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In Florida, Climate Change Motivates Young Democrats To Vote

KELSEY SNELL, BYLINE: And I'm Kelsey Snell reporting from Miami. Florida is one of only a few places in the country where climate change is a bipartisan issue. Leaders from both parties say rising sea levels and extreme weather are serious threats to the state. And it's an issue motivating young Democrats in particular, people like Demi Amideneau who says it's her No. 1 issue this year.

DEMI AMIDENEAU: Well, I think we're really at, like, that crisis point of - like, for the environment. I think it is - like, that switch is, like, an emergency. Like, we need to change it now.

SNELL: Amideneau's from New York, but she's lived in Miami for three years. She's going to school at Florida International University. And since she's lived here, Florida has seen deadly storms like hurricanes Irma and Michael and a toxic algae bloom that's killing fish along the coasts, all of which threaten agriculture, tourism and the daily lives of people who live here. That's why Amideneau came out to a rally at FIU for Democrats. She wanted to see Andrew Gillum who's running for governor, but she says she's prepared to vote for nearly every Democrat on the ballot because she doesn't believe Republicans will actually enact policies to protect the planet.

AMIDENEAU: Yeah. I want to see a future that is making changes to transform our economy and our society into more green and sustainable alternatives because it's just now or never. You read the science about it. You just can't deny it.

SNELL: She and David Dely say they want to hear something hopeful. Dely is looking for someone proactive, and he wants to hear new ideas for how to fix the environment, not profit from it.

DAVID DELY: I want to see a future where laws are made based on science and equality and not based on what some rich guy thinks.

SNELL: The worst storms missed Miami this year, but other parts of Florida are still cleaning up after Hurricane Michael, and red algae is coming ashore on the Gulf Coast. Climate change will be an issue here longer than this election. Kelsey Snell, NPR News, Miami.


Kelsey Snell is a Congressional correspondent for NPR. She has covered Congress since 2010 for outlets including The Washington Post, Politico and National Journal. She has covered elections and Congress with a reporting specialty in budget, tax and economic policy. She has a graduate degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. and an undergraduate degree in political science from DePaul University in Chicago.