Monday, March 31, 2008

Post Earth Hour and Good Eats!

Here it is! Before and after for Earth Hour - thanks to all who made it happen and to all those who participated - remember, one person can and should make a difference...

Also, if you happen to pick up the May 15 issue of American Way magazine, there is an article where Miami residents give their recommendations for out of the way places to eat and visit - check out the article at and more importantly, check out the places listed, especially the ones I mention, you won't regret it!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Marley, Pete, Owen, Jennifer, Charlie, and Me

Today I toured the set of "Marley and Me," a motion picture beeing filmed next door to City Hall at the Coconut Grove Convention Center - This once underused building now houses two productions, "Marley" and the USA Network Television program "Burn Notice."

Movies and TV not only show off our City's natural and physical beauty, but they provide a great economic stimulus. Filming is an almost $4 billion industry statewide employing over 34,000 people - on this set, we ran into caterers, lighting crews, sound technicians, photographers, and many others, all from Miami, working on this project.

Here I am with City Manager Pete Hernandez, film stars Owen Wilson, Jennifer Aniston, and Florida Governor Charlie Crist.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Earth Hour Launch Pic

A pic of my daughter and I at the Earth Hour Launch Event this past Monday - more on Earth Hour tomorrow and Saturday - Just remember, turn off your lights on Saturday!

Affordable Housing Day

Yesterday was affordable housing day at the state capital in Tallahassee - During the 60 day legislative session, every day is a special "something" day - not only do most cities and counties get a "day," but professions, organizations, causes all get a day too - yesterday it was affordable housing.

Now we all know the state is in an economic slump - in fact, they are in an almost $3.5 billion slump. Due to financial uncertainties, it is becoming more and more difficult for working families to purchase a home. Cities have been doing all we can. In Miami, we have invested more than $742 million toward affordable housing projects, using city resources to leverage funds from private developers and we plan to invest $1 billion by 2010.

There is a fund at the state called the Sadowski Affordable Housing Trust Fund where millions of dollars from doc. stamp revenues are collected and meant to be spent on housing.

But instead of spending the whole thing on housing, state leaders raid the Sadowski Affordable Housing Trust Fund, diverting money meant to provide houses for Florida’s families - They then use the money for other things. It's sort of like if you have an account and you set aside money for one thing, but then someone comes and spends it on something else.

According to the Florida Housing Coalition, funding at the ten-year average uncapped amount of $580 million compared to the $243 million cap each year will produce 11,184 more housing units, $1.77 billion more economic activity, $693 million of additional income, 18,114 more jobs, and $16.8 million more sales tax revenue. Just imagine the economic stimulus this can cause!

There are bills in the house and senate to "Scrap the Cap" as we call it and to allow ALL the money to go toward housing, like it's supposed to, and we continue to fully support these efforts.

Lastly, Bill Sadowski was a great Floridian, a personal friend and mentor. All we ask is that our legislative leaders do justice to his memory, honor to his legacy, and take the necessary steps toward honoring their commitment to the millions of Floridians who need our help in achieving the American Dream of home ownership

Monday, March 24, 2008

Earth Hour

Tonight I am hosting an event to launch Earth Hour - when faced with major worldwide challenges such as global climate change, people often wonder, what can one person do to make a difference? Earth Hour is an example of how just one person can make a difference.

The concept is simple really, what if everyone in a given place would turn off their lights at the same time for one hour? Imagine how much energy that can save - it's also a great tool of awareness, making a bold statement regarding climate change.

This is the second annual Earth Hour and I learned about it from my youngest daughter who thought it would be a great idea if we here in Miami joined various other cities around the world in this effort.

Earth Hour will take place on Saturday, March 29 at 8PM - all non essential lights in Downtown Miami will be turned off, including the always beautifully lit Bank of America Center - for more information, visit:

I encourage you to participate and turn off all non essential lights in your home on Saturday at 8PM -- this way, all of us as individuals can make a difference in climate change.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

I wish you all a very happy and blessed Easter Sunday!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

MIAMI - Cleanest City in America!

Thought I would share some great news about our city.

During my 2003 State of the City address, I announced the following goal:
"We have made great progress in reaching our goal of making Miami one of the cleanest large cities in the country."

Our efforts have not gone unnoticed. Forbes Magazine has just rated us the cleanest city in America.

Here is a link to the article:

The people of the City of Miami deserve great praise in helping us achieve this honor and distinction, but much work remains to be done. Remember, it is very hard to be #1. It is even harder staying # 1.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy Saint Patrick's Day

To all my Irish friends (and for all of us who feel Irish), I wish you a Happy St. Patrick's Day - Eireann go brea!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

More Parks...

One of the fondest memories I have of growing up in Miami is that of going down to the local park and playing baseball, basketball, or football with my friends. Throughout my term, I have tried to increase access to parks throughout the City, and this week we took several important steps toward that end.

First, a big park. The City Commission unanimously approved the plans for Museum Park, setting in motion what I think will become Miami's signature park. Not only will it house two museums, but it will be a waterfront gathering place for all to enjoy. Click here to read about it:

A few weeks ago, we cut the ribbon on Fern Isle park. I am especially proud of this one because it was quite literally a dump - the City used this land to dump construction debris and other waste. Not only did we clean the park, but we added land to it, and now it can be used by kids in the neighborhood to play and have fun. If you want to read more about it, follow this link:

One week, two parks - and there's more to come...

Thursday, March 13, 2008


This is my new blog where I can keep you up to date on all the things happening in the City, along with my thoughts and observations on life as Mayor. We just finished an exciting week where we hosted the PODER Philanthropy Forum focusing on the business of giving. Our City Commission also approved installing solar panels at City Hall, making this historic building more energy efficient. Stay tuned as we continue blogging...