The annual session of the Florida legislature is coming to a disappointing but all-too-familiar end for residents of Indian River County and the Treasure Coast.

Proposed legislation that would have addressed our most pressing needs suffered slow, painful deaths. These victims included measures that would protect the health of the Indian River Lagoon, protect the safety of residents threatened by Brightline trains speeding through our counties, and protecting and restoring our beaches suffering from widespread erosion.

A post-session autopsy would conclude that the proposed bills died of multiple causes, aggravated by negligence. The measures could not survive committee hearings, conflicting language in the Senate and House versions, and even a personal grudge between the sponsor of a bill regarding beach erosion and the house speaker.

Among the mourners are our Republican representatives in Tallahassee, Sen. Debbie Mayfield and Rep. Erin Grall. Both had vowed during their campaigns to fight for what matters most to the county and region. If this is their best effort on our behalf, we are in trouble.

Good intentions are not enough if you can’t persuade legislators that Indian River County deserves some attention. Instead, we are irrelevant, ignored and invisible.


If our Republican legislators cannot succeed with a Republican Legislature and a Republican governor, we clearly need change.

Elect Democrats to represent us. Elect a Democrat to the governor’s office. And even if we don’t flip the Legislature to blue, at least our voice may be heard.

Nicole Haagenson, an Air Force veteran running as a Democrat for the Florida Legislature District 54 position now held by Erin Grall noted,

“The Republicans in Tallahassee are taking Indian River County’s residents and their representatives for granted because they know the county is predominantly red.  None of the issues we care about are being acted upon because the Republican leadership does not have to court our voters. A Democratic win here this fall will get their attention, and that’s what I intend to do.”

Let’s put Indian River County on the map.

Join us.  Be Part of the Solution.

–Richard Leonard and Adriana de Kanter, Communications Committee