Rallies set in Naples, Cape Coral to Awake the State to Rick Scott, budget cuts PHOTOS

Want to participate in an Awake the State event? Two rallies are scheduled in Southwest Florida this week, according to the Awake the State website:

■ An Awake the State rally is scheduled from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday at Cape Coral City Hall, 1015 Cultural Park Blvd.

■ An Awake the State event is scheduled from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday in downtown Naples. The group is expected to meet at Naples City Hall, Eighth Street South, at 4 p.m. to begin a march along Fifth Avenue South until 5 p.m. A rally is scheduled at 5 p.m. at Cambier Park.

How do you generally feel about Florida's future with Rick Scott as governor?

See the results »

View previous polls »

— Bill Van Arsdale isn’t an activist.

But about six weeks ago, Van Arsdale, a longtime Realtor in Collier County, got “radicalized.” He wasn’t pleased with the direction Republican Gov. Rick Scott was taking the state, and decided it was time to stand up and speak out for what he believes in.

Van Arsdale is among the Floridians who have organized more than two dozen Awake the State rallies. The rallies – scheduled throughout the state for Tuesday – are being held as a way to urge legislators to reject proposed budget cuts.

“We need to push back about what’s going on here with the budget cuts and a movement to a more conservative viewpoint here,” Van Arsdale said.

Damien Filer, a spokesman for Progress Florida, said the Awake the State movement started shortly after Scott announced his budget proposal. That budget “sent shock waves throughout the state,” because of the wide array of cuts proposed, Flier said.

“We just started to feel a tremendous amount of traffic coming from people about it,” Filer said.

Filer said his organization, along with Florida Watch Action Inc. and America Votes, set up a Facebook page for the Awake the State movement and “almost overnight” thousands of people signed up to see how they could get their voices heard.

“We tried to give people help to do what they were already wanting to do … make sure state leaders knew they opposed drastic budget cuts,” Filer said. “(The rallies) are all happening organically and have been organized independently.”

Awake the State’s website showed that 29 rallies have been scheduled across the state Tuesday. Two rallies – one at Cambier Park in Naples and one at Cape Coral City Hall in Lee County – have been scheduled for Southwest Florida.

Van Arsdale said he’s not sure how many people will turn out to the Naples event this week, but knows that everyone who attends will be advocating a cause close to their hearts.

For Van Arsdale that cause is the environment, and he said he was “so upset” with everything happening on the state and federal level pertaining to environmental reforms that he needed to do something about it.

“To me it’s something about the survival of future generations,” he said. “That’s where cuts are falling quite heavily, and I’m very worried about the future and all of have to get more active.”

Educators are expected to come out in droves for the event in Lee County this week. The Teachers Association of Lee County has asked participants to wear blue “Make Our Schools a Priority” T-shirts and bring signs to the Cape Coral event.

Lee County teachers are expected to hold simultaneous events at more than a dozen intersections in Lee County as well Tuesday.

Filer said educators, and their supporters, are among the people most concerned about budget cuts in the coming year.

Scott campaigned on a promise to cut government and reduce the state workforce by 5 percent. His budget, released in February, calls for nearly $5 billion in spending cuts from the state’s $70.4 billion budget. Those cuts include eliminating 8,681 of Florida’s 126,765 jobs.

Filer said he’s unsure how many people will come out to Awake the State events this week, but said Floridians shouldn’t expect protests similar to those in Wisconsin.

“I think that there has been a lot of inclination to make what happen in Florida analogous to what’s happening in Wisconsin,” he said. “It’s an apples and oranges comparison. In Wisconsin, this is focused on union organizing; it’s focused and populated by union members. We don’t have the union presence like in Wisconsin or Ohio.”

But that doesn’t mean people won’t turn out.

Van Arsdale said he will be overjoyed if 50 or more people show up to his event, but he thinks Floridians will speak out against budget cuts.

“We have to push back against this conservative agenda,” he said. “It’s just people who are upset. It’s sort of the mirror of the tea party. We’re sort of on the liberal progressive view. … I think we’re finally trying to stand up and do something about it.”

© 2011 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Stories

Related Links

Comments » 11

naples_rocket writes:

why would a realtor be against the cuts? Probably has his own agenda - make his name known and later sell something.

RayPray writes:

in response to naples_rocket:

why would a realtor be against the cuts? Probably has his own agenda - make his name known and later sell something.

"why would a realtor be against the cuts?"

Today many 'realtors' are just people just waiting for some snoozy government job opening....

RayPray writes:

in response to MarcoIslandWoman:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

"Cut Florida's defense budget by 75%...."

This would be an utter disaster!!!

What if Florida gets attacked by, say, Ceylon or Uruguay?

Who will protect us???

ajm3s writes:

"Bill Van Arsdale isn’t an activist."

I am wondering if he was a Realtor. He may have missed the last closing, it was Nov 2nd last year. Its competitive out there, but I respect your ability to protest in public, so everyone can see and make their own choice.

I made mine and it is not Progressive. Hey, the signs with the clenched fist are very becoming in this fashion sensitive world. And do not forget to wear the Che T-shirts.

RayPray writes:

Here is a heart-warming story:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/08/us/...

re Rick discombobulating some dead wood in Tallahassee.

Rick must be doing a good job!

RayPray writes:

"I am tiered of qualms of conscience carrier and YES-Butter psychopaths. Doers and makers needs the country. Nothing else."

I caught you!

This is plagiarized word for word right out of Plato's Republic!

Fossil writes:

Islandeye: Here is a novel way to fix Florida's financial problems: Recall the Governor before it is too late. You know this fellow and his Koch brothers backers are more interested in making it easier to bilk the taxpayer then they are in saving the taxpayer any money. I wonder how long it will be before he announces that he will encourage oil drilling off our beaches? I still can't believe the people of Florida were so easily fooled by this flimflam man. Watch how he will propose to manipulate the medicaid and medicare programs to allow insurance companies to reduce care and bilk more money from the poor and the elderly. His mission is to make our state a partner in his quest for wealth. His rejection of free Federal money for high speed rail to benefit tourists and commutors enabling clean travel between coasts is only the most recent proof that he cares not about increasing jobs or reducing tax burdens of Floridians. Even after receiving assurances, he rejected the money only for political reasons. Our governor wants to flush money in our ports so that our beaches can have one more threat to worry about. It isn't bad enuogh to have deep well leaks off our shores, now we can have ships standing off shore flushing oil bunkers and bilges while dumping raw sewage and garbage while they wait their turn enter and as they cruise out of the Gulf. Increased munincipal truck and rail traffic along with increased storage facilities downtown, will transform Tampa and Jacksonville into industrial sites. Anyone that has lived near a major port knows what a major working port does to the downtown of a major city and it's shore line. Soon his cuts will result in the increase of classroom size and lower quality teachers. Florida stands to lose our best teachers, who will either change professions or migrate to states that are willing to pay a fair wage and benefits. Dumbing down Florida can only make it easier to sell snake oil. I wonder how long it will be before his cuts in education result in our school buses disappearing or an increase in individual costs making it impossible for some of our sons and daughtors to attend our fine State Academic instititions. Will crime increase when he reduces police funding? How long until he reduces funding for EMT and Fire services causeing real loss in life and increase insurance costs. Will our Everglades and rivers be destroyed because of the loss of enviornmental regulations or enforcement? What about the ecology of our wildlife, fishing industry? Will they no longer be protected? Will our drinking water be impacted by increased industrial waste? There is a reason for government folks, if you let this fellow continue on his tea bag agenda, it will soon all become clear to you what some of us already know.

RayPray writes:

in response to Fossil:

Islandeye: Here is a novel way to fix Florida's financial problems: Recall the Governor before it is too late. You know this fellow and his Koch brothers backers are more interested in making it easier to bilk the taxpayer then they are in saving the taxpayer any money. I wonder how long it will be before he announces that he will encourage oil drilling off our beaches? I still can't believe the people of Florida were so easily fooled by this flimflam man. Watch how he will propose to manipulate the medicaid and medicare programs to allow insurance companies to reduce care and bilk more money from the poor and the elderly. His mission is to make our state a partner in his quest for wealth. His rejection of free Federal money for high speed rail to benefit tourists and commutors enabling clean travel between coasts is only the most recent proof that he cares not about increasing jobs or reducing tax burdens of Floridians. Even after receiving assurances, he rejected the money only for political reasons. Our governor wants to flush money in our ports so that our beaches can have one more threat to worry about. It isn't bad enuogh to have deep well leaks off our shores, now we can have ships standing off shore flushing oil bunkers and bilges while dumping raw sewage and garbage while they wait their turn enter and as they cruise out of the Gulf. Increased munincipal truck and rail traffic along with increased storage facilities downtown, will transform Tampa and Jacksonville into industrial sites. Anyone that has lived near a major port knows what a major working port does to the downtown of a major city and it's shore line. Soon his cuts will result in the increase of classroom size and lower quality teachers. Florida stands to lose our best teachers, who will either change professions or migrate to states that are willing to pay a fair wage and benefits. Dumbing down Florida can only make it easier to sell snake oil. I wonder how long it will be before his cuts in education result in our school buses disappearing or an increase in individual costs making it impossible for some of our sons and daughtors to attend our fine State Academic instititions. Will crime increase when he reduces police funding? How long until he reduces funding for EMT and Fire services causeing real loss in life and increase insurance costs. Will our Everglades and rivers be destroyed because of the loss of enviornmental regulations or enforcement? What about the ecology of our wildlife, fishing industry? Will they no longer be protected? Will our drinking water be impacted by increased industrial waste? There is a reason for government folks, if you let this fellow continue on his tea bag agenda, it will soon all become clear to you what some of us already know.

"Recall the Governor before it is too late."

Rick Scott is doing a great job so far!

PO-ing all the right deadwood in Tallahassee and rent eaters state-wide.

Elections have consequences!

Witness those greasy porked-up tax-eating educrats and monopoly time-servers lumping around the State House in Wisconsin because taxpayers request they contribute a tiny bit to their largess....

We need the same here in Florida.

Rendering SEIU & other government monopoly unions as superfluous as the UAW and other private unions have become will be a giant step toward redeeming the country from decades of hubris and liberal folly....

ajm3s writes:

in response to Fossil:

Islandeye: Here is a novel way to fix Florida's financial problems: Recall the Governor before it is too late. You know this fellow and his Koch brothers backers are more interested in making it easier to bilk the taxpayer then they are in saving the taxpayer any money. I wonder how long it will be before he announces that he will encourage oil drilling off our beaches? I still can't believe the people of Florida were so easily fooled by this flimflam man. Watch how he will propose to manipulate the medicaid and medicare programs to allow insurance companies to reduce care and bilk more money from the poor and the elderly. His mission is to make our state a partner in his quest for wealth. His rejection of free Federal money for high speed rail to benefit tourists and commutors enabling clean travel between coasts is only the most recent proof that he cares not about increasing jobs or reducing tax burdens of Floridians. Even after receiving assurances, he rejected the money only for political reasons. Our governor wants to flush money in our ports so that our beaches can have one more threat to worry about. It isn't bad enuogh to have deep well leaks off our shores, now we can have ships standing off shore flushing oil bunkers and bilges while dumping raw sewage and garbage while they wait their turn enter and as they cruise out of the Gulf. Increased munincipal truck and rail traffic along with increased storage facilities downtown, will transform Tampa and Jacksonville into industrial sites. Anyone that has lived near a major port knows what a major working port does to the downtown of a major city and it's shore line. Soon his cuts will result in the increase of classroom size and lower quality teachers. Florida stands to lose our best teachers, who will either change professions or migrate to states that are willing to pay a fair wage and benefits. Dumbing down Florida can only make it easier to sell snake oil. I wonder how long it will be before his cuts in education result in our school buses disappearing or an increase in individual costs making it impossible for some of our sons and daughtors to attend our fine State Academic instititions. Will crime increase when he reduces police funding? How long until he reduces funding for EMT and Fire services causeing real loss in life and increase insurance costs. Will our Everglades and rivers be destroyed because of the loss of enviornmental regulations or enforcement? What about the ecology of our wildlife, fishing industry? Will they no longer be protected? Will our drinking water be impacted by increased industrial waste? There is a reason for government folks, if you let this fellow continue on his tea bag agenda, it will soon all become clear to you what some of us already know.

Too long winded! May I suggest you apply for a federal wind energy grant. You could compete with the Koch boys oil and natural gas pipelines. Or the filtration companies they created to address increasing federal regulations for water, etc.. Are they complicit with the government in making money off of regulations of water quality? Or hazardous waste?

http://kochmembrane.com/cmp_hist.html

Oh, my God, Koch Membrane Systems, Inc. selling membranes for cleaning up the environment.

Would you care for a spot of tea, while you wait for your vision to reach maturity?

Disclosure: I am not a KMS fan, I think there are much better competing firms, but then again, you hate competition. Because government regulation is your favorite elixir and we need more. Pathetic!

Fossil writes:

The imagined state financial crises is in the heads of the corrupt and bought tea bag Governors. We are still the greatest consummer nation the world has ever seen. All we need to do is levey taxes on the rich money grabbers to get the accounts back in order. A handful of billionairs are hoarding their cash and keeping it out of circulation causing these crisis. It's time they were forced to give back or leave the country. They have no intention of hiring anyone until the world agrees to do their bidding. Hopefully the people of America now understand the world our business people live in. No business person elected to public office feels acountable for their false cries of "wolf". That must come from the fact that bankruptcy laws in this country have eradicated any real risk. People like GW and Trump can suffer devastating financial loses and still receive favorable consideration from our banks for more start up money. Well, when you deal with public services, people may die because of your irresponsiblity and that cannot be turned around. The world these business people live in is not reality. Perhaps its time to give these people a taste of reality and recall them in the short term. The long term solution of course is to never vote for anyone running on a populist message. Elections do have consequences and now the electorate has learned how irresponsible and uncaring these folks are. They care only for the wealthy and the reduction of all regulations governing their activities. They just want to rob banks again like they did for the last 10 years.

ajm3s writes:

in response to Fossil:

The imagined state financial crises is in the heads of the corrupt and bought tea bag Governors. We are still the greatest consummer nation the world has ever seen. All we need to do is levey taxes on the rich money grabbers to get the accounts back in order. A handful of billionairs are hoarding their cash and keeping it out of circulation causing these crisis. It's time they were forced to give back or leave the country. They have no intention of hiring anyone until the world agrees to do their bidding. Hopefully the people of America now understand the world our business people live in. No business person elected to public office feels acountable for their false cries of "wolf". That must come from the fact that bankruptcy laws in this country have eradicated any real risk. People like GW and Trump can suffer devastating financial loses and still receive favorable consideration from our banks for more start up money. Well, when you deal with public services, people may die because of your irresponsiblity and that cannot be turned around. The world these business people live in is not reality. Perhaps its time to give these people a taste of reality and recall them in the short term. The long term solution of course is to never vote for anyone running on a populist message. Elections do have consequences and now the electorate has learned how irresponsible and uncaring these folks are. They care only for the wealthy and the reduction of all regulations governing their activities. They just want to rob banks again like they did for the last 10 years.

Keep drinking the Michael Moore Kool-Aid.

If you had any sense, you would understand the recent Credit/Bank legislation was drafted and written by the large bank institutions. And as such, the government is complicit, because the banks are heavily regulated.

And the teaparty movement gets it, but you still are drinking the Michael Moore Kool-Aid, that the states have money.

Share your thoughts

Comments are the sole responsibility of the person posting them. You agree not to post comments that are off topic, defamatory, obscene, abusive, threatening or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be banned. Click here for our full user agreement.

Comments can be shared on Facebook and Yahoo!. Add both options by connecting your profiles.

Features