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Know each candidate’s and official’s stand on water quality issues

By Staff | Jan 17, 2020

To the editor:

We’ve been dealing the past couple of years with very serious water pollution issues that have resulted in toxic algae and black nutrient laden waters that kill everything-including the tapegrass that manatees need to survive. We’ve had dead dolphin and even a whale wash up on local beaches due to this. Local fishermen are now reporting that fish have tumors and ulcers, they are taking photos of this and posting them on facebook.

As a kid in Florida back in the ’70s I lived on Fort Myers Beach. I remember when the waters were clear, blue and full of life. We used to have hundreds of crabs on our dock walls. We never had toxic algae or fish die offs back then.

So, what can we do about this? I worked across the aisle as an environmental organizer since I was a 15 year old. I am now a professional in my 40s. Over the years I have found the best indicator of what elected officials will do and how a state’s water quality is, is impacted by their voting record.

The League of Conservation Voters prints voting scorecards on water/environment. I’d like to ask you all to google them on your computer or phone and take a look at how all your elected official score. The scores are based on an analysis of how they vote on actual legislation. Right now the highest-scoring candidates on clean water are the Democrats across the board. Meanwhile their Republican counterparts vote against legislation that would keep our waters clean over and over. Why? Well it comes down to who donates to them-polluters like Koch industries and others.

Right now in our Presidential race, there is a candidate who has a PERFECT A+ environmental record. That is Elizabeth Warren. Warren also does not take money from polluter Big Sugar who lobbied over the years to weaken water protections with the South Florida Water Management District (go ahead and google this). This is why I have full confidence in her.

If we want clean water, we should consider voting for someone with a proven record on it who won’t be compromised. In Florida we depend on tourism. In Florida clean water is our economy, jobs and our health, without it, we all suffer. So we must vote for what is in our best interest.

If an elected official can’t make the grade, vote them OUT! No one controls who you vote for when you walk in that booth. But I hope this information is helpful in informing you who puts their money where their mouth is.

source: scorecard.lcv.org/

C.A.Hughes, MSW

Cape Coral