For the past 60 years, South Florida has been wanting to separate from North Florida. On October 2014, the City of South Miami approved a resolution advocating to split Florida into two separate states. South Miami Vice-Mayor Walter Harris says there are major differences between both parts of Florida.
“North Florida is rural, as you know, South Florida is urban. North Florida is very conservative. South Florida is considered very liberal,” Harris says.
The new proposed state of South Florida would have 24 counties including Hillsborough, Polk, Broward and Miami-Dade. According to the resolution sponsored by Harris, the 24 counties make up a third of the state and generates nearly 70 percent of Florida’s revenue.
“South Florida only gets back to only 85 cents on the dollar, which amounts to an additional $3 billion, billion, that South Florida desperately is going to need because we’re going to have to start setting up desalination plans all over the place to get any water,” Harris says.
Driving the current secession effort are concerns about climate change and sea level rise. The City of Miami plans to use the money to improve educational facilities in South Florida and the rail lines in the middle of the state. However, due to the many political obstacles, the chances of the regions splitting up are unlikely. The state has to approve the proposal, then the federal government would have to agree. Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez says he isn’t too concerned about the idea.
“The path to statehood is a pretty complicated pass, so I wouldn’t spend too much time worrying about that. That’s not going to happen,” Gimenez says.
The fight is difficult, but Harris says it has to start somewhere. According to the resolution, the creation of the 51st state is necessary for the survival of the southern region.