2018 has arrived.
I was appointed to the Constitution Revision Commission, that meets only once every 20 years, last February, by Senate President Joe Negron (https://www.flcrc.gov). After a dizzying time, I’d say, I feel like I am finally catching my stride. The entire experience has been a lot like when I moved to Berlin, Germany in 1989. It was cold and I did not speak the language, but after many months of study and applying myself, it started to feel natural.
I have learned the CRC history; mastered the insane elevator system at the Capitol; gotten insight into the complexities of power and politics; met people from all over the state with their own serious issues; recognized the incredible importance of staff and of journalists; have learned how to run an effective legislative-style meeting; and how to stand my ground on a vote.
I have tried to apply the “5-Cs” that an army general taught me years ago…. Communication, Collaboration, Compromise, Cooperation, and Consensus…
As you may know, I sponsored 5 CRC environmental proposals. These came from the public’s submittals on-line, or from a public hearing earlier last year. One was a former citizen’s initiative. Today I will review where I am and where I think things are going.
The proposal that has gotten the most attention as well as the most push back–with 4 AIF hired Gunster lawyers, one a former Supreme Court Justice, fighting tooth and nail—has been P23, “A Right to Clean and Healthful Environment.” It was workshopped and heard by the Judicial Committee and I expect it to be voted on Friday, January 12, 2018. Due to the controversy, the prognosis does not look good, but it has raised environmental awareness for all of the proposals, and in my opinion made the business and government community look desperate to hold on to Florida’s “standard environmental operating procedure” that puts corporations and development before people. This power will not last forever, and we are all dependent on Florida’s good nature for our “riches.” —A search will pull up a multitude of editorials, news articles, and opinions, on this subject.
Two others will also be heard this coming week. P24 “Commissioner Environmental Protection”and P48 “FWC/Wildlife Corridors.” Both of these will be discussed and voted on by the Executive Committee of which I happen to sit on. P48 would allow FWC to protect habitat not just species. This seems a no brainer as how can you have species without protecting their habitat; but private property and development rights play into the equation so it will be a fight. I look forward to the discussion and for all of us to realize that one way or another, the only way to approach Florida’s growth filled future is with the pragmatic goal of statewide living wildlife corridors, connected and protected lands.
P24 would establish a Commissioner of Environmental Protection. A cabinet position. Just like Agriculture. Since the environment is linked to our number one state income generator–tourism it seems the time has come….challenging power structures is always a wrestling match, but this is one we can win.
The following week, on January 18, I expect to go before the Legislative Committee for P46, “Clarifying Language in Amendment 1 2014, or Land Acquisition Trust Fund.” It was heard once already but “temporarily postponed” to requests by committee and myself to work on the language. Sue Mullins and Clay Henderson are backbone of this proposal, know the background, etc., and I am fortunate to have their expertise.
I expect on January 19 to go before the Declaration of Rights Committee for P91,”No gas and oil drilling in Florida’s territorial waters.”
P91 is the only one of the five proposals to have “passed committee” in December. What is so amazing to me about this proposal is its timeliness. When I took it on, I actually first thought to myself, “You know, isn’t this kind of pase’? The River Kidz were protesting oil drilling with Surfrider Foundation in 2012. This won’t happen here…” But because it was past citizens’ initiative, and the language had already been reviewed, and because Manley Fuller who is a legend in the environmental community and the president of the Florida Wildlife Federation brought it to my attention, recommending I support it, I submitted the proposal three minutes before the deadline.
Now many months have passed and things have quickly changed. As headlines explode with oil drilling and federal opening of submerged lands including Floirda’s…it seems serendipitous that this proposal is lined up for the CRC, every Florida politician — regardless of party affiliation, and the diverse citizens of the state of Florida to support.
Some people would call it a “God-wink;” I like to think so. I will fight for every proposal, but it sure is nice to feel the wind at my back.
See CRC Calendars here: https://www.flcrc.gov/Meetings/Calendars/2017
To write committees mentioned above in support or with concerns see Committee Tab here and then link to committee: https://www.flcrc.gov/Committees
Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch is Chair of General Provisions, her proposals can be viewed here, and she can be emailed from this link: https://www.flcrc.gov/Commissioners/Thurlow-Lippisch
12 thoughts on “What’s Up With Me and the CRC? January 2018”
Hi Jacqui and first, thanks for all that you do for our planet and all of its inhabitants.
I am fairly new to your efforts and I am really pleased about the efforts that you are putting forth with P23 and “A Right to Clean and Healthful Environment”
I am a Canadian who lived in Naples for 12 year and now for the past 5 I am sharing my time with Naples and Saskatchewan Canada. In Canada I am helping lead the team in Saskatchewan to get “The Right to a Healthy Environment”, David Suzuki’s initiative into Canada’s Constitution.
With my time in Naples, amongst other things, I organized the first environmental rally there at the Pier April 14, 2007 when rallies were held Nation-Wide and this movement then morphed into 350.org.I would love to talk to you more and to offer my support and I can be reached at the email address below. Dianne.
Great work and thank you, do you feel like the environment is gaining some ground?
Maybe we can get back to the good old days in Florida!
Wouldn’t that be great!
Clean water. What a concept!😀
Thanks for your hard work and perseverence for our environment!
Here is something for you to take to Tallahassee —– My mom’s sister lives in an area in Millageville Georgia . It is a well to do area that has a lot of retired doctors—Judges and politicians. It’s on N.W.O’conors street. My point is wildlife and people live and interact daily here. In fact it is like a refuge that the creatures come to because they know they will not be hunted and all the dogs do not run free but are kept fenced in or on leash. People are coming to Florida and politicians should not be beating them up but make there living here a positive thing. We still have dark sky places where there is no light pollution that a person could still bring out their telescopes and see the stars. I believe people can live and interact with the environment but it will take a new way of thinking and making laws.
I think we all owe a vote of thanks to Senator Joe Negron for selecting exactly the right person to represent us on the CRC. Jacqui rocks!
Thanks Mr or Mrs Anonymous!
The first anonymous is me Brent— We are all human and we all make mistakes —until Joe Negron fesses up and starts telling the truth about how to fix the lagoon I will most certainly NOT be a fan of him.