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President Emmanuel Macron of France has bestowed his country’s highest civilian honor — the Legion of Honor — to an unlikely subject: Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine.
Pourquoi, one might ask?
Because of Levine’s “outstanding contribution to our French-American friendship and commitment to raise awareness about climate change,” said Clément Leclerc, consul general of France in Miami, according to a statement from Levine announcing the occasion.
Gérard Araud, the French ambassador to the U.S., will present Levine with the Légion d’Honneur insignia Tuesday in Washington.
As a legion officer, Levine will join the ranks of about 10,000 Americans who have been lauded by France, including some très important company: Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Dwight Eisenhower and Colin Powell.
Levine, a likely 2018 Democratic candidate for Florida governor, has been an outspoken advocate for fighting climate change, investing millions of city dollars into projects to deal with the damaging consequences of rising seas.