After years of inaction by the state of Florida, the city commission of South Miami has voted on a measure for not just the city, but for the entirety of South Florida to secede and become its own separate, self-governed state. As ThinkProgress reports, the resolution would define a new 51st state of South Florida that would be defined by a new state line drawn above Orlando, Tampa and Clearwater.
The resolution states, “Whereas, presently, in order to address the concerns of South Florida, it is necessary to travel to Tallahassee in North Florida. Often South Florida issues do not receive the support of Tallahassee. This is despite the fact that South Florida generates more than 69% of the state’s revenue and contains 67% of the state’s population; and Whereas, the creation of the 51st state, South Florida, is a necessity for the very survival of the entire southern region of the current state of Florida.”
Vice Mayor Walter Harris told the Orlando Sentinel, “We have to be able to deal directly with this environmental concern and we can’t really get it done in Tallahassee… I don’t care what people think – it’s not a matter of electing the right people.” The Orlando Sentinel also noted that, during the city commission meeting, Mayor Phillip Stoddard pointed out that he’d been advocating to secede from the state for the past fifteen years.
The upcoming Florida Gubernatorial election has seen climate change at the forefront, with Democratic challenger Charlie Crist placing a considerable emphasis on the threats climate change poses to the state, while incumbent Governor Rick Scott has waffled on environmental issues and has refused to acknowledge climate change in his platform.