Local Government

If you live in Miami, you know that we are always complaining about our government doing absolutely nothing to protect our beloved city from the ravages of sea level rise. Now’s our chance.  You can vote YES for the Miami Forever Bond. It’s a $400 million bond that funds the things everyone I know keeps asking about – flood control, sea level rise mitigation, affordable housing, better parks and pedestrian projects like Baywalk and Riverwalk.

  Will the Miami Forever bond cost us any more?

No, so the City says. The old bond is winding down and the projects for this new one will take some time to implement so anyone who pays property taxes should not see an increase. In other words, they’ll balance each other out over time. Some people I’ve been talking to are skeptical about this. It’s their main objection – they don’t want their taxes to go up for this. Do I have 100% confidence in the City of Miami government to get that calculation right? I’d be a fool to say yes to 100%.

So I’m going assume they are wrong by 10% as they scale up these projects. Here’s what that means for me: I pay just about $220 per YEAR for the current bond and will pay the same for Miami Forever general obligation bond according to the City. If the estimate is off by 10%, it will cost me an additional $22 per year.  So, even if they are wrong, I’m willing to spend an extra $22 every year to help save our city from rising seas and to help others get housing they can afford. The City is welcome to come back and ask me for that $22.

Oh yes, once it’s approved we’ll need a good oversight board to make sure these projects are implemented properly.

  When can I vote for the Miami Forever Bond?

Election Day is November 7, but why wait? You can order a vote-by-mail ballot or early vote.  That’s what I plan on doing. Download the list of Early Voting Locations and times.

  Want to read more the Miami Forever Bond?

Here is a great Miami Herald overview and another one dedicated to the affordable housing portion. Also, check out miamiforever.org Here’s what the Mayor has to say about the bond. It’s kind of a boring video, so you can skip it if you’d like, but suffice to say he is also %100 behind the Miami Forever Bond. I just thought I’d show you that lots of people are voting yes and our Mayor is one of them.

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Police Chiefs addressing Gun Violence

In Richmond, CA police identified a mere 25 people causing 70 percent of the city’s violence. When I learned these statistics were similar to ours in Miami, I asked what I thought was a simple question. “If you know who these murderers are, why don’t you just arrest them?” The answer is not so simple. These people often escape arrest and prosecution because witnesses are too fearful to testify. So, no, the police can’t just arrest them even though they’d like to.

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If you, like me, care about having the option to create city or county ordinances and regulations that make sense for us locally, you may be interested in reading my letter to the editor in The Miami Herald about the State legislature’s attempt to minimize the voices of Miami-Dade residents and of its elected leaders.

We know Miami Beach is expensive and needs to set a minimum wage that makes sense for Miami Beach, not one that makes sense for lawmakers in Tallahassee. 

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