Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Broward mayors recognized for committing to 100 percent clean energy

Dania Beach, Fla. – On Friday August 25, Sierra Club Florida and U.S Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Weston) recognized the mayors of four South Florida cities for taking a courageous lead in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and protecting public health in the global fight against climate change.  
Broward Mayors Tamara James, City of Dania Beach; Josh Levy, City of Hollywood; Greg Ross, Cooper City; and Daniel Dietch, Town of Surfside Mayor in Miami-Dade signed The Sierra Club’s Mayors for 100% Clean Energy Declaration supporting a vision of 100% clean and renewable energy in their cities.

Mayors (left to right) Tamara James, City of Dania Beach; Josh Levy, City of Hollywood; Greg Ross, Cooper City; and Daniel Dietch, Town of Surfside, with U.S. Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Sierra Club Florida Chapter Director Frank Jackalone behind them.

Congresswoman Schultz lauded the mayors for filling a leadership vacuum.

“The current occupant of the White House has taken a cowardly path by siding with polluters and failing to protect our state, this nation and future generations from the harsh effects of climate change,” said Wasserman Schultz. “Florida’s current governor has been proven to be just as weak in confronting this harsh reality. Fortunately, Florida’s mayors are showing what courageous leadership looks like by tackling this global challenge.”

Sierra Club Florida Chapter Director Frank Jackalone said South Florida’s local leaders will need to counter the imminent threats sea level rise poses. “Seventy percent of climate change causing emissions comes from our cities, which is why cities are the place to start in addressing climate change,” said Jackalone. “If the cities take leadership on clean energy then the counties will follow, if the counties take leadership ultimately the states will follow, and if the states take leadership ultimately the federal government will follow.”

Mayor Tamara James, City of Dania Beach, described the various sea level rise issues affecting the coastal city of Dania Beach like beach erosion and flooding. “It's very important to take strides locally to save and preserve our future," said Mayor James. In light of the sea level rise challenges her city faces, Mayor Taylor said she looks forward to working with other cities and elected officials to “being part of the solution and not part of the problem.”

Mayor Josh Levy, City of Hollywood, covered some of the sea level rise challenges facing the coastal city of Hollywood in addition to his optimism that emission reduction technologies are now available to help create real climate change solutions. “I’m excited solutions are coming from industry, it’s coming from residents, it’s coming from our cities. Those of us who understand the impacts to ourselves, our economies, and our lives are taking leadership to ensure we all move as one and together to continue to have a world that is livable for generations to come” said Mayor Levy.

Mayor Greg Ross, Cooper City, spoke about sea level rise issues affects us all in South Florida including the Western Broward County town of Cooper City whose drinking water is threatened by ongoing saltwater intrusion into South Florida’s fresh water aquifers. Regarding climate change Mayor Ross said “you can count on one thing, not that it will happen, but it is happening right now. We have to address it, and when I say we, I mean local mayors.”

Mayor Daniel Dietch, Town of Surfside, said “addressing climate change is a leadership issue, not a partisan issue.” He reiterated that local leadership on climate change issues can guide the nation as a whole towards a more sustainable economy and future.

Sierra Club staff and volunteers pose with U.S. Representative Wasserman Schultz and the participating Mayors at the conclusion of the press conference

The mayors joined a growing body of
150 mayors throughout the country who are addressing climate change by providing for lower energy costs, improved public health, and new stable clean energy jobs for the residents of their cities.

Other Florida mayors who have signed the Mayors for 100% Clean Energy Declaration include:

Rick Kriseman-St. Petersburg
Willie Shaw-Sarasota
Phillip Levine - Miami Beach
Jeri Muoio - West Palm Beach
Richard Kaplan  - Lauderhill
Phil Stoddard - South Miami
Eugene Flinn - Palmetto Bay
John Adornato - Oakland Park
Harry Dressler - Tamarac
Buddy Dyer - Orlando
Michael Ryan - Sunrise
Lamar Fisher - Pompano Beach
Judy Paul - Town of Davie
Cary Glickstein - Delray Beach
Derrick Henry - Daytona Beach
Gary Resnick - Wilton Manors
Frank Ortis - Pembroke Pines
Joy Cooper - Hallandale Beach
Joe Ayoub, Safety Harbor
Julie Ward Bujalski, Dunedin
Leslie Babonis, Marineland
Linda Provencher, Flagler Beach
Stephen Emmett, Beverly Beach
Milissa Holland, Palm Coast

-- Patrick Ferguson, Sierra Club Organizing Representative