How appealing is Miami to young professionals? Sure, we have a booming nightlife and great weather. But just how easy is it for a young person with a burgeoning career and limited means to make it in this city?
As time passes, people who impressed us in our youth, and who we associated with immortality, suddenly die. It astonishes us because they were so vibrant in our thoughts. It causes us to reminisce of happy memories associated with them. Such is the case with the passing this week of Maya Angelou.
It is about time that society recognizes that gun-free zones mean that, besides law enforcement, the only person with a gun is a criminal who has a multitude of targets unable to fight back. There is great truth to the NRA slogan, “Only a good guy with a gun can stop a bad guy with a gun.”
It’s highly unlikely that an armed teacher would be in the right place at the right time to intervene with an armed assailant. And teachers are hired to educate, not shoot people. Many schools have armed resource officers (Miami-Dade has the school police), and having armed teachers is no guarantee that students could be protected from an Adam Lanza or Dylan Klebold.
Miami International Airport has long been Miami-Dade County’s No. 1 economic engine. As a public enterprise fund, MIA generates nearly $33 billion in positive economic impact for our community, supports one out of every four local jobs and drives commerce and trade at no cost to local taxpayers.
Over the past few months, I have visited all of the public high schools in District 37. I am proud of the progress each school has made to create a better learning environment for students. They are doing outstanding work, and I salute the faculty, staff and students of the Miami-Dade County Public School System, as well as the administration and School Board for their leadership.
Here’s some food for thought: Can the government make it illegal for homeowners to grow vegetables? Miami Shores thinks so. There it is illegal to grow vegetables in your front yard. Trees, fruit, grass, gnomes and flamingos are OK; but not vegetables. And the village is cracking down.
If I were mayor of Miami Beach, I would impose “no plastic straws” and “no plastic bags” policies in shops, restaurants and bars. Bars and restaurants could only offer stirring straws made out of biodegradable material, and restaurants offering takeout would receive from the city low cost reusable bags that the clients could purchase for less than $1 each to offset the cost to the business.
If I were mayor, I would direct whatever resources are available to communities in Miami-Dade where schools are low performing. The School Board, superintendent, principals and teachers can only do so much for our students. It’s time for the entire county to get involved in helping the families of our students.
There is a great need to cut back on fossil fuels. Our environment, our sustainability, our weather and even our health depends on this. If I were mayor, I would initiate a program that would only allow the use of non-gasoline mowers. This would include a series of steps.
If I were mayor of Miami Lakes, I would set up a system (email, regular mail, phone calls, hyperlink on the town website) where the residents can make suggestions for the town. Getting input from the community I am there to serve would be my No. 1 priority. That information can be prioritized and put up for a vote. As a CPA, I would do my best to make sure that the town is in a financially stable position not just for one year, but for many years into the future.
I would work diligently to change the driving culture of Miami-Dade County. When I came here some 20-plus years ago there were numerous lively discussions about the driving habits of Miamians. That is no longer the case. Nor has there been any change in Miami’s erratic and dangerous driving culture. Why is that? I’ve communicated with several public officials, talked with several police officers and contacted the Miami Herald, but have gotten no response whatsoever. Seems no one wants to talk about this problem, let alone do something about it.
“That’s a toughie, Granddad!” responded my 5-year-old granddaughter thoughtfully when I asked her if a zebra is black with white stripes or white with black stripes. Similarly, it was a toughie when, five years ago, my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was a hammer blow, and I felt numb and helpless. I have always been pragmatic, but I did not have the slightest idea of what to do. The future was very unclear.
As a Miami native and someone that has devoted his adult life to improving our Miami-Dade community, I believe that we all must ensure that local cities perform at their absolute best. Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, the County Commission, the Beacon Council and other major public and private institutions have worked diligently to prepare One Community One Goal (OCOG), a blueprint for the economic success of the county’s residents and businesses.