Florida’s Capital really is one of the prettiest buildings in this state. Set on a huge hill, you can see it for miles around when you come driving in from any direction. The response to calls for action from attorneys and homeowners who are coming to Tallahassee on Wednesday, April 21, 2010 has been phenomenal. Given our great success this week, we’re all meeting in Tallahassee with a very good message to share…
FLORIDIANS â™¥ JUDGES!
God knows we might not always agree with our judges (and from an entirely personal perspective sometimes they can lay into you like a strict and angry parent), but the bottom line is if a Floridian’s home is going to be taken from them, we want to make sure an elected judge executes that powerful order. We want our judges and courthouses respected. That means funding them properly so they and their staff have the time and resources to examine cases and issues carefully. We trust our judges to be responsive to this crisis and we want our legislators to give them the tools and the respect they need to craft the solutions. We are also proud and grateful to the legislators because:
FLORIDA LEGISLATORS CARE ABOUT HOMEOWNERS
FLORIDA LEGISLATORS LISTEN TO THEIR CONSTITUENTS
FLORIDA LEGISLATORS ARE COMMITTED TO FINDING FAIR AND HONEST SOLUTIONS TO THE FORECLOSURE CRISIS
We will meet at 9:00 a.m. on the First Floor of the Capital, called the Plaza Level, just inside the doors between the chambers of the Florida House and Florida Senate right around the Great Seal of the State of Florida, shown below:
What Can You Expect in Tallahassee?
Expect to be blown away. If you’ve never been to the Capital while legislature is in session, you cannot imagine how exciting and alive the place is. Remember all the energy and enthusiasm of college pep rallys, Superbowl or World Series, multiply it ten times, then add to it the fact that this is all very, very serious business. Billions of dollars are at stake and changes that affect Floridians forever are made every session.
Most times during session, the legislators are the stars, but when real people come up and do fulfill their obligations as citizens, NORMAL EVERYDAY FOLKS BECOME THE STARS! After we meet at the Great Seal at 9:00 a.m. we will travel to the Fourth Floor which is the “lobby” area between both chambers (now you know why they call it “lobbying”)…you’ll have a directory showing the floor and office number of your legislators and will fan out go to their offices. They often won’t be in their offices, but you walk in, introduce yourself then take about two minutes to make your case to whomever is there. If you’re lucky your representative will be there, if not take a few minutes to talk with staff….keep in mind that staff are very influential….even if your elected representative is not there….staff members are just as critical. Write up your story and the reasons you’ve come to Tallahassee and hand them to staff/reporters/legislators.
You can and should be prepared to make your point and move on in a few short moments….you may not convince whomever you’re talking to on the spot, but they will hear your message and respect you for understanding their time commitments and the stress they are under. Remember, it feels like most legislators are on our side now, so please be very courteous and very grateful to them for listening to you so far….make a commitment to support them back in the district. Ask to be put on their volunteer contact list so that they can call on you when they need help or attendance back in the district.
It will be a whirlwind, but after a few hours of walking the halls, you’ll want to sit in the public galleries of both the house and senate side to watch all the action taking place. At some point during the day some discussion regarding foreclosure legislation will be taken up. Hopefully these bad bills will be killed and what will happen is members from both houses will take official notice of the hundreds, (thousands?) of their constituents who are in the galleries…they will recognize you, commend you taking time to come up and support them and the process and they will make honest commitments to work with all of us after session ends to figure a way out of this mess.
At some point in time, make sure you go to the top of the Capital and see the view from high above….as I said The Capital is set on a hill and the view from up there is just amazing. Take it all in, look around…maybe stay over a night and take more of it in….there’s certainly lots of very interesting stuff to see.
Whatever your background, attorney, advocate, curious bystander…you will leave changed…probably inspired and hopeful~