Falling short in signature petition drive, supporters of Florida Right to Clean Water constitutional amendment planning for spot on 2026 General Election ballot

Details of the 2026 initiative to be announced on Jan. 25, 2024

Image courtesy Florida Right to Clean Water campaign

With Nov. 30 the last day for the collection of petition signatures to get the Florida Right to Clean Water (FL RTCW) citizens’ initiative, constitutional amendment placed on the 2024 General Election ballot, the campaign fell short of the nearly 900,000 validated signatures needed, supporters announced this week.

However, campaign workers still are processing all of the signed petitions, so they can be sure of their validity by checking with the corresponding supervisors of elections offices statewide, a news release adds.

“Collecting well over 100,000 has been noted as ‘outstanding’ and ‘amazing’ by consulted campaign professionals, as the effort was purely grassroots in both fundraising and petition circulation efforts,” the release points out. “The dedication of the initiative’s more-than-100 active volunteers and active supporting organizations has been nothing short of exemplary,” said Joseph Bonasia, chair of the Florida Rights of Nature Network and the leader of the petition campaign, in the release.

Champions of the amendment are “more than ready to start again, hitting the ground running, come early February [2024] when the new petition will begin circulating, the release points out.

Moreover, “Support for the right to clean and healthy waters continues to grow among Florida’s leaders across the aisle,” to include U.S. Rep. Brian Mast of Florida’s 21st Congressional District, Florida House members Anna Eskamani and Lindsay Cross, “and other experienced clean water advocates,” such as Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch, Jane West, Gil Smart, John Cassani and Blair Wickstrom, the release says. “It has become obvious to all that there is no partisan divide when it comes to clean water,” the release continues. “Rather, it is a fight between Floridians and the politics of state-sanctioned pollution. This is why Florida needs to clarify and enshrine its priorities — clean water first — in its constitution,” the release emphasizes.

Throughout December and January 2024, “the FL RTCW citizen’s initiative will be securing professional campaign services and fundraising consultants” in an effort to ensure success for the 2026 campaign. All are invited to provide insights and leads during this time through this form, the release notes.

Image courtesy of the Florida Right to Clean Water campaign

Details of the 2026 Success Plan will be announced on Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024, the release says. Subscribers to the campaign’s website, www.FloridaRightToCleanWater.org, will receive a notice and link to this announcement event.