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BlogHOME | PLATFORM | ABOUT | VOLUNTEER – Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson

It Was A Good Campaign

I am grateful to everyone I met, who shared their personal stories with me, and had faith in my desire to represent their interests in Tallahassee.
Though I lost this race for State House, rest assured, I am still going to Tallahassee to represent our shared interests in clean water and a sustainable economy.
Thank you everyone!  Especially to my husband and sons who gave just as much as I did for this race.

 

 

 

 

An Example of Leadership

An Example of Leadership

On October 31, 2018 a PBS News Hour TV program highlighted our local experience to stop a really bad land use that will impact everyone downstream along the Santa Fe River and within our Floridan Aquifer system.

Our north Florida community is being seen across the world right now.  You can watch too here:

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/battle-over-phosphate-mining-roils-small-fla-town

This is what an example of leadership looks like in north Florida when community members try to stop an impending dangerous phosphate mining interest from entering the land and water in a rural north Florida.

About 3 years ago residents living near the huge, 11,000-acre proposed mine in Union and Bradford counties, suddenly heard their land was soon to border a dangerous, polluting, noisy, health-threatening mine in their backyard, they were overwhelmed and had no idea where to turn.  Since Merrillee was already known throughout north Florida for her conservation activities, Becky Parker of Union Co. contacted her for help.  Merrillee immediately started community meetings in Union County to organize the concerned residents and guide them in the proper direction to oppose the mine.

It is important to know here that Merrillee was not an employee of any environmental group, rather an individual working on her own time and money in order to help people and to protect our natural resources.

Candidates running for office in District 10 should show community leadership in order to earn your vote.  Merrillee has and will continue to work with hundreds, if not thousands of residents, to ensure our rural neighborhoods remain safe and sustainable for the next generations.  What our candidate exemplifies is true leadership with will, determination and a genuine desire to help people in need with no compensation or credit.  This is not political talk, this is the path already walked and work already done.

Were either the Republican or Democratic candidate to be placed in the office of Florida House of Representatives, they would not have the first clue as to how to begin to protect our water, springs, aquifer, the oval pigtoe (WHAT IN THE WORLD IS THAT???).

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Merrillee at an organizational meeting with Alan  Toth filming in the background.

Early Voting Signs and more Signs

Time flies and early voting started  last week so signs were placed the day before at the early voting places.  Merrillee did a midnight run for Alachua, and volunteers went to Branford, Lake City, Dowling Park and Jasper.

 This is the lineup just west of the Branford Library.  Here were encountered Jennifer and her assistant, from Suwannee Co. Supervisor of Elections office, installing the voting booths.  Merrillee’s signs far outnumber the opponents here.

 

Live Oak.  Here we converted a registered Republican who votes the issues.  He did not know Merrillee, but soon became informed and loved the water issue, which concerns him.

This is Advent Village in Dowling Park.  Here we again encountered Jennifer and assistant, placing booths.  At this time, no other political candidate had signs here.  To be sure, we checked with the librarians for specific information and permission for placing signs.

 

This is Jasper looking northwest.  The signs here were strong out  in a wide area.

Jasper, the entryway looking north.

Here on Tuesday afternoon, Merrillee stands with volunteer Kristin Rubin to encourage votes.

 

Merrillee is here in Baker  County, early on a cool morning.

On Wednesday, after Baker Co. in the morning, she is back in Lake City at her favorite corner in front of early voting spot.

 

Merrillee Speaks On Channel 20

Merrillee traveled to Gainesville on Wed. to WCJB Channel 20 along with her opponents.  We must clarify that Merrillee is not a member of the American Independent Party, rather she is an NPA, or No Party Affiliation, which is not a political party.

Following is the newscast presented on Channel 20.

Meet the State House District 10 candidates

Statistics released last week by the State Division of Elections show that nearly 114,000 people voted during the first day of early voting and more than 1 million people have voted by mail.

District 10 includes Suwannee, Hamilton, Columbia, Baker, and parts of Alachua County.

Republican candidate Chuck Brannan, Democratic candidate Ronald Williams II, and Independent candidate Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson are the candidates running for the Florida House District 10 seat.

Brannan graduated from the University of Florida in 1987 and spent about 30 years in law enforcement—27 of those years was spent working at the Baker County Sheriff’s Office as a Chief Investigator.

He says his candidacy is a continuation of his public service.

“I think it will probably teach you something else a lot of careers won’t—it’s compassion and compassion for people and I think compassion is probably an important quality of leadership,” Brannan said.

“If you want to keep Florida’s economy going good, you do two things you keep the state fiscally-solvent and you keep our environment clean,” Brannan says.

Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson owns an eco-tourism business.

She wants to use what she has learned to help the environment through the legislature.

“I go to all kinds of meetings trying to protect the community mostly primarily the environment,” Malwitz-Jipson said.

She says she will be a friend to agriculture.

“All the farmers want to do is grow food,” Malwitz-Jipson said. “But we have to find a way to resources, financial resources, so the farmers can do better.

Lake City native Ronald Williams II served in the U.S. military.

“I get back to Lake City and it seems like Northern Florida and everything is the same and I know our community wants to prosper,” Williams II said.

He coined a term called the “EESI” process because his platform is education, employment, social services, and infrastructure.

“Our K through 12 system needs to improve as well as our teacher pay,” William II said. “That top priority to me is education.”

All three candidates say they want to provide more jobs in the district.

“We need to train students for good-paying jobs right here locally and try to keep them here locally,” Brannan said.

“I would like to see more trade-oriented educational opportunities,” Malwitz-Jipson said. “The kids have to figure out a way to work in their communities and I think trade will offer that.”

All three candidates are planning to campaign straight through to Election Day.

General elections will be held November 6th.

Merrillee Goes To The Fair — In Lake City

On Thursday, October 25, 2018, Merrillee headed for  Lake City to begin the setup for the fair.  The booth is totally empty, so tables, chairs, tablecloths, big sign, little signs, handouts, and much more must be carried in and arranged.

Here is the finished booth,  the best looking one at the fair.  Merrillee should have been an interior decorator.

Since this is an on-going event for more than a week, we will up-date from time to time.

 

Lake City Reporter Political Forum

On Tuesday, Oct. 23, Merrillee participated in a political forum at the offices of the Lake City Reporter in Lake City.  She gave a two-minute introduction speech, after drawing number for the order in which to speak.  With her were Ron Williams (D) and Chuck Brannon (R).  The other NPA candidate Fred Martin, did not attend.

Editor Robert Bridges had several questions for each person, and publisher Todd Wilson was the moderator.  The ensuing group conservation was friendly, with no mudslinging at all.  An earlier forum, which was open to the public, was held at Gateway College.  It created some controversy since the newspaper announcement regarding it was not specifically clear that it was for the primaries only.  Under a veil of controversy, the Gateway College Forum ended abruptly the previous week from this taping, after over 30 years of its opportunity for candidate to be heard.

Albeit raw and sometime amateurish production quality, The Lake City Reporter is commended for at least trying to get these candidates out in front of the public in order to understand what these individuals represent so voters can be more informed when they cast their ballots. 

Facebook video:   https://www.facebook.com/lakecityreporter/videos/2297175940512278/

Merrillee Visits the Sunbelt Ag Expo in Moultrie

If you are a farmer or have any interest in farms or farming, the place to be on Oct. 16– 18, 2018 was the Sunbelt Ag Expo in Moultrie, Georgia.  On a 100-acre exhibit area and 600 acres demonstration area, 1,200 exhibitors and over 300 seminars and demonstrations took place, as well as a daily parade of antique tractors.  Innovation, science, technology and education are the themes of this largest farm show in the southeast, and the largest in the US to offer harvesting and tillage demonstrations with the latest techniques and machinery.

Research is emphasized, since the Expo works closely with 22 colleges and universities, including the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and Florida Farm Bureau, and one of the grant supporters is Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services.

Merrillee attended to learn and discuss water conservation and agricultural techniques with salesmen and reps.

Arriving early at 8:30, Merrillee discovered that, even here in the far reaches of Georgia, her sign volunteers had preceded her.  Although a watchful eye was kept, no sign of any of her competitors was apparent throughout the long, hot day.  Perhaps they have little interest in agriculture.

Merrillee chats with Allison of the University of Florida College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, who also happens to reside in Fort White.

Also from High Springs is Hollie Hill; she brought a group of enthusiastic Future Farmers of America students to the event.  Also from the area is Paulette Tomlinson, here representing the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) and shown in the image below.  Sustainability is key to agricultural procedures.

 

The exhibit dealing with Florida cropland data caught Merrillee’s eye, and the products and information offered, as seen also in the image below.

 

One additional exhibitor from Florida is Pete Collins of Live Oak, who is advocating Suwannee Hi Cal, which is a calcium based product used to promote growth.

Not from near Florida, but of interest to Merrillee because he represents irrigation, is the Nebraska Irrigation dealer from Columbus, Nebraska.  Nebraska is the home of the center pivot, so popular now with producers in many parts of the country, including Florida.  Nebraska has learned long ago that they cannot give free water away to all askers, as is done in Florida.  The Ogalalla Aquifer is huge but does not contain enough water to satisfy all those who would pump it out.  Florida is fast reaching that point, but most here are still in denial.  Merrillee has been working on preserving our water for over ten years.

There was no dearth of new, heavy and expensive equipment, designed to make the farmers’ life easier.

The size of a small house is this Colombo TwinMaster 2 combine, designed to harvest peanuts in a fast and efficient manner.

Merrillee has fought a hard battle with chicken Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOS) placed irresponsibly on aquifer high recharge areas very near the Santa Fe River.  She toured the commercial poultry operations building where the equipment is displayed.   The fragility of the aquifer and its susceptibility to pollution is not well understood by many, as was the case of the Columbia County commissioners who did nothing to stop the chicken CAFO placed between the Town of Fort White and the Santa Fe River.

Merrillee spoke at length about municipality wastewater wetland treatment centers with hydroponic scientists from Fort Valley State University in Georgia.

Endorsement for Merrillee: Sierra Club

 Merrillee, the Sierra Club is proud to endorse you for Florida State House District 10.  

The answers that you gave to our written questionnaire and in your oral

interview show us that you have a deep understanding of the environment

and that you will use that knowledge to protect the health of our planet.

Scott Camil, Sierra Club Political Chair

 

MERRILLEE is a Candidate of Distinction: Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America

We are happy to inform you that your campaign has been given the Moms Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate distinction. Thank you again for standing up for gun violence prevention and recognizing gun safety.

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is a grassroots movement of Americans fighting for new and stronger solutions to lax gun laws and loopholes. Since its inception after the tragedy at Sandy Hook School, Moms Demand Action has established a chapter in every state of the country and, along with Mayors Against Illegal Guns and the Everytown Survivor Network, is part of Everytown for Gun Safety, the largest gun violence prevention organization in the country with more than four million supporters.

Please note however, being a Gun Sense Candidate should not be considered a formal endorsement from Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and multiple candidates running in the same race may receive the Moms Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate distinction.

As the largest gun violence prevention organization in the country, Everytown for Gun Safety’s tens of thousands of volunteers, hundreds of thousands of donors and millions of supporters are dedicated to common sense reforms that protect the 2nd Amendment and also make our communities safer.

Thank you for standing with us against gun violence. Together, we look forward to showing that Gun Sense is a winning issue and gun safety is non-negotiable.