Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Greetings from Washington D.C.

FNGLA leaders discussing Immigration with Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-21):

September 13-

FNGLA President Halsey Beshears and President-Elect Wes Parrish joined FNGLA CEO Ben Bolusky and myself for a series of meetings with Florida's Congressional leaders in Washington D.C. We will be in meetings throughout the week, however we wanted to provide a brief update on our progress.

FNGLA is joining agricultural groups from around the country in this lobbying effort and our timely visit coincides with several committee hearings on the labor and Immigration issues which directly impact every FNGLA member. This morning following an extensive briefing FNGLA's team sat-in on the Committee on Education and Workforce hearing. Testifying before the committee were a nursery grower and several individuals who know first hand the shortcomings of the current H2-A guest worker program as well as the pitfalls of a mandatory E-Verify system being forced on employers.

Following the hearing, we met with several Florida officals including: Congressmen Deutch (D-19), Ross (R-12), Diaz-Balart (R-21) as well as Congresswoman Adams (R-24). The meetings provided a great opportunity to discuss several different guest worker propsals and to reinforce the negative impacts of well intended yet misguided approaches to the immigration issue. Clearly each of Florida's leaders with whom we met understand that any mandatory E-Verify legislation must be coupled with a functional guest worker program, otherwise we all lose!

In addition, we took the opportunity to discuss the ongoing battle with the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) proposed Numeric Nutrient Criteria for Florida waters. FNGLA members should be happy to know the vast majority of Florida's elected leaders understand the catastrophic impacts EPA's proposed rules will have on Florida's economy and the nursery and landscape industry.

Lastly, we continue to set the stage for the upcoming development and debate on the Farm Bill. As many FNGLA members are aware, the Farm Bill is a critical component to continuing Pest and Diesease Research, Inspections, Conservation programs, and as we have enjoyed over the past 4 years an increased emphasis on Specialty Crops such as Florida's diverse nursery industry. Early in this process, our meetings have helped to ensure commitments from key Congressional leaders to carry our banner during the Farm Bill debate.

FNGLA leaders discussing Immigration, Numeric Nutrient Criteria and UF/IFAS research funding with Congressman Dennis Ross (R-12)

Whew! Well as you can see there is much going on here in D.C. and your FNGLA team is making the most of every minute.

Thank you for being FNGLA members!!!


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Nursery and Landscape Industry responsible for all the problems in the nation and the state!

Nothing like a catchy headline to get your attention and hopefully peek your interest to read this post. Ever have the feeling, you know, what General George A. Custer felt like at the Little Big Horn? You know, where the hell did all of these "Indians" come from--

Well, in today's world, many business owners face a similar battle every day, although with a different outcome than Custer's, I hope. In the nursery and landscape industry, we have to constantly wrestle with consumer purchase patterns and interest, construction or lack thereof, environmental pressures, a growing list of regulatory programs and burdens, increased input costs for everything, decreases in plant and service prices, and now the labor issue has taken center stage at both the state and federal levels. For business owners, it has officially become a full- time job to protect your business -- which is a full-time job itself!

At this point I'm really feeling like the appropriate analogy for the current situation most closely mirrors a verse from a current country music song by Martina McBride: "I ain't complaining, but I am tired so I just saying what I think; and if I were being honest then honestly, I think I need a drink."

Logically, there must be a rational solution to these various issues, right? Yes, I personally believe there is. Yet, it requires each of us to get out of our comfort zones, maybe even just jump out of the box we've been in for years. Each of us has the opportunity to stop quietly surviving day-to-day and make a little noise. We need to become more of the squeaky wheel and less of the ostrich with our heads in the sand.

As an industry, I must say we've really backed ourselves into a corner. We allow groups like the Sierra Club to control city hall and the county commission chambers. Why? Because most of us can't even identify any of our city council members or our county commissioners. We've essentially stopped trying to develop any relationship with the government staff in these local settings. We seem to be content to not care what is done locally. If it gets to the point where it's overly bad, then we simply call on FNGLA to fix the problem for us in Tallahassee.

In the past that has worked. Yet, it's time the old dog learns a few new tricks. Each year, coming to Tallahassee to smack around a local government gets more and more difficult. Recent moves in Tallahassee to get rid of "regulatory functions" or de-regulate certain areas only pushes the duties to the local level. Surely, you know the old adage "Government closest to the people is best for the people." Not sure I totally agree with the statement, yet this is the transition through which we're going.

The same actions are required to address the impending labor/immigration battle which this state is going to face -- again. The Tea Party, the 9/12'ers, FLIMEN (Floridians for Immigration Enforcement)continue to stir the pot painting the ills of illegal immigrants to our state and economy. Their arguments are simple and resonate with folks who don't understand or don't care to think about the consequences. Ladies and gentlemen, each of us must start changing the discussion.

A recent poll indicated 82% of likely voters in Florida support strong state immigration laws. Well, it seems to me the question they should have asked is: "Do you support being dependent on foreign countries for your food supply?" Me thinks, that question would have a similarly strong response against foreign foods.

The groups mentioned above also love to tout the so-called "fact" that illegals don't pay taxes, they're slave labor and their employers pay them less than the minimum wage. Many Americans have bought into this thinking because, yet, again, most people don't understand the absolute absurdity with which these statements are predicated.

So, have you, taken the opportunity to dispel any of these falsities? Have you invited a newspaper reporter, or folks from your Rotary Club, Kiwanis, church, your kid's little league,...anybody? Since the most likely answer is no, then why not? Do you really believe a light is going to shine down from the heavens and policymakers are going to have a moment of clarity and reconsider what they will do?

No! We have to force their hand. We have to make them understand. We have to raise the pressure on them if they don't listen or try to demagogue the issue. We have to develop elected leaders locally and then support them regionally and statewide as they move up the ladders of leadership. Support doesn't just mean saying, "Hey, you're a really great leader." No, support means rolling up your sleeves and going to work. It means calling your neighbors and friends. It means sweat equity. It means money.

The stakes could not be higher or more important. This is your best chance to emerge from the fire as a leader, as an innovator and a champion for your business, your industry, your Association and your State.

Let's not be like Gen. Custer. Let's learn from his mistakes. Let's refuse to keep surviving and start living, start leading. Let's send the message that we're here to stay!

Until next time

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Democrats, Republicans and Independents Aside -- Constitutioinal Amendments Spell Disaster for Florida's Economy

A wise man once said, "During elections, leopards grow stripes and zebras get spots!" Florida's 2010 races continues to set new highs in buffoonery and "Wow, did that just happen?"

Regardless of your political leanings, personal convictions and moral compass, there is one critical item which everyone in Florida's nursery and landscape industry should agree is a bad idea..... Amendment 4 (aka "Hometown Democracy").

Typically, my Tallahassee Talk is a forum for "tongue in cheek" humor and irreverent commentary on political issues facing Florida's nursery and landscape industry. So, if you are expecting the typical posting, you will be dissapointed. :(

As we steam towards November 2nd, Floridians find ourselves pondering tough decisions as to whom to support as our state's next U.S. Senator, Governor, Chief Financial Officer, Attorney General and Commissioner of Agriculture. Collectively these decisions will set the stage for how Florida businesses recover from the slow economy.

However, there is a lesser publicized issue which appears on the 2010 Florida ballot. By all accounts, it will decimate Florida's economy, raise taxes, cost jobs and generally set Florida back 50 years. This lesser known issue can be found under the proposed Constitutional Amendment-- Proposed Amendment #4 (aka Hometown Democracy).

Although the monetary backers behind Amendment 4 have been trying to qualify for Florida's ballot for several years, this is the first time they've successfully met the criteria. So, the decision is now up to us Florida voters!!!!

So what is Amednment 4?

Amendment 4 is the ultimate growth regulator. In practice, Amendment 4 requires all changes to a local comprehensive plan to be placed on a ballot for citizen approval. This means road widenings, building new schools, growth in Florida's rural areas, any activity (good or bad) which requires a change in planning will have to be voted on by the residents within that local jurisdiction!

Well, I don't like my local government, maybe this Amendment 4 isn't so bad... Wrong! As aggravating as they sometimes are, local governments have staff who specialize in planning. When they vote on a comprehensive plan change, local elected officials are accountable to us voters at election time. Amendment 4 removes this accountability. Secondly, Amendment 4 is nothing more than a "lawyer relief act", meaning pro-development groups and anti-Development groups will be able to legally challenge the results of every citizen-voted change to the comp plan.

If you think I'm being sensational, just take a quick look at the city of St. Pete Beach. The small town of St. Pete Beach implemented a local version of Amendment 4 in 2006. The measure has decimated its economy, created chaos at the polls, and caused a proliferation of special interest lawsuits. To date, the citizens of St. Pete Beach have seen nearly a dozen lawsuits costing local taxpayers almost three-quarters of a million dollars in legal fees so far. When St. Pete Beach voters approved four pro-economy changes to their comprehensive plan in 2008, Amendment 4 lawyers sued to overturn the results of the election. Nearly two years later, the people of St. Pete Beach are still defending their vote in court. The St. Petersburg Times concluded Amendment 4 “invites short-term thinking and frequent referendums that are even more susceptible to well-financed campaigns by powerful interests.”

You think business is bad now.... If Amendment 4 passes "You ain't seen nothing yet!"

The Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association (FNGLA) has joined many other private groups, local governments and elected bodies opposing this misguided Amendment. FNGLA's Board of Directors approved a Public Policy Position Paper nearly 6 years ago. This paper was updated in 2009 for the current election cycle. Here is FNGLA's position:
FNGLA opposes the proposed Amendment 4 which will appear on the 2010 Florida election ballot because it will circumvent growth management policies; jeopardize private property rights; remove local government flexibility for economic growth; and, place all future growth management decisions in the hands of voters who, with little technical information and data, will be forced to cast votes in favor or against every proposed local comprehensive use plan change.

To view the entire policy please visit: http://www.fngla.org/political-center/policy-issues/

The bottom line is Amendment 4 is bad for business. It's bad for residents. It's bad for visitors. it's just bad!

Every Floridian should be opposed to proposed Constitutional initiatives such as Amendment 4. Yet, as outrageous as it sounds, Amendment 4 has a better than average chance of receiving the required 60% of votes necessary to be added to the state's Consititution.

As a result, we can ill-afford to allow any of our friends, family, colleagues and business associates to remain ignorant of the likely impacts of Amendment 4. FNGLA strongly encourages each of our members to visit the following link to learn more about Amendment 4: www.florida2010.org

This link contains information about the impacts of Amendment 4, information on how you can assist in the education of voters, the ability to contribute to the campaign to defeat Amendment 4, and talking points to disarm the "Naysayers"!

The success or failure of Amendment 4 rests in the hands of Florida's voters (i.e you and me)! The responsibility is ours. Are you up for the challenge? I know I am!

Until next time,

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Industry Survivial

Would you agree the "green" industry is our nation first,"original" environmentalist? I personally believe so.... I mean how do you get more environmentally friendly than plants? No solar panels needed, no electric cars, no energy efficient appliances! Nope, just plane ol' ordinary plants. Plants which absorb Carbon Dioxide, release oxygen. Plants which filter air, dust, noise and other pollutants. Just plants!!!!!!

So, why is it that we in the "green" industry seem to get our butts kicked by regulatory programs, the news media, environmental activists and, subsequently, local, state and federal governments?

The simple answer is: We look to blame someone. To place responsibility on somebody else, to say we are right and people should just understand. Unfortunately, it takes more. We can tell our story to every person who will listen. Yet, if you talk to the general public, they believe fertilizers are polluting Florida's waters, rivers and estuaries, destroying the Everglades and, essentially, ruining the rest of our country. A more holistic look at the problem reveals, frankly, we stink at our public image. This filters down into: we stink in our relations with the media and, ultimately, at some point, we will lose every local, state and federal legislative battle because, absent of a change, we will appear insignificant!! Tough love but, I guarantee I am absolutely right. In fact, I am more certain than the two absolutes in this world "death and taxes." It's gonna happen unless we change our attitude.

We are approaching a key cross-roads within the "green" industry. Quite frankly, we have matured a lot over the past 5-10 years. But, in the public policy arena, we are still adolescences who can't afford to "rock the boat!" It's OK because prior to this matriculation we were still in the baby cradle and being spoon-fed. The unfortunate reality is our "green" industry needs to transform from adolescent to cagey veteran overnight. We must deal with two very distinct facts: (1) We are the "big" agricultural force and, at some point, grand ol' men such as citrus, vegetable, sugar and cattle will not be there to cover our "assets;" and, (2) We are in the midst of a new battle regarding urban pollution issues which are largely atypical of the traditional agricultural fights. Pick your poison, either way there is a large gaping hole.

Don't be fooled, our adversaries our experienced veterans. Many of the most vocal environmental groups have no limit to the venomous words and battles they wage. They are ill-concerned with any science that doesn't support their cause. They are ill-concerned with any costs to your business. They are ill-concerned with your property rights. However, they are well financed. They have a tremendous grassroots system. And, they have the story line. How can we compete with "a picture of dead fish, and green slime under docks." They will not stop until they get their way, to hell with the consequences, unless somebody shuts them down!

So, we come full circle back to YOU! What are you going to do about it? Are you content with sticking your head in the sand? Are you convinced that just knowing you are right will save you from this headache? Are you satisfied in waiting for someone else to ride in on a white horse and save the day? Or, have you had a belly full of this crap? Are you prepared to invest your time and money to shut these folks down? Are you ready to invest in the type of Public Relations Campaign that reminds folks we are the good guys?

The choice is yours. There is no sense in cherry coating what is required. It takes MONEY! It takes organization! It takes leadership! And, it takes being prepared to beat these fools at their own game. Why should they be the sweethearts and self- proclaimed "saviors" of Florida's environment? Why should they take credit for the things we have already done and the laundry list of things we can still do?

Many of us have heard the old adage "History is written by those who show up"? Well, it is sure time we show up to the fight. FNGLA is the recognized leader of Florida's green industry, we have the organization but, knowing we are the leader and by-god acting like the leader are two entirely different things. FNGLA members have to "buy" in and take control of our future! If now is not the time to unite, then you have to ask yourself how many time can I get kicked in the seat of my pants before I have had enough?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Friends aplenty!!!

Given the current status of the national and state economy, it would probably be prudent to gripe about how bad things are, how the government is approaching things backwards and how small businesses are being squeezed into submission. However, every time we open the paper, turn on the television or radio, or browse the Internet there are no shortage of stories depicting how horrible our economy is currently. There is no denying things are tough which, makes the focus of this post even more important-- What happens when individuals who support your industry run for the same office? You may chuckle but, the scary reality is Florida's 2010 election could turn out to be an expensive endeavor.

First, let's discuss the most obvious race of importance to all nursery and landscape businesses; the position of Florida's Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Unless you have chosen to join "Rip Van Winkle" and slept through the past two years--you obviously are aware that several industry advocates have already entered the race to serve as Florida's Commissioner of Agriculture. Just to re-cap for those who are wiping the sleep from their eyes, former State Representative Marty Bowen (R- Winter Haven), State Senator Carey Baker (R- Eustis) and Congressman Adam Putnam (R- Bartow) all have active campaign accounts and are seeking your support. Each of these individuals have gotten down in the trenches to fight for the industry and, I am sure each of us has a very good reason why one of these candidates sticks out above the others. The one undeniable fact is: Each candidate will be making the rounds to collect your physical and financial support for their candidacy.

Oh if it was only as simple as supporting one of our friends!!!!! A word to the wise, do not be fooled into thinking the race for Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services will be full of candidates who "love" us. Rest assured, our good friends in the Environmental Community are actively looking for a legitimate candidate to win the race as well. Most recently, a name which has been tosses around and even got some print space in the St. Petersburg Times is Mr. Eric Draper. Mr. Draper has served for several years as the public policy director and vice-president of the Audubon of Florida. Hmmmmmmmm?????

From a historical perspective, the 2010 election has the potential to be the first statewide race since the 1800's in which all cabinet offices do not have an incumbent seeking re-election. Although not official, many believe Florida's Governor Charlie Crist will seek election to the United States Senate Seat being vacated by Sen. Mel Martinez. Assuming the Governor makes the decision to run for the United States Senate, we could have a scenario where all four cabinet post are open. Why, you may ask? Basically, if the Governor doesn't seek re-election then both Attorney General Bill McCollum (by the way he could run for re-election to the Attorney General post) and Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Charles Bronson (he is term limited and can't run for the Ag Commissioner post) are likely to both run for the Republican nomination. Seems as though I am missing someone?....
Yes! Shame on me for not mentioning Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink. Since her election in 2006, Sink has time and again proven her savvy in Florida political process. Even as she is outnumber three to one on the Florida Cabinet, Sink has been able to work with Republican and Democratic leaders on a plethora of critical issues.

Understand, it is still very early, hell the election is still 18 months away. However, these candidates are actively raising money, they are building their grassroots support as we speak. Although, we all will have to wait until at least May before thinks really start to shake out; there is no doubt it will be exciting to watch unfold.

Regardless, the business and agricultural communities will have several allies running for statewide office. This means friendships may get strained, feeling may get hurt and ultimately the 2010 election will most likely be the most expensive state election we have ever experienced.

Just some food for thought. As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or thoughts.

Until next time.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

We survived the election...we are preparing for change... what the heck do we do till then?

Greetings everyone from the early chill of the state capital. The temperature dipped down to 27 degrees in Tallahassee last night thus, contradicting two schools of thought: 1. The Florida legislature is full of enough hot air to raise the relative temperature and, 2. We are experiencing the phenomenon called global warming.

Now the dust has settled from the November 4th elections, the climate in Tallahassee hasn't really changed all that much. The Republican Party maintained the super majority in the Florida House of Representatives (76 Republicans to 44 Democrats) as well as the Florida Senate (26 Republicans to 14 Democrats). So, the ball is still in the court of the Republican Party to help re-invigorate Florida's stagnant economy. Although the R's have the overwhelming majority, many of the races around the state were very close and could have gone either way (R or D). This isn't surprising given Florida Governor Charlie Crist has managed to stay in the middle of the political spectrum, and enjoys ample popularity within the state and nationally.

So, here is what's at stake in Florida: The state's economy is in the ditch. Despite the best efforts of our leaders to reform property taxes and insurance, citizens just are not getting the warm and fuzzy feelings. Secondly, with a recent Florida Supreme Court ruling, Florida's businesses have more reasons to get antsy as the 4 consecutive quarters of Workers Comp premium reductions could disappear as early as March 2009. *FYI- Florida Supreme Court overturned caps on attorney's fees in Worker Comp lawsuits. Early indications are premiums could increase by as much as 18.6%, negating the progress made since 2003. So, homeowners and business owners are seriously concerned about the economic forecasts.

Secondly, tourism and home sales are down! Since Florida's economy is primarily dependent on sale-tax collections and documentary stamp revenues, legislators are going to have to re-invent the terminology of doing a lot more with a lot less. There has been a lot of chatter around a potential special legislative session in December to further reduce state budget allocations for the 2008-09 Fiscal Year. And to add a little more flavor to the mix, I have been told by people higher in the food chain that state agencies may be asked to cut another 10% for Fiscal Year 2009-10. For those of you at home keeping score, that is a little over a 20% cut in budget allocations in roughly 2 years. Scary stuff, right?

Now aside from the doom and gloom of the state's economy which the Republicans are desperately trying to salvage and the need to make good public policy which we all support, there is one other seemingly minor, but, in fact, HUGE item at stake..... What, you may ask? R-E-A-P-P-O-R-T-I-O-N-M-E-N-T. "Reapportionment"! The forgotten crown jewel. In line with the updated census numbers, Florida's Legislature is required to reapportion legislative districts. And, as you may expect, the majority party will have the most representation and sayso on how the "new" legislative districts are drawn. The Democrats would love nothing more than to pick-up enough seats in the state legislature to ensure they are in the majority in 2010. By the same token, the Republicans do not want to give any ground because they want the lead on drawing the new districts. For those who have never witnessed reapportionment, the process gives a whole to meaning to: "Everybody is equal, some more equal than others!"

With all of this drama going on, it is almost forgetful that we have a new Speaker of the House and President of the Senate. Officially elected Tuesday during "Organizational Session," Sen. Jeff Atwater R-Royal Palm Beach was elected by his peers to preside over the Florida Senate during (2009-10) legislative sessions. Rep. Ray Sansom R-Destin was selected by his colleagues in the Florida House to preside over the lower chamber. Also assuming their leadership roles, the Minority Party elected Sen. Al Lawson D-Tallahassee and Rep. Franklin Sands D-Weston to the highest positions within their party.

Congressional Florida was home to some very interesting races. All were very heavily contested. We saw a friend get caught with his pants down and two other incumbents from presumably "safe" districts fall to their challengers. When all the votes were counted the Democratic Party picked up one additional seat in Florida's delegation. The specific races were: Incumbent Tom Feeney (R-24) lost to Democratic challenger Suzanne Cosmos, incumbent Ric Keller (R-8) lost to Democratic challenger Alan Grayson and incumbent Tim Mahoney (D-16) lost to Republican challenger Tom Rooney.

In other Washington news, Florida's very own Congressman Adam Putnam (R-12) resigned his powerful leadership position as Republican Policy Chairman, the number three position in the party. Although rumors galore have circulated about Putnam's decision, it seems appropriate to only put weight into the words of the Congressman himself. In a recent interview, Putnam stated he "wanted the opportunity to work across the aisle on legislation to help his constituents, his state and country."

Lastly, on Tuesday, November 18th, Sen Carey Baker (R-Eustis) officially announced his intentions to run for the position of Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services, a seat to be vacated by term limit incumbent Charles H. Bronson in 2010.

So, there was a lot of talk about change. Maybe some will happen. Maybe change is nothing more than a re-visiting of policies and ideas we shared 15 years ago? Regardless, this is our sandbox and we had all better figure out how we are gonna play in it together.

Stay tuned to Tallahassee talk for more insight, facts, puns, ribs and information.

Until next time,


Monday, January 14, 2008

Things to ponder in 2008

You know, I have heard when it rain, IT POORS! Well to be quite honest the virtual rain is really for the birds. We need real mother-nature induced rain to replenish the aquifer, our lakes and streams.

We have made it to 2008. Some of us are limping, some were carried across kicking and screaming nevertheless, we all made it. As I think back on 2007 and look to the horizon of 2008 I can't help but take measure in what we have gained and lost personally as well as professionally. As an industry we are still climbing the mountain, since the last industry plateau we have endured hurricanes, numerous invasive pests, a steady increase in government regulation, drought and associated water restrictions, fertilizer ordinances..... and did I mention plant are still under priced! These various hurdles and pitfalls have caused some people to leave our industry, some change their marketing strategy or the plant lists, yet others have somehow prospered. As an association, we have also experienced our share of growing pains, through dues increases, strategic planning, renewed focus and fresh ideas with the association's trade shows and a very new focus on filling the very large shoes associated with the mantra of "The largest segment of Florida's Agricultural Industry."

As we focus on the excitement and hopes of 2008 here are some things to consider:
1) How do we as leaders of Florida's "green Industry" carve out our place in the public policy arena? The place where customers and regulators come to us for answers to difficult questions, the place where water conservation leads the discussion and the general public grasps the tie between environmental sustainability and water conservation?

2) How do we change the public perception on immigration and labor issues? The immigration debates cuts to the heart of our industry yet, it has so sharply divided our country and state that a reasonable solution sometimes seems unreachable. What can we do individually and collectively to change the debate?

3) Expanding the horticultural market. The business world we operate in seems to change so fluidly however, many of us in the horticultural industry are still clinging to the "way it used to be." This is not referring to new plant varieties.... I am referring to new niches and trends which fit seamlessly with our industry yet, like the 400 lbs gorilla, I am not sure we are nimble enough to catch it. For example, the debate on Carbon Trading, Alternative Fuels Sources, Bio-medical research and development, Energy Efficient, Environmentally Sustainable Developments, to name a few. Each of these new frontiers have one thing in common, plants, in some form or fashion, plants are the key to the ultimate success or failure of these programs.... But where do we fit in?

Without question, 2008 will be busier than ever! There are some monumental public policy debates which will take place in Tallahassee, Washington D.C. and every local media outlet. We have truly come of age in the horticultural industry and now is the time for each of us to seize the day and lead the association, the industry and the state into the future. Now is the time for financial commitment and also, equally as important, charismatic persons to step forward and lead. Every FNGLA members has a specific skill set which can take the industry a step forward. The only thing which holds us back is ourselves!

I hope each of you stand ready to do your part in 2008. As Benjamin Franklin once said "If we don't hang together, we will surely hang separately." As we approach to 2008 Florida Legislative Session, please pay attention to your emails; FNGLA's Legislative Action Center, Ben's Babbles and Tallahassee Talk will be teaming with information. Thank you for your leadership, your involvement and your energy. And most of all Thank you for being members of FNGLA.