WLRN: “Miami-Dade, Key West: We Still Support Paris Climate Accord”

Original link here: http://wlrn.org/post/miami-dade-key-west-we-still-support-paris-climate-accord

Increased flooding during high tides, like this one in October 2016 in Key West, has raised local concerns about climate change.

Commissioners in Miami-Dade County and the city of Key West have voted to endorse the Paris Climate Accord, despite President Donald Trump withdrawing the U.S. from the international agreement to cut carbon emissions earlier this month.

On Tuesday, both the Miami-Dade County Commission and the Key West City Commission voted to support the agreement.

“We’re ground zero. We’re at the forefront of what’s happening globally. So it’s very important for us to weigh in,” said Miami-Dade Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava, who sponsored the county’s resolution.

The historic Stranahan House in Fort Lauderdale, during king tide flooding in 2013.

Key West commissioners cited similar concerns at their meeting.

“Being an island surrounded by water, our engineering department’s going to have to get really good at building walls to keep the water out if the water levels rise at a faster pace,” said Key West Commissioner Sam Kaufman.

In neither case was the support unanimous. Two Miami-Dade commissioners voted against the measure, as did two Key West commissioners.

Miami-Dade Commissioner Joe Martinez said he disliked the terms of the Paris agreement.

“That was just a bad deal for the United State and the American citizens,” he said. “It doesn’t mean we can’t continue to do what we need to do for our environment. We should.”

Key West Commissioner Margaret Romero said she did not think it was the city’s role to weigh in on national political matters.

“Let’s concentrate on what we can do, and if anything else, let’s lead by action, not just writing letters,” she said.

Miami Herald: “Miami-Dade backs Paris climate agreement that President Trump rejected”

Original link here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article157243079.html

Miami-Dade commissioners on Tuesday endorsed the Paris climate accord, giving the symbolic and explicit backing that the county’s mayor declined to provide after President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the agreement three weeks ago.

“This our affirmation,” said Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava, who sponsored the resolution to support the 2015 agreement and its goal of limiting the planet’s warming to under two degrees Celsius by the end of the century. The slowdown would come from a reduction in greenhouse emissions, the primary culprit in the rising seas already threatening South Florida.

“We’re at the forefront of what’s happening globally,” said Levine Cava, a Democrat. “It’s very important for us to weigh in.”

The resolution adds Miami-Dade to a string of local governments and municipal officials seeking to counter Trump’s rejection of the nonbinding agreement between 195 countries. The legislation also gave Mayor Carlos Gimenez a second chance to publicly back the Paris agreement after gingerly avoiding an outright endorsement after the rejection by Trump, who the mayor is hoping will shepherd billions of dollars in transit funds to Miami-Dade.

On Tuesday, a spokesman answered “yes” when asked if Gimenez — who can veto commission actions — backed Levine Cava’s resolution.

“Mayor Gimenez signed the U.S.-China Climate Leaders Compact in 2015,” said Michael Hernández, Gimenez’s communications director. “Those benchmarks may be more ambitious than the Paris Accord.”

Reporters pressed the Republican mayor on whether he endorsed the Paris agreement after Trump’s June 1 announcement, which fell on the first day of hurricane season. Gimenez declined to answer the questions directly. Instead, he emphasized his commitment to fighting climate change and pointed to the 2015 agreement he signed with mayors in the United States and China in 2015 as part of a summit put on by the Obama administration.

The Obama administration’s agreement with China called for reducing U.S. greenhouse emissions by 25 percent to 28 percent of the country’s 2005 levels by 2025. Obama included roughly the same pledge in the Paris agreement.

After Trump’s announcement, mayors across the country, including in Miami and Miami Beach, endorsed the Paris agreement and said their cities would still pursue the the accord’s goals on pollution reduction. The Pinecrest Village Council also passed a resolution in support of the Paris agreement, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors convenes for its yearly gathering after issuing a string of statements endorsing the accord.

In withdrawing the United States from the Paris accord, Trump said the country should remain “the world’s leader on environmental issues” but said the agreement must be renegotiated into something that “protects our country and its taxpayers.”

Two Republican Miami-Dade commissioners echoed Trump’s criticism and cast the only no votes against the Paris resolution Tuesday. Commissioner Joe Martinez said he supports Miami-Dade wanting to fight climate change, but not through the Obama-era agreement. “I do believe we have issues,” he said. “But when the Paris climate accord was signed, I didn’t believe in it then.”

Chairman Esteban “Steve” Bovo, who also voted no, touched on a parallel Trump move to stop the United States from contributing to a United Nations fund supporting pollution reduction and fighting climate-change impacts in the developing world. The U.S. had contributed about $1 billion to the Green Climate Fund, which has paid for a hydropower plant in the Solomon Islands, restoration of Ugandan wetlands and irrigation systems in northeastern India.

“In symbolically doing this stuff, are we endorsing the $1 billion that goes to India,” Bovo asked. “And if it does, can it come out of Cava’s account?”

“Daniella recognized as Miami’s Government Leader by Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce”

On June 7, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava received a Salute to Miami’s Leaders Award in the category of Government from the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce. The Salute to Miami’s Leaders Awards program recognizes and honors Leadership Miami alumni who are community leaders that make Miami a stronger, more vibrant community.

“I am absolutely delighted to be honored by the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce with such a distinguished award and humbled to be recognized among my esteemed friends and colleagues who are also committed to improving the quality of our community,” said Commissioner Levine Cava.

Commissioner Levine Cava extended her congratulations to the other Leadership Miami alumni who also received awards: Jaret L. Davis, Miami Co-Managing Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig, P.A.; Emilio T. Gonzalez, Director & CEO, Miami-Dade Aviation Department; George W. Foyo, Executive Vice President & Chief Administrative Officer, Baptist Health South Florida; Julie A. Baird, Shareholder, MSL CPAs and Advisors; David Restainer, Managing Director, Douglas Elliman Commercial Real Estate; Kevin M. Levy, Shareholder, GrayRobinson, P.A.; Keith “Fletch” Fletcher, Executive Director, City Year.

“It gives me great pride to congratulate our County Commissioner, Daniella Levine Cava, for being a recipient of the Salute to Miami’s Leaders Award,” said Cutler Bay Mayor Peggy Bell. “I have enjoyed working alongside Commissioner Levine Cava to address issues of importance to the residents of South Dade. She brings County Government close to the people. She has been instrumental in bringing local elected officials from across District 8 together to identify areas of commonality, and advocate collectively on behalf of our constituents. She exemplifies great leadership, and is an inspiration to many.”

“I am so pleased Commissioner Levine Cava is being recognized for all of her hard work, leadership and dedication to our community,” said Palmetto Bay Mayor Eugene Flinn. “Her award is well-deserved.”
The awards are intended to encourage future community involvement and recognize truly outstanding individuals who have made significant contributions to the community, the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce and their chosen profession.

111 NW 1st Street, Suite 220
Miami, Florida 33128

Miami Herald: “Paris Accord”

Original link here: http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/article153960784.html

I am disappointed, but not surprised that President Trump would seek to dismantle the historic Paris Climate Accord.

Even in the face of near universal consensus from climate scientists and world leaders from nearly every country in the world, the president has decided that the United States of America will abdicate its position as the leader of the free world on the development of cutting edge technology and no longer lead the world on innovation and science-based solutions.

I am hoping that the Florida Congressional Delegation and our State legislature will not allow our State to be the most visible victim of this irresponsible decision — a decision that puts our great nation in league with Syria and Nicaragua as the only countries refusing to sign the treaty. And Nicaragua is reportedly soon planning to sign.

As local governments are forced to confront the impacts of sea level rise and a resurgence of backward policies that glorify the wasteful dependence on dirty fossil energy, Miami-Dade and our Climate Compact Partners of Monroe, Broward, and Palm Beach will hopefully double-down on all of the efforts we that have already undertaken to foster innovative, job-creating, green-tech solutions to this worsening problem.

Daniella’s 2018 Kickoff Event! [PHOTOS]

Thanks to everyone who attended Daniella’s re-election kickoff on May 13th, 2017!

Photo credit: Community Newspapers

Miami Herald: “Miami-Dade donors switch sides to support incumbent commissioner”

Original link here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article149827944.html

What a difference the title of county commissioner can make.

When she successfully challenged incumbent Lynda Bell three years ago, Daniella Levine Cava received negligible support from the developers and county contractors who bankroll sizeable portions of county races. Now an incumbent herself, Levine Cava is collecting some large checks from some of the same donors who helped Bell.

Landmark, a top affordable housing developer in Miami-Dade, gave $17,000 to Bell in 2014 and none to Levine Cava. In April, Landmark’s president and affiliated entities gave $9,000 to Levine Cava for her debut fundraising report.

“We just think she’s doing a good job,” said Robert Saland, Landmark’s president. “She called us up and asked if we could help her out.”

Levine Cava, a former nonprofit executive whose South Dade district includes Homestead, was not immediately available for an interview after Wednesday’s release of her campaign committee’s report. She raised $118,000 in April, and the money represents the first stream of cash directed to the 2018 cycle of commission elections in Miami-Dade.

Christian Ulvert, Levine Cava’s campaign manager, said the commissioner’s converts on the donor side reflect a vote of confidence in her tenure. “I don’t think it’s a surprise,” he said. “Given how hard she has worked.”

Levine Cava and five other incumbents — Jose “Pepe” Diaz, Sally Heyman, Jean Monestime, Rebeca Sosa, and Javier Souto — face reelection in 2018. Term-limit rules enacted in 2012 also mean any incumbent who gets reelected could not run again in 2022. Levine Cava was the first to file for reelection last month, and last week Sosa joined the list of incumbents officially running for another four-year term.

Sosa, a former West Miami mayor who has been on the commission since 2001, will be required to submit her first fundraising report next month.

When she challenged Bell in 2014, Levine Cava received financial backing from county unions and the Democratic Party. Other former Bell donors now giving her money are the Miami Dolphins ($13,000 to Bell; $1,250 to Levine Cava), and Redland Market ($8,500 to Bell; $7,000 to Levine Cava).

Miami Community Newspapers: “GMCVB cuts ribbon on new South Dade Visitor Center”

By Ginny Gutierrez, Miami Community Newspapers

Read the original post here.

More than 100 guests, elected officials and local business leaders were on hand for the Apr. 17 ribbon cutting of the new South Dade Visitor Center, located at the South Dade Government Center, 10710 SW 211 St. in Cutler Bay.

The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) — in partnership with Miami-Dade Commissioners Daniella Levine Cava and Dennis Moss, and the Economic Development Council — launched the opening in support of the new South Dade: More to Explore marketing campaign.

“Today’s savvy travelers are looking for authentic experiences and we want to help bring them to South Dade’s increasingly popular eco-habitat of wildlife, farmland, businesses and attractions,” said William D. Talbert, III, CDME, GMCVB president and CEO.

Welcoming guests to the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new visitor center were Cutler Bay Mayor Peggy Bell, Palmetto Bay Mayor Eugene Flinn, Miami-Dade Commissioners Daniella Levine Cava and Dennis Moss, and Rene Infante of the South Dade Economic Development Council.

GMCVB Visitor Centers and neighborhood marketing campaigns serve two important purposes. In addition to informing and attracting visitors to new neighborhoods, they can also help revitalize and re-invent areas where they’re located. Visitor centers have reported a continued increase in traffic in recent years, an indication of their popularity and value for visitors seeking information about what to see and do in South Dade’s vibrant and evolving community neighborhoods.

“More customers can also mean greater economic development for a neighborhood,” Talbert said. “Local businesses and merchants benefit from visitor spending, increasing opportunities for growth and job creation.”

Residents also can benefit from learning more about South Dade by visiting SouthDadeMoretoExplore.com.

“We think even our residents will be surprised at how much there is to see and do in South Dade — Everglades and Biscayne National Parks, our local farms and attractions, great shopping, dining and a year-round calendar of performing arts, festivals and events,” Talbert added.

The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) is an independent accredited not-for-profit sales and marketing organization with a mission to attract visitors to Greater Miami and the Beaches for leisure, business and conventions.

For a vacation guide visit the website at www.MiamiandBeaches.com or call 1-888-76-Miami (US/Canada only) or 305-447-7777. To reach the GMCVB offices dial 305-539-3000. Meeting planners may call 1-800-933-8448 (US/Canada only) or 305-539-3071 or visit www.MiamiMeetings.com.

Miami’s Community Newspapers: Rebuilding Together Miami-Dade, in Partnership with Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava, Transforms 17 Homes of Veterans and Senior Citizens in Leisure City

Original link here: http://communitynewspapers.com/cutlerbay/rebuilding-together-miami-dade-partnership-commissioner-daniella-levine-cava-transforms-17-homes-veterans-senior-citizens-leisure-city/

Sixteen Leisure City homeowners received new roofs, new bathrooms, new kitchens, Healthy Home Kits, painting and landscaping today as part of Rebuilding Together Miami’s signature event, National Rebuilding Day. National Rebuilding Day 2017 was made possible by the office of Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava who designated over $220,000 in funding to make capital improvements to 16 homes so that each resident may age in place safely and comfortably. Funding also provided beautification and repairs to Live Like Bella Park. “I’m thrilled to sponsor National Rebuilding Day in South Dade. Rebuilding Together has an excellent record of making critical home repairs in neighborhoods throughout Miami-Dade that improve the quality of life of our residents. I am looking forward to improving the homes in our community and making Leisure City even more beautiful and welcoming. When our community comes together, we all thrive” says Cava.

Over 300 volunteers gathered at Live Like Bella Park to kickoff the event before dispersing to the homes. Mrs. Johnson, a 60 year old widow, who has lived in her home for 37 years, addressed the volunteers. “The mildew in my kitchen made me have upper respiratory infections. They cleaned out all of the mildew behind the cabinets before they replaced the cabinets and my home already feels ten times better. Now that the cabinets have been fixed, the smell is gone and I won’t have to worry about breathing in dirty air. I am just so excited and happy to have this work done. Thank you for blessing me!”

By leveraging resources and organizing volunteers, Rebuilding Together Miami is able to provide repairs for homeowners to live in safe and dry homes. Additional event sponsors are Raymond James, Booz Allen Hamilton, Wells Fargo Housing Foundation, A. Galvez Construction, Coastal Construction, First Florida Building Corp, Margo Roofing, Coda Roofing, Energy Cost Solutions Group, COWs Container on Wheels, UPS Foundation, Behr Paint, Everglades Steel, KVC Construction, PepsiCo, Home Depot Store #6306, Starbucks, Shortys Bar-B-Q, Trinity Empowerment Consortium.

“Rebuilding Together Miami is committed to preserving affordable housing and making a difference in the community”, commented Donna Fales, Executive Director of Rebuilding Together Miami. “Our vision is a safe and healthy home for every person.

Rebuilding Together Miami-Dade affiliate is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization preserving affordable homeownership and revitalizing neighborhoods by providing rehabilitation services to low-income senior citizens, veterans and disabled homeowners free of charge. Through the support of corporate sponsors, local businesses and the hands-on work of volunteers, the organization donates approximately $800,000 in market value each year by focusing on home modifications, energy efficiency and safety concerns. The organization is part of a network of more than 200 affiliates and is the nation’s leading nonprofit working to preserve affordable homeownership and revitalize communities. For more information, visit www.rebuildingtogethermiami.org.

South Dade Newsleader: ‘Rebuilding Together’ is Making a Difference

Original link here: http://m.southdadenewsleader.com/mobile/news/rebuilding-together-is-making-a-difference/article_c061648a-30ee-11e7-bbcd-1f390629d7d9.html

It all started after Hurricane Andrew wreaked havoc on South Florida in August of 1992. Out of the piles of debris arose a branch of a National Organization called “Christmas in April.” They rolled up their sleeves and began repairing homes that were in savable condition. Their name was later changed to “Rebuilding Together” thus becoming more “politically correct” therefore attracting a wider spectrum of volunteers. Today, on a national level, more then 100,000 volunteers have completed 10,000 projects. Last year the Miami Chapter repaired 44 homes all without cost to the owners. It’s about helping the elderly, the disabled, veterans and families with children who are in need of assistance in making their homes safe.

April 29th: Those who attended today’s function were amazed by the number of cars surrounding Live Like Bella Park in Leisure City. Close to the south entrance, a group of 37 bearded construction workers stood waiting for the starting call. This group, “The Bearded Villains,” is part of a National Club that can be found on the Internet (BV305.com.). Other groups comprised a work force of over 200 “professionals” many with hammers, saws and a variety of other tools in hand. These guys and gals were chomping at the bit to tackle anything in need of repair from major roofing repair to making a home handicapped accessible. Landscaping, street repairs and even demolition of abandoned structures is included if necessary.

After gathering around the “snack tables” filled with coffee and high energy drinks, a short presentation followed. As our beloved Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava took to the podium. The crowd was introduced to the Officers from the National Headquarters of Rebuilding Together. For those who didn’t know, today is National Rebuilding Day with some 20,000 volunteer workers donating their time, money and materials “to improve and preserve affordable homeownership to low-income homeowner by revamping neighborhoods.”

Funding of $220,000, for local projects, was obtained from a Community Development Block Grant. There have been other projects throughout Miami-Dade but today’s target
was 16 homes in our own back yard. Before the workers were “set loose” a recipient of this wonderful program, Rose Marie Johnson, was handed the microphone. If enthusiasm had not peaked by now Ms. Johnson’s words overflowed the cup of motivation with her appreciation.

The Bearded Villain Chapter stated that “It was an honor to participate in this years National Rebuilding Day. An event put together by the wonderful organization Rebuilding Together Miami-Dade. This event was to provide critical home repairs to low-income, elderly, veterans and disabled homeowners at no cost. So the BV305 was out in full force to tackle as many houses as possible. We painted, planted trees, etc. Thank you to everyone that supported us, and to the brothers that were able to make it.”

Commissioner Levine-Cava released the herd of workers with her unbelievable energy. She arrived home late last night but never missed a beat from jet lag…how does she do it? In closing. this yearly event deserves the praise equal to the beloved “Habitat for Humanity” program, so members of the media, how come we have never heard about this “positive” organization on a State or National level?
Oh well, Thank Heaven for local news.