Miami-Dade plans for future with 30-member Vision Council

Written by Richard Battin on July 9, 2024


Miami-Dade plans for future with 30-member Vision Council

County Commission Chairman Oliver G. Gilbert III wants to create the equivalent of a United Nations of Miami-Dade organizations – from labor, business, health, education, culture, recreation, government – to plot a positive course for the county’s next 30 years.

Mr. Gilbert called for the creation of a 30X30 Vision Council before the Policy Council & Intergovernmental Affairs Committee on Monday. Passed unanimously, it now goes to the county commission for review.

“But this isn’t meant to be a county initiative,” Mr. Gilbert asserted. “This is meant to be us working in consultation with the community…. What I want to avoid is having a situation where the county commission dominates the conversation.

“One of the things that I’ve noticed … as I meet with people from every region of the county – labor, environmentalists, developers – [is that] everyone’s making plans, but they’re making plans in silos.

“And we’re [the commission] making our policy … in silos, too.” He said the council would be a 30-member organization looking, as a group, at the next three decades.

“The purpose of the 30X30 Vision Council,” the ordinance reads, “is to unite the public and private sectors of Miami-Dade County in conceptualizing, planning, and supporting the execution of long-term initiatives.

“Such initiatives shall include, but are not limited to, the expansion and development of rapid mass transit, the development of general obligation bonds, and other long-range initiatives that will transform the landscape of Miami-Dade County over the next 30 years.”

The 30-member council would include the mayor, the commission chairman and three commissioners. Commissioner Marleine Bastien asked Mr. Gilbert whether there should “be better representation from the commission.”

That’s the point, Mr. Gilbert asserted. The Vision Council would be an advisory body, making recommendations, but the commission would have the final say.

An eclectic collection of community activists discussing county issues together, in the same room, would be the goal.

In addition to the mayor, board chairman and three commissioners, the council proposed in the ordinance would include:

■The county sheriff.

■Chairperson of the Miami-Dade legislative delegation.

■One Miami-Dade school board member to be chosen by the full school board.

■One mayor of a county municipality, appointed by the chairperson of the Miami-Dade League of Cities.

■The chief executive officer of the Public Health Trust or another major hospital system serving Miami-Dade County.

■The president of Florida International University, or the president of another Miami-Dade college or university.

■The president of the South Florida AFL-CIO.

■The chief executive officer of the Miami-Dade Beacon Council.

■The chief executive officer of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau.

■The chief executive officer of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce.

■The chief executive officer of The Children’s Trust.

■The executive director of CareerSource South Florida.

■The chief executive officer of the Miami Foundation.

■The chief executive officer of the Knight Foundation.

■A representative from Partnership for Miami.

The county commissioners would appoint the remaining 10 members.

“Two appointed members shall be active community members under the age of 30 at the time of their appointment with at least one having professional experience in local government or a non-profit organization,” the ordinance reads.

“The remaining eight members shall be individuals who have one or more of the following relevant experiences:

■An individual with professional experience supporting transportation services to and from Miami-Dade County.

■An individual with professional experience in the creation, development, and/or management of mixed-income housing communities.

■An individual who is a banking or financial executive for a firm with a physical presence in Miami-Dade County.

■A subject matter expert in the field of animal welfare, environmental science, and/or water quality.

■An individual involved in the Miami-Dade County agricultural industry.

■An individual with professional experience as a member of the press, a television journalist, or the publisher of a newspaper with circulation in Miami-Dade County.

■An individual with professional experience in the cultural arts.

■An individual with professional experience in the technology sector.

Commissioner Raquel Regalado told Chairman Gilbert: “I agree with you in terms of the need for the initiative…

“The number-one issue is having people that have the expertise needed to have the conversations … A lot of folks just want to put it on their resume, and it gets challenging…

“We have a lot of entities that are supposed to be doing this kind of work. Unfortunately … it all gets jammed up in these little silos,” Ms. Regalado continued. “People have a lot of great ideas, but at the end of the day, there isn’t a unified step forward.”

The council needs both regional and ethnic diversity, the committee agreed, and attendance should be a high priority.

The committee also agreed on the importance of education, an issue raised first by Ms. Regalado.

“You’re right,” said Mr. Gilbert. “When I talk to businesses, they talk about education, job training … We talk about wanting to be a tech capital. We have to find ways to … create an active ground for folks to actually have those skills.

“Listen,” he said, “we have an extraordinary place that we live in, but we have to prepare for tomorrow.”

Source link