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Miami lawmaker's flood-conscious fashion statement is really political



Florida Sen. José Javier Rodríguez will sport some fancy footwear when the 2018 legislative session begins Tuesday in Tallahassee.

Rodríguez, a Miami Democrat, announced Monday on Twitter that he'll wear shin-high Bogs rain boots all session in order to draw awareness to climate change. Rodriguez hopes that what he sacrifices in fashion fengshui he'll gain in political traction as he pushes a bill to require sea-rise projection studies from state-financed contractors before buildings in coastal areas.

"The whole idea is to try to generate attention around sea-level rise at the capitol. I think this probably will. It's a little bit unusual," he said in an interview. "Absolutely the actual legislation itself is the focus."

Rodriguez tweeted out pictures of minor flooding Monday morning that he said he'd taken after modest rains last week in areas of the Senate's 37th district, which includes a large swath of coastal Miami-Dade, the Miami River, Key Biscayne and downtown. On his boots -- which would fare poorly in a significant flood -- he's etched #ActonClimateFL.

Hokey? Probably. But Rodriguez, who is also running for U.S. Congress, said he hopes the low-key move helps spur a conversation without acrimony.

"I'm not trying to get into anybody's face or be disrespectful. The message is, I represent a coastal district with aging infrastructure that's ground zero for sea-level rise," he said. "There are times when I'm out in the district and I'm like, 'Crap, I wish I had rain boots.' It's literally true that this is business attire if you visit the district."