March 2018

The Rally to ban fracking will be on March 2, and there are several new Tallahassee events to get involved in. There is a February recap, and Tallahassee and Brevard chapter events are included inside. Internship and volunteer opportunities are available, and our causes and related events are as well.

As this legislative season draws to a close, we can reflect on all the amazing work we were able to accomplish. We couldn't have done it with out you! Let's keep on and continue to fight for a healthier, more sustainable future for all! 


This Month:

Statewide Events

Rally to Ban Fracking

  • March 2nd 11am

    • 100 SE Ocean Blvd, Stuart, FL 34994

  • There is very little time left in this legislative session and the Senate is stalling the fracking ban bill in its final committee-Appropriations Committee. Even though Senator Bradley has continuously refused to bring the bill forward, there is still something to be done. Senate President Negron has the power and ability to ensure that the bill is passed this year.

    • Will you join us to rally in front of the Martin County Courthouse to ban fracking and call on Senator Negron to BAN FRACKING in Florida? If you can’t, be sure to call these numbers to ask President Negron and Speaker Corcoran to hear the ban.

      • 1. House Speaker Richard Corcoran: 866-696-8249

        • When you get his office say: Your name and that you urge Speaker Corcoran to stand with Floridians- not Big Oil- by hearing the fracking ban bill.

      • 2. Senate President Joe Negron: 888-724-8943

        • When you get his office say: Your name and that you urge Senate President Negron to not play games with the House and hear the fracking ban.

 

Tallahassee Events 

North Florida Energy Whiz Olympics

  • March 3rd 9am-3pm

    • Leon High School Tennis Courts 550 E. Tennessee St. Tallahassee, FL 

  • Energy Whiz is a forum for students to demonstrate their S.T.E.M knowledge and skills as they relate to energy topics—such as solar thermal and photovoltaics (PV)—through friendly competition.

  • Junior Solar Sprints (Grades 3-8)

    • In this competition, students will design and race model solar powered cars with teams of 2-4. Elementary and Middle School students will be competing separately. Medals will be awarded for race time, innovation in design, and best design.

  • Solar Cook-Off (Grades 3-12)

    • In this competition, students will design a solar cooker and develop a recipe to cook in it with teams of 2-6. Elementary, Middle, and High School students will be competing separately. Medals will be awarded for cooker design and culinary expertise (recipe & taste).

    • If you’d like to watch the races and cook-off, come on out!

 

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March Lunch and Learn

  • March 21st 12pm-1pm

    • BL Perry Library 2817 S. Adams St. Tallahassee, FL 

  • This month's guest speaker will be TAPP (Think About Personal Pollution) coordinator, Courtney Schoen. 

  • Courtney Schoen will be leading a presentation specifically about TAPP's rain garden program. This program details the design of creating a rain garden, as well as how they are beneficial to our community.

 

Leon County Solar Co-Op Information Session III

  • March 27th 6pm-8pm

    • LeRoy Collins Public Library 1583 Pedrick Road, Tallahassee, FL 32317

  • Join us for the final information session to learn about solar energy and how the Leon County Solar Co-op simplifies the process of going solar.

 

Stay tuned for more information on Tampa Bay, Brevard, and Miami Chapter events!


February Recap:

Statewide Events

Jacksonville Rally & March to Ban Fracking & Offshore Drilling

  • Activists and community leaders gathered at Friendship Fountain to rally and march along Riverwalk to call on Senator Bradley to be a hero on pushing forward the fracking ban bill (SB 462).

    • Speakers included: St. Johns Riverkeeper Lisa Rinaman, Councilman Jim Love-City of Jacksonville, Fernandina Beach Mayor Johnny Miller, Erin Handy-Oceana, Brooke Errett-Food & Water Watch

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Tallahassee Chapter Events 

February Lunch and Learn

  • Last month, we were joined by Tabitha Frazier, a Leon Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor. She lead the discussion on the Leon Fruit and Nut Exchange. A community centered program that focuses on eliminating food waste by moving it forward to those in need. 
    • Don't worry if you missed us! There are still ways you can get involved with the Exchange.

      • To learn more, click HERE!  

 

Shore Stories

  • The event showcased several short films that explored the dangerous potential of offshore oil drilling. REF staff engaged attendees by informing them of future campaign plans, the need for public comment on new federal drilling guidelines, and encouraging them to join our local chapters.

    • Attendees submitted comments on the 2019-2024 Draft Proposed Plan for Offshore Oil Leasing.

 

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People's Hearing on Federal Offshore Drilling Plan

  • The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has proposed expanded offshore drilling in the Eastern Gulf, Atlantic, Arctic, and Pacific. This means Florida's beaches, economy, and way of life are in at risk.

    • The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management did not accept any public commentary during the meetings. In response, a group of environmental organizations in Florida including ReThink Energy Florida, Sierra Club Big Bend, Oceana Florida, Surfrider Foundation Florida Chapter, and many more set up in the conference room next door to the BOEM meeting on February 8th. Testimonies were given and recorded as official comments by the citizens of Florida. 

    • Citizens wore blue, carried signs and spoke in defense of our oceans!

 

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Pack the Committee

  • After learning that the fracking ban bill (SB 462) was not placed on the agenda for the first Appropriations Committee meeting, ReThink Staff and citizens of Tallahassee stood together in the committee meeting proudly wearing The Bradley Signal.

    • The absence of the fracking ban bill on the agenda has not quelled our passion or discouraged our efforts. We have not stopped the fight and will not until fracking is banned in Florida!

    • Stay tuned to learn more about how you can ensure fracking is banned in Florida!

 

Leon County Solar Co-op Information Session II

  • Neighbors across the county have formed the Leon County Solar Co-op with the help of Solar United Neighbors of Florida to make it easier to save money on the purchase of solar panels, while building a community of local solar supporters.

Brevard Chapter Events

Brevard Chapter Monthly Meeting

  • Members gathered at the Salty Fox to discuss sustainability and community involvement. The goals for this year were also brought up and discussed during this meeting.

    • Stay tuned for more info on March's meeting! 

Sustainability Summit

  • Satellite Beach Gold Standard Sustainability Board provided information and education to other sustainability boards that are emerging in an effort to aid them in building their plans and executing them.

    • Chapter Leader, Karen Wade also kicked off a coalition in coordination with the Brevard Zoo, Keep Brevard Beautiful (Tony Sasso), Jim Simmons (Melbourne Beach Mayor), S.E.A A Better Environment and Surfrider Foundation Florida Chapter. The coalition's main focus is tackling single use plastic. 

      • Please stay tuned for more information on this new coalition! 

Shore Stories-Melbourne 

  • A sister event to the one that took place in Tallahassee. Community members gathered alongside experts to watch six short films highlighting the grass roots resistance rising against off shore drilling. This event supported Brevard's persistent work to protect our coastal waters. 

Miami Chapter Events

Annual Climate Symposium 

  • The University of Miami's Department of Geological Sciences and the CLEO Institute hosted the 2018 Empowering Capable Climate Communications Symposium. The two day series focused on climate science, why climate change disruptions are so serious, and solutions regarding policy, education, renewable energy, and outreach.

    • Our very own Executive Director Kim Ross was there to lead the discussion on solutions regarding policy, renewable energy, education, and outreach.


Get Involved:

Tallahassee

  • Interns Needed! 

    • We currently have several intern positions open! Join our team and ignite change!

    • Our interns work approximately 10 hours a week, 6 of those hours being in the ReThink office and the remaining 4 hours spent working independently. Ideally, our interns work on our team for at least 2 consecutive semesters. We are actively searching for interns to fill the following roles: 

      • Development Coordinator 

      • Communications Coordinator 

      • Executive Assistant 

      • Tallahassee Outreach Coordinator

      • Volunteer Coordinator 

  • Outreach Events! 

    • Are you passionate about caring for the environment and serving your community? So are we! Join us in volunteering for one of our many events happening all around the state!

    • Volunteer Opportunities coming up near you!

Statewide

  • We are in need of regular ongoing help – from administrative work to social media support, to working on a campaign or event committee, to tabling with our organization’s outreach team. In particular, we are now looking for volunteers to help with our new chapters! If you can help with short or long term needs, reply to this email!
  • Interns Needed! - There are statewide opportunities to intern with ReThink! Our interns work approximately 10 hours a week, 6 of those hours being in the ReThink office and the remaining 4 hours spent working independently. Ideally, our interns work on our team for at least 2 consecutive semesters. We are actively searching for interns to fill the following roles: 
    • Tampa Bay, Miami, Brevard, and Orlando

      • Chapter Leaders, Outreach (Youth and Adult) and Volunteer Coordinators

    • Tampa Bay USF

      • Chapter Leaders (Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary)


Our Causes:

 Fracking

  • The month of February saw the escalating pressure that ReThink Energy Florida (REF) and its statewide partners put on Senate leadership pay off. After learning on January 31st--just after our successful statewide mobilization on Reclaiming Florida’s Future--that our bill would move, REF Headquarters in Tallahassee--in conjunction with our partners in the FLAF coalition--coordinated phonebanks, office visits, actions, and mobilizations in Tallahassee and in our chapter districts. As a result, both Senate committees which agreed to hear our ban bill saw massive attendance of disciplined fractivists and passed our ban bills unanimously.

    • Towards the last week in February, we began to turn our attention back to House Speaker Richard Corcoran, especially when we learned that the House would hear the bill if it passed through the Senate. Unfortunately, Senator Rob Bradley, who chaired the first committee to hear the bill, did not agenda our ban bill in its final committee.

      • Although the clock has run out on the traditional committee process, that is not the end. Senate President Negron and Speaker Corcoran have the power to bring the fracking ban up for a vote directly on the floor or by other means. Help us relay our demand to stop playing games with Florida’s water.
      • Please call!

        1. House Speaker Richard Corcoran: 866-696-8249

        When you get his office say: Your name and that you urge Speaker Corcoran to stand with Floridians- not Big Oil- by hearing the fracking ban bill.

        2. Senate President Joe Negron: 888-724-8943

        When you get his office say: Your name and that you urge Senate President Negron to not play games with the House and hear the fracking ban.

    • For more information, email Campaign Director Doug Miller at campaigns@rethinkenergyflorida.org.

 

Offshore Drilling

  • During February, REF headquarters continued to coordinate with our statewide network for the #Rigged no offshore drilling campaign. Our most prominent event was the Shore Stories screening in Tallahassee which took place on February 11th. Held in conjunction with Oceana and Surf Rider and bottom-lined by Associate Campaign Director Jacob Ross, “Shore Stories” showcased several short films that explored the dangerous potential of offshore drilling.

    • REF staff engaged attendees by informing them of future campaign plans, the need for public comment on new federal drilling guidelines, and encouraging them to join our local chapters.

  • Since the Shore Stories event, we’ve continued to strategize with the offshore drilling coalition on the next big opportunity to close Florida’s shores to dangerous oil and gas drilling--the Florida Constitutional Revision Commission’s (CRC’s) Proposal 91, which would prohibit offshore drilling in state waters (3 miles on the east coast, 9 miles on the west coast). Proposal 91 has already passed out of two CRC committees and will voted upon by the full CRC after this round public hearings including the final hearing in St Petersburg on March 13th.

    • To ensure that Proposal 91 passes on its third Committee, Jacob Ross will be working with leaders at REFs USF Chapter to recruit USF students for turnout at the event. In the meantime, we HIGHLY ENCOURAGE everyone to submit a public comment opposing offshore drilling to the Bureau of Ocean Energy. 

 

Renewable Energy

  • While REF continued to oppose dangerous extractive practices at the state government level, it also continued to push for renewable energy at the local level. To that end, REF headquarters in Tallahassee held several productive meetings with Leon County and the City of Tallahassee to learn more about their frameworks for their respective energy transition plans and Climate Action Plans. REF headquarters campaign and research and policy staff also continued to conduct research to build the Tally 35 coalition and prepare for a strategy meeting with local partners. Meanwhile, outside of Tallahassee, ReThink Chapters all across the state have been meeting to discuss sustainability improvements for their respective communities. Behind the scenes, our Research and Policy department continues to work on its mission of producing renewable energy education resources as well as investigating the policy initiatives from organizations like New York Renews to plan for future policy campaigns.

    • For more information, email Campaign Director Doug Miller at campaigns@rethinkenergyflorida.org.

 

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Climate Change

  • Thanks to funding from the Wallace Global Fund, ReThink Energy Florida kicks off a new campaign on Climate Change, which is designed to educate and empower Florida's citizens while transforming policy discussions in the state capital and in Washington DC. By educating the citizens of Florida, our team plans to engage the grassroots to leverage the unique position Florida is in, ensuring a national conversation on Climate Change and sea-level rise.

    • Be sure to stay tuned to Facebook, which will feature 11th hour stories and new science connecting the dots on sea level rise and climate change, as well as our Sea Level Rise Blog Series.  In February, we kicked of this series with a blog on how sea-level rise is encroaching on our military bases. 

 


 ReThink's Regional Chapters:

  • ReThink Energy Florida is actively expanding across the state, and in doing so, we have established 'ReThink Energy Regional Facebook Groups'. These groups support local chapters and are great online communities for concerned Floridians who seek to help make a difference in your regional communities. In addition, we have our statewide Facebook page and our statewide Facebook Group for sharing statewide activities!

  • If you are a member of the following communities, we strongly encourage you to follow these links to join your ReThink Energy Regional Groups!

  • If you live in a region of Florida not listed above and would like to start a regional group for your area, respond to this email and let us know!


ReThink Energy Florida t-shirts are now available! A portion of the proceeds goes to ReThink Energy Florida! Order yours here!

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Most of all, thank you for all of your continued support for our important mission! Since we are in the middle of the Florida legislative session and policy makers, right now, have the opportunity to make impactful change on the health of our environment, we must make our voices heard, hold our elected officials accountable, and support to our mission to ReThink Energy.

And as always, be sure to keep up with us on social media for more great events, news, and ways to get involved by following us on FacebookTwitterInstagramand Snapchat!

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