On April 23rd the DeSoto County Board of Commissioners will decide on approval of a settlement with the Mosaic Fertilizer Company that would allow the company to return to the Commission in 2023 with a re-zoning proposal that the Commission denied in 2018. If granted, Mosaic's proposed phosphate mining operation will devastate land in DeSoto County and drinking water supplies in neighboring coastal counties.
On April 3rd we were there when 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.
Opponents of the proposal are hoping their presence in large numbers at the meeting will encourage the Commissioners to vote against the mediation proposal.
Fifteen members of Englewood Indivisible attended the April 3rd mediation in Arcadia. Can we improve on those numbers on Tuesday?
Here are the details:
What: DeSoto Board of County Commissioners Meeting — with vote on Mosaic settlement
When: Tuesday, April 23 at 3:00 PM
Where: 201 East Oak Street, Suite 103, Arcadia 34266
If you want to carpool from Englewood with us, please email EnglewoodIndivisible@gmail.com with your phone number.
Any member of the public can make a verbal comment when this agenda item comes up for discussion. But even if you don't want to speak, please be there. Let's fill the meeting to standing room only so the commissioners know how much the public doesn't want this deal.
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 DeSoto County's beautiful rural landscape a barren moonscape.
Englewood Indivisible's next monthly meeting will be at 3:00 PM on Saturday, May 11th. We'll meet at the Elsie Quirk Library, 100 West Dearborn Street, Englewood 34223.
The community is welcome.
As always, we'll have our t-shirts and business cards available. We'll have our Indivisible Florida t-shirts for sale. Please bring your own business cards, as we like to patronize members' businesses.
Please also bring your filled out petitions to put expansion of Medicaid to more than half a million uninsured Floridians on the 2020 ballot. Read more about the campaign to expand Medicaid here. If you have collected petitions to put banning assault weapons on the ballot, please bring them to the meeting as well, and we will turn them in for you.
Indivisible groups around Florida are helping with a massive undertaking: getting one million petitions signed to put Medicaid expansion on the November 2020 ballot.
If you haven't yet signed the petition, please download it at the end of this post. If you have already signed it, how about your family members? Your friends? Members of your organizations?
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.
If it qualifies for the ballot, this petition 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:
In Sarasota, please take completed petitions to Fogartyville, 525 Kumquat Ct, Sarasota, FL 34236
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.
Otherwise, please mail completed petitions to:
Planned Parenthood of South, East, and North Florida
2300 North Florida Mango Road
West Palm Beach, Florida 33409
Thank you for doing this important work!