Monday, June 29, 2009

House Passes American Clean Energy and Security Act

The U.S. House of Representatives took historic action with the passage of the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) (H.R. 2454) last week, which will set our country on the path to energy independence from fossil fuel consumption, and will significantly help to promote the deployment of renewable energy resources, thereby mitigating the dangers of global climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
I commend our Florida U.S. Representatives who recognized the importance of this bill and voted in its favor: Kendrick Meek, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and Ron Klein.
Not voting for this bill, as our other U.S. Representatives, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Lincoln Diaz-Balart, and Mario Diaz-Balart, is highly irresponsible, and the effects of not passing this bill would be irrevocable to our planet.
We must now work to get this bill to pass in the Senate and create a bill for President Obama to sign into law that ensures a clean, sustainable future for our children.
See the final vote on H.R. 2454 here>>

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The American Clean Energy and Security Act

This week, our Congressional representatives will vote on The American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) (H.R. 2454). I strongly support ACES, though I believe that it can do more to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Today, I wrote a letter to our United States Representatives urging them to help strengthen the bill by supporting the inclusion of funding for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program. The EECBG program is a priority of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and it provides a vital nexus for emissions reduction at the local level.
This legislation is currently scheduled for floor action in the House tomorrow. ACES will set our country on the path to energy independence from fossil fuel consumption and will significantly help to promote the deployment of renewable energy resources, thereby mitigating the dangers of global climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
During this City of Miami Green Week, I urge you to join me in supporting ACES and the EECBG program. You can read my letter to representatives Kendrick Meek, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Mario Diaz-Balart, Ron Klein and Alcee Hastings HERE. I invite you to contact your representative at


Monday, June 22, 2009

Celebrating International Olympic Day: Tuesday, June 23

Around the world and throughout the City of Miami, people will celebrate the Olympic spirit on June 23: International Olympic Day.
Olympic Day is a celebration of the Olympic values of fairplay, perseverance, respect and sportsmanship. Each year, the U.S. Olympic Committee spearheads events with athletes from Team USA. This year, I join the USOC and mayors in 145 other American cities to bring these events to our local children and to show solidarity with the Chicago 2016 bid to host the Summer Olympics.

Miami is a city with a rich athletic history. Our local Miami Heat team has several Olympic athletes and our city is host to trials for both the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Miami's historic Moore Park has been a training ground for local Olympic heroes like Bershawn Johnson and Sylvia Fowles. Today, our city parks, swimming pools and gymnasiums welcome young athletes with dreams of success both on and off the field. In recognition of all of our young athletes, City of Miami Parks & Recreation Summer programs are hosting weekly mini-Summer Olympic Games, starting this Wednesday. I am honored to be joined by local Olympians Gary Hall, Sr., Gary Hall, Jr. and Tiffany Cohen (all multi-medal winning athletes), who will share their stories with over 170 kids in City of Miami Summer Camp at Shenandoah Park tomorrow.

I hope that you will join me in celebrating the Olympic spirit and by pledging your support for bringing the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games to the USA. Click here to make your pledge.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I'd like to thank everyone who came out to support a more Bicycle-Friendly Miami at our first Bicycle Summit on Monday. The event was a real success, with participants from across the city and county offering their questions, insights and responses to our survey. (Please click here and take our survey if you have not already).

The Summit was the first of two public forums dedicated to the development of the Miami Bicycle Master Plan, which will set specific guidelines and targets for making our city a truly bicycle-friendly place to live, work and visit. Please stay tuned for the date and time of our next summit.
I am also proud to announce the launch of the City's newest webpage,, which provides up-to-date information about our Bicycle Master Plan and all City Bicycle Initiatives. Here, you can access copies of the Bicycle Action Plan, contact city staff and local groups and get more involved.

We want to hear your thoughts and ideas, so please contact Collin Worth, the City's Bicycle Coordinator, with any questions or suggestions that you may have.


Monday, June 15, 2009

Welcome to the New USCM President

My year-long presidency of the United States Conference of Mayors ended today during the last day of the 77th Annual meeting of the organization. This past year has been filled with challenges and opportunities, and I thank the more than 1,300 mayors members of the USCM for the opportunity to lead them through this difficult time.
I wish the new president of the USCM, Mayor Greg Nickels of Seattle, a great and productive presidency.
Watch a video about my presidency on the USCM website.

- Manny

Saturday, June 13, 2009

My Address to the U.S. Conference of Mayors

Today I addressed close to 300 of my fellow mayors during the 77th Annual Meeting of the United States Conference of Mayors. The economic crisis and ways to come up with solutions to address the situation are foremost in all of our minds.
A year ago in the USCM annual meeting in Miami, mayors were the first to sound the alarm about this crisis. We saw that we were headed down a path towards economic disaster before any presidential candidate figured it out. We were first to call attention to the need to invest in our cities and our people.
Mayors were the first to connect these investments to the creation of millions of jobs, and described these investments as the best economic stimulus plan our nation could ever have.
These are the investments called for in our 10 Point Plan. They formed the Action Agendas developed during our five forums, the largest federal investment in our people in the history of our country. This is a defining moment in our history and in the history of this organization. The mayors’ agenda is now America’s agenda.
The USCM also faces an unprecedented situation now, a boycott of our annual meeting by the Obama Administration. This boycott is a terrible mistake. Today, when we are in the midst of the most serious economic crisis since the great depression, the importance of our partnership is more important than ever.

CLICK HERE to watch a video and read a transcript of my speech.

- Manny

Friday, June 12, 2009

Miami's Environmental Programs Featured in Video

Today, I write to you from Providence, Rhode Island, where the nation’s mayors are convening for the 77th Annual Meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Throughout this weekend, we will be addressing America’s greatest challenges, including the need to promote effective, innovative environmental programs.
As a partner in the flagship EcoZone program, Miami became the first U.S. city to power City Hall with onsite solar panels – all at no cost to the taxpayer. Successful public-private partnerships like this can serve as model for other cities looking to reduce their carbon footprints. I would like to thank EcoMedia for supporting a Greener Miami and for a compelling video they recently completed about Miami's environmental programs. You can watch the full video here.

I will continue to blog from Providence. You can also follow me on twitter by clicking here.


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Healthcare Reform Is Imperative

Today a bipartisan group of city, county, and state officials joined together with community leaders at the Borinquen Health Care Center in Miami to bring everyone's attention to a very critical issue that we are battling on a daily basis- rising health care costs. In Miami-Dade, more than 600,000 residents do not have Health Insurance, and more than 120,000 of them are children. These numbers are simply unacceptable.
Lack of Health Insurance disproportionately affects minority populations. In Miami-Dade, 30% of Hispanics, 25% of Blacks, and 39% of people of other ethnicities lack Health Insurance. The Health Disparities Report released today by the White House, racial and ethnic minorities and low-income populations experience serious disparities in rates of insurance and access to health care.
Miami is in particular need of Healthcare reform. According to the Millman Index he average total medical costs for a family of four rose 7.4% in the past year to $16,771. Miami has the highest health care costs in the entire country, with an average of $20,280. More than 40% of that came out of the pockets of Miamians. Exploding Healthcare costs have created a troubling burden for local businesses and government. In just the past seven years, premiums in Florida have increased by an unbelievable 72%.
Every day, more and more Miami residents are forced into bankruptcy and foreclosure because their health fails or because of an accident. And the longer we wait the worse it will get. The more people lose their healthcare coverage, the more costs will increase, along with the drag on our City’s economy. The time for action and reform is now- we can no longer sit by and watch as rising Healthcare costs cripple our economy and endanger our citizens.

- Manny

Honored to be Named as Member of Homeland Security Advisory Council

I am honored to have been named by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano as a member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC), which provides recommendations and advice directly to the Secretary on matters related to homeland security.
It is a privilege to serve the Secretary, the Administration and the American people as part of the Homeland Security Advisory Council.
I look forward to working with Secretary Napolitano and other members of the council to find solutions to keep our country safe while welcoming immigrants who will contribute to our nation’s interests.
The HSAC is comprised of experts from state, local and tribal governments, emergency and first responder communities, academia and the private sector, and provides recommendations and advice directly to the Secretary of Homeland Security. The Council is chaired by former CIA and FBI Director Judge William Webster.
To read more about the HSAC, including a complete list of its members, please visit

- Manny

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Miami A Character on TV's 'Burn Notice'

Sunny Miami is one of the characters in USA's hit show "Burn Notice", filmed on location, according to the Associated Press.

"Every city has its own unique pulse of life. That's what Jeff Freilich, executive producer of the USA network series "Burn Notice," believes...As a multiethnic, multicultural, international city located in a tropical climate, it's nearly impossible to fake Miami anywhere else." Read the story.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Miami Students Receive Free Computers

Following the event last week celebrating the graduation of more than 300 sixth-graders from the ELEVATE Miami program, this week we started handing out free computers to the students. Here you can see students from Kinloch Park Middle School taking their free computers home.
This is the second year of ELEVATE Miami, a joint effort of the City of Miami, Miami-Dade Public Schools and private partners to close the digital gap within our community. I am very proud of our students who graduated from the program and who have been rewarded with a free computer and internet access. Congratulations!
- Manny