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Mayor's Week in Review

Week in Review 12.19.2014

This week I had the pleasure of joining Commissioner Audrey Edmonson, School Board Member Dr. Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall, CareerSource South Florida, the Neighbors and Neighbors Association, Associated Builders & Contractors Florida East Coast Chapter and OneUnited Bank to launch the Employ Miami-Dade Initiative.

Employ Miami-Dade will provide training and employment opportunities for Miami-Dade County residents. Our announcement was made before a standing room only crowd of approximately 300. Thank you to all of our partners and a special thanks goes to OneUnited Bank, the largest Black owned bank in the country, who made a $10,000 donation to the Employ Miami-Dade Initiative.

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I was briefed by a Senior White House official prior to President Obama's remarks earlier this week. I reiterated that Miami-Dade County is home to the majority of Cuban-Americans in the United States who, like me and my family, fled their homeland to escape tyranny. Our community knows all too well the painful history between our two countries.

While I welcome the release of Alan Gross and another person, I am deeply disturbed that it appears that in this negotiation we did not secure freedoms for the Cuban people. My condolences go to the families of the four Cuban-Americans who lost their lives on February 24, 1996.

I continue to believe that Cubans and all people throughout the world deserve to have freedom and human rights. It is my hope that Cuba will be a free and democratic nation soon.

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The holidays give us the opportunity to stop and reflect, to give thanks for our blessings, and share them with those who are less fortunate. I am grateful to DJ Irie and all of the young professionals from our community who partnered with my office for this year's Mayor's Toy Drive. There is no better present during the holiday season than putting a smile on a child's face.

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We are about halfway through the festival of light known as Hanukkah. Although observed by Jewish members of our community, the Hanukkah  story is one we can all learn from because it's about miracles as well as persevering in the face of great odds. To those who observe, I wish you a Happy Hanukkah.

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