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Leadership on Water Protection in Southwest Florida is More Than a Press Release

Updated: Mar 9, 2022

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 24, 2021

Cindy Banyai for Congress stands against the empty praise for Congressman Byron Donalds and asks for real accountability for environmental solutions in Southwest Florida.

Fort Myers, FL – For years we have heard state legislators and congressional Republicans say they were serious about accountability and progress in protecting our communities from the toxic blue-green algae blooms and pollution runoff that plague our waterways. Yet the problem has only gotten worse, and now we are being told that we should praise Congressman Donalds for deciding to write letters and do a call in town hall. "Real leadership would have been to work with local partners, talking to the business community, talking with residents that are watching the reasons why they made Southwest Florida homes turn into a foul sludge," said Cindy Banyai, Democratic candidate for Florida's 19th Congressional district. "Instead, we are getting letters and empty gestures praising Donald Trump and pretending that Byron Donalds has some kind of relationship with President Biden to plead our case on protecting our water. Donalds must think we are really clueless that after months of nonstop far right partisan attacks that he is being listened to on any issue." We must recognize that this is not just an environmental issue but also an issue that suffocates our economy like it does our waterways.

"If the only time we worry about this problem is when the algae is so bad that it is shutting down the rivers and the businesses that rely on our waters, then we are never going to actually solve this problem," said Cindy Banyai. We are asking the Army Corp of Engineers to perform an impossible task while our state regulatory officials and legislators avoid the hard truths that we must hold those who pollute Lake Okeechobee and our rivers accountable no matter when they polluted them. We will need to put real dollars towards cleanup, help businesses and farms with rehabilitation and cleanup efforts, and invest in educating the public that the water system works together and must be treated that way. "We are announcing that now, from the early days of our campaign, through to the 2022 election we will be working across every community with local organizations, local government, and regional leaders to have real and meaningful conversations about the economic and environmental realities of what is happening to the waterways of South Florida. "The only way Republican leadership in Tallahassee or in DC will ever take this seriously is if they see we are serious and standing together, regardless of the politics. As long as they can keep us divided they will keep allowing us to be choked off while they avoid the hard choices.


Dr. Cindy Banyai is a candidate in Congress in 2022 for the Florida 19th Congressional district, and was the 2020 Democratic Nominee for the same seat.

CD-19 spans coastal Southwest Florida from Cape Coral to Marco Island. She is a teacher and a small business owner. Dr. Banyai has been a decorated professional in the field of community development for almost 20 years, collaborating on issues such as homelessness, workforce, education, and sustainable development. She has also researched and published extensively on good governance around the world. Dr. Banyai is continuing to work for our water, our health, and our jobs. She believes we need to lift the voices of the people to be on the same level as politicians and CEOs and to create a Southwest Florida where the sun shines on everyone.


For more information on Cindy Banyai, press only:

Janelle Christensen



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