Collier County Libertarians did much more than just say “no” to more Big Government. They responded to threats of regulating Uber and other ride-sharing services with a bold proposal to deregulate the entire taxi industry—and won!
They sealed their victory on December 8 when the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) voted 4-1 to finalize an earlier provisional decision.
The Libertarian Party of Collier County has been working since July on the issue. After being outnumbered in October by pro-big government forces, the LP led the charge, flanked by Republicans, independent voters, and Democrats, along with other activist organizations, such as the Southwest Florida Citizens Alliance.
LPCC Chairman Jared Grifoni spoke to the BCC for approximately 10 minutes (scroll to 02:25:15) on the benefits of deregulation and addressed the scare tactics utilized by the opposition with a positive, free market analysis. LPCC Finance Chair Jason Hartgrave highlighted how Uber and deregulation will create jobs by getting government out of the way (scroll to 02:18:20).
Local media covered the victory.
On NBC2, Grifoni said, “It comes down to who’s a better regulator: the government or the people? The reality is, and history has shown this time and time again, that people know what’s best for themselves.”
On Fox 4, he was quoted, “A 4-to-1 decision really sends a strong message, not only to the community, but to individuals at large that Collier County’s open for business, that we’re not going to restrict our new businesses in this county.”
On WINK, he said, “We’ve seen multiple counties and multiple states deregulate because the old regulations simply don’t work in today’s market.”
In an email blast to its members, the Collier County LP said:
“We cannot state strongly enough just how significant this victory was. We didn’t just save Uber by getting an exemption or getting the county to look the other way. WE DEREGULATED AN ENTIRE INDUSTRY!
“Collier County is one of the leading lights in the effort to deregulate the vehicle-for-hire industry. Counties and cities across Florida and throughout the U.S. are following the example you helped set. The fight for individual rights, limited government, and economic freedom continues.”
Carla Howell, LP Political Director and creator of the game, Who’s Driving? said, “This Collier County LP victory is a stellar example of putting liberty in the driver’s seat. They refused to merely play defense. They set an agenda for less government—and won.”