It’s Time To Ban Fracking in Florida

In the recent past, Florida nearly became the largest state to pave the way for fracking, which would have opened up much of the Everglades to widespread oil and natural gas exploration. The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) revealed that a Texas-based company made the very first fracking attempt in Collier County. For starting operations without an environmental review or permission, the company was fined a mere $25,000.

In response, a diverse group of nearby citizens concerned about the safety of the drinking water began to flood committee meetings and protest outside State Senator’s offices, culminating in an 80-mile six-day march from the West to the East coast led by outspoken activist Karen Dwyer. A similar citizen-initiated campaign quickly formed in Miami-Dade, and was successfully able to convince a handful of State Senators to switch their votes on the issue. Both coalitions quickly pivoted the conversation and began to demand a full statewide fracking ban instead. Dan A. Hughes has since shut down all of its operations in Florida. Continue reading “It’s Time To Ban Fracking in Florida”

2018 Goals

Over the next year the MCA will be active in direct outreach, community education, and advocacy by forming and supporting local coalitions to establish relationships, provide direct services, and activate neighborhoods for powerful localized advocacy. The MCA remains focused on winning renewable energy and resilience policy shifts, and will directly tap the power of residents to re-center the narrative of climate resilience.

Goal No. 1: Move the County and its 34 municipalities towards 100% renewable energy

Activity 1: Demand that FPL produce 100% of electricity demand in the Unincorporated Municipal Service Area (UMSA) from clean and renewable sources, such as solar and wind, by 2030.

● Outcome: Voter approval of the franchise agreement – only if renewable energy demand is met. Miami-Dade County Charter is unique in that it requires voter approval of all franchise agreements.

Goal No. 2: Prepare our Vulnerable Communities for the effects of Climate Change

Activity 1: Support the work of the Community Emergency Operations Centers (CEOCs) to ensure that vulnerable communities are not left out of resilience and emergency preparedness planning (address electricity needs post storm – solar as a solution)

● Outcome 1: Assist in the development of CEOC Comprehensive Plan with neighborhood-specific Community Recovery Plans made in consultation with local community members

● Outcome 2: Updated County Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan which addresses the needs of our vulnerable populations

Activity 2: Monitor the implementation and creation of community-represented Oversight Board  to ensure transparency and accountability of the Miami Forever General Obligations Bond Program

● Outcome 1: Improved stormwater infrastructure to address flooding, particularly surrounding low-income communities

● Outcome 2:  Safe, storm resistant affordable housing for Miamians so that the vulnerable thrive socially and economically.

Goal No. 3: Creation of a Green Economy and High-Wage Green Jobs in Miami-Dade

Activity 1: Advocate for the expansion of the the County’s Weatherization Assistance Program to assist low-income families in reducing their energy consumption and prepare them for solar, therefore creating green jobs

● Outcome: Increase program funding by $500,000 for a total of $1.2 million to weatherize 250 homes per year, thereby creating green jobs for residents.

Activity 2: Advocate for the increase of FPL spending on energy efficiency programs for low-income households

● Outcome: Less reliance on fossil fuel energy, cost savings on electricity bills, and increase in green jobs

Goal No. 4: Strengthen the membership model of MCA to build climate justice identity and culture, form a more cohesive coalition across South Florida, and create localized chapters that are centered within each frontline neighborhood

Activity 1: Support MCA partner organizations’ training and outreach efforts (CLEO’s Climate 101 Trainings, CLEO’s Climate Speakers and Climate Leaders Programs, Catalyst CLEAR Program, NewFM’s Climate Justice Organizers Training, NewFM’s flood zone canvassing program, NewFM’s neighborhood water testing program, NewFM/Catalyst Miami’s post-Irma needs assessment canvass)

● Outcome 1: Building climate leaders, via expert coaching, to create a network of people in frontline communities helping to shift the public narrative on resilience towards community power and solutions

● Outcome 2: Building community learning and climate understanding, achieving increased and more effective advocacy