Miami Dade is beginning work on the Thrive305 Action Plan following an extensive survey and input from residents.

It was considered the largest public engagement plan in the County’s history and a key part of Miami-Dade County’s Mayor Daniella Levine Cava’s goal to directly engage residents.

The Mayor’s Division of Innovation and Performance created a partnership with The Miami Foundation. They conducted a survey of 26,400 residents which asked them about their priorities on the budget, transportation, housing, jobs and other County services.

“We were able to drill down into the neighborhoods and found some interesting things for South Dade,” said Rahel Weldeyesus, senior advisor of Innovation and Performance for the Mayor Cava. “Many people want public transportation that takes them where they need to go for chores and work. They want improvements in public safety. There is a need for more affordable housing. We are now focusing on 12 priorities.”

Residents of the various cities said they had various priorities and needs. They wanted different things from the County.

Residents from Homestead and Florida City selected affordable housing as their most important priority.

The Redlands and Naranja chose public safety and Leisure City wanted more social services.

Most of the communities in South Dade selected neighbor hood improvements as the most effective way to improve public safety. They want to see better street lighting, consistent maintenance and cleaning of public spaces, demolition of vacant buildings and crime reducing traffic designs. “People believe if neighborhoods are well maintained and have attractive homes there will less crime there,” said Weldeyesus.

Public transportation is an important priority. Residents in most of the communities in South Dade selected transportation that takes them where they need to go. “People want good and clean buses and they want good public transportation,” said Weldeyesus.

There is significant concern about reducing carbon emissions by 2050.

The Redlands and Leisure City said it greening private buildings is important. Homestead residents said they believe it important to invest in better transit and Florida City residents want to expand renewable energy.

Housing is another very important issue. People from the Redlands chose support for homeownership programs. Homestead residents want to preserve affordable housing and Florida City residents want to build more affordable housing.

Cava was pleased with the results of the survey. “I’m extremely proud and move by the work we have done to give life to Thrive305, a historic initiative to listen to our residents’ needs and concerns, their hopes and aspirations. Together, we crafted a Miami-Dade County and this plan is our roadmap for the work ahead to build the community we all dream of and deserve,” she said. “When I was elected one year ago, I promised to put resident voices at the center of our decision making through deep engagement and Thrive305 is a tangible result of that commitment.”

The program has 12 priorities. The first is accessible county government. The County is working to implement a “No Wrong Door” approach so that each person’s first point of contact with government leads to seamless and compassionate delivery of services. It is important to expand “One Stop” service hubs to provide a coordination point for an individual who needs County resources.

County leaders want to engage and empower residents and to educate people about county government. It is important to provide easy pathways for civic engagement.

To grow a prosperous economy, all residents must have quality housing at a price they can afford. Residents ranked this as the second most important service. The County must expand the supply of affordable housing. Efforts should be made to build and preserve affordable rental housing and homeownership.

Public safety was another major concern county leaders are rethinking what public safety means. Residents are aware of the root causes of safety challenges and want the County to provide support. Trauma affects neighborhoods and residents are concerned about ongoing violence which contributes to a lack of safety. Residents who have been incarcerated need support when they return to the community.

There is a need for more support for small businesses which are considered the backbone of the community.

Better public transportation is a concern. Many residents use public transportation and there is a need for transit that works for all people. During Civic Week, residents said there is a perception public transit is poorly designed, uncomfortable and inaccessible. Some residents do not feel safe or dignified when using public transit.

There is a need for investment in blue-green jobs. These jobs refer to new positions like solar panel installation and wind turbine maintenance. The jobs can involve contractors retrofitting homes and building with low-carbon materials. They can involve jobs in parks and recreation departments supporting conservation.

Resilience is important. Miami-Dade residents are concerned about climate impacts. About 80 percent reported being concerned about climate impacts. They are concerned about keeping their homes and families safe from natural disasters.

There is a need for more opportunities for young people. Advocates said during Action Plan Workshops that there is a skills gap that needs to be addressed so that companies can hire local young people regardless of industry.

There is a need for stronger partnerships with the community. County leaders need to work to better engage and empower community based organizations through stronger partnerships. During workshops, organization leaders said there is a lack of understanding of County government and a lack of understanding on how to best engage County government.

County residents want a government that they can trust and a government that delivers services with compassion and understanding. It important to have a caring relationship between government and the next generation. An important cornerstone is building trust be being responsive to every single resident.

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