Miami is for all, and we should strive for a shared vision.

I believe that we should have more accountability in a City that harbors different cultures and people. Miami is for all, and we should have a shared vision. By James Torres.

Downtown NEWS
Apr 12 · 3 min read
Photo by Niels Johansen for Downtown News.

Let’s look at the City of Miami’s mission statement, which reads as follows: The City of Miami is committed to elevating the quality of life of its residents by improving public safety, housing, mobility, diverse shared spaces that foster community, and efficient and transparent government.

When reading it, ask yourself, is this statement being honored? I believe that Downtown Miami needs to be more proactive when it comes to quality of life, for example, or addressing homelessness — we should be looking at what other major cities are doing on that issue.

A recent survey conducted by Miami Dade County of over 26,500 residents shows that for younger downtown residents housing is a priority. We should be looking at ways to bring more affordable housing and making sure those “impact fees” are used correctly. Another major priority is mobility, creating a better transportation system, and by better we mean safer, more reliable, and affordable.

Few places in Florida can boast of having a downtown where historic buildings coexist with the new high-rises. This is a quality that gives downtown its character, and we should preserve it.

It is important for all of us to not forget our past as we approach the future. A great example of this I found in London, and that was one of the reasons I fell in love with London. We have lots of history in Miami, lets preserve it.

Of course, when people move to the city, public parks become essential, they become the backyards and front porches for apartment and condo dwellers. Moving from suburban areas abundant in green spaces, we sacrificed that privilege for the benefits cities offer, culture, architecture, great food, diversity, and all within walking distance. That is why it is so important to keep our parks safe and available. Some politicians believe these are not local parks, but municipal parks that can be used as venues to make money. Well, yes and no. Downtown residents pay enough taxes to demand accessibility to parks most of the time. Downtown residents have kids that need parks, and have pets that need parks. I believe in negotiating the best solutions for all parties involved. There is no reason why residents and official should negotiate from and adversarial position.

My vision is clear for Miami. Let’s clean it up and let’s make it better and let’s all do our part as best we can!

James Torres is the President of the Downtown Neighbors Alliance (DNA)

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