“Awake The State” Rally To Be Held Today At Senate President Andy Gardiner’s Office

    Former state legislator Linda Stewart, health care advocate Kathleen Voss Woolrich and local environmentalist Maria Bolton will be featured speakers.


    By Jacob Engels


    According to a press release sent out by Organize Florida head and ethical government crusader Stephanie Porta, a statewide progressive group billed “Awake The State” will use the opening day of the legislative session to unveil a bold and progressive agenda that aims to build a Florida that works for all Floridians. Awake The State started as a Facebook group a few years back and has blossomed into a statewide movement.


    Starting with a rally at Senate President Andy Gardiner’s district office at 4:30PM, simultaneous Awake The State grassroots events will occur state throughout the state this afternoon. The five core focuses of the Awake The State rallies were voted on by nearly 2,000 Floridians and activists.


    Expand Health Care: Implements expansion of Florida’s Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act to close the coverage gap. Expansion would provide access to quality health care for nearly one million Floridians who lack basic health security.


    Water Protection Act: Requires the Department of Environmental Protection to establish minimum flow levels for first and second magnitude springs; requires local governments to adopt seasonal fertilizer ordinances; bans the process known as “fracking” statewide. Florida faces a major challenge in both water quality and quantity and needs to take substantial steps to protect our water.


    Clean Energy Act: Requires the state of Florida to receive 40% of its energy from non-nuclear renewable sources by 2030. Florida faces serious challenges due to the global threat of climate change, and we should immediately position our state to take advantage of increasingly cheap sources of renewable energy.


    Living Wage Amendment: Proposes an amendment to the Florida Constitution raising the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour, indexed to inflation. Floridians who work hard should be able to pay for basics like food and rent, provide for their families, and contribute to their local economy.


    Anti-Corruption Act: Lowers the individual campaign contribution limit to $250, allows Floridians who contribute to state and local campaigns to request a rebate of up to $25. This proposal would restrict the influence of big money in campaigns, empower small donors, and provide the foundation for a more citizen funded election process.


    “Every year under Rick Scott and his allies, we’ve had to fend off regressive policies including attacks on public education, working families and women’s health,” said Amy Ritter, Political Director for Organize Now. “We won’t stop fighting these attacks, but this year Awake The State is putting forward a progressive vision for what Gov. Scott and his legislative allies could – and should – do to build a Florida that works for all Floridians,” said Ritter.


    Other guests at the rally include Clayton Ferrara (Executive Director of IDEAS for Us), East Orlando resident Alex Rivera and Clint Cuyler – a proponent of the Fight for $15 movement.


    The event will take place at 1013 East Michigan Street, Orlando, FL 32806 at 4:30PM. You should contact Amy Ritter at 954-254-6301 if you would like more information.


    Jacob Engels, is the Founder of East Orlando Post & Seminole County Post. He is a seasoned political operative who has led numerous statewide political groups and has worked on several high-profile local, statewide, and national races. Jacob has been interviewed on national television & radio programs, with his work having been featured in the Orlando Sentinel, New York Times, Washington Post, Miami Herald and other publications nationwide. He can be reached at info@eastorlandopost.com