How to Call Legislators re: Amendment 1

From Aliki Moncrief, Florida’s Water and Land Legacy

Instructions for Calling Legislators

The intent of the 4.2 million voters who voted Yes for Amendment 1 was clear: fund the Land Acquisition Trust Fund for the acquisition of parks and natural areas. Yet the budget proposals released by the Florida House and Senate appear to ignore the very reason that Florida voters approved Amendment 1.

Instead, both propose to spend millions to cover existing agency operating costs and other expenses that are not appropriate uses of Amendment 1 funds.

We need to defend the voters’ intent and Amendment 1 by calling these key legislators right away!

Sen. Andy Gardiner (Senate President): (850) 487-5013

Rep. Steve Crisafulli (Speaker of the House): (850) 717-5051

During Your Call
•Identify yourself. Tell the person answering the phone that you are a voter who voted YES on Amendment 1.
•Make contact with the right person. Calls are often taken by a staff member, and you may not get to speak with the legislator directly. Ask to speak or leave a message with the aide or staff person who is handling Amendment 1 budget recommendations.
•Leave a brief message. Below is a short statement (if you only have a minute to talk) and a longer statement if time allows. Please feel free to make this sample language your own.
•Follow up. Be sure to send a follow-up email thanking them for their time, and kindly reminding them that you will be monitoring the appropriations process with an eye towards how Amendment 1 dollars will be spent.

Short statement:

My name is _________ and I was one of the 75% of voters who voted YES on Amendment 1. I am calling Senator/Representative __________ because of his/her leadership role in deciding how Amendment 1 funds will be spent.

I am calling to express my disapproval with the House/Senate’s proposed budget on Amendment 1 spending. The proposal does not provide any money to purchase parks, wildlife habitat, or conservation lands through the Florida Forever conservation land acquisition program.

Long statement:

As a supporter of Amendment 1, I am very disappointed at the Tallahassee rhetoric that Florida already owns too much land.

Amendment 1 was approved by 75% of voters (4.2 million Floridians), because we want to see increased state spending to protect what remains of Florida’s undeveloped natural areas.

Yet now, the House/Senate has proposed to spend most Amendment 1 money on existing state agency operating expenses. Not a dime is going to Florida Forever in order to buy the last remaining parks, wildlife habitat, or natural areas that make our state such a great place to live.

Florida voters won’t tolerate another Lottery amendment.

So I am calling to ask you, ____________, to honor the intent of 4.2 million voters, the same Floridians you serve, and increase funding for the purchase of wildlife habitat, parks, and conservation lands under the Florida Forever conservation land acquisition program.

Florida is my home and I love this state as I know you do. Amendment 1 is for conservation. Please do the right thing. Save our natural gems before they are turned into strip malls and parking lots. Protect our legacy for our children and grandchildren.