What: The Florida Solar Uprising Rally
When: April 10th, 2014
11am Live Music – 12pm Speakers – 12:40pm March Kickoff
Where: Florida State Capitol Building, Tallahassee
The Dolphin Fountain, Duval Street Entrance
–Join the Solar Uprising in Florida!
On April 10th, we’re mobilizing at the State Capitol to demand long-overdue clean energy policy to unlock solar in Florida – bringing jobs, economic development and the environmental benefits of solar power to the Sunshine State.
The governor and legislature have hindered the job creation that comes with the development of solar power for Florida’s families and businesses. Florida has 9 million electricity customers, yet fewer than six thousand customer-owned solar energy systems. Meanwhile, New Jersey has half the population, a much weaker solar resource, but it has 25,000 solar systems—four times more than in Florida. What gives?
Florida’s big power companies wield great influence through their political contributions. Tallahassee politicians claim there’s a “lack of appetite” for clean energy solutions at the Capitol.
Well, we’re hungry for solar now.
We need voters from across the state demanding common sense solar policy solutions from their lawmakers. Register now to attend the rally, and join the Solar Uprising in Florida!
Starting at 11am, the following bands will be providing live music to set the scene for our rally!
- Maharajah Flamenco Trio
- Led by Romanian-born guitarist and vocalist, Silviu Ciulei, Maharajah Flamenco Trio delivers a moving and dynamic expression of Flamenco Nuevo, the ‘new’ flamenco promulgated by such giants as Paco de Lucia and the more recent Vicente Amigo. Centered around original compositions, Maharajah Flamenco Trio builds upon the Flamenco Puro styles of buleria, solea, farruca, alegria and fandango and blends it with international traditions, such as American jazz, Argentine tango, Brazilian samba, and the Flamenca Rhumba brought to the world stage by the Gipsy Kings.
- The Flip Flop Boys
- The Flip Flop Boys are an interactive musical experience. Come experience a live show where you are part of the act! There is always an extra microphone, tambourine, bongos and other interactive games on hand to engage the crowd. The band combines the country soul of the Gulf Coast with reggae vibes from the ocean to produce a saltwater twang. Band members hail from Mississippi to Miami to the Isle of St. Maarten. This diverse lineup brings a distinct flavor to their tunes – a great time for all!
UPDATED List of Speakers
- Charlie Crist, former Governor
As the 44th Governor of Florida (2007 to 2011), Charlie Crist helped lower the cost of doing business and living in Florida, increased transparency in government, strengthened Florida’s economy and ensured the safety and world-class education of Florida’s children. In his current campaign for governor, Crist has pledged work with the legislature to create a more open market to allow investors to grow Florida’s solar energy sector — a move that will both reduce Florida’s dependence on coal and oil while creating jobs.
- Dr. Stephen A. Smith, SACE Executive Director
Dr. Stephen A. Smith has 30 years of experience effecting change for the environment. Since 1993, Dr. Smith has led the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) as its executive director. SACE is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) organization working to promote responsible energy choices that create global warming solutions and ensure clean, safe and healthy communities throughout the Southeast. SACE has grown to be a premier voice for energy efficiency and renewable energy issues in the region.
Dr. Smith holds a doctorate in veterinary medicine from the University of Tennessee and a Bachelor of Science in biology from Kentucky Wesleyan College. In 2009, he and his family commissioned a 7.1 kilowatt rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) system on their Knoxville home; the previous October they installed a solar thermal system. By coupling these solar technologies with additional energy efficiency investments, the Smiths strive to live in a “net-zero energy home.” Dr. Smith’s other areas of interest include sailing, scuba diving, and beekeeping. He practices Ho Am TaeKwonDo as a 1st Degree Black Belt and is an instrument rated private pilot with over 5000 hours flight time. Through his genealogy research, Dr. Smith has identified several family members who served in the Revolutionary War, which designates him as a Son of the American Revolution.
- Debbie Dooley, Green Tea Coalition
Co-Chairman of the Atlanta Tea Party and the Green Tea Coalition, which seeks common ground across the politcal spectrum to empower consumers to unlock America’s full energy potential.
- Susan Glickman, SACE Florida Director, Clean Energy Girl
Susan has worked with Southern Alliance for Clean Energy since 2001 as a consultant and lobbyist and was named Florida Director in August 2013. Susan has a background in running political campaigns and also directs SACE’s Action Fund in the Sunshine State. A native of Florida, Susan has consulted with many national organizations such as Natural Resources Defense Council, Ceres, Advanced Energy Economy, Union of Concerned Scientists, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Vote Solar, Clean Energy Group, Environmental Defense Fund and Clean Air Task Force. She developed and directed The Florida Business Network for a Clean Energy Economy, a coalition of business leaders working together to advance the clean energy economy.
Susan was recently appointed by Governor Rick Scott to the Florida Commission on Volunteer Service. She was Founding Chair of The Florida Commission on the Status of Women. Susan grew up in Tampa, attending St. John’s Episcopal Day School and Academy of the Holy Names. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Speech from the University of Texas at Austin and an A.A. from Florida State University. Susan resides in Belleair Beach on Florida’s central Gulf coast.
- Commissioner Scott Maddox, City of Tallahassee
Over his 20 year political career, Maddox has served on dozens of boards and committees advocating especially on behalf of the disabled, children and seniors. He currently serves on boards of the Leon County Schools Foundation, Miami-Dade Zoo, Florida League of Cities and Elder Care Services.
Originally from Miami, Maddox moved to North Florida and graduated from Leon High School. A graduate of Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science and a juris doctorate degree from the Florida State University College of Law, Maddox is a frequent lecturer in the fields of Political Science and Public Administration. Maddox and his wife Sha are immensely proud of their family, Jack and Denver, who attend Leon County public schools, and their two bulldogs, Lockjaw and Blue.
- Justin Vandenbroeck, IDEAS For Us Ambassador
Justin Vandenbroeck is a clean energy warrior. Throughout his past four years of studying Industrial Engineering at Florida State University he has been actively engaged in the solar energy industry. Once Justin came on board with a local startup solar energy company in 2010 he found his calling, this opportunity led to leadership roles within construction, engineering, and supply chain. Following his dream throughout college, he then gained internships with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency Renewable Energy in Washington D.C. and another with SolarWorld, the Nations oldest solar panel manufacturer located in Southern California.
Justin is an Ambassador for IDEAS For Us, past President of Engineers Without Borders and recently signed an offer to join SunEdison, the second largest solar energy company in the World.
- Jabari Mickles & LaQuinta Alexander, Dream Defenders
The Dream Defenders is an organization directed by Black & Brown youth, who confront systemic inequality by building our collective power.
- Anthony Paz
Anthony Paz is a passionate 22 year old activist from Miami. He is a community organizer who advocates for environmental justice, sustainability, cultural tolerance and vegetarianism. He is currently organizing in South Florida for the Solar Uprising Rally in Tally Campaign.
- Brant Copeland, pastor of First Presbyterian Church
Brant became pastor of First Presbyterian in 1985. He holds degrees from Rhodes College, the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, the Presbyterian School of Christian Education, and Union Theological Seminary in Virgina. He serves on several boards of directors locally, is active in state-wide social justice causes, and co-chairs the Tallahassee Interfaith Clergy.
1. Florida has a huge market in need of in-state energy sources!
Florida is the 3rd largest electricity market in the U.S. and imports nearly all of its fuel for generating electricity from other states.
2. The sun shines in the Sunshine State!
Florida has the best solar resource east of the Mississippi.
3. Florida’s got rooftop!
Florida has the third largest rooftop solar potential in the country.
4. The sun shines when we need it most!
More than a quarter of the energy consumed in Florida homes is for air conditioning, which is more than four times the national average.
5. Floridians want more solar!
85% of Floridians think the Florida Legislature should encourage investment in solar energy.
The Bad News
1. Florida’s solar policies lag behind other states.
2. Florida ranked 18th nationally in the amount of solar PV installed in 2013, behind 9 other states in the east alone.
3. Regionally, Florida installed less solar power over the past three years than Georgia installed in 2013 alone.
Florida has less than a quarter the amount of PV installed compared to North Carolina, despite having a better solar resource and nearly twice the population size.
4. The U.S. (nationally) installed over 40% more solar PV in 2013 compared to 2012, yet Florida’s installation rate has remained flat (even decreasing) since 2009.
5. Florida installed less solar in 2013 than 2010, despite the average price of PV systems declining by more than 50% over the same time period.
Coming to the Rally and want to get more involved? Then sign up to volunteer and help spread the word!