Preserving a Community Haven

The Joseph Caleb Center has been a community gathering place in Liberty City area for more than 30 years. Not only does it include a performing arts venue that seats over 900 patrons, it’s also where people from all walks of life come to receive a number of social services — employment training, citizenship classes, housing assistance and more. On Monday we broke ground on the first phase of a $27 million renovation project funded by the Building Better Communities bond program. The project will add a new parking garage adjacent to the center and also an additional food service area. The second phase will entail a full facelift of the main entrance, improvements to ground floor public areas and the addition of accessible restrooms. Renovations of the second, third and seventh floors of the office tower will include two new courtroom facilities. The center was named after Joseph Caleb who was a prominent labor leader in the 1960s and remembered as a working man’s hero. These improvements will ensure that the center continues to honor Mr. Caleb’s legacy and remain a welcoming environment that provides direct services that help families improve their socioeconomic standing.

---

This week, the Caribbean-Central American Action (CCAA) held their 38th Annual Conference on the Caribbean and Central America in Miami. CCAA has been promoting private sector-led economic development in the Caribbean Basin since 1980. The conference is really the only annual venue that focuses on this important region and it has helped to shape thought and policy towards the region. This year’s event focused on transportation and logistics, energy, financial services, and trade and it provided the perfect opportunity for me to highlight our community’s long history with the Caribbean going back to early settlements of Coconut Grove by Bahamians that actually predate the incorporation of the City of Miami. Today, Miami-County enjoys Sister Cities agreements with various governments in the Caribbean and Central America including the Cayman Islands, Kingston, Lamentin, St. Kitts & Nevis and Turks & Caicos. Our community is infused with cultural influences from these lands and others and these ties have translated into economic benefits for all. Just last year alone, we exceeded $93 billion in total trade and we’re on pace for another record-breaking year. Our top two economic engines – Miami International Airport (MIA) and PortMiami – provide unparalleled connectivity to anywhere in the world. MIA has added 20 new airlines and now connects our community to over 150 destinations. PortMiami has a brand new billion dollar port tunnel, and we’ll soon complete the Deep Dredge, making it one of the few ports on the eastern seaboard capable of servicing the larger post Panamax-era ships.

---

Miami International Airport (MIA) is a 24/7/365 operation and the past week proved to be especially busy at the Gateway of the Americas. The week began with Florida-based carrier Western Global Airlines launching international cargo flights from MIA. With charter service to Latin America, the 39th all-cargo airline to serve the airport will help strengthen MIA’s standing as America’s No. 1 airport for international cargo. On the passenger side, MIA was named one of the nation’s top airports for on-time performance during the winter months, very welcome news for holiday travelers. In fact, MIA ranked second among America’s top 20 airports for winter travel, well ahead of the four other Florida airports that made the list. On Wednesday, our community’s top economic engine announced more good news: for the second time this year, two of America’s leading bond rating agencies have reaffirmed Miami International Airport’s strong financial health, assigning “A” ratings and stable outlooks to a pair of key Aviation Department bonds. Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services both delivered positive financial assessments of MIA. Congratulations to our Aviation Department on a job well done and for keeping our airport on a steady upward trajectory. 

---

It gives me great pleasure to announce that Miami-Dade County has won three 2014 MarCom Awards, a creative competition that typically recognizes ad agencies or public relations firms for creative communications programs. The awards were for 305biz magazine geared to entrepreneurs and business owners who want to succeed in Miami‐Dade County, the "Miami Alive" aimed at raising awareness of the County’s “no kill” programs at our animal shelter, and for the "Time for An Upgrade" campaign which educated the public about rate increases needed for enhancements to our water and sewer system. Government’s first priority is to deliver services that improve people’s lives, but we also have a responsibility to keep the public informed of what we’re doing. It’s part of my mission to make government more transparent. It’s worth noting that we didn’t hire an outside agency to develop these campaigns. Our Community Information and Outreach department developed them from start to finish. Even as I continue to streamline government and create even more efficiencies, awards like this speak the high quality work that government can continue to produce.

---
---

You are receiving this message because you have indicated an interest in news and information from the Office of the Mayor. If you no longer wish to receive this newsletter, please email us.