Today we turn our attention to two popular destination vacation spots for New Orleanians and Gulf Coasters: Pensacola Beach and Navarre Beach, in Florida.
Known for sugar white sands and pristine waters, these two public beaches have been beloved destinations for people all over the world, and especially for Gulf Coasters. The land is currently protected by a law that prevents Escambia County (where the beaches are located) from using the land in any other way but the public interest.
However, Senate bill S.1073, the "Escambia County Land Conveyance Act", would remove public land rights for the beaches and instead allow the land to be privately owned and sold. It would also remove all the ecological conservation protections over the Navarre portion of the island.
Opponents of the bill, including Save Pensacola Beach and our friends over in Indivisible NWFL, argue that this legislation would open the door to major development and the parceling out of public lands to the highest bidder. Developers would move in to build huge hotels and private, roped-off beachfronts, pricing locals and long-time visitors alike out of their favorite vacation spot.
They further warn: If we allow this to happen in Pensacola and Navarre Beaches, it could happen anywhere, including here in Louisiana.
Note: S.1073 is currently in the Energy and Natural Resources Committee – of which Senator Bill Cassidy is a member. So as his constituents, we have an opportunity to make a real difference in this fight!
WHO TO CALL:
Senators Kennedy and Cassidy
Senator Bill Cassidy - DC OFFICE: (202) 224-5824 and METAIRIE OFFICE: (504) 838-0130 (NOTE: If you can't get through to Metairie, try one of the other offices, such as Monroe: (318) 324-2111, Lake Charles: (337) 493-5398, or Alexandria: Phone: (318) 448-7176)
Senator John Kennedy - DC OFFICE: (202) 224-4623 and MONROE OFFICE (318) 361-1489
Reminders: Identify where you're calling from (town and zip code is fine) so they know you're an actual constituent. Be concise - the office will get through more calls that way. Be polite and don't argue with the staffer - they don't set policy. If you get a voicemail, then leave a message. And if you get a busy signal -- call back later!
Hi, my name is [Your Name] from New Orleans, zip code 70118 [or wherever you're from].
I'm calling today because I want to urge the Senator to oppose S.1073, which is currently in front of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. The bill would open up public lands in Pensacola Beach and Navarre Beach, Florida, to developers; these are popular vacation spots for my family/my friends and I/the people of New Orleans/etc. I'm also concerned the bill would set a bad precedent in opening public, ecologically-protected lands up to private developers.
[FOR CASSIDY: I urge the Senator to vote no on S.1073 in Committee.]
[FOR KENNEDY: Should S.1073 make it out of Committee, I urge the Senator to vote no on it.]
Thank you for your time and your hard work answering the phones. Stay safe out there.
This call is courtesy of Metairie Indivisible.