Guided by the belief that all politics is local and the best strategy for sustained legislative success is one that continually engages local officials’ participation. We encourage all Ridge League city officials to be active in the legislative process. From the smallest city to the largest, from Arcadia in the south to Zephyrhills in the north, WE STAND TOGETHER TO SUPPORT LOCAL AUTHORITY.
Florida League of Cities Legislative Priorities
2023 State Legislative Save the Date
Brew up stronger relationships with your legislators! When state and local officials work together, Floridians benefit. We must collaborate to solve problems and improve Florida.
To help us foster and build these relationships, I am excited to announce that this year’s focus will be themed around my way of breaking the ice: coﬀee and conversation, or what we will call #commongrounds.
By finding #commongrounds, we put people over politics, access over agendas and success over shouting.
These face-to-face meetings in a low-stress environment can accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. I also encourage you not to talk shop but to get to know your legislator. This fall, lawmakers will be back in their districts. And after the election, we will undoubtedly welcome newly elected legislators. This situation presents a perfect opportunity to connect or reconnect with your state leaders. Learn what is important to them, and ask them what we can do to help them have a successful upcoming session.
Let’s bring home a strategic partnership that will benefit all of Florida and all we serve because Floridians deserve leadership that works for them.
Below you will find the #commongrounds toolkit of resources. I hope each of you finds something helpful or motivational to start these conversations with your legislators.
While it’s up to the individual to ﬁnd the right coﬀee shop, this toolkit provides some tips and information that will lay the foundation for a good start. In this toolkit you will find information about:
Whether you’re a newly elected official or you’ve been in office for a number of years, The Advo-Kit advocacy toolkit from the Florida League of Cities has something for every local leader to help make your advocacy even more successful.
New to office? The Advo-Kit has sections explaining the importance of Home Rule and examples of legislation that impact your community, as well as information on contacting your legislators, crafting your message and building relationships with legislators.
For those officials already experienced in advocating, The Advo-Kit has resources for you too, such as working with the media to spread your message and suggestions on media outlets to follow, as well as reminders on how to properly testify in front of legislative committees and keys to lobbying in person, virtually or via email.
Let The Advo-Kit help to ensure your advocacy is as successful and impactful as possible.
Home Rule Heroes
The Florida League of Cities is recognizing more than 150 municipal officials with Home Rule Hero Awards for their work during the 2023 legislative session.
Home Rule Hero Award recipients are local government officials, both elected and nonelected, who consistently responded to the League’s request to reach out to members of the legislature and help give a local perspective on an issue. They worked tirelessly throughout the legislative session to promote local voices making local choices, protect the Home Rule powers of Florida’s municipalities and advance the League’s legislative agenda.
“On behalf of the League and its legislative team, we’re very proud to present this year’s Home Rule Hero Awards to a deserving group of municipal leaders,” said FLC Director of Legislative Affairs Casey Cook. “We had a record number of Home Rule Heroes this year, which shows the dedication and impact of local officials on behalf of their residents and businesses in protecting local decision-making. They’re heroes for Home Rule and we thank them for their efforts.”
The following local officials were constantly engaged and actively advocating for their communities throughout the 2023 Legislative Session. Members from the Ridge League are bolded.
Each Home Rule Hero will be presented with their award at a future date. Want to see your name on next year’s list? Click here to learn how you can be a Home Rule Hero!
2023 Home Rule Heroes. Jeff Branch, Senior Legislative Advocate with the Florida League of Cities (FLC) presented fifteen (15) Home Rule Hero Awards to Ridge League Officials at the June RLC Membership Dinner. From left to right: Jeff Branch, Mayor Nancy Daley, Lake Alfred; Commissioner Tracy Mercer, Winter Haven; Vice Mayor Sam Fite, Bowling Green; Mike Herr, City Manager, Bartow; Commissioner Trish Pfeiffer, Bartow; Steven Hunnicutt, Asst. City Manager, Davenport; Commissioner Omar Arroyo, Haines City; Jeff Tillman, City Manager, Auburndale; City Manager Tom Ernharth, Eagle Lake; Dawn Wright, City Clerk, Eagle Lake; Council Member Marlene Wagner, Lake Hamilton; and Mayor Dorothea Taylor Bogert, Auburndale. Unable to attend the presentation were Mayor Brad Dantzler, Winter Haven; Commissioner Leo Longworth, Bartow; and Commissioner Scott Black, Dade City;