Keeping up with the Senate
As I promised on my April 4th, 2019 podcast episode on Cannabis Queen Radio, here’s a step by step description of how I got on my “Ciara: and “Leveled Up” my Florida resident game in regards to tracking and using my voice to speak to my Florida representatives in the Florida Senate. Now I am “Keeping Up with the Senate”.
I had a conversation where I agreed with another Florida resident who confessed to me that they wouldn’t even know where to start in exercising their right to voice opinions to our representatives. Many amazing people plan and travel to our state capital and perform demonstrations and present their perspective in the chamber. I admire these advocates and hope to join them in Tallahassee in the years to come. In the meanwhile, I confessed to being lost in that department, even though I am in constant contact with a variety of advocates that travel the state. (If you live outside of Florida, check to see if your state has this tool and sign up.)
Since the passing of Ermias Joseph Asghedom on March 31, 2019, known professionally as Nipsey Hussle, urban communities across the United States are seeing an example of how one person with the cards stacked against them can overcome and get involved in assisting to evolve our low income communities by working together with the government. Nipsey was an American rapper and songwriter from Los Angeles, California that was able to establish outreach programs and community centers in the same hood he grew up dodging bullets in. He leveled up. An example I am taking very seriously.
I decided to look into the process, get involved and share it with anyone else desiring to do the same.
Did you know that the Florida Senate and the House of Representatives each have a user-friendly website where “we the people” can easily track everything? These tools make it easier for residents to level up and get involved in government affairs without having to take time off to physically be at the capital. We should still head to Tallahassee when we can. (Stay tuned, I will be posting a separate blog to a break down of the website for the House of Representatives as well.)
What did I figure out?
First I googled (of course) and found the website for the Florida Senate. I immediately created an account to access the information and start tracking senators, committees, bills, etc. Of course you don’t have to set up the account to read and access but I found it advantageous to have the ability to track.
As you can see in the screenshot above, my name is now displayed at the upper right-hand corner of the website signaling I am logged in. I proceeded to click on the Senators tab and began tracking my representatives in the senate. #adulting
That was easy! Now what?
I proceeded to track these folks by clicking on their links and clicking on the toggle button on their page.
By this time I was feeling real good about my level up. Here’s an example of a committee I chose to track. The Health Policy Committee.
I am excited to receive notifications of meetings before-hand and to have the ability to see the meetings for myself and to listen to the representatives first-hand. Now it was time to track the current session and bills to be presented.
Regular sessions of the Legislature begin on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March and continue for 60 consecutive days, which may be extended by a three-fifths vote of each house. Special sessions may be called by the Governor, or may be convened by joint proclamation of the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Special sessions may not exceed 20 days, unless extended by a three-fifths vote of each house.
Elected officials of our government are supposed to be just that, representatives of our voice. We, the people. They need to hear from us in order to represent us properly. It goes much further than voting every so often. It is time that all of us start stop being quiet and start getting vocal.
If you find this blog post useful, please share it so that another person can become inspired to start speaking up outside of social media.