Wireless companies like Verizon and AT&T have spent hundreds of millions of dollars lobbying state and federal legislators to game the system, and they’ve also spent a tremendous amount of money influencing local elected officials. Wireless companies and site developers are now accelerating the placement of 5G cell poles and antennas in Pensacola neighborhoods during the COVID-19 pandemic when City resources are stretched thin and staff struggling each day with new developments.
Other cities halted the rushed 5G roll-out until adequate science-based health information shows the public will not be adversely affected by chronic exposure to 5G radiation emissions near residential homes. The wireless industry plans to place poles every 250 to 750 feet in Pensacola neighborhoods, which would virtually turn our community into a wireless pin cushion. Other cities implemented smart policies and comprehensive design criteria to minimize the aesthetic impacts of these poles. Mayor Robinson says the City Council “… has no ability to regulate this once so ever.” (February 27, 2020 City Council Meeting)
The Florida Legislature preempted cities in many ways with a terrible state law. Now it’s your turn to make your voice heard. Florida League of Cities President Tony Ortiz called on us to contact our State Legislators and “preach the gospel of Home Rule" … “when they do, things will change.” Want a say over 5G cell towers …, PNJ, Feb 23, 2021.
Email your State Legislators – Broxson, Andrade and Salzman – today
Share with concerned neighbors, family and friends ... commit to share with 3 others, and get them involved.
A sample email or letter (Subj: 5G in Pensacola and Local Authority):
I am your constituent, and I ask you to repeal Florida Bill SB 1000 and amend Florida’s Small Cell Statute, Fla Statute Sec 337.401(7). Florida’s Small Cell Statute is replete with provisions that serve no interests other than those of the wireless industry. Perhaps the worst is Sec 337.401(7)(d)(3)(f), designed to prevent cities and counties from requiring wireless carriers to provide notice or hold public meetings that would allow constituents to ask questions and become more aware of plans for new cell towers or wireless facilities near their homes. This provision serves no purpose other than to undermine citizen engagement.
The practical application of Florida’s Small Cell Statute is that it strips municipalities of local zoning authority, thus allowing site developers to locate poles based purely upon their corporate interests and in total disregard of community stakeholder values. Florida Legislators were hoodwinked when wireless industry lobbyists made assurances they knew were untrue and promises they never intended to keep. Home Rule is supported by an overwhelming majority of Florida residents. The Florida Legislature should stop enacting state laws that interfere with local authority and the ability of local officials to manage their own affairs. The best government is that closest to the people. Accordingly, I ask you to repeal SB 1000 and amend Florida’s Small Cell Statute.
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If you want to personalize your letter, insert your personal experiences. Please email your State Legislators – Senator Broxson, and Representatives Andrade and Salzman today. Then, if you have time, follow it up with a phone call. Listen to their feedback, and please forward it back so we can further refine our message to local elected officials and federal officials.
Email Senator Doug Broxson at Broxson.Doug@flsenate.gov and/or call his office at (850) 487-5001. His legislative assistants are Kevin Brown and Cindy Harigel. If you prefer regular mail, his address is 418 Senate Building, 404 South Monroe Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100.
Email Representative Alex Andrade at Alex.Andrade@myfloridahouse.gov and/or call his office at (850) 717-5002. His legislative assistant is Katie Doughty, and his secretary is Trevor Schaettle. If you prefer regular mail, his address is 308 House Office Building, 402 South Monroe Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300.
Email Representative Michelle Salzman at Michelle.Salzman@myfloridahouse.gov and/or call her office at (850) 717-5001. Her legislative assistant is Debra Malsberger. If you prefer regular mail, her address is 1401 The Capitol, 402 South Monroe Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300.
I called all three this week, and left a message with Representatives Andrade and Salsman, and spoke with Senator Broxson’s assistant Cindy Harigel. It didn’t take long. A few helpful hints:
- Contact your legislators using a variety of communications methods – by phone, letter, email, fax, social media or by visiting in person. Be concise, yet specific. Tell your legislators what effect Florida’s Small Cell Statute has on you, your family, your home value and your ability to enjoy your home, your neighborhood, and more.
- Timing is everything … wireless industry lobbyists are engaging our legislators with excuses.
- It is important to stick to one issue, make your main point clear and back up your opinion with facts. For the greatest impact, personalize your letter to tailor your experience