Monday, August 24, 2009

Stop the political power-grab that has been leaving many Floridians without a voice

"It is time to rise up and reform! The issue is redistricting. And it's the dirty little secret of modern politics.
Right now, politicians get to draw their own districts most any way they want. And boy, do they. It's all designed to stifle competition and stack the deck before you even get to the polls."

- The Orlando Sentinel, 3/18/09
Redistricting is the once-a-decade process in which state legislators get to redraw the lines of their own districts in Florida. With no guidelines or standards in the Florida Constitution for drawing these districts, legislators have used the system to rig their districts in order to preserve and perpetuate their own power. To stop the political power-grab that has been leaving many Floridians without a voice, FairDistrictsFlorida.org has proposed two amendments to the Florida Constitution that would create fairness standards in the redistricting process. These fairness standards would prohibit legislators from drawing district lines for the purpose of favoring or disfavoring any incumbent or political party. The districts would have to be compact and community-based. These amendments have earned the unanimous endorsement of every major newspaper in the state. FairDistrictsFlorida.org has collected more than 1.4 million signed petitions so far – over 80% of what's needed to get these amendments on the ballot in 2010. But we are not there yet. The State of Florida charges a $.10 processing fee to turn these petitions in. That's a lot of money to raise if we want to stop the political favoritism in drawing district lines. Just last week, FairDistrictsFlorida.org launched 9/9/09: Donate for FairDistricts Day, the largest online fundraiser in Florida history. All across the state, Floridians are showing their overwhelming support by pledging to give and signing up to co-host this online event to raise the money for the turn-in fees! You can help in several important ways:
1. Pledge to give whatever you can afford on 9/9/09 – we'll remind you when the time comes.
2. Sign up to Co-Host the event – we'll send you links to track your success.
3. Email your family & friends – we've included an email you can copy & paste into a message to all of your contacts.
4. Spread the word – if you use Facebook and/or Twitter, we've included a status update you can copy and paste into Facebook and a tweet you can copy and paste in Twitter.
Check out our website to see the remarkable grassroots support for this online event so far...and if you haven't signed up yet, please, pledge right now to give on 9/9/09. 9/9/09 is getting closer every day…and so is fair redistricting in Florida! Let's all rise up and reform, and be a part of history…pledge today to give on 9.9.09!
Ellen Freidin Campaign Chair FairDistrictsFlorida.org
Copy and paste this into an email to your contacts: Every ten years, state legislators get to redraw the lines of Congressional and legislative districts in Florida. However, the Florida Constitution contains no guidelines or standards for drawing these districts. Not surprisingly, legislators have used the system to rig the districts in order to preserve their own power. Just listen to what some Florida newspapers are saying about this process:
"This is not a Republican or Democratic issue…" (Naples News, 8/11/09)
"Florida voters' rights are at stake – as is Florida's future well-being." (The Miami Herald, 6/21/09)
"The system is rigged." (St. Petersburg Times, 5/6/09)
FairDistrictsFlorida.org is standing up against the system by proposing two amendments to the Florida Constitution that would establish fairness standards and stop this political free-for-all. They've collected 1.4 million petitions towards getting those amendments on the ballot – now we need to help raise the money to turn them in! I just signed up to be an online Co-Host of 9/9/09: Donate for FairDistricts Day, the largest online fundraiser in Florida ever! Will you pledge to give towards this historic movement? Just follow this link and pledge to give on 9/9/09 here: http://www.fairdistrictflorida.org/9909 Together, we can change the course of Florida's history! Please, join me and pledge to give to FairDistrictsFlorida.org at the above link …we only have one chance to do this, and the time is now! Thanks,
Copy & paste this into Twitter: On 9/9/09 FairDistrictsFlorida.org will host the biggest online fundraiser in FL history. Pledge to give/cohost at http://tinyurl.com/m2xjtl
Copy & paste this into your Facebook status: On 9/9/09, FairDistrictsFlorida.org will host the biggest online fundraiser in Florida history. I just pledged to give. Will you help me make this fundraiser a success by going to http://www.FairDistrictsFlorida.org/9909 and joining the cause today?


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