By Jeniffer Viscarra, Commissioner
(Monday, July 10, 2023) – Most cities are not like Sunny Isles Beach. And most of Florida is not like South Florida. Yet, when a new state law is created, it applies across all counties and municipalities, whether coastal, rural, or industrial. Sometimes that means that a law intended to help a particular kind of area hurts another part of the state. How can we help our city avoid the burden of such unintended consequences? The answer is: Sunny Isles Beach’s first Legislative Advocacy Program, whose focus will be non-partisan municipal and Home Rule issues. Senator Jason Pizzo, Scott Dudley (from the Florida League of Cities), Representative Fabián Basabe, and I introduced the concept at the Town Hall meeting on July 6. The intended role of the Advocacy Program is to prepare, guide and assist residents to support or oppose bills during the legislative session.
Many bills are introduced each year. The tricky part is knowing whom to contact and on what issues. While communicating with your elected officials is an excellent start, reaching out to the members of individual committees as they prepare to vote on a bill that would impact us is generally more effective. My goal is for the Legislative Advocacy Program to identify bills of concern and the members who need to hear from you, as well as provide sample emails you can use. We need to be heard by senators and state representatives who are not familiar with us and how their policies affect us. Your voice matters! The Legislative Advocacy Program will help carry it to Tallahassee.