As mayor of Miami Beach, I have been focused on delivering on my promise of getting things done for our community.
Our city’s public safety is critically important for everyone, which is why I am proud to support the effort to enhance and improve our Ocean Drive entertainment district.
I hear the stories from too many residents who feel they can no longer visit the area because they worry about their safety. More troubling is that residents who live in the South of Fifth corridor continue to experience challenges. We cannot allow a 10-block area, which once was our pride and joy in the Miami Beach renaissance story, to become a source of negative international and national news, which has the potential to damage our iconic brand.
When one area of Miami Beach is affected, we all feel the pain. This is why we need to band together to really transform the iconic Ocean Drive.
By supporting this effort, we are not (as has been alleged) destroying the local economy or taking away the vibrant feel that Ocean Drive is known for around the world. In fact, the City Commission has done quite the opposite. We are working to make it safer and enjoyable for residents and visitors alike.
No good comes in the wee hours of the morning, especially when alcohol is involved. This is why I will be voting Yes on #80 on the Nov. 7 ballot. This is an important first step to curtail the crime we’ve seen along Ocean Drive.
By rolling back the hours of alcohol sales at outdoor venues on Ocean Drive from 5 a.m. to 2 a.m., besides reducing crime, we also will be able to redeploy our valuable police resources to other neighborhoods where they can best serve our residents.
I urge Miami Beach voters in supporting this important ballot referendum so, together, we can take a major first step in preserving the Ocean Drive district for years to come.
Philip Levine, mayor,