On August 19, residents of Sarasota joined activists from the Florida Student Power Network, Central Florida Jobs With Justice, and Party for Socialism and Liberation in action outside Sarasota Ford, with a melting clock ice sculpture for demonstrate the urgency of spending the $ 3.5 trillion reconciliation. package that has just been adopted by the US Senate.
Event organizers urged members of Congress to embrace the comprehensive economic stimulus package that invests in climate justice, new jobs and the care economy. The event was one of more than 70 across the country urging support for the reconciliation bill with climate protections and care provisions, saying the bipartisan infrastructure deal is not enough to only him.
“We need representatives who stand up to the fossil fuel industry and the companies that pollute our waterways and endanger the health of our communities. We cannot trust Rep Buchanan when his pockets are filled with these industries. It takes money from big utility companies, oil and gas companies, Exxon Mobile and Chevron, Mosaic (the phosphate mining company) and Big Sugar. Vern Buchanan is our nation’s fourth richest congressman. Always follow the money with these politicians, ”said Mary-Elizabeth Estrada, event organizer and member of the Florida Student Power Network.
“We have a unique opportunity to address the most pressing challenges facing our community through large and bold investments in the infrastructure and jobs plan. For every dollar we invest in our communities, we create more jobs, update and expand critical infrastructure and ensure that everyone has access to basic necessities and services, ”said Estrada.
“In Florida, the climate crisis is affecting our community, especially communities of color and the working class, in real ways,” said Misha Robson, organizer of Jobs With Justice. “We experience heat stress, increasing storms and environmental issues like the red tide that get worse every year. We have supported the THRIVE Law and now the Reconciliation Budget and Infrastructure Bill as it is time to tackle the climate change issues that affect us in a bold and proactive way.
The action also caught the attention of Reid Morgan, an environmental activist who raised public awareness about the Piney Point toxic waste disaster in Manatee County. Reed explained that the phosphate mining chemicals spill in Tampa Bay wiped out half of the gains in a 15-year seagrass salvage project, and that a repeat of the April disaster is in. Classes.
“Over five years ago, Piney Point’s holding company, HRK Holdings, told the Scott administration that being a shell company, it did not have the money to make the necessary repairs at Piney Point. and she said there would be an overflow break-up scenario in the indefinite but not too distant future. The Scott administration ignored him, the DeSantis administration ignored him. So there you go, with the Piney Point disaster last spring, no one should really be surprised. And when you hear Republicans or the administration say it was unforeseen, that’s an absolute lie, ”Morgan added.
Local activist Lisa King also spoke of the urgent need to tackle interrelated environmental and social crises: “I am here because I now see the effects of climate change. I am here because we have no more time to waste. I am here because we have to do something, stand up, fight back, take back our planet. I call on you here, Vern Buchanan, to support the reconciliation budget – no cuts to the climate, no cuts to care jobs and the care economy.