Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
1. Save Energy, Save Money! Make sure to select energy saving LED lights for holiday decorating. LEDs have a lower wattage and generate much less heat than traditional strands. Set all holiday lights on a timer for increased energy efficiency.
2. Rethink the Gift Wrap. When wrapping your gifts, select gift wrap made of recycled paper, old newspapers, magazines, or pictures. Reusing gift boxes, bags & ribbons can also help reduce waste. Finish off your present with a recycled card to add just the perfect green touch!
3. Recycle Your Tree! This holiday season, prolong the usefulness of your Christmas tree by turning it into mulch and using it for gardening or landscaping. You can also have it picked up and recycled through the City of Miami's curbside recycling collection up until Februadry 4th. To find out more information, contact the City of Miami Solid Waste Department at 305.960.2801.
Happy Holidays and a Happy (and Greener) New Year!
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
This report contains examples of the kinds of projects that, if funded through existing channels, would contribute significantly to the President-elect's stated goal of creating 2.5 million jobs to spur the national economy.
The USCM, an organization that I preside, represents over 1,300 mayors and their cities. The organization invited its members to submit what projects they could start right away and put people to work.
Investing in MainStreet metropolitan economies, which comprise 90% of our gross domestic product and drive the national economy, is the most direct path to creating jobs and stimulating the business that can begin to reverse the current economic downturn. Additionally, metro infrastructure projects can start quickly because the funding for them can come directly to their cities through existing funding channels such as the Community Development Block Grant.
The mayors of 641 cities of all sizes in all regions of the country reported a total of 15,221 local infrastructure projects are "ready to go." These projects represent an infrastructure investment of $96,638,419,313 that would be capable of producing an estimated 1,221,677 jobs in calendar years 2009 and 2010.
The USCM accepted each city’s project submittal, and each Mayor and City is responsible for its justification for putting these projects forward.
However, Mayors recognize that this list must go through a review process through which Congress and the new Administration will identify projects eligible for funding. During this process, the new Administration and Congress must create a selection criteria to decide which projects are feasible and would be of most benefit to the community.
To view the entire report and individual city results, please go to http://www.usmayors.org/.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
The $457.5 million dollar investment will bring an immediate influx of cash into our economy. The construction of the tunnel will create an estimated 600 jobs, jobs that will go to our residents and will help protect Florida’s largest economy from the recession we are currently facing. The tunnel, recommended by FDOT as a means of improving the flow of traffic and relieving congestion, is vital to the future of Miami as a major player in the world economy.
During this time of ever increasing economic hardship we, as a city, county and state, need to have projects in place that not only create jobs, but improve our competitiveness and invest in our future.
Please read the letter sent to Governor Crist HERE
Listen to Mayor Manny Diaz’s December 15 interview in National Public Radio’s Tell Me More with Michel Martin. Some of the subjects discussed include the U.S. Conference of Mayor’s Homelessness and Hunger report as well as its Main Street Recovery Plan and the current economic situation in Miami.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
The City of Miami Homeless Assistance Program, in conjunction with more than 20 community partners, provided free services today to more than 700 homeless individuals during the fourth annual Miami Cares Day on December 12. During the event, 513 meals were served and 118 homeless individuals were taken off the street in a single day, through shelter placement, residential treatment and relocation.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) also released results of its 2008 Hunger and Homelessness Report at a press conference during the Miami Cares event.
The USCM report reveals that on average, cities reported a 12 percent increase in homelessness from 2007 to 2008, with 16 cities citing an increase in the number of homeless families. The lack of affordable housing, poverty and unemployment were cited as the primary causes of homelessness for families. For individuals, the top three causes cited were substance abuse, affordable housing and mental illness. The lack of affordable housing, poverty and unemployment were cited as the primary causes of homelessness for families.
Only Los Angeles, Phoenix, Cleveland and Miami saw a decline. Miami saw a 16% decline from last year, and a 66% decline from 2003, the year we adopted our 10 year plan to reduce homelessness.
This year’s survey included a special focus on the demand for government subsidized housing and the effect of the foreclosure crisis on homelessness. Twelve cities (63) percent reported an increase in homelessness because of the foreclosure crisis.
The report shows that requests for emergency food assistance went up in nearly every city surveyed with the demand outpacing the supply in 20 cities. The Miami Indoor Meal Program served 150,000 meals last year.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Sunday was another a success for Bike Miami Days. I had a great time riding around Bayfront Park and Downtown Miami, visiting local shops and meeting local families along the way. I had a great time and got to try riding a Trikke and saw lots of interesting bikes and skates, segways and skateboards, too.
I would like to thank City Year volunteers for 'Bringing Books Alive', their program to promote reading for kids at Bayfront Park. The Downtown Miami Partnership and the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts hosted the top entries from the DAWNTOWN International Architectural Ideas Competition. Kirk Jewelers gave out free water to everyone who passed their shop on Flagler Street. Sun Cycling came out to Mary Brickell Village and offered a free bike clinic with helmet fittings and lots of holiday cheer, too. The Everglades Bicycle Club collected toys for children in need across Greater Miami, and the Green Mobility Network was back, valeting bicycles and sharing information about bike safety. Bike Miami Days is truly a community effort, and I could go on and on thanking everyone who make it happen. Last but not least, we could not do this without the support of the City of Miami Police and Parks & Recreation Departments, as well as Public Works, Solid Waste, GSA and Communications.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Information on these projects has been submitted to the U.S. Conference of Mayors from hundreds of cities in all regions of the country and includes projects in ten different sectors including Community Development Block Grants, transit, highway infrastructure, green jobs, school modernization, public safety and public housing (see details at http://www.usmayors.org/).
Immediately following the press conference, we met with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in her office and then with Senate Majority Leader Reid and Assistant Senate Majority Leader Durbin to discuss the report and the MainStreet Economic Recovery plan.
Since the start of the recession a year ago, our nation has lost nearly 2 million jobs. Over 10 million American workers are now unemployed.
These workers live and work in our cities, they live and work on Main Street.
Mayors also live and work on Main Street.
We see problems first and are the first to respond.
Mayors lead the metro economies, our nation’s economic engines, accounting for 86 percent of jobs, 90 percent of income and gross domestic product.
With a real sense of urgency, we met throughout the Summer to begin drafting our main street economic recovery plan.
Our plan calls for investments that will stimulate our economy by quickly creating jobs, fixing our aging infrastructure, increasing our global competitiveness and further reducing our carbon footprint.
In developing our plan, we asked our 1,200 member cities to provide us with a specific list of their 2009 and 2010 shovel-ready projects, their estimated cost and the number of jobs created.
To date, 427 cities of all sizes have responded. We have over 11,300 infrastructure projects “ready to go.”
They represent an investment of more than 73 billion dollars and will produce an estimated 848,000 jobs in 2009 and 2010.
These are real jobs, and a real return on taxpayer investment.
To reverse the current economic crisis, we must invest wisely. We must invest where we get the greatest return: in “Main Street.”
We are not here for a bailout. We are here to help build-out America, and put America back to work, and to strongly endorse President Elect Obama’s call for a long-term economic recovery plan that creates or saves 2.5 million jobs over the next two years, and that invests in a sustainable, energy-saving infrastructure.
We are prepared to work with President Elect Obama and our congressional leaders to measure our progress, to spend the dollars timely or lose them, and to account for the number of jobs created and the energy saved.
The conference will continue to collect information from our members and issue our next update during the first week of January.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Outside.in recently analyzed data from over 4,000 blogs that provide feeds to the Outside.in site, and based on variables that include total number of posts, location of posts, and links from other sites in the community, identified the Mayor's Blog as a top blog in the Miami area.
Read more at http://blog.outside.in/2008/12/03/dept-of-blogiology-101-miami
Friday, December 5, 2008
I have partnered with Adopt-A-Classroom and Miami-Dade County Public Schools to work toward its mission of matching every teacher in Miami with a community partner. Through Adopt-A-Classroom, anyone can partner with and make a donation of any size to any classroom in Miami. 100% of the donation goes directly to the teacher so the teacher can purchase the resources necessary to meet student needs. Donors receive personal feedback from the teacher and students. In addition, Adopt-A-Classroom sends donors Impact Reports that details exactly what teacher purchased with the donation, providing full accountability and transparency in the process.
The teacher would have the resources necessary to maximize student achievement, and the students would have the knowledge that others in the community care about their success and are rooting for them. We want to expand this initiative for the 2008-2009 school year to adopt all classrooms within the City of Miami. We are calling on you to become a part of this plan. A contribution of as little as $500.00 could make an enormous difference. Please consider this as an opportunity to contribute to the City’s future. You can make a donation directly to a school and teacher of your choice by going to Adopt-A-Classroom’s website – http://www.adoptaclassroom.org/ or for information, please contact Vivianne Bohorques, from my office, at 305-250-5317.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
One of these wonderful events was today’s celebration of the first phase of ‘re:design Simpson Park’, a public-private partnership to revitalize this historic park and return it to the community. I would personally like to thank Audi of America, landscape designer Enzo Enea and Miami-based green architect Chad Oppenheim for their donation and their hard work to make this project happen during the week of Design Miami/.
The first phase of the re-design of Simpson Park is a step towards the realization for my vision of what Miami’s green spaces will be, and I remain committed to achieving this vision, with a park within half a mile of every resident, and no net loss of park land. Already the city has doubled its park funding and is starting to acquire more park land.
Don’t miss any of the other great art-related events in our city. Some of the highlights of Miami Art Week include: Design Miami/, the official Art Basel event in the City of Miami, in our own Design district, Design Miami/ brings together a mixture of upcoming designers, influential dealers, collectors and curators that celebrate the past, present and future of design. Several other galleries will also showcase work. Midtown Miami: This trendy Miami center has an unprecedented number of satellite art fairs during the week of Art Basel, including Art Miami, the GREEN Art Fair, and Scope Miami. Wynwood: The MOCA, the Margulies Collection, Pulse Miami and dozens of other galleries and events will be going on in this artistic neighborhood throughout the whole week. MiMo District: Several galleries in this historic neighborhood will be open, as well as in Little Havana, Coconut Grove, Overtown and Downtown.
Download a map of these activities HERE.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Yesterday we commemorated the 20th World AIDS Day at the city of Miami with a candlelight memorial and tree lighting ceremony. I would like to thank everyone who participated, and who made this event possible, including our sponsor, Walgreens Corporation, the Miami-Dade County Health Department, the South Florida Aids Network, Jackson Health System, my staff and a special thanks to my good friend Mayor Kevin Burns of North Miami, for donating the Christmas tree.
This year’s international theme is a call for leadership - “Stop AIDS. Keep the promise.”
Whether you are here honoring the memory of a loved one, raising awareness about this disease, or simply because you care about others, it is important that we all lead in stopping this disease.
HIV/AIDS does not discriminate. It does care about age, race, or gender. It destroys lives, families and communities, and it will continue to do so unless we lead the way to stop the spread of AIDS.
Our Christmas tree has 175 cards in memory of loved ones who have left us and gone to rest after their battle with HIV/AIDS. These are the names of people, just like you and me, who brought us joy and laughter, who brought us smiles and tears, people who faced great odds with great courage.
Let us not forget them – let us keep the promise so that each year the roll call will become smaller and smaller.
You can help by donating canned food to the Girl Scout Tropical South Florida Troop 95. You can drop off your canned goods at the MRC building, on 444 SW 2 Avenue until December 5. The Girl Scout troops will donate the food to the Food for Life Network.