OKEECHOBEE — The Florida League of Cities, the united voice for Florida’s municipal governments, recently recognized Okeechobee Mayor Dowling Watford with a 2021 Home Rule Hero Award for his hard work and advocacy efforts during the 2021 Legislative Session. Mayor Watford worked tirelessly throughout session to promote local voices making local choices, protect the Home Rule powers of Florida’s municipalities and advance the League’s legislative agenda.
“These local officials went above and beyond during the 2021 Legislative Session,” said FLC Director of Legislative Affairs Casey Cook. “They made an extraordinary effort, were actively engaged and highly effective in their advocacy efforts. Even with all the various challenges present this year due to the pandemic, they stepped up. They engaged with legislators, shared their stories, and made their voices heard, and it made a difference. On behalf of the League and its legislative team, it’s my sincere honor to recognize this year’s award recipients and thank them for their service.”
Home Rule is the ability for a city to address local problems with local solutions with minimal state interference. Home Rule Hero Award recipients are local government officials, both elected and nonelected, who consistently responded to the League’s request to reach out to members of the legislature and help give a local perspective on an issue.