Why are you running?
To finalize our efforts in stabilizing the city’s finances. When I previously left the city in 2001, the city’s reserves had been raised to $60 million; during my absence this reserve was depleted. I want to make sure that controls are in place to ensure that this does not happen again and that promises made are promises kept.
What do you see as the biggest challenges facing Miami right now?
Employment, workforce housing and housing for senior citizens.
What are some of the solutions you would propose?
We are working on creating more job opportunities for residents as well as working in joint venture with the private sector to create affordable housing for both senior citizens and workforce housing for our working class residents.
Imagine we gave you a $100 budget. How would you spend those $100?
Please share a few words about how you would tackle the some of the following challenges:
Poverty and the low median wage: Education is the solution to these two challenges. That is why I have initiated a scholarship program with the Miami Bayside Foundation for $200,000 for people within my district, City of Miami District 1.
The high cost of rent/real estate: Affordable and workforce housing would be a solution to this challenge.
Congestion and transit options: Encourage development in the urban core and to ensure that this development has workforce housing that is close to transportation nodes, thereby reducing traffic in our overcrowded streets. I would also continue to expand our City of Miami trolley system routes.
Climate change and environmental damage: Flooding is the main concern that we need to address. We have already been working on that by installing permanent pumps stations in the low areas of the City of Miami. We are also working closely with Public Works to ensure that our drains are kept free of debris so that the drainage process is not compromised. In addition, the federal and state regulations that ensure our buildings meet the established requirements is of utmost importance.
Transparency in government and access to open data: I am a true believer in transparency in government and feel that the constituency should always be able to access any and all public data.