WOMEN FOR WISE GROWTH'S PLATFORM
Women for Wise Growth (WWG) has identified the following topics as priorities for programming, education, and advocacy. Other topics may arise from the membership or outside influences over the course of the year. WWG may take collective action on other relevant topics as determined by the organization’s leadership through consultation with its membership. WWG recognizes the interrelatedness of its priority issues and strives to address issues in a holistic and inclusive approach.
1. CLIMATE JUSTICE AND ENVIRONMENT
Climate Justice is an urgent and overarching problem that will affect every aspect of our community and will disproportionately impact the disadvantaged. The response must address the societal consequences of climate change, including migration planning, economic disruption, and resource scarcity. This topic permeates all the other priority topics since it will impact every aspect of our community.
Equity among different groups in our community is critical to ensure equal access to opportunity, including jobs, education, healthcare, and housing. Inequity takes many forms and can target racial, gender, and other groups. Too often, minority groups are suppressed by unfair wages, inequitable access to healthcare, burdensome expense of childcare, and other factors that reduce social and economic opportunities. Successful communities must recognize diversity as an important asset to be cultivated and nurtured through equity.
3. WATER RESOURCES
Water resources have long been a critical issue in Florida’s growth management and natural resource protection. As population growth and water consumption continue to rise, water conservation and water quality are of utmost importance. In our North Florida Region, protecting our springs watersheds from phosphate mining, over-fertilization, septic tank seepage, and water draw-down is vital. Our urban creeks systems are similarly threatened by pollution and erosion caused by high volumes of urban stormwater run-off.
4. SMART GROWTH
Smart growth is at the core of WWG’s founding mission, encompassing land development, environmental protection, and transportation systems. Smart growth ensures that communities can prosper in responsible ways that do not jeopardize the environmental assets that make them attractive to families and employers. In short, smart growth promotes high quality of life for residents. Advocating for smart growth must include support for urban redevelopment to accept population growth while discouraging low-density development remote from Gainesville’s urban core or the downtowns of our rural communities. Smart growth supports local agriculture to keep farming viable with food resources close to our population centers. Smart growth supports tree protection, conservation lands, recreation resources, and greenbelts. Aggressive annexations by rural small towns and urban development outside the metropolitan area threaten these goals. Transportation issues include support for active transportation in urban areas and rejection of new toll or expressway roads through rural and environmentally sensitive areas.
5. PUBLIC DISCOURSE
Progress on any civic issue requires the ability for members of the community to share ideas in a safe and productive atmosphere. Civility and integrity should be highly valued, since they help ensure the integrity of our public processes. In recent years, the tone of public discourse has become negative and divisive. WWG strives to work with partners such as the League of Women Voters and Florida Free Speech Forum to increase opportunities for information sharing and issue debate. Civic education and creative engagement play a role in reshaping civil discourse.