Protestors plan to show up for Gaetz evening town hall, too

Inweekly has reported that protestors plan to attend Congressman Matt Gaetz’s event at Grover T’s BBQ in Milton at noon on Thursday, Feb. 23.

This morning, Indivisible NWFL announced it would be in attendance at the town hall scheduled for 7 p.m. on Feb. 23, at Oops Bowling Alley in Pace.

“We are an organization dedicated to opposing the Trump/Pence/Ryan/McConnell agenda,” said the announcement. “We refuse to stand idly by while the social progress we’ve achieved is rolled back to an era of greater social, economic, and political inequality. As such, we plan to focus our attention on the elected officials who serve our state and our district.”

From the press release:

Representative Matt Gaetz, newly elected to the United States House of Representatives, has crafted a single piece of legislation since his swearing in on Jan. 3, 2017. That bill, H. R. 861, reads as follows, “The Environmental Protection Agency shall terminate on December 31, 2018.” Residents of District 1 are concerned about this legislation given the specific history of the region and the reliance on the EPA necessitated by that history. This year, in fact, the Escambia Wood Superfund site is due for another 5-year review of progress made in the cleanup of the contaminated groundwater and toxic soil of the 26-acre former lumber processing facility. Currently, there are 4 active Superfund sites on the National Priorities List and 26 non-NPL sites in Escambia County alone, while Santa Rosa and Okaloosa have a combined additional 7 non-NPL and 1 active NPL sites. According to Pensacola City Councilwoman Sheri Myers, “Rep. Gaetz’s priority is not protection of the environment, the community or conservation. It’s the protection of the rich, the powerful and the well-connected, but even they have to breathe air and drink water.” ( It is unconscionable that, in one sentence, the EPA could cease to exist, leaving the nation without a national protector of our natural resources.

While land is a physical monument to poorly addressed environmental protections, the top industries in the state are also affected by those same forces. Tourism and agriculture are both industries heavily dependent on the health of the environment. When the state fails to adequately protect the environment, the negative effects cascade. This domino effect was demonstrated in the July, 2016 algae blooms that fouled coastal waters up and down the west coast of the Florida after the release of excessively phosphorous-rich Lake Okeechobee water resulted in massive fish and sea creature die-off as well as vacations cut short due to the inhospitable coastal waters. Rep. Gaetz wants to shift all EPA duties to the states to manage on their own. The ecological challenges of the Lake Okeechobee should serve as a deterrent to that impulse and we ask him to vote “no” on his own ill-conceived bill.

Rep. Gaetz’s impulsive, attention-getting EPA abolition is probably the least concerning legislative move he’s made or publicly states that he plans to make. Congressional leadership has indicated that they plan to begin the process of repealing the Affordable Care Act after the President’s Day recess. In Florida, more than 1.7 million people gained insurance through the ACA in 2017 ( without the addition of those who could have gained coverage through Medicaid expansion. We ask Rep. Gaetz to vote “no” to the repeal of the ACA until a replacement has been put in place which ensures no loss of coverage for the newly insured, no loss of coverage for young people on their parents’ insurance, no higher out-of-pocket costs, and no price discrimination for people with pre-existing conditions.

Withdrawing from the United Nations, banning travelers and refugees from seven predominantly Muslim countries, building a $21.6 billion wall paid for by US citizens (when Republican members of Congress refused to fund even the $6 billion risk corridor fund for the ACA), rolling back consumer protections, terminating the Department of Education, defunding Planned Parenthood; these and many other issues are points of divergence between Rep. Gaetz and the interests of our membership. Rep. Matt Gaetz has indicated through interviews, tweets, Facebook posts, and self-recorded videos that he intends to actively pursue the Trump/Pence/Ryan/McConnell agenda with full-throated endorsement and legislative rubber stamps. We will be at his event to share our stories and ensure that he fully comprehends that not all residents of FL-1 believe that to be the best course for the country.


10 thoughts on “Protestors plan to show up for Gaetz evening town hall, too

  1. Every single person who dislikes Gaetz and attends these meetings will accomplish nothing but give him anti-liberal street cred with District 1 Republican voters, and grease his reelection. Hope you enjoy it when the national media runs endless footage of you unhinged and Gaetz looking calm and rational. Over a ridiculous bill that will go nowhere except to help him grandstand.

    Gaetz only got 31% in the Primary. He won because there was,a,7-person field. If you really want to make yourself feel better, switch to Republican for the next primary and vote against him. He’s sure to have some competition with such low returns last time.

    If you shout at him in public, he wins and you lose. Don’t be a sucker – stay home.

  2. I think EPA abolition is a big deal. Not only for the gulf coast, but for the coal country of Virginia, West Virginia, and Kentucky. Shenandoah Valley will be known as Death Valley East.

  3. Indivisible NWFL is not a protest group. Using such terms promotes discord when we should be encouraging productive discourse. Opposition doesn’t always mean protest. Use your words carefully.

  4. In reference to a bill Matt Gaetz introduced: H.R.861 – To terminate the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by the end of 2018.

    The EPA a federal agency created in 1970 by President Richard Nixon and tasked with protecting human health and the environment is vital to the USA. The regulations and education implemented by the EPA have been responsible for vast improvements in the country’s water and air quality. The EPA’s Sustainable Development programs demonstrate that corporations who utilize these best practices become more efficient, save and create jobs plus save money.

    The EPA also supports educational outreach. For example when I worked for Escambia County I received a grant to conduct an outreach program to educate people on what they can do to improve our air quality called the Breathe Easy program. Breathe Easy educated people on the difference once person can make to protect our air quality. For example trip chaining. This is mapping out your schedule to do all your errands in one trip thereby saving money on gas and putting less pollution into our atmosphere.

    Passing this bill would give corporations a license to pollute our air and water as they wish and bear no responsibility for contaminating our environment possibly negating all the conservation by individuals. The USA could end up like China where people can’t even see to drive because of the air pollution, let alone breathe.

    Having States manage environmental issues alone is not satisfactory because pollutants travel across state lines through the air and down rivers. Therefore we need a federal agency as well as state agencies to manage and reduce pollution.

    One of the most shocking things people said to me while I was conducting the Breathe Easy program was, “I don’t worry too much about the environment. The government takes care of that.” If this bill passes who will be protecting our precious water and air supplies? Because if you think about it, when you can’t breathe, nothing else matters.

    If this bill passes who will protect our vital water and air resources?

  5. We the Indivisible group are assisting with the sole purpose of expressing to Mr. Gaetz our concerns regarding his positions, especially when it comes to the EPA.

  6. There is a difference between protestor and constituent. I find it interesting that Gaetz had yet to disavow the people who are calling for open carry and ammo. That sounds like a threat to me. But then again, he does seem to enjoy the theatre of the absurd.

  7. Indivisible NWFL will be in attendance at the town hall, but the purpose is not to protest. As the group states, “We will be at his event to share our stories and ensure that he fully comprehends that not all residents of FL-1 believe that to be the best course for the country.” The group’s purpose in being there is to have a dialogue–ask questions, share stories, get real answers. The group is not protesting.

  8. Indivisible NWFL is not organizing any protests during “Open Gaetz” day, though members may feel the need to participate in them. The group is attending the town hall in order to ask questions and tell their stories about how the policies of this administration will affect them. That in no way implies protest but, rather, dialogue.

  9. I think you should also mention the guy who is encouraging people to bring their ammo to the event to protect Gaetz and that Matt himself is calling on his Bikers for Trump to attend. Intimidated much? Well, he is certainly getting national attention for all these antics but let’s hope that opinions are the only things flying.

  10. I saw one of your posts on Facebook that protestors would be at the Gaetz town hall meeting in Santa Rosa County. I think it was referring to NWF Indivisible. Please know that everyone who didn’t vote for Gaetz and is attending the town hall meeting is not a protestor. I’m concerned that “protestor” has a negative connotation. While we may have a difference of opinion from Gaetz, some of us want to ask questions and hear what he has to say. Thanks!

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