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- 2011 - October - 7th -

Port supporters ‘Bring the Noise’: Grassroots rally calls for letters to legislators

by Joe Wilhelm Jr., Staff Writer

There was a marching band, a mascot, City leaders and cheering Thursday at the Landing in a rally to “Bring the Noise - Support the Port.”

The rally was a grassroots effort to tell local, state and federal legislators that Jacksonville wants them to support the port because of its role in the regional economy.

Students from the University of North Florida logistics program and Nova Southeastern University were recruited to help people sign letters of support to be sent to legislators.

“We have the opportunity to move our port into the future and compete with other East Coast ports,” said District 17 State Rep. Lake Ray.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do, but it starts with the work you are doing right here,” he told those gathered in the Landing courtyard.

That work included reaching the goal of gathering and sending 10,000 letters to legislators.

Rally organizer Jen Yoder was pleased with the turnout and the opportunity to inform people about the port.

“It’s important that we get our message out because if we are to remain competitive with other East Coast ports, we have to get behind our port to ensure its growth and success will continue,” said Yoder.

City Council member Ray Holt was master of ceremonies. The event was also attended by Council President Stephen Joost and Council member Robin Lumb, Port CEO Paul Anderson and Jacksonville Jaguars mascot Jaxson de Ville. Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll sent a message by video.

jwilhelm@baileypub.com

356-2466

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