It’s a long, uphill battle but the more who start the more will finish, so we are glad to see these candidates. So much is wrong with the attitude of our Tallahassee power figures (whom I cannot call “leaders”) we need the energy of young people to take on this battle.
Read the original article here in Florida Politics.
Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
– A river is like a life: once taken,
it cannot be brought back © Jim Tatum
Senate candidates hosting a virtual town hall stressed climate change disproportionately hurts women and communities of color. Coincidentally, the four women also said women may hold the answers to the crisis.
Rachel Brown, Heather Hunter, Kathy Lewis and Katherine Norman joined together to draw attention to similar environmental platforms. While all four are widely considered underdogs in their campaigns, they made clear a shared desire for radical change on Florida policy toward the earth.
“We need bold people in office, people who are unafraid,” Lewis said.
Each candidate signed on to the Florida Climate and Economic Defense Initiative, an effort marketed as a state version of the Green New Deal advanced by progressives like U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in Congress. The plan calls for a massive investment in clean energy infrastructure and incentivizing the deployment of green technologies.
Lewis filed in Senate District 20 against Republican Danny Burgess, two years after challenging outgoing Sen. Tom Lee for the same seat. Of all the candidates at the forum, she’s in the most competitive district, though she’s trailing Burgess massively in finances.
But Lewis said she’s been as disappointed with Democrats as Republicans in the Legislature go along with weak efforts branded “water quality” initiatives. She called the Clean Waterways Act signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis this year and approved unanimously by the House and Senate a “joke,” for example.
“Let’s say the world turns upside down and I win,” she said. “We will continue to see this bad legislation and I will speak out against it.”
Several candidates shared that sentiment. Brown, running against Rep. Ray Rodrigues for the open Senate District 27 seat, serves on the Rights of Nature board and said language in a statute barring lawsuits on behalf of ecosystems undermined any positive actions.
“We need big legislation,” the Fort Myers Democrat said. “It’s more than just having clean water.”
Norman, who is challenging Sen. Joe Gruters in Senate District 23, said she’s concerned as a mother to young children about how little the state has done proactively to protect the planet.
”We are doing less than nothing to prevent pollution and protect environmental rights as a human race and our rights as a planet,” she said, saying subsidization of many industries involved in pollution makes the state responsible for much of the damage.
She dismissed actions like raising fines, touted by Gruters in his first television ad this year, as complacent and backward-looking. Similarly, she told Florida Politics she’s not impressed with investing further in research on red tide when the causes of such disasters are well known. The state should instead block the release of biosolids into waterways and take other proactive measures that ensure the environment doesn’t take a hit in the first place.
Heather Hunter, a Saint Augustine Democrat challenging Sen. Travis Hutson in Senate District 7, said she’s concerned with the long-term impacts that could arrive very soon thanks to short-term thinking. In her region, sea level rise threatens businesses and historic sites in the downtown area….