This week, our county officially adopted the Greater Miami and the Beaches Resilient 305 strategy. The report marks a pivot point for our community: a new, unified approach that looks at many of the challenges we already face – like affordability, poverty, traffic and inadequate transit – with the added pressure of sea level rise, under an innovative Resilience framework. The strategy is a roadmap to protecting our tremendous natural environment while also supporting social and economic health so that our residents can not only survive but thrive.
Many of the action steps recommended in the report are already underway. I am very proud to have spearheaded policies that are helping us to tackle some of these key areas, and build a more resilient future for our community – such as the following:
• Addressing the impacts of climate change head-on by supporting the Paris Climate Accord and urging the state of Florida to create a task force to develop policy solutions to the problem of climate change and its negative impacts.
• Protecting the health of Biscayne Bay and our waterways by urging we restore funding for the surface water quality monitoring program; creating a public ”report card” to evaluate the health of Biscayne Bay; creating a Coral Reef Protection Zone; and supporting Everglades restoration projects.
• Fast-forwarding South Florida to a clean energy future, by urging the Florida Public Service Commission to set meaningful energy efficiency goals; paving the way for solar by updating and streamlining county code and requiring a feasibility report on creating floating solar power plants; passing a County goal to cut diesel consumption by 70% and to convert half our transit fleet to electric buses by 2035; and changing zoning laws to require electrical vehicle chargers for new apartments and commercial buildings.
• Leading on transit and mobility by fighting for Metrorail connection to Florida City; securing funding for a transit hub in Homestead; helping to integrate circulators to create more car-less connection to transit routes; and helping initiate the “Better Bus Project” community project.
• Fighting for greater affordability by removing red tape to build workforce housing, conveying county land for affordable housing projects, and pushing the state and Congress to pass laws expanding affordability incentives and funding.
It’s critical that we engage and educate our community around these topics, and we were proud to host a Sea Level Rise Community Workshop this week alongside the Miami-Dade Office of Resilience. Thanks to everyone who participated and the great, solutions-focused conversation.
We must continue to work aggressively toward solutions that provide safe and healthy places to live, lift our people out of poverty, diversify our economy, attract better wage jobs, and improve connectivity while preparing for the inevitable impacts of sea level rise. I look forward to working and connecting with my fellow elected leaders and community members across Miami-Dade as we build a stronger and more resilient tomorrow.