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Staying Focused

GAT May 2015 Update

Each region has its own GAT Team. Perhaps because it is a one-state region, AANR- Florida has Government Affairs at a level and speed of action we don't always see in other regions and is a microcosm of the AANR GAT Team.

In March, Clay County, Florida was the focus of action where the Florida team had the lead with support from the AANR team. Clay County proposed stiffer anti-nudity regulations that were severe and opposed by nudists in and around Clay County. AANR-Florida President Ralph Collinson and other members of the GAT Team testified in opposition to the proposed legislation, and other nudists and nudist organizations joined in voicing opposition to the proposal. In the end, Clay County passed their ordinances that will be challenged on constitutional grounds once they are in effect.

I'm sharing this because as part of the effort by all the concerned nudists there was a wide range of responses to the Commission. When we contact members to alert them to pending actions that could impact the right to be nude in your local area, we stress the need for each of us to act in a civil and positive manner.

Each of us has our own approach to contacting elected officials and we usually suggest language or responses that we feel will make the most positive impact on getting our position known to those who will be voting on an issue. Clay County was no different, but the response to those efforts varied widely. It was particularly troubling to see the degree of harsh responses to the efforts of other members of the nudist community to those arguing to protect the rights of nudists in Clay County.

We make every effort to use the resources we can afford and partner with others to make that response as effective as possible. It's not uncommon to wish we would have done something differently or had a more positive outcome, but through it all we need to understand all of us want the same thing. We want nude recreation protected from frivolous attack, and fighting among ourselves does nothing to advance the good will we need to stay focused on the true enemy of nude recreation, bad legislation.

Let's try to keep this in mind while we wind through a year where revenge porn is the most prominent effort being championed across legislatures nationwide. We need to work together to learn from our mistakes and focus on a more positive effort in the future.