Press conference offers details of historic lawsuit filed by Delaney Reynolds against Gov. Scott

Eight brave young Floridians, including well-known youth climate activists Delaney Reynolds and Levi Draheim, will reveal why they are suing Gov. Scott during a press conference April 17, 3-4 p.m., on the steps of the Miami-Dade County Courthouse, at 73 West Flagler, Miami FL 33130

​This event follows an April 16 press conference in Tallahassee, during which youth plaintiff Oscar Psychas and prominent Florida trial attorney Guy Burns, one of the attorneys representing the youth, spoke publicly following the official filing of the lawsuit that morning.

The eight young people filed a complaint against the State of Florida for actively promoting, permitting, and licensing activities that cause climate change and violate their constitutional rights to a safe climate system. The youth seek a court-ordered, science-based Climate Recovery Plan and they are asking for support among like-minded citizens who are concerned about the future of their state’s natural resources and public spaces.

Delaney is an 18-year-old college freshman and climate activist from Pinecrest. She is the founder of The Sink or Swim Project and recently conceived and helped write a historic solar power law for the City of South Miami. She lives part-time on No Name Key, a 1,000-acre island in the Florida Keys, where she is very worried about its future due to rising seas. Learn more here.

“Please join me along with my fellow climate warriors, by standing behind us in our fight for climate rights,” said Reynolds.

Reynolds went on to explain that she suing Florida Governor Rick Scott and the State of Florida along with the seven other children to demand that the promises made to them in the Florida Constitution and The Public Trust Doctrine be kept and that Public Trust Resources, including the atmosphere and waters be protected from man-made carbon dioxide pollution caused by fossil fuels.

“I strongly feel that we have a moral obligation to try and change things before it’s too late,” said Reynolds in a prepared statement, excerpts of which are as follows:

I am the fourth generation of my family to live in South Florida and was born here in Miami. I love the state of Florida and its incredible diversity including the vibrancy and natural beauty of Miami and Miami Beach, the serenity of places like Matheson Hammock, and natural wonders such as the Florida Keys, our state’s amazing coral reefs and, of course, the Everglades, the only habitat of its kind on earth.

But I am deeply worried about Florida’s future. The carbon dioxide that is being pumped into our atmosphere and oceans from petroleum products made from fossil fuels place parts of Florida that I cherish at the very real risk of disappearing… Of becoming extinct… Of being lost… Forever.

And those concerns, along with our State leaders total disregard for what is already happening, much less the threats that we face in the future, is part of the reason that I am suing our Governor and State of Florida. Our climate change crisis is the biggest issue that my generation will ever face and it’s up to us, today’s children, to fix this problem. It is my hope that the court will rule to require that Florida enact and enforce laws to reduce and eliminate carbon emissions so that our state and citizens can have a future here.

Communities large and small all over Florida are already being forced to take action to address our climate crisis and when it comes to sea level rise, South Florida is literally ground zero for what’s happening here in the United States. Billions of dollars of real estate, as well as the tax revenue that goes with it is at risk. Millions of people face the very real risk of being forced from our region and becoming climate change refugees. Much of our environment is literally at risk of extinction and yet our state’s political leaders avoid and deny the reality that our citizens increasingly face and leave it to locals to try and address this enormous issue. Examples include:  

  1. Miami Beach is spending nearly half a billion dollars to begin addressing the flooding from sea level rise that already consumes their community.
  2. Last year City of Miami voters passed the Miami Forever Bond including $200 million towards sea level rise mitigation. Of course they did, flooding from seal rise has become a way of life here.
  3. The City of South Miami passed a historic solar power law last year, the first of its type in Florida, a law that I proudly played a role in conceiving and helped to write, that requires residential solar power as a step to reduce carbon emissions.
  4. Miami-Dade, Broward, Monroe and Palm Beach Counties have banded together to create the South Florida Climate Change Compact because of the dire risks that our entire region faces.

In each of these cases concerned citizens and local leaders have come to realize that we must take action if South Florida is to have a chance to have a future. And yet, Florida’s Governor mocks us by denying that human caused climate change and sea level rise is an issue by saying that he has no view on these topics because, as he likes to say, he’s “not a scientist”.

For a Governor who likes to campaign for office by touting job creation it also makes no sense that he’s not embraced growing solar power for Florida. Experts predict that transitioning Florida to a renewable energy system would create over 300,000 good, well paying, long term jobs.

And, of course, let’s not forget that widely expanding solar power everywhere will save consumers a LOT of money while also helping save our environment.

So, while the Governor and State of Florida appear dedicated to the polluting ways of the past, I am hoping that our future will be filled with sustainable power and that The Sunshine State will become THE Solar State.

I congratulate my co-Plaintiffs, the seven children that are standing with me to fight our Governor and the State. Thanks to Levi, Isaac, Luxha, Andres, Oscar, Oliver and Valholly. You are brave and passionate beyond words and I know that I speak for countless people when I say how grateful I am for your commitment and passion to helping me solve our climate change crisis. 

I also want to end by thanking our exceptional legal team, our attorneys, as well as the incredible team at Our Children’s Trust for all your help. On behalf of all the children, and the generations that will come after us, thanks to Guy Burns, Andrea Rodgers, Meg Ward, Caitlin Howard, Dick Jacobs, Mitchell Chester, Sandy D’Alemberte, Wally Pope, Jane West, Erin Deady, Deb Swim, and Matthew Schultz.

To learn more about the lawsuit and the organization helping Florida’s children seek justice, please visit:


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About the Author

Bill Kress
Bill Kress, President of Kress Communications, is an editorial consultant with the Community Newspapers, covering business news, non-profits, and municipal government. He is an award-winning public relations practitioner, news reporter, photographer, and a prolific social mediologist. Reach Bill at info@kresscom.com or call 305-763-2429.

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