On June 8, Janelle Christensen was elected President of the Democratic Environmental Caucus of Florida. She has a PhD in medical anthropology from USF with a Master’s in Public Health (MPH) and a masters in Sociology of Law. My research is on hurricane preparedness for vulnerable populations in Florida. She translated my research background into action, first, by managing a State House campaign in 2018 and second, growing the Lee DECF chapter into the second largest in the state within four months.

To her statement by video, click here.

Campaign Message:
While our early leaders of the Caucus have successfully built the infrastructure for 20 chapters, we need to be an inclusive organization and go after the other 47 counties! We need to become accountable to the whole organization, a resource for the Chapters, and lead with strong, clear communication.

DECF is ready to become a major political force in Florida. As Chair of the Lee County DECF chapter and a member of the state DECF Board, I believe that we need new leadership with the passion, vision, and environmental qualifications, to lead the Caucus into the next stage of its growth and the 2020 elections. I am dedicated to advancing the Caucus with a greater focus on getting Democrats elected and empowering the Chapters to bring about the change we need in Tallahassee. I plan to provide press release templates to all DECF chairs that can be updated with local representative information and sent out to local media. I have already started to implement this plan but, as President, I can ensure this is a central strategy. A focused and effective DECF communication campaign can help flip 14 Florida State House seats blue and defend those seats we gained by a slim margin in 2018. With control of the Florida State House, we can break down walls that have insulated big business from environmental legislation. Strong DECF leadership can provide supporting research, media, and materials to our Chapters that can lead to a flipped State House. This year I worked with colleagues on the Board to build our chapter of 34 members, create a revised Legislator scorecard with John Capece, our DECF VP; and supported research for the first Lobby Day event led by Dustin Thaler, Miami Chapter chair and Russ Conn, Hillsborough chair.

My husband, two young kids and I live in Fort Myers, Florida, but I have contacts throughout the state as I also helped form Florida Candidates for Science during the 2018 campaign. We supported a network of candidates that included Cindy Polo, Jennifer Webb and I look forward to talking with you about DECF and the how together we can move Florida and our nation forward. With new leadership, we can build an exciting new course. I hope to see you at our State Caucus meeting on June 8 at 1 pm in Orlando. You can reach me at janellejchristensen@gmail.com and learn more about my research here: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Janelle_Christensen

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