Educating Our Way to the Florida Constitution.

Author:Higer, Michael J.
Position:President's page
 
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As I write this column, the Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) is travelling across the state conducting town hall meetings to engage all of us in a dialogue about proposed amendments to Florida's Constitution. Over the next several weeks, the CRC will complete its review, and by May 10, it will file the proposed amendments with the secretary of state for inclusion on the ballot for all of us to decide in the November 6 election.

Because this unique process occurs only in Florida and only every 20 years, it is not surprising that only one in 10 of us understand what the CRC does--which means most people do not. So the Bar has made serious efforts, through the Protect Florida Democracy public education program, to educate all Floridians with knowledge and information about the CRC. Why? Everyone needs to know the critical importance of their voice in the CRC process, which is to learn, participate, and vote on the amendments during general elections this fall. All of us make the final call when it comes to changing our state constitution--one of the most important documents there is--which determines how much power the citizens give to our state government and in what form.

It is my pleasure to report the Bar's Protect Florida Democracy campaign is going strong. While the CRC's various committees are hard at work considering proposed constitutional amendments, we too have made a lot of progress since our kickoff a few months ago. In order to spread the word, and attract attention to our educational website, protectfldemocracy.org, the Bar is engaging in a digital advertising campaign. More than 42.6 million impressions have been made thus far, according to board member Sandy Diamond, chair of the Bar's Special Committee on the 2017 Constitution Revision. The Bar's goal is to make many more millions of impressions through online ads. I'm proud to announce the Bar's website on the CRC process has had over 299,886 visits.

Other milestones by the Bar's effort to empower voters and enhance their knowledge are:

* Bar ads have made 804,387 radio "impressions," and there have been many articles about the Bar's campaign in newspapers and on TV and National Public Radio affiliates in Florida.

* The Bar has distributed thousands of its printed education guide, with one legislator alone requesting 10,000 copies for constituents and other lawmakers also requesting copies. The guide is available in libraries all over the state and is being...

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