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Yesterday we dropped our voter guide to the May 22 Miami-Dade County District 5 special election. Today we’re going to introduce you to Eileen Higgins, one of four candidates in the special election. Here are a couple key quotes from the interview; find the full Q&A here.
The biggest issues facing the district: “Housing they can no longer afford, deciding between being stuck in traffic or stuck on transit, and jobs that often pay low wages.”
How to fix transit: “First and foremost, we must improve the reliability of what we’ve got. That doesn’t cost billions of dollars.”
How to address crime: “No matter where you live in the county, the commission collectively must work to give the Miami-Dade police the resources they need to keep us safe and to give civil society groups the resources they need to break the cycle of violence. An example of just such a program is the one that PACT (People Acting for Community Together) recently advocated for and received approval for.”
On whether to build an extension of the 836 and extend the Urban Development Boundary: “The UDB exists for a reason. The Everglades are part of the natural protection we have to protect us from sea level rise and the intense storms predicted to come with climate change. Anyone who watched Houston flood last year knows that paving over wetlands is a sure way to cause residential flooding. It’s time to make transit a priority. We must build the transit solution that the residents of South-Dade deserve rather than another traffic-clogged route. A highway is not a solution to traffic. Reliable transit is.”
Read on for her stance on gun control and how she’s been prepping to become the county commissioner. Tomorrow we’ll be introducing you to Carlos Garin.
P.S. Head to the guide to find early voting locations and get a peek at your sample ballot.
Game time. Miami-made startup Caribu was on Gimlet’s uber popular podcast The Pitch last week. The podcast showcases real-life entrepreneurs pitching real-life investors for real-life money. Caribu is an app that lets parents and kids read together virtually, meaning that everyone from busy consultants who city hop all week long to soldiers deployed overseas can share a bedtime story with their kiddo. Tune in to hear founder (and Miami native) Max Tuchman try to convince investors to help fund her company. We’re not gonna spoil the end for you.
An ale! May is Haitian Heritage Month, and here in South Florida, the annual Compas Festival is the pinnacle of the whole month of celebrations. It brings together the biggest names in konpa, which is blowing up here in the U.S. even as it wanes in popularity in Haiti. But it’s way more than a music festival – it’s pretty much the annual reunion for the Haitian diaspora. Expect big names and big sound at Mana Wynwood on Saturday afternoon. (Peep our newsletter calendar below for the details on that.) (Miami Herald)
Phew. On Monday morning it looked like this hurricane season was about to start off a little cray. Forecasters were warning that a low pressure system over the Gulf of Mexico could develop into a tropical storm before the season officially started on June 1. But forecasters have lowered the likelihood of that happening to a mere 25 to 30 percent. Looks like you can put your hurricane snacks away for a couple more weeks. (Miami Herald)
Look who’s shacking up. Zak the Baker’s deli is serving up its last tuna melt soon – but don’t schvitz yourself. It’s not closing. It’s just moving in with ZTB’s bakery up the street, putting all the deliciousness under one roof. (Miami.com)
What’s in a name? Gentrification. Little Havana is changing fast, and Calle Ocho property owners say there’s nowhere changing faster than the area beterrn Brickell and SW 4th Avenue that developers have branded “West Brickell.” Store owners say it’s sending their rents skyrocketing, much faster than other Little Havana properties just a little further west. “The prize for having contributed to develop this area is to have the rent doubled,” says Roberto Ramos, the owner of CubaOcho, one of the many properties that helped put Little Havana on the visitor map. They’re comparing it to developers calling Allapattah “West Wynwood.” (Miami Herald)
Big oops. Florida may require background checks, but there’s a gaping hole in the system that law enforcement is finally talking about: the fact that at least 20 percent of mental health records are entered into the background check database late, meaning that someone with a mental illness may not get flagged in time to be blocked from buying a gun. Now the state is asking the Department of Justice for almost $100,000 to try and get those “disqualifying” records in fast enough to make a difference. (Politico)
Between a rock and a hard place. Local laws preventing sex offenders from living within 2,500 feet of schools or in homeless shelters block them from living almost anywhere in Miami-Dade County. Instead, they often end up living in makeshift encampments in places such as under the Julia Tuttle Causeway or, most recently, near some train tracks in Hialeah. Now the county is shutting that camp down because of the terrible living conditions, and legal advocates are fighting the decision, saying it forces “involuntary homelessness” on the sex offenders since they have no other options. (Miami New Times)
🍛 5/18: Enjoy an Indian feast at Shabbat at the Yard (Wynwood)
🌽 5/20 Stock up on fruits and veggies from local farmers at the Yard (Wynwood)
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Going to one of these events? Tag us on Instagram with @thenewtropic. Want your event here? You can always suggest it by sending the info over to [email protected]
TUESDAY, MAY 15
🗳Get to know the candidates left standing in the U.S. D-27 Democratic primary (Sorta South Miami)
🏄 Join a paddleboard race league (Key Biscayne)
WEDNESDAY, MAY 16
🎸 Jam with Locos por Juana (Brickell)
🧀 Learn how to pair your beer and cheese (Wynwood)
THURSDAY, MAY 17
🇭🇹 Take it down a notch at Compas Fest Unplugged (Little Haiti)
📚A night with Michael Ondaatje, author of “The English Patient” (Coral Gables)
🎻 Nu Deco Ensemble performs Outkast at its season finale – through Saturday night; Friday night tickets already sold out! (Wynwood)
🇫🇷 Catch a French film at the WALLCAST (South Beach)
🤣 Say “hola” to the Peñas – ¿Qué Pasa USA? is back – Through May 26 (Downtown)
FRIDAY, MAY 18
🇭🇹 Jam with “Sweet Micky” at the Flag Day edition of Sounds of Little Haiti (Little Haiti)
🎥 Catch a doc recounting the life of Basquiat (Wynwood)
SATURDAY, MAY 19
🏃Get your runner’s high on with Equinox and PAMM (Downtown)
🏄 Hop on a paddleboard and work up a sweat at Paddletopia – Through Sunday (Surfside)
But if you want to procrastinate on getting your day started just a little bit longer, take a look at this yacht graveyard on Watson Island – a relic of Hurricane Irma.
P.S. Last week we made an oops when we gave local running club iRun props for its stellar performance at Wings for Life. Club member Ana Maria Villegas won the race in Melbourne, Australia, not the whole international Wings for Life run.