday April 3rd. About 15 members of Englewood Indivisible were there.
DeSoto County and Mosaic engaged in a formal dispute resolution session with a professional mediator. Under consideration was the County's proposal that Mosaic wait until 2023 and then begin anew its request to rezone 14,000 agricultural acres to mining. Mosaic ultimately accepted the proposal.
If permitted, the mining would allow Mosaic to pour millions of gallons of waste into Horse Creek which flows into the Peace River, a source of our drinking water. Mosaic would also cover huge tracts of the mining site with slightly radioactive clay byproduct, making the beautiful rural landscape a barren moonscape.
Last July, the DeSoto County Commission denied Mosaic's zoning request. Mosaic countered with the request for the mediated dispute resolution.
The process went on all day. First, affected landowners weighed in on the county's proposal. Then environmental organizations which had testified in the July hearing spoke. They all encouraged the county to reject Mosaic's bid outright: "No means no," said several.
At the close of the testimony, the mediator alternated closed sessions with Mosaic and County Attorney Donald Conn. The agreement, which must be approved by the commissioners on April 23rd, was not announced until April 4th.
Punta Gorda FL - February 19 2019: One hundred protesters lined the sidewalks of Olympia Street at Taylor outside the Old Courthouse this morning, raising alarm about the state of emergency declared last Friday by President Trump.
Area residents were prompted to join the protest by concern that the “Trumped-up emergency” is an assault on our Constitution’s system of checks and balances. Englewood Indivisible and Indivisible Action Southwest Florida led the protest.
Motorists honked approval of the protesters' signs, which found numerous ways to debunk the "emergency" as an end-run around Congress. Some signs opposed the border wall for which Trump declared the emergency after Congress denied it funding.
Two people in a jeep with a Trump flag and an aggressively used megaphone got almost as much news coverage as the hundred protesters.
You can see photos of the protest here.
During the protest members of Englewood Indivisible delivered three petitions to Congressman Greg Steube to his office in the Old Courthouse. The three petitions, signed by hundreds of Englewood residents, call on Rep. Steube: to vote for measures to mitigate red tide; to vote for common-sense gun legislation; to tell President Trump to stop calling the media “the enemy of the people.” A copy of the cover letter delivered with the petitions can be seen here.
It was disappointing that Congressman Steube issued a statement to the Sun newspapers in support of the wall. His statement repeated Trump's false claim connecting a border wall with stopping drugs coming into the country. Drugs come mainly through the legal ports of entry.
An eagerly awaited petition to expand health coverage to over 700,000 low-income Floridian adults is ready to circulate! You can download it at the end of this post.
The petition calls for expanding Medicaid coverage to adults whose incomes are too low to purchase "Obamacare" coverage. Past Florida governors and legislatures have failed to act, and so far all signs point to the newly elected Florida officials taking the same position. (The 8 Democrats in Florida's Congressional delegation have called on Governor Ron DeSantis to expand Medicaid.)
Expanding Medicaid to cover low-income adults can be expected to save taxpayer funds and increase state revenue, according to a Florida Policy Institute study.
This ballot initiative will give the people of Florida a say. In Maine, Idaho, Utah, and Nebraska, all as red or redder than Florida, voters have passed measures to expand Medicaid.
The downloadable petition is a 2-page PDF file, which must be printed out as a 2-sided document. (If your printer can't print or copy 2-sided, then email EnglewoodIndivisible@gmail.com to request printed petitions.)
Here are some pointers for circulating the petition:
Please mail completed petitions to:
Paige ArmstrongPlanned Parenthood of South, East, and North Florida2300 North Florida Mango RoadWest Palm Beach, Florida 33409
If you are near Englewood, you can also bring the petitions you've collected to Englewood Indivisible at its weekly social events, at the Englewood Farmers Market on Thursdays or at the February 16th monthly meeting.
Thank you for doing this important work!
Indivisible groups throughout Florida have signed onto a letter to elected representatives, calling on them to issue strong statements refuting recent “irresponsible and inflammatory” statements by President Donald Trump that are being amplified by elected Republicans, Fox News and other right-wing media. “His attacks on anyone supporting the Democratic Party (or seeking to oppose his increasing authoritarianism) are now painting us as an angry mob of radical, violent anarchists,” the letter continues.
Englewood Indivisible sent the letter (full text below) on October 29th via tweet to Senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio, Rep. Tom Rooney and Governor Rick Scott.
A news release announcing the letter to local media outlets stated: “Although written last week, the letter is particularly poignant today, following the massacre at the synagogue in Pittsburgh and the bombs sent to Democrats by a man inspired by Donald Trump’s rhetoric.”
The letter describes how the hundreds of thousands of Indivisible and other activists have found and used their voices for peaceful protest: “We know how to direct our anger into constructive action, lawful protest and winning elections. We’ve been doing it for two years. We will not apologize for it and we will not be deterred.“
In the letter, the Indivisible groups tell their elected representatives “We need you to come forward with definitive and unflinching rebuttal of these hateful and cynical assertions. We urge you and all responsible elected officials to firmly refute this attempt to further divide our country which creates a dangerous environment for the open expression of political views.”
This is the text of the letter:
October 27 2018
To our elected representatives:
We are writing to you on behalf of our Indivisible group members because we are alarmed and frightened by the current wave of propaganda manufactured by POTUS, GOP strategists, politicians and the right wing spin machine. Fox News, GOP politicians, and right-wing pundits are parroting President’s Trump irresponsible and inflammatory rhetoric. His attacks on anyone supporting the Democratic Party (or seeking to oppose his increasing authoritarianism) are now painting us as an angry mob of radical, violent anarchists.
We need you to come forward with definitive and unflinching rebuttal of these hateful and cynical assertions. We urge you and all responsible elected officials to firmly refute this attempt to further divide our country which creates a dangerous environment for the open expression of political views.
This is who we ARE. Nationwide, we are mothers, sisters, daughters, wives, aunts and grandmothers – and the men who love us and join us in a sincere effort to protect our democracy and our democratic values. Our efforts are local as well as national, and in the effort to protect the environment, we are world wide.
In Florida, we are joined by the wait staff who had no income this summer as the red tide kept diners away from our shoreline restaurants. We are the captains whose boats were never booked for sunset cruises and fishing expeditions all summer. We are the homeowners who live on the coastline and could not open a window or walk the beach all summer. We are the parents and teachers who watch our children wear masks to walk to school.
We have formed activist groups from our living rooms, phone-banked, met with our elected representatives, marched peacefully, registered voters, canvassed, and written letters to the editor. Over ten million of us marched in the two Women’s Marches - peacefully. Our engagement in the political process has changed the political landscape. It is this change that the GOP fears and seeks to undermine and destroy.