Bringing an environmentalist attitude to the Board, it is Bob’s contention that we in Florida face two very crucial issues – water and immigration. We already have more development platted than we have water to serve, and the quality of the water present in our lakes and springs is largely compromised. At the same time, working with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers has profoundly illustrated the role of immigrants in the Florida economy – a role that needs to be more humanely and principally addressed.
All of this while being the Conservation Chair for Hernando Audubon Society and a Member of the Board of Audubon Florida (the statewide organization). This work of the heart has thrown him deeply into local, regional and statewide environmental justice issues – particularly those related to water and human rights.
Since retiring in early 2006, he and his wife Irene have served as UUSC Volunteer Network Regional Chairs for both West and East Florida, as well as National Co-Chairs for the Central Territory. He also spent 2009-2012 on the Nominating Committee for the UUSC Board of Directors. During this same period, both have been Board Members of the Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth; Irene is currently Chair, while Bob serves as “Ex-Board Member at Large.” From 2006-2009, Bob was part of the UU Legislative Ministry of Florida, actually spending the latter half of 2007 as its Coordinator. Completing this spiritual “mosaic,” and drawing on his religious background, Bob has been Volunteer Chaplain since 1999 for the Brooksville, Florida Congregation – Unitarian Universalist Church In The Pines.
A student of Religion at Florida State University, he spent an engaging and rewarding career developing and managing Geographic Information Systems for Hillsborough County, Florida. Challenges that came to his team spanned the globe from cooperating with SWFWMD to identify stormwater effects and areas of concern, to working with the CDC and counties across Georgia and Florida to visualize disease movement over space and time. And while devoted to the work of his GIS team, he found time to practice environmentalism, working through the Tampa Audubon Society and the Sierra Club.
Robert (or, Bob) Keim, was born near the South Prong of the Alafia River, in southwestern Polk County, Florida. He spent much of his summers on Lake Kissimmee and learned, first-hand, the work of environmentalism as a teen-ager, joining his mother’s brother at Army Corps of Engineers’ hearings regarding the channelization of the upper part of the river. It was a lesson not to be forgotten.