Posted On September 13, 2023 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MEDIA CONTACT Samantha Kaddis, The CLEO Institute, (727) 242-0579, email@example.com TALLAHASSEE, FL – Yesterday’s Leon County Commission meeting marked a turning point for the county, where community needs and the concerns of the county’s youth were brought to the forefront. On September 12, a coalition of advocates including genCLEO youth activists, Tallahassee professionals, and municipal staff convened at the meeting to support the successful adoption of a Climate Emergency Resolution, a testament to years of dedication by youth community members. The resolution positions Leon County at the forefront in addressing the climate crisis as an emergency and leading an equitable transition to more climate-friendly policies. It further acknowledges the urgency of the climate crisis by outlining actionable guiding goals for the county to take action to mitigate its far-reaching effects. This recognition represents a significant stride forward in the county’s sustainability efforts. The Climate Emergency Resolution is the result of collaborative efforts initiated by Leon County high school students and genCLEO members in 2020. It encapsulates the concerns and priorities of our youth, who are committed to climate justice and concerned about the world they will inherit. “I’m incredibly excited that this resolution has passed, I think we’ve all seen recently with Hurricane Idalia and the extreme heat indexes that climate change needs to be a priority,” said FSU Lead genCLEO Organizer Nia Ogletree, one of the high school students who began this journey three years ago. “So I’m glad that the County is acknowledging that and working towards keeping our communities resilient.” The passage of this resolution marks a historic step for young activists like Nia, showcasing their ability to effect tangible change within the government. “We cannot keep delaying bold action on climate change. It’s time for us to be honest and treat this as what it is – a climate emergency! Our youth have the most to lose from ignoring the climate emergency, and they are becoming the leaders of this effort to push Leon County even further ahead of the pack on environmental responsibility,” said Leon County Commissioner David O’Keefe. Through this endorsement, Leon County now stands with eight Florida municipalities that have already demonstrated their commitment to tackling this global challenge. This sets the stage for a sustainable future that connects the county with other local governments. Following the area’s recent experience with the devastating widespread effects of Hurricane Idalia, it is encouraging to see commissioners respond to their community with hope and a set of guiding goals that will prepare Leon County as the climate continues to change. “This resolution not only provides guiding goals for the County Commission, but also encompasses the needs of our community members, especially the youth,” said Tallahassee City Commissioner Jacqueline “Jack” Porter. “The Climate Emergency Resolution represents how our community is making great strides toward its clean energy transition, and to further advance the county’s sustainable goals which work in tandem with the city’s clean energy plan.” Climate change is an intersectional issue that touches us all, and as this impacts our communities, the Climate Emergency Resolution successfully makes the connection – one that is often lost – between how changes in our environment and society impact people due to global warming and climate change. # # # genCLEO is the youth advocacy branch of The CLEO Institute, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan organization exclusively dedicated to climate change education, advocacy, and engagement.