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Freeman loses congressional seat, wins hearts of clean water activists

July 2, 2014
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

To the editor:

Where there is a loss, there is a gain!

April Freeman, who recently lost to Curt Clawson in the special congressional election in District 19, invited clean water activists to a press conference based on Lake O runoffs and its solution: Plan 6!

Two weeks ago, buried under the desks of news editors all over Lee County, clean water activists and politics came together for a common goal. The "Plan 6" news conference went off without a hitch. The message was clear. And the stage couldn't get any bigger for us locally as clean water activists!

Freeman spoke about our islands' water quality concerns as someone running for Congress! She also signed the declaration for clean water (a pledge to personally take responsibility for the right for clean water in Southwest Florida). Curt Clawson was given the same chance to sign the pledge and refused several times. Where there is a loss there is a gain.

With Freeman free and clear of this election, she vows to run again as a clean water candidate and that my friends is exactly what we are doing within the clean water movement; gathering clean water candidates all around this state of Florida. Plan 6 has been also set in place and was talked about during the press conference, 86 out of office anyone who is not pro-clean water. Simple as a campaign push yet very efficient as well. Activists have planned for the polls in November and have created actual clean water candidates along the path to give voters a new platform to speak to. The right to clean water in SWFL, free of harmful toxins for all here locally!

The reality is of activists working with political figures is one of truth happening right here in our town, and the message it carries is a good one for our community. April Freeman is just one of so many local political figures involved in water quality here in Lee County. Our own councilman, Alan Mandel, has worked alongside activists for clean water as well as doing his own part personally for us locally. We thank them all from Cape Coral's mayor to Sanibel's mayor for involvement on water issues, yet never before like this time with April Freeman speaking to Plan 6 as the fix.

Plan 6 requires purchase of sugar fields owned just south of the lake to recreate Mother Earth's nature flow of the lake into the Everglades. This is the only way to do it naturally yet the sugar industry will not buckle on the acquisition of the land needed to create Plan 6.

Profit over water? Indeed! And Freeman spoke to that harsh reality without political fear. She is the only local political figure to do so, alongside activists! I would say quite the difference in putting your money where your mouth is politically! It's almost political suicide to speak to the truth the way she had, and we as activists fully applaud her efforts for doing so.

With this energy maybe someday our kids will actually witness clean water in Florida again? With this brand of honesty maybe someday we will actually have people in office who really are running for the people and the communities best interest? With this version of truth going around maybe someday we will again believe in the political process once again?

Until then, we however will be stuck with victories in losses. Thank you, April Freeman!

John G. Heim

Local clean water activist

Fort Myers Beach



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