Last week, the New Florida Majority, a statewide organizing group, sponsored a climate event that called attention to the impact of climate gentrification on our communities and called on vulnerable neighborhoods to be prepared if disaster strikes. The day was filled with activities and speakers including poets, and singers.
Many may wonder why is Florida focusing on Climate awareness. The reality is that Florida faces numerous challenges in protecting residents from threats of climate change, specifically in our most vulnerable communities. In 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reported that in the coming years, rising temperatures are likely to increase storm damages, harm coral reefs, increase the frequency of uncomfortable hot days, and increase the levels of flooding in Florida.
At the event, the diverse crowd consisting of Indigenous people, immigrants, people of color, youth and seniors,demanded real climate justice. All the attendees took a pledge to hit the streets and take action for Climate, Jobs, and Justice by voting this November for candidates who prioritize those issues.
As I interviewed attendees, their reasoning for participating in this event was clear: If we don’t stop the dangers of climate change then our future generations will suffer. Here is what the attendees had to say:
Kelly Lauriston: “I came here to raise awareness about our environment because we are living in it and we need to protect it as much as we can for the future generations.”
Jenson Cox: “We all living on planet Earth and we need to preserve it for the next generation.”
Minora Pamphile: “It’s all of our responsibility to love this Earth.”
Nancy Metayer: “The environmental issues and climate change impacts the vulnerable communities, the black and brown communities the most because they carry the burden of all the impact.”
This event is one of many across Florida that focuses on educating voters on how to demand climate action from our leaders. This November, climate change will be a priority among voters and we need to elect leaders like Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum for governor, who care about the land we live on, the air we breathe and water we drink.
Gillum has spoken about our environment. Gillum says we need to address the impact of climate change by creating a transition plan for Florida to help create clean energy as quickly as possible. In achieving this plan it can put Florida on a new path towards a clean energy economy that creates new jobs, a cleaner environment and healthier families.
This November 6, let’s protect our environment and vote for leaders who care about a healthy earth, not putting money in the pockets of corporate polluters.