Attention Floridians: VOTE NO on Amendment 1

We live in the Sunshine State (actually, we're the fifth sunniest in the Nation), but we only rank 20th in harnessing solar power per capita. Not flattering. But if "big energy" has anything to say, they'll keep it that way...or worse.

The Miami Herald and dozens of other media outlets have shed sunlight on the deviously-crafted language around Amendment 1 on our ballot this election to find that a vote NO on the Florida Solar Energy Subsidies and Personal Solar Use Initiative, also known as Amendment 1, is actually PRO-SOLAR and PRO-CONSUMER!

And while "big energy" has spent $22M of consumers' money to put out slick TV ads and mailings telling you to vote yes on the deceptive Constitutional Amendment they slipped past the Florida Supreme Court, the smart ones will prevail here.

On Wed, Oct 26, 2016, I attended an interesting meeting put on by Cutler Bay Solar Solutions and Palmetto Bay artist and environmental activist Xavier Cortada. It was a joint meeting involving Pinecrest, Palmetto Bay and Cutler Bay. Each of the Mayors were on hand, and while the government cannot endorse a particular vote, it was clear each mayor (as an individual) was firmly in support of a NO VOTE ON AMENDMENT 1.

[L to R] Artist Xavier Cortada, Raul Vergara (owner, Cutler Bay Solar Solutions), Pinecrest Mayor Cindy Lerner, Palmetto Bay Mayor Eugene Flinn and Cutler Bay Mayor Peggy Bell.

[L to R] Artist Xavier Cortada, Raul Vergara (owner, Cutler Bay Solar Solutions), Pinecrest Mayor Cindy Lerner, Palmetto Bay Mayor Eugene Flinn and Cutler Bay Mayor Peggy Bell.

"Amendment 1 looks to stifle competition and sets up mechanisms that dis-incentivize rooftop energy," explained Cortada. "I'm angry that the utilities are deceiving citizens and tricking them to vote against their own interests so that they can line their own pockets and increase the rate of our planet’s destruction." Owner of Cutler Bay Solar Solutions Raul Vergara adds, "One of the lies is that people using solar panels are costing other customers money. This couldn't be more wrong. In Miami-Dade county along, each customer provides FPL more than $52 worth of electricity back into the grid for free." Today, solar is safe and cost-effective. Even with install costs factored in, the cost of a typical home suing solar is about 1/3 that of an FPL customer. Many solar home pay just $9 per month to FPL.

Teamed with Cutler Bay Solar Solutions, Cortada painted three solar panels with suns, each named Let The Sunshine In. The idea is to raise awareness of the right way to vote on the Amendment by temporarily placing these panels in public spaces within Pinecrest, Palmetto Bay and Cutler Bay.

Cortada even created a "friendly competition" that pits the Villages against each other to see which populous will have the highest percentage of NO VOTES on Amendment 1. The winner will get first choice of the art. Xavier Cortada will then award each of the art pieces for permanent installation, renaming them Let The Sunshine In Palmetto Bay, Cutler Bay and Pinecrest.

So get out there and VOTE NO on Amendment 1!