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Weekly Campaign Updates: Sept. 12, 2021

  1. Tropical Storm Mindy

  2. Building solar power in Louisiana after Hurricane Ida

  3. Community data and outreach project

  1. Tropical Storm Mindy (Sept. 8-10, 2021)

Tropical Storm Mindy may have seemed like it popped out of nowhere - only becoming a named storm 2 hours and 15 minutes before landfall at St. Vincent's Island, Florida - but she actually started forming in the southern Caribbean ocean just off the coast of South America. Luckily, she moved through quickly, did not rapidly intensity, and caused minimal damage during an otherwise catastrophic hurricane season.

Track of tropical storm Mindy (2021) pressure system history, Sept. 8-10, 2021.,

On a personal note, we decided to let Jackson try kayaking solo on the same day, seeing the calm waters earlier in the morning. By the afternoon, however, the waves and currents picked up, and insisting he at least try (in no more than 2 feet of water, of course), we had fun trying to see if any of us could keep the kayak from tipping in the waves. Needless to say, the experiment was short and we each have quite a few bruises from the kayak bumping into us after we were tossed out. We tried again a few days later and he's a natural.

There are several potential tropical systems out in the Gulf right now, and we'll be watching closely and helping where we can should any of them progress. You can follow us on Facebook and Instagram for the latest updates.

Five-day tropical development outlook from the National Hurricane Center:

2. Bringing solar power to south Louisiana after Hurricane Ida

Last Thursday, I drove over to the Pointe-aux-Chenes Bayou to meet up with Josh Fox, who has been organizing a massive solar installation project across Louisiana in the wake of Hurricane Ida. Josh lives in New Orleans, and I went to grad school at LSU and the worked in Baton Rouge for years after, so we both are invested in the communities we've gotten to know there. As a coastal scientist with the state, I got to know two tribal communities very well: the Isle de Jean Charles and the Point-au-Chien.

I knew the state and county would be slow to get power back up to these remote bayou locations, and encouraged Josh and the Tesla/volunteer teams to bring solar down to their communities.

I was thrilled to not only see it happen, but to get to help with setting it up. First, we met in Laplace, where flooding necessitates the complete gutting of homes there. We set up a 10 kw solar site at the Celebration Church, which was providing food, water, baby supplies, and more to the communities in the area.

Then we drove down to Pointe-aux-Chenes. The devastation was truly heartbreaking. I've been researching this specific area for more than seven years. I designed computer models to simulate the impacts of storm surge after continued subsidence, sea level rise and coastal land loss. I knew what a storm like Ida was capable of doing to this community. But that didn't lessen the impact of seeing it. And I've seen a lot of these. I lived through Hurricane Katrina in south Mississippi in 2005 (and Georges in 1998, Isaac in 2012, so on and so on).

Excusez mon français.

I'm doing more for my community through this campaign than Matt Gaetz has done during his three terms as our representative. More than the entire GOP, for that matter.

I'm treating this campaign like crisis response for several reasons.

First, this is a crisis. Our country is in a crisis.

Second, I've been working in disaster response my entire career.

Third, there's always a crisis in your community. Whether it's a Category 4 hurricane or a family who can't afford rent, our representatives should be there to help us through the difficult times, and enact policy that improves the lives of people and affords those in our country the opportunity to reach for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

3. Community data and outreach project

Starting this week, we're sending out a massive mailing to residents in Florida's first district. The mailing list includes more than 36,000 residents.

This mailing project includes critical community information that I personally analyzed using data resources from across the web, current as of March 2021.

Every letter is specific to the address it is being sent to, and includes information about the hurricane evacuation zone the house is in, whether or not the home is within one of the estimates of inundation for future sea level rise (and if it is, at what feet and year it is expected to be flooded), nearby toxic sites and the specific hazardous elements found there (set to a 100 foot geodesic buffer), a community snapshot that includes everything from median household income to the percent of people who watch FOX, CNN, MSNBC, etc each week (data down to the 9-digit zip code area).

Here's an example:

While a massive project, I plan to continue to do this kind of direct-mail outreach throughout my campaign to provide residents interesting, relevant information about the community's they live in. While this first project is targeted toward environmental hazards and vulnerability, with a community snapshot, I plan on sending out materials that will help keep citizens informed, active and engaged.

The only way to continue to serve as a beacon for information, science and truth is to meet our fundraising goals.

The first quarter of fundraising for this campaign ends in just over two weeks. We need to reach this first goal in order to show Gaetz and the GOP how serious we are about making a difference through this campaign, and improving the lives of the people here.

The way to win votes is to help inform, register and engage people. We're going to do that every day of this campaign, and need your support because none of this activity is free.

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While the rest of America moved forward Tuesday, Florida took a giant leap back. Words cannot express how shocked and disappointed we all have been to watch the election unfold in our beautiful state.

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