Friday, May 29, 2009

Free Fruit Tree Giveaway for City of Miami Residents

All City of Miami residents are welcome to pick up a free fruit tree this Saturday as part of the Our Green Miami program ( From 8am-12 noon, residents can pick up young Mango, Avocado, Jackfruit or Lychee trees to plant in your own yard. These trees grow well in Miami and will help boost our urban tree canopy while helping you to save money and save the earth. Growing your own fruit is healthy and delicious way to promote a more sustainable Miami.

Please bring proof of residency with you and come early because trees will be given away on a first come-first served basis. Each household can bring home 2 trees. If you have any questions, please call 305.416.1551. I hope to see you there.

Fruit Tree Giveaway
Saturday, May 30, 2009
8:00 - 12:00
Eglise de Notre Dame D'Haiti
110 NE 62nd St (on the corner of NE 2nd Ave and NE 62nd St)


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Miami 6th Graders Take Home Free Computers

Today we celebrate Miami sixth-graders who have earned a free computer as part of the Elevate Miami – Rites of Passage program. The program is a joint effort of the City of Miami, Miami-Dade Public Schools and private partners to close the digital gap within our community, and it is part of our committment to provide every 6th grader in Miami with a free computer and internet access.

This morning, I had the pleasure of meeting several of Elevate Miami’s most recent Rites of Passage graduates at Carver Middle School. They are among the 300 students citywide who have demonstrated an outstanding dedication to school work, community involvement and self-improvement. Now they will have the opportunity to bring home a computer, practice what they learned in school and share it with their families.

It's a wonderful day for these students and for the City of Miami.
For more information about Elevate Miami programs serving students, adults, seniors and businesses, please visit


Monday, May 25, 2009

In Observance of Memorial Day

Today we observe Memorial Day, a day to honor our fallen soldiers, the brave men and women who gave up their lives for others. It is thanks to them that we can live in a truly free country, where peace and democracy reign. More than a million men and women have given their lives to protect America's freedom, thousands of them in Iraq and Afghanistan. As these men and women fight for our freedom, we must continue to remind ourselves that they too are sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers. It is up to us to uphold their legacy with respect, reverence and heartfelt gratitude. All too often, we as Americans forget how fortunate we are to live in a democracy. As we commemorate Memorial Day, we do so, not only in the spirit of remembrance, but also with the intention of extending our appreciation to all who have sacrificed to protect our freedoms over the years.

- Manny

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Your Emails About Bike Miami Days

Bike Miami Days is about community, and I want to thank each one of you who has taken the time to share your experience with me. I've received emails from people living in Downtown and also from as far away as Lee County, San Francisco and Chile.
Here are some excerpts from your emails. Please, keep them coming.

"Allow me to congratulate you for a great Bike Miami Days season. I followed your blog from the beginning and the results speak of passion and great team effort, a great leadership! Truly your office is changing our weekend activities and makes it cozy to be out in the streets of Miami. I am proud to be part of the community of the City of Miami."- Julieta R.

"Mayor, Your work in implementing the ciclovia actually made me consider moving to Miami. it's just an incredible town, but it's been completely ruined by cars. You've taken a bold step to try to save Miami from car culture. In fact, I'm still considering Miami. In cities with developing bike infrastructure, like Portland and Austin, young 'creative' workers flock -- even without jobs. I know - I was one of them. Congratulations, keep up the good work, and best of luck!" - Peter S.

"I just wanted to say how much my family enjoyed all of the Bike Miami Days. It is wonderful to have a safe, fun biking event that my 3-year-old daughter loves. Please keep Bike Miami Days going! They are not only fun, but they show Miami to be the amazing, progressive city that
it is." - Kristin H.

"Bike Miami Days = GREAT. I would like to add my compliments to the Mayor and all the City staff and volunteers for organizing the Bike Miami Days events. What a fantastic idea! I participated, and I’m glad I did, and encourage the City to do more things like this." Victor D.

"Sunday, May 17th was the first time that I was able to enjoy this event. It was absolutely wonderful. We will be back in October. It was so special to ride our bikes down streets that I had only been on in a car. I was able to see Miami from a totally different view." -Juanita G.

"I just wanted to write to you about what a great time I had at Bike Miami Days. I think it's a great way to get people together and celebrate what it's like to not be dependent on a car. I'm proud to say Miami is showing a commitment to giving more power to getting on two wheels and peddling as transportation. I get around on my bicycle, be it to go to school (starting in the fall it'll be FIU!), visit a friend, do the groceries or anything else. I've had the option to get a car and I really don't think I need one! Anyways, thanks for showing Miami a great time and setting up Bike Miami Days. Please keep up the good work!" -Joseph O.

"The only person who loves Bike Miami Days more than my kids is me! Thank you Miami. I have to drive from Hollywood but it’s worth it." - Veena

"Even though we got to the event almost at the end, we were able to enjoy the freedom of the closed streets. We rode around Biscayne Boulevard, Bayside, Bayfront Park, Intercontinental, and Brickell. We did have a wonderful time. We cannot wait until October!!! Thanks a lot to City of Miami for the great effort of bringing free entertainment to Miami."- Vicky C.
"Thanks to Bike Miami Days, I've rediscovered Downtown Miami and found Mary Brickell Village. It's been years since I went Downtown - and it's beautiful. I don't bike, but my husband and I like to walk the route each month. We look forward to the next one soon. Thank you." - Kathy K.

"May 17th was a wonderful event; my first time and we arrived early and it was such a thrill having major streets closed off and well-protected by Miami police and their aides for the enjoyment and the safety of the riders; it is truly a wonderful undertaking and we have the Mayor and the City to thank over and over again; all bikers, walkers and skaters should take time to enjoy the fun and celebration the next time around." -S. Hendrixx, Pinecrest.
"I just wanted to take a moment to thank the City of Miami for initiating this idea and taking it to fruition so successfully. I've riden my bike in many cities (San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Madrid, London, Toronto) and value the effort put forth by local government to allow alternative modes of transportation in auto-centric city infrastructures. Please continue to fund and support more bike-friendly venues and dare I say, add focus to more well-designed and neighborhood-connected bikepaths throughout our beautifully sunny City! THANK YOU and looking forward to many more rides!" - Yeraldine O.

Thank you again. I promise to keep the bicycling and walking community events coming. In the meantime, I hope you will continue to share your experiences with me. You can email me HERE and also fill out a survey about how we can improve bicycle facilities in the City of Miami HERE. The results will be used for the City's Bicycle Master Plan.


Monday, May 18, 2009

The Seventh Bike Miami Day Sets Record

I'd like to thank all of volunteers, staff, friends and supporters of Bike Miami Days. Sunday's event was another great day to be in Downtown Miami, with thousands of people of all ages enjoying the open streets. I'd like to offer a special thank you to the Miami Downtown Development Authority for sponsoring the Children's Corner, great live music and the Dance Contest prizes of 6 bicycles and 1 tandem.
Bike Miami Days has really become a movement here in Miami, and it is getting attention around the country. As the Miami Herald wrote yesterday, we are the first U.S. City to host seven events like this. I hope that you will take a moment to share with me your experience with Bike Miami Days, so that we can make our next event (scheduled for October) the best yet. Please send me an email, here.
The City of Miami plans to break ground on several bike lanes projects this summer, including parts of Northeast 2nd Avenue, North Bayshore Drive and the North Spring Garden Greenway. And through October, volunteers and City of Miami Police Bike Patrol Officers will be leading monthly community "Bike Miami Rides". I'll post more information soon.
To see some more pictures from yesterday's event, please visit my Facebook page.

Miami one of "10 great places for runners to hit the road"

USA Today's Travel Section and Runner's World have placed Miami among the "10 great places for runners to hit the road," pointing out our very own ING Miami Marathon, which will be held next Jan. 31, 2010.

Read more about why Miami is such a great place to lace up your sneakers and go for a run!

"Before the summer heat really hits, lace up your sneakers and do a little sightseeing while racing through town. Bart Yasso, chief running officer at Runner's World, shares his list of great road races where runners can tour the city with Kelly DiNardo for USA TODAY"

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Last Bike Miami Days of the Season!

TOMORROW: Sunday, May 17th in Downtown Miami

Join me for Bike Miami Days, The Last Event of the Season

***Win A Bicycle**
From 9:00 to 2:00pm, explore your city in a new way – walking, cycling, skating the streets of Downtown from Flagler Street to Mary Brickell Village and everywhere in between.

Family-Friendly * No Bike Required
Kid’s Corner * Bicycle Rentals
Yoga & Stretching Classes
Raffles, Prizes, Giveaways
and so much more!

Visit for all the details!

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Power of One Solar Car Visits Miami City Hall

This Thursday, the Power of One solar car project visited City Hall. The Power of One is a project created by Brazilian born and Canadian resident, Marcelo da Luz. The project’s mission is to fulfill Marcelo’s dream and also inspire others to accomplish their dreams- all while benefitting mankind and the environment. The Power of One project is committed to promoting the use of clean and sustainable energy through the development and building of a functioning solar powered car, the X0F1.

The X0F1’s journey began on June 12th, 2008 on the shores of the Great Lakes. Since then, the car has been touring the United States, crossing the Continental Divide a record eight times. Completely solar powered, the XOF1 solar car reaches an impressive top speed of 75 miles per hour. The car accelerates from 0-50 mph in 6 seconds. It is equipped with 893 mono-crystalline solar cells. On a clear and sunny day the car can travel 300 miles, and with a full battery, 130 miles at night. The X0F1 has 26 lithium ion batteries, and the solar array generates 900 watts of energy, less energy than most kitchen appliances. It weighs only 470 lbs, and can hold one driver.

The next stop for the XOF1 is Key West and then up to Washington D.C. and then back to the Arctic. Marcelo’s motto is: “Inspired by the sun, motivated by the environment.” I wish Marcelo much luck in all of his travels.

To learn more go to

- Manny

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Stimulus Dollars at Work

The Vice President today submitted his first quarterly report to the President detailing progress implementing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The report shows early progress providing immediate financial relief for American families and jump-starting billions of dollars in job-creating projects in the first quarter, with both the pace of spending and job creation expected to accelerate significantly in the coming months. This report is the first of a series of updates the Vice President will provide to the President as Recovery Act funds are put to work.

In the first 77 days of the two-year Recovery Act program:
· 150,000 jobs have been created or saved
· More than $88 billion dollars has been made available for programs and projects
· Over 3,000 transportation construction projects have been funded in 52 states and territories
· Ninety-five percent of working families have begun seeing the benefits of the Making Work Pay tax credit in their paychecks
· COBRA health insurance premiums have been reduced by 65 percent
· Unemployment benefits have increased by $25 a week
· States have drawn down $15.7 billion in Medical Assistance (FMAP) funds, allowing them to avoid budget cuts
· Thirteen states have qualified for State Fiscal Stabilization Funds to improve education programs and save education-related jobs

Looking ahead, an additional 600,000 jobs are expected to be created or saved under the Recovery Act in the next 100 days and billions of dollars in contracts and grants are expected to be awarded in the coming months. The report finds that the anticipated funds are already having an effect on economic and job growth as private sector companies staff up to meet expected demand for their products under Recovery Act programs and state and local governments adjust their spending plans ahead of receiving additional Recovery Act funds.

To view the report, click HERE.

- Manny

Friday, May 8, 2009

My Podcast on the Urban Land Institute Website

Recently, the Urban Land Institute’s Rose Center for Public Leadership in Land Use came to Miami and interviewed me as part of their ongoing series of podcast interviews with public sector leaders. The ULI Rose Center will serve as a resource to our public sector leaders as they learn and adapt to the contexts around them. The interview was conducted by Jess Zimbabwe, Executive Director of ULI's Daniel Rose Center for Public Leadership in Land Use.

You can listen to the interview on ULI's website.

- Manny

Thursday, May 7, 2009

A Taste of Little Havana & Miami's First Safety/Health Fair: This Weekend

The City of Miami Safety Unit is hosting Miami's first Safety/Health Fair in conjunction with "A Taste of Little Havana" this Saturday from 10 to 3. This free event offers an opportunity to sample great tasting ethnic foods from Miami restaurants and learn about safety & health issues that affect you and your family while enjoying the day at West End Park (250 SW 60th Ave).
The fair will feature free car seat safety checks, on-site child fingerprinting, martial arts presentations, free blood pressure screening, food tasting, produce vendors, raffles, games for children and a chance to meet members of our Mounted Police Unit and our Fire-Rescue Department. The Miami Office of Sustainable Initiatives will also be there to show you how safety and sustainability go hand in hand.
Thanks to the City of Miami Department of Risk Management for hosting this event. View the flyer in English and Spanish HERE. I hope to see you there.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

'Have a Heart for Haiti' Fundraiser

I would to invite you to join Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones, World Vision, and me as we host “Have a Heart for Haiti,” a special fundraising evening to benefit “Operation Hope for Haiti” On May 14, 2009.
“Operation Hope for Haiti” was created in response to the devastation left behind in Haiti after the country was hit by several hurricanes in 2008. This fundraiser will benefit a project focusing on stemming the threat of flooding in rural Haiti by employing close to 1,000 local workers to install watershed walls, anti-erosion structures and conduct reforestation. The group hopes to raise $1.5 million over the next three years to help the community of Hinche, Haiti rebuild and recover.
In Miami, we know from experience how difficult it is to recover from the destruction that hurricanes leave behind, and know that help is always needed and deeply appreciated. Our community has given very generously in efforts to alleviate the suffering of our neighbors in Haiti, and the severity of the conditions in the island calls for continued solidarity in our response and commitment to help this devastated country rebuild. We are grateful to our community leaders and partners who have pledged their support for Operation Hope for Haiti, and we ask that you join us in aiding this neighboring nation.

Please click HERE for invitation and RSVP card

To make a donation to “Operation: Hope for Haiti”

· Online:

· Mail: World Vision, Attn: Haiti Relief, 7220 NW 36th St, Suite 228, Miami, FL 33166. Please make all checks payable to “World Vision.”

· Run with Team World Vision in the 2010 Miami ING Marathon and Half Marathon. Go to for details.

- Manny

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Thank You to All Public Servants

It is with great pleasure and pride that City Manager Pete Hernandez and I celebrate the public servants of the Magic City during National Public Service Recognition Week.

Every day, our neighbors depend on you, the unsung heroes of local government, to provide the diverse and necessary services to keep our city running with efficiency and integrity.

During this, the last National Public Service Recognition Week of my term as Mayor, I celebrate each one of you. Thank you for your dedication to service and to the City of Miami. It is an honor to serve with you.

Thank you and God Bless.

- Manny

Monday, May 4, 2009

Mayor Diaz Named Top 10 Green Mayors in U.S.

I have been named one of the top 10 green mayors in the country by Grist, an online environmental magazine:

15 green-leaning mayors
Climate change is a global problem—but as of yet, there’s no global solution. That’s why mayors across the U.S. are taking action, from building green to organizing bike rides, from redeveloping downtowns to cutting emissions. Here are just a few of the municipal leaders who have worked to take our collective future into their own hands.

#9 Manuel Diaz, Miami.
Pop.: 410,000
Though some critics have dubbed him “Concrete Manny” due to his love of development, Diaz is paving the way for sustainability in Miami. An early signatory to the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, he created Miami’s first sustainability department and a community-wide Green Commission. He has pushed green building, led an energy-retrofit of City Hall that included solar-panel installation, and is converting the city’s fleet to more efficient vehicles. Late last year Diaz launched Bike Miami Days, and this spring the city hosted a week of events leading up to Earth Hour. “We’re on the front line of global climate change here,” Diaz told Newsweek in 2007. “The water level doesn’t have to rise too much for us to be riding around Miami in canoes.”

Read the whole story...

- Manny

Friday, May 1, 2009

Celebrating Haitian Heritage Month in Miami's Little Haiti/ Historic Lemon City Neighborhood

Today, I joined Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones, the Little Haiti NET Office and residents of Little Haiti to kickoff Miami's Haitian Heritage Month festivities.
Throughout May, we will be celebrating with a month long art exhibit at the brand new state of the art cultural complex, soccer games and a street festival, this Saturday, along NW 62nd Street and North Miami Avenue. From 6:00pm to 11:00pm, visit the Freedom Garden and enjoy Caribbean Food, Art, games for the kids and live music and comedic performances.

All Haitian Heritage month events are free and open to the public. I hope that you'll join me and people from across South Florida at some of these special events. For more information, please click HERE or call the Commissioner's Office at 305.250.5390.