The Listening Session: April 5, 2018

  • CLEO held a listening session with Overtown leaders as part of the Creating Climate Connections outreach program. Caroline Lewis, our Executive Director, led the session by first doing a brief introduction about climate change and the major impacts expected. The presentation helped those present connect the dots on topics such as: Health care, especially the Zika virus, heat stroke, etc., as well as increase in crime due to increased heat, which causes more aggression.  
  • One of the guests spoke about the resiliency of the people in Overtown and their ability to survive and deal with a lot of pressing issues.  This highlighted and helped clarify how CLEO’s approach in Overtown should like and what issues we need to focus on in order to get Citizens of this neighborhood engaged. 

The Climate Training: April 26, 2018

  • CLEO hosted a community workshop in Overtown at Williams Park, as part of the Creating Climate Connections outreach program. The core concerns identified at the listening session were emergency preparedness, and communication and outreach in the community. More than 40 people attended the workshop.  The workshop addressed these issues and also covered everything from health impacts to climate gentrification; the science behind climate change; and the solutions.
  • We also had a guest speaker from Overtown, Mel Ferguson, who shared his story and journey as a citizen raised in Overtown, and how he plans to be more active in the community with his own projects. We also had a guest speaker from FIU’s Disaster Management graduate program, Marcos Valerio. He shared some key items that people need to be aware of in order to plan more effectively for the upcoming hurricane season, and where that information can be accessed.

The Town Hall: May 19, 2018

  • On May 19th, 2018 CLEO hosted a town hall for the community of Overtown as part of our Creating Climate Connections program. This was a follow-up to our listening session and our community workshop held the month before. The goal of the town hall was to have an open discussion about how county and city can better serve communities like Overtown, when it comes to disseminating messages and getting crucial supplies out to community members in the event of emergencies. We also wanted elected officials to hear directly from the community on what they felt were gaps in city and county approaches to helping residents during emergencies. While several invited and confirmed city and county guests did not attend, many questions were answered
  • The biggest takeaway was that there needs to be more informal conversations between city/county and community members. There’s a disconnect between what communities need and what is happening on the ground; and how and when information is being communicated.