This is a Moms Clean Air Force exclusive interview with Mayor Francis X. Suarez of the city of Miami, Florida:
What is unique about protecting the City of Miami’s natural resources?
Miami features one of the most diverse and vibrant ecosystems in the world. We have water, coral reefs, and coastal wetlands, all of which face significant threats if we do not dedicate the efforts necessary to safeguard them. We are in a unique position because we have the opportunity to employ innovation in our sustainability and preservation efforts, which can shape not just how we protect those natural resources today, but how others evolve and adapt to the challenges of tomorrow as well.
As a parent are you concerned about the effects of climate change on your children and the children of Miami?
Absolutely. As an elected official, I am constantly thinking about our community’s next generation, which includes my children. That is why I am so focused on making us the most resilient city in the world. To me, resiliency is more than just about climate change. It is about anything that threatens our quality of life socially and economically. I was recently named Chair of the US Mayors Environment Committee, which allows me to gain even more valuable perspectives and resources from my fellow mayors across the country to find solutions to these resiliency issues, including climate change.
Why is a bipartisan effort so important, and how can efforts to address clean air and climate change be achieved in our current political climate?
The thing about climate change is that it is the antithesis of a partisan issue. In Miami we experience severe weather events including rain bombs, king tides, and flooding. None of those weather events are republican or democrat. Partisanship is not the way to go about combatting climate change. This is a non-political issue that needs a pragmatic response, and requires everyone involved to reach across party lines to uncover the most effective solutions.
Is there anything you’d like to share with Moms Clean Air Force’s one million members and with our Miami members?
Your work and advocacy play a crucial role in preserving our environment and ensuring that we provide our children with a healthy and sustainable atmosphere. It is because of organizations like yours, which prompt a ripple effect of meaningful change across our communities, that the efforts of government to address climate change and achieve resiliency do not go in vain.
Francis X. Suarez is the 33rd Mayor of the City of Miami. As the first Miami-born mayor, he is committed to working diligently to serve the residents of the community where he was born and raised. Prior to being elected, Mayor Suarez served as Miami Commissioner for District 4 during eight years.
The oldest of four siblings, Mayor Suarez was born into a family where, as he describes, “being socially conscious was a kind of requirement.” As the son of former City of Miami Mayor, Xavier Suarez, he was also exposed to public service since he was a child, growing up around his father’s office at City Hall, the same one he works out of today. Mayor Suarez is married to Gloria Fonts Suarez. They have a son, Andrew Xavier, and a daughter, Gloriana Pilar. They consider themselves honored and blessed to be raising their family in the City of Miami. @MiamiMayor