This March, over 21 Florida Mayors signed a letter to ask the moderators of the next presidential debates to discuss climate change plans – from the city of Tampa to Miami, but Orlando was noticeably absent. One of our readers reached out to us to find out why.

When we reached out to the City for an explanation, the Public Information Office told us the following:

“I have searched the Mayor’s email back to the beginning of the year and I am not finding a request asking for his support to raise these issues at the upcoming debate.  As you probably know, Jon Ippel left the City and maybe it got sent to him and got lost in the transition.” – Heather Fagan, Deputy Chief of Staff

According to Chris Castro, the City’s then Sustainability Manager (now Ippel’s successor, which we wrote about HERE), the City chose not to participate because of “politics.”
“[There are] Various reasons why… Obviously the City of Orlando is more committed to Climate action then most in the SE, but this topic is very political…

This letter is a direct attack to the Republican candidates in Florida only (Rubio and Bush), who certainly are deniers. It was decided by Mayor Dyer that we want to continue taking action and being a leader, but not get in the middle of the politics on this topic.

Our record and current investments show where we stand on the topic. That said, we are apart of the Compact of Mayors and are looking to sign on to an amicus brief that joins with other cities to support the U.S. Clean Power Plan.” – Chris Castro, Director of Sustainability


Brendan O'Connor

Editor in Chief of

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