The Florida legislature came very close to legalizing casinos in South Florida during last week's legislative session. As a precautionary measure, Commissioner Malakoff and I have sponsored legislation that will prohibit gaming in Miami Beach once and for all. A casino in Miami Beach would tarnish our City's brand and quality of life by adding to traffic congestion, increasing negative social costs, and threatening high-value industries. Instead of promoting casinos, Miami Beach should continue to promote and encourage productive industries like the arts, education, and technology.
Click below to read my previous op-ed on mega-casinos in South Florida.
Miami Beach has 15 newly-minted firefighters on duty. These men and women have trained tirelessly for the past 6 months to join our Fire Department. I had the privilege to join them on the morning of their graduation ceremony for their last challenge before their swearing in ceremony. The recruits had to finish a 51 story stair climb up the Portofino Tower in full gear (60 lbs). Click to watch the video of our climb!
I look forward to working with these brave men and women in the years ahead. Congratulations to the new members of the team on joining America's best Fire Department!
Great things are in store for North Beach! I am proud to sponsor the City's efforts to bring the Wynwood Yard to North Beach. The Wynwood Yard began as a culinary incubator for young chefs to test out new food concepts. Today, the entrepreneurial hub also serves as a community nexus for Wynwood. Della Heiman, the creator of the incubator, is excited to bring this innovative concept to the North Beach neighborhood. The North Beach Yard will add cultural, food/ beverage, and health/ wellness amenities to the North Beach community.
Ocean Drive is our City's largest and most popular tourist destination. In order to keep both our residents and visitors safe, the Ocean Drive Association recently created the Ocean Drive Block Patrol to provide additional security and Goodwill Ambassador services. If you're on Ocean Drive, look for their yellow shirts and say hello! The Ocean Drive Block Patrol is working closely with our Police Department's dedicated Ocean Drive Police Squad and our Code Compliance Department to ensure a clean and safe Ocean Drive for all to enjoy!
The Miami Beach Gay Pride Week was a huge success this year! The week-long celebration of the spirit and culture of the LGBTQ community culminated in a parade that attracted over 25,000 people. This year 74 fully decorated floats entered the parade with over 3,000 participants. Thank you to SAVE for inviting the Miami Beach City Commission to ride on their spectacular float and congratulations to Celebrity Cruises for winning best float!
In March, I traveled to the Southern Hemisphere to run in the Antarctica Marathon. Besides providing me a great fitness challenge, traveling to Antarctica allowed me to see the effects of climate change firsthand. It was an alarming experience to see how melting ice sheets thousand of miles away affect us here on Miami Beach. As the Earth warms, these massive ice sheets melt into the ocean, causing sea levels to rise, which jeopardizes our coastal community!