Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Bicycle Master Plan Presented at Third Miami Bicycle Summit

This week, the City of Miami hosted our third Miami Bicycle Summit to present the latest draft of the city's first Bicycle Master Plan. The summit, held at Belafonte TACOLCY Center in Liberty City, brought cyclists, planners and community residents together to view the last draft of the plan, which will be available in online for everyone to review next week.

The City of Miami Bicycle Plan is the result of nearly two years of hard work on the part of the Bicycle Action Committee, city planners and staff, the Bike Miami Days Team and countless advocates, local groups and individuals. The Plan includes a map of over 285 miles of inter-connected bicycle routes that we want to see in the City by 2030. These bicycle routes include bicycle lanes, greenways and innovative new bicycle facilities, called 'sharrows' and 'bicycle boulevards'. When built, whether as part of existing projects or as new capital improvements, they will provide a network of bikeways accessible to every Miami resident within a 1/4mile of where they live, work and play.
The Plan also introduces bicycle parking standards and calls for the implementation of bicycle parking racks, shelters or lockers at nearly 1,000 new locations throughout our city. This is important because we want to ensure that residents and visitors who travel by bicycle are able to safely and securely park their bicycles wherever they go in the city.
Bicycling is a fun, healthy and environmentally-friendly way to explore our city. I look forward to presenting the Bicycle Master Plan to the City Commission on October 8 and hope that our commissioners will join me in supporting this plan for a bicycle-friendly Miami.

For more information about the City of Miami's bicycling program, please visit I also hope to see you for my last Bike Miami Days event on Sunday, October 4.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Everyone Must Sacrifice

These are challenging times for the City of Miami and for its residents. The economic perfect storm - an economic meltdown, the worst since the great depression, leading to a significant decline in housing values, a record number of foreclosures, the highest unemployment rate in decades and substantial drops in consumer confidence and spending, has made this the most difficult budget year that I have had to face since taking office eight years ago.

My budget includes a large number of layoffs. During these difficult economic times, the last thing we want is to add our employees to the ranks of the unemployed. But we must also deal with reality. The City and the taxpayers cannot afford and will not be able to afford the current cost structure.

However, most of these layoffs can be prevented if all of the City’s Unions to come to the table and make the sacrifices that must be made. We are asking no more, and no less, than that which is being asked of every employee everywhere, in order to keep their jobs: Salary and pension concessions.

We simply cannot continue to place the economic burden with the tax payers.

There is no question that sacrifices must be made. The question we have to answer is who should make these sacrifices. Should it be those whose salaries and benefits are paid by the public? Or, should it be those same people who pay our salaries and who today are hurting economically, losing their jobs and homes or in fear of losing their jobs and homes and taking salary cuts?

This is the time to decide: does the city serve the needs of the people? Or do the people serve the needs of the city?
- Manny

United We Serve: National Day of Service and Remembrance

Today is the first National Day of Service and Remembrance. In honor of those lost eight years ago, the President and First Lady are calling on people across the country to come together, renew our commitments to community service and recognize the heroism of our servicemen and women.
I hope that you will join us by taking a moment day to reflect on what you can do for your community and to make the commitment to active citizenship and service throughout the coming year. At the City of Miami Administration Building (444 SW 2nd Ave.), city staff and volunteers will be on hand from 11am to 1pm to provide information about opportunities to give back. You are welcome to drop by and write letters to Americans serving abroad, make a pledge to serve or just learn more about local community service groups and other non-profits in need.

You can read the President and First Lady's call to service HERE. Make your pledge online at or learn more at

Thank you.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Mayor's Challenge: Pledge to Water Conservation

This week, I accepted The South Florida Living Green Fair’s Mayors Challenge and now I'm asking for your help to show that City of Miami residents support water conservation. The City of Miami is dedicated to Green practices that minimize our impact on the environment. By reducing unecessary water use, we can all make a real difference for the planet. Please join me in taking a few minutes to review easy and helpful tips for preserving our precious water resources. You will receive a free family pass for five to the South Florida Living Green Fair and the City of Miami could win the opportunity to display an original 45-foot mural by marine artist and conservationist Wyland.

With just a few simple steps, you can save millions of gallons of water throughout your lifetime. I know that Miami residents care about our environment and with your help, we can prove that we are "The Most Water Wise City" in South Florida.

Let's show that Miami residents care about living green. Take the Pledge HERE.


Saturday, September 5, 2009

Miami 21 Approved

Yesterday was a proud day for the City of Miami. The Miami Commission approved Miami 21, the blueprint for a sustainable city, on First Reading, after extensive public input and a truly democratic process.
I was exceptionally proud of the number of Miamians who embraced Miami 21 and was proud to sit through the debate. Speaker after speaker stressed the importance of sustainability, climate change, walkability, pedestrian-friendly streets, bicycling, historic preservation, open spaces, health, obesity, etc. Speaker after speaker reflected the new Miami, a different demographic that embraces the urban experience and advocates for a very different Miami. I also welcomed the opportunity to address many of the concerns brought up by our residents.
I want to thank all of you who have participated in the over 500 public meetings and who visited our website, with more than a quarter million unique visitors, over 4000 subscribers and 7 million hits over the past 4 years. Your participation has made this plan the most democratic planning document in our city's history.

Visit for more information

- Manny

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance

September 11th is National Day of Service and Remembrance. In honor of this day, which is also the culmination of President Obama's United We Serve campaign, the City of Miami is reaching out to its employees and residents to make a pledge to engage in at least one community service project before the end of this year.

I invite you to join me, staff and volunteers at the Miami Riverside Center on Friday, September 11th from 11am to 2pm to learn about service opportunities in our community. We will be collecting donations of prepaid calling cards for local men and women who are serving overseas as well as writing letters to send out through the Florida Army and Air National Guard.

To learn more about what you can do to serve in our community, I invite you to visit or visit your local NET office.

Thank you for your commitment to serve.