Non-profit

Florida Conservation Voters

Location:

TALLAHASSEE, FL

Tax ID:

46-0560492

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(4)

Budget (2016):

Revenue: $508,915
Expenses: $348,858
Assets: $176,997

Type:

Environmental Activist Organization

Type:

2012

Executive Director:

Aliki Moncrief

The Florida Conservation Voters is a tax-exempt advocacy organization that focuses exclusively on Florida environmental issues. It was originally called Florida’s Water and Land Legacy and was formed for the sole purpose of sponsoring Amendment 1, a successful 2014 state constitutional amendment requiring a 20-year, $20 billion funding increase to Florida’s Land Acquisition Trust Fund.[1]

In 2015, the organization rebranded itself and became the Florida Conservation Voters. It expanded its agenda to include solar energy initiatives and a statewide fracking ban, and its 501(c)4 tax-exempt designation allowed it to advocate on behalf of candidates for local, state, and federal office.[2]

FCV pressures local and state lawmakers through legal action, voter outreach and mobilization, grassroots activism, and lobbying.[3] FCV is a state affiliate of the Washington, D.C.-based League of Conservation Voters, a national left-wing environmentalist consortium.

Background

The Florida Conservation Voters is one of 29 state affiliates within the League of Conservation Voters national political action network. LCV almost exclusively supports members of the Democratic Party, spending more than $20 million nationwide in the 2016 election cycle to either support Democrats or attack Republicans, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.[4]

LCV’s 2016 “Dirty Dozen” list of top candidates to unseat were all Republicans, including President Donald Trump, and its Florida scorecard diverges along party lines.[5][6] The Florida Conservation Voters claims to be nonpartisan and not interested in turning Florida into a “blue or red state,” but a “green” state.[7]

Amendment 1

The Florida Water and Land Conservation Initiative, also known as Amendment 1, was a Florida constitutional ballot amendment that was approved by state voters on November 4, 2014. It was sponsored by Florida’s Water and Land Legacy, a political action committee that later became Florida Conservation Voters.[8] The measure enshrined a 33 percent revenue increase from the state’s excise tax on real estate and financial transaction documents to the state’s Land Acquisition Trust Fund.

The Land Acquisition Trust Fund was created by the Florida Legislature in 1963 to purchase public land for parks and recreational use.[9] Amendment 1 backers raised $6.3 million and successfully expanded LATF funding to an estimated $20 billion over 20 years, while further providing a mandate requiring public management of purchased lands, including wetlands and forests.[10]

Then amendment’s appeal hinged significantly on the notion that it was not a tax increase. However, opponents claimed that increasing the Land Acquisition Trust Fund portion of the state’s existing document tax to 33 percent would require new sources of public revenue to pay for other items affected by the redirected funding. Critics also emphasized the amount of land the state already owned. The measure’s opponents included the Florida Chamber of Commerce, the Florida Farm Bureau, and the Coalition for Property Rights.[11]

The Florida Conservation Voters has assisted EarthJustice and the Florida Defenders of the Environment to sue the state government over accusations that the state is improperly spending Amendment 1 proceeds.[12]

FCV claims to have rallied thousands of citizens to pressure state lawmakers into co-sponsor a pair of bills that would have permanently abolished certain oil and natural gas extraction techniques throughout the state. Both bills ultimately failed, but FCV asserted it will continue its efforts in 2018, and until a statewide ban passes.[13]

Leadership

Aliki Moncrief is the executive director of the Florida Conservation Voters. Moncrief is a Harvard Law School-trained environmental activist who says she “truly found” herself when she discovered Harvard’s Public Interest Office. In 2016, the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper named Moncrief as one of “25 Women You Need to Know.” Moncrief previously served as Deputy General Counsel for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Enforcement Section.[14]

Funding

In 2013, Florida Conservation Voters reported nearly $2 million in total revenue, according to its public Internal Revenue Service records. It spent $2.3 million, mostly on Amendment 1 petition and signature related items.[15]

In 2014, FCV reported $3.7 million in revenue with most of its expenditures gong to out-of-state political consultants.[16]

References

  1. “FAQ.” Florida Conservation Voters. Accessed August 3, 2017. http://www.fcvoters.org/about/faq/ ^
  2. Ray, Ryan. “Amendment 1 Sponsors Reorganize, Launch Anew as Florida Conservation Voters.” Florida Politics. August 12, 2015. Accessed August 10, 2017. http://floridapolitics.com/archives/188163-amendment-1-sponsors-reorganize-launch-anew-as-florida-conservation-voters ^
  3. “FAQ.” Florida Conservation Voters. Accessed August 3, 2017. http://www.fcvoters.org/about/faq/ ^
  4. Center for Responsive Politics. “League of Conservation Voters.” Opensecrets.org. May 18, 2017. Accessed August 7, 2017. https://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/lookup2.php?strID=C00486845 ^
  5. “2016 Dirty Dozen.” League of Conservation Voters. Accessed August 5, 2017. https://www.lcv.org/dirty-dozen/ ^
  6. “2016 National Environmental Scorecard.” League of Conservation Voters. Accessed August 5, 2017. http://scorecard.lcv.org/ ^
  7. “About FCV.” Florida Conservation Voters. Accessed August 4, 2017. http://www.fcvoters.org/acerca/ ^
  8. “Florida’s Water and Land Legacy, Inc.” Committee Tracking System. Florida Department of State. Accessed August 11, 2017. http://dos.elections.myflorida.com/committees/ComDetail.asp?account=59894 ^
  9. “Florida’s Landmark Programs for Conservation and Recreation Land Acquisition.” Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Accessed August 10, 2017. http://www.dep.state.fl.us/lands/AcqHistory.htm ^
  10. “Proposed Constitutional Amendments to be Voted on November 4, 2014.” Florida Division of Elections. Accessed August 11, 2017. http://dos.myflorida.com/media/693796/constitutional-amendment-booklet-2014.pdf ^
  11. “Florida Water and Land Conservation Initiative, Amendment 1 (2014). Ballotpedia. Accessed August 10, 2017. https://ballotpedia.org/Florida_Water_and_Land_Conservation_Initiative,_Amendment_1_(2014)#cite_note-support-2 ^
  12. Treadway, Tyler. “Amendment 1 lawsuit suspended while Florida Legislature is in Session.” TCPalm. May 2, 2017. Accessed August 11, 2017. http://www.tcpalm.com/story/news/local/indian-river-lagoon/health/2017/05/02/amendment-1-lawsuit-florida-legislature/101162328/[/note] State courts were considering two separate lawsuits as of May 2017.

    Activities

    The Florida Conservation Voters 2017 state legislative agenda largely focused on solar energy initiatives and a statewide ban on natural gas extraction by hydraulic fracturing. According to its annual Capitol Report, FCV and its allies influenced the passage of SB 90, an implementing bill for a solar energy equipment tax exemption. FCV referred to the legislation as a “significant policy shift.” [note]“Capitol Report 2017.” Florida Conservation Voters. Accessed August 4, 2017. http://www.fcvoters.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/FCVoters_2017legi_report.pdf ^

  13. “Capitol Report 2017.” Florida Conservation Voters. Accessed August 4, 2017. http://www.fcvoters.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/FCVoters_2017legi_report.pdf ^
  14. Brown, Marina. “25 Women: Aliki Moncrief Finds Place Making Case for the Environment.” March 6, 2016. Accessed August 8, 2017. http://www.tallahassee.com/story/news/2016/03/06/25-women-aliki-moncrief-finds-place-making-case-environment/81208132/ ^
  15. “Florida’s Water and Land Legacy, Inc.” Form 990. 2013. Statement of Functional Expenses. Accessed August 11, 2017. http://www.guidestar.org/FinDocuments/2013/460/560/2013-460560492-0b06ed8d-9O.pdf ^
  16. “Florida’s Water and Land Legacy, Inc.” Form 990. 2014. Compensation of Officers, Directors, Trustees, Key Employees, Highest Compensated Employees, and Independent Contracts, Section B, Independent Contractors. Accessed August 11, 2017. http://www.guidestar.org/FinDocuments/2014/460/560/2014-460560492-0c28bf9c-9O.pdf ^
  See an error? Let us know!

Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: August 1, 2014

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2016 Dec Form 990 $508,915 $348,858 $176,997 $77,313 N $508,909 $0 $6 $0
    2015 Dec Form 990 $187,805 $179,978 $21,318 $81,691 N $187,805 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $3,694,788 $3,425,213 $11,800 $80,000 N $3,698,703 $0 $0 $0
    2013 Dec Form 990 $1,963,541 $2,304,530 $12,225 $350,000 N $1,963,536 $0 $5 $0 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $381,508 $378,294 $3,214 $0 N $381,508 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Florida Conservation Voters

    1700 N MONROE ST STE 11286
    TALLAHASSEE, FL 32303-5535