Previous month:
June 2009
Next month:
August 2009

July 2009

The 2010 Census: A serious matter

The United States 2010 census is right around the corner. Some people don't want to be counted but when that happens everyone in the affected area is shortchanged when it comes to government funding and congressional representation.

Check out the information below from the U.S. Census Bureau website and spread the word about the 2010 Census. Every person needs to be counted.

About 2010 Census

The census is a count of everyone residing in the United States: in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Island Areas.

All residents of the United States must be counted. This includes people of all ages, races, ethnic groups, citizens and non-citizens.

Every 10 years
Every 10 years, and the next census occurs in 2010. Census questionnaires will be mailed or delivered to every household in the United States in March 2010. The questions ask you to provide information that is accurate for your household as of April 1, 2010.

The Census Bureau must count everyone and submit state population totals to the U.S. President by December 31, 2010.

The first Census was conducted in 1790 and has been carried out every 10 years since then.

Everywhere in the U.S.
The census counts everyone residing in the United States: in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Island Areas.

People should be counted where they live and sleep most of the year.

The U.S. Constitution (Article I, Section 2) mandates a headcount of everyone residing in the United States. The population totals determine each state’s Congressional representation. The numbers also affect funding in your community and help inform decision makers about how your community is changing. More info

The Census Bureau will mail or deliver questionnaires to your house in March 2010. We will mail a second form to households that do not respond to the initial questionnaire.

Households that still do not respond will be called or visited by a Census worker. (Census workers can be identified by a census badge and bag.)

PROTECT THE AFRICAN HERITAGE CULTURAL ARTS CENTER (This is long, but its shorter than the budget document!)

by H. Leigh Toney
Miami Dade County Proposed 2009-10 Budget (as proposed by Mayor Carlos Alvarez):

If you've been watching the news today, Thursday, July 16, 2009, then you heard the highlights of Mayor Alvarez's proposed 2009-10 budget. While there are no doubt many causes for concern in the Mayor's proposed budget, and there are many hearings and public meetings ahead of us in the coming months, I want to call your attention to the proposed budget implications for the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center. Mayor Alvarez took umbrage to media questions about the use of county funds to support the Marlins stadium in the wake of these drastic budget proposals, so let me attempt to compare "apples to apples."

The following are excerpts of language taken directly from the Miami Dade County web portal and the 2009-10 budget document which can be found at, This language taken from the "Proposed Message" and "Volume 2" discuss budget plans for the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center and the South Miami Cultural Arts Center. The African Heritage Cultural Arts Center has a track record of successful programming to its credit having trained performers and artists whose works and talents have reached the heights of Broadway and cultural venues throughout the country; the latter has yet to open. The African Heritage Cultural Arts Center serves our children and helps them to realize their dreams and actualize their talents. I hope you'll find this is something worth taking action to address the potential harm that a reduction in services at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center will portend. If you agree, let Mayor Alvarez, the County Commissioners and the editorial pages of local newspapers hear your vocal and clear support for this cultural treasure in our community.

The Arts and Culture Division oversees the day-to-day operations of the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center, Raices Hispanic Heritage Cultural Arts Center, the Miami-Dade County Auditorium, the Women’s Park, and the Joseph Caleb Auditorium.
• Provides auditorium rental opportunities for professional and community arts organizations offering performing arts presentations
• Provides a variety of cultural arts programs such as instrumental and choral music, dance, drama, visual arts and puppetry for youth seeking to explore and discover their own interests and talents and gain a deeper appreciation of
artistic forms

AFRICAN HERITAGE CULTURAL ARTS CENTER: As a result of the economic downturn, the Department’s FY 2009-10 Proposed Resource Allocation Plan in the Arts and Culture Division.... and closes the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center will operate as a break even fees and charges basis or grant subsidized ($449,000, four full-time positions); the center will staff only one custodial worker and one Recreation Specialist 1 to handle inquires to use/rent facility for programs and day-to-day oversight in the Arts and Culture Division.

SOUTH MIAMI DADE CULTURAL ARTS CENTER: In FY 2009-10, the Department will continue to manage the construction and development of the 70,000 square-foot South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center (Center) ($51.156 million); prepare an operational pro forma and financing plan, complete operating staff build-out and develop governance and management systems for the new Center; improve existing and develop new cultural facilities in neighborhoods throughout Miami-Dade County
• The FY 2009-10 Proposed Resource Allocation Plan includes full staffing for the Center (eight positions, $605,000); the Center construction is expected to be completed during FY 2009-10 and the Department continues the strategy of incorporating the interest earnings accruing in specific cultural facilities projects under the Department's purview
and prioritizing those revenues for allocation toward the construction and operational requirements of the Center; in addition, per Ordinance 97-210, $770,000 in Convention Development Tax has been allocated to the Center for

The South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center Division will operate and manage a 966-seat multidisciplinary center for the performing arts including the Theater, multi-purpose rehearsal and educational space, and an Activities Center.
• Develops and directs operational plans for the Center
• Prepares performance and utilization schedule of the facility
• Monitors and adheres to financial management policies and procedures of the Center

Overtown Choral Workshop-- Very Few Slots Left!

Jubilate, Inc. and Booker T. Washington Senior High School as part of their Summer Music Institute are agin offering a Choral Workshop for students from 7th-12th grades, July 20-25, from 12-2 PM at Booker T. Washington Senior High School, 1200 NW 6 Ave., Miami, Fl.

The workshop will be conducted by Timothy Sharp, the highly respected music director of the award-winning Miami Children’s Chorus since 1990. He is a past president of the Miami-Dade County Music Educators Association and has been named Educator of Note by the Young Patronesses of the Opera as well as Arts Teacher of the Year by the Children’s Cultural Coalition.

In this regard, we are inviting members of your youth choirs, and or young people not part of an organized group to participate in the workshop to further enhance their choral singing skills, and music reading abilities.

With the support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners, Jubilate, Inc., and Booker T. Washington Senior High School, the workshop is provided at no cost to all participants.

Slots are limited, so we highly encourage you to reserve a slot by contacting, Ira L. Everett, Jr. at, or by calling, 954.559-0587.

We are certain that your young people, church and school will greatly benefit from the experience and are looking forward to your favorable response to this invitation at the soonest possible time.

Rush hour traffic in Doral

It's amazIng how much difference a few blocks east or west makes in dealing with rush hour traffic in Miami.

Today finds me way out west and I've already made my way on the Turnpike to the Palmetto through Doral. I'm just trying to get home and chill for a moment.

For folks who are familiar with the area, it may seem as if I'm going out of the way but if I get caught on the 112 or I-95, it's all over. Traffic is way too congested there.

Anyhoo, unless you're rocking a helicopter, Miami traffic teaches patience because you are literally held hostage.

Thank God, the wreckless drivers are at a minimum today. Wherever you are, drive with caution. Peace.

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&TIMG00126-20090714-1628.jpg

Farewell Bishop Isaiah Williams, Jr.! RIP

July 9, 2009
By Rose J. Reeder
Rose and Izell Today I attended the celebration of the life of native Miamian Bishop Isaiah Williams Jr., founder and Senior pastor of Jesus People Ministries.  I sat next to two people I knew:  Sharon Jackson, a member of the church and Phyllis Wilcox, a graduate of Miami Carol City and retired educator from the Miami-Dade school system. Phyllis was also a bridesmaid in Bishop Williams' wedding.
Back in the day, I met Izell (what we called him) at Miami Central Senior High School, home of the Rockets. He attended Central and his wife (Gloria) attended Carol City Senior High School. We socialized outside of school and he knew my family. During my 12th grade year, Izell was my escort for the "Girl of the Year" debutante cotillion.  
After high school, we went in different directions in pursuit of higher education and careers. While I was away in college, my mom told me Izell played drums for Bible Baptist Church, my cousin Ralph Pressley's church.  Bible Baptist was the springboard for Isaiah's own church. Years later, my grandmother and I ran into Izell in the strip mall at Miami Gardens Drive and 27th Ave. the location of his first church. 
It was quoted a man's time on this earth is determined by his contribution not his longevity. I learned today Bishop Williams contributed a tremendous amount and left a vision for others to carry out.
Director Robert Parker of the Miami-Dade Police Department said Bishop Williams was known by 4,400+ police officers for he volunteered as a chaplain for police officers.  Someone else called him a "gentle giant".  Bishops, Drs. Pastors and ministers etc traveled from all over the country to speak about Bishop Williams and to support his wife and family. 
Dr. Creflo Dollar  wrapped up the celebration with this statement "Bishop Williams knew how to love and how to serve others and his greatness can only be celebrated.!!  RIP Bishop Isaiah Williams Jr.

Maxwell is coming to Miami! [VIDEO]

Maxwell Tour Dates

OK, it's been eight years since Maxwell dropped an album and his latest seems to be worth the wait. Now y'all know I love the Bohemian, neo-soul Maxwell; this new clean-shaven 2009 version is taking some getting used to but it's all good. He looks so different but his sound is undeniably delicious.

Anyhoo, tickets are still available for his July 31 show at the AAA. I'd really love to go but you know I want the floor seats and the face value is $127.75. That's enough to make me think twice, yo. I don't even like to go to concerts but I'd definitely fight the traffic and the crowd to see Maxwell.

The concert could easily cost me $300 considering ticket price, service charge, parking, primping and preening. LOL I could make that sacrifice but I really need to use my funds for higher priority items. I still have a few days to decide, let's see what happens.

Maxwell's Music Online

Maxwell on MySpace

Follow Maxwell on Twitter

Saying Good-bye to Michael Jackson

Wow. Today is the day of the homegoing service of Michael Jackson. He was the King of Pop so they say. Or perhaps he was the king of many other great things.

Who is to say how, why or when we should depart from this earth; it is more important to live a full life in between. I don't know what little girl didn't think Michael was the cutest little thing when they made their debut on the Ed Sullivan show. They broke so many barriers as a group and Michael broke even more as an individual.

As I matured, Michael seemed sad at times. Much like truly gifted people, there is a loneliness and heaviness that is converted to beauty and shared with the rest of us through their creations. Michael's passion and compassion was not something many people will ever truly understand only benefit from. Rather than trying to understand Michael, the Jackson 5 or the Jackson Family and what may have transpired in their private lives, I choose to just be Blessed by him and them.

In his child-like manner, Michael taught us, even if it was briefly for some of us, to love one another. I know that may seem corny but it's true and it's what we need right now.

Michael Jackson changed the world for the better and for a bright shining moment we are one. Thank you, Michael.

Michael Jackson Memorial


Miami Children's Initiative Community Meetings Scheduled

GET INVOLVED! Everyone is welcome! 
The development of the Miami Children's Initiative Community Strategic Plan began in March 2009, and continues under the direction of the Miami-Dade County Commission. Pursuant to Florida Statute 409.147, the community must develop a community strategic plan. This is an opportunity for the entire community to come together and design a Children's Initiative that sets the standard for the state.  All interested persons are welcome to attend community meetings and participate in the development of the plan. Liberty City residents are especially welcome and encouraged to attend.
Planning Team Workgroup meetings scheduled for the coming week are as follows:
July 6, 2009
6:00- 8:00 p.m.
Parent and Guardian Support Workgroup
Jessie Trice Center
5361 NW 22nd Ave.
Thamara Labrousse
July 8, 2009
3:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Education of Children and Youth
Carrie Meek Center
1350 NW 50th Street
Jean Logan
July 10, 2009
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Elder Affairs
Hadley Park
1300 NW 50th Street
Alexandria Douglas-Bartolone
July 13, 2009
6:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Youth Support
NFL YET Center
7090 NW 22nd Avenue
Andrea Stephenson

July's Financial Tip: How is your credit?

 by Lisa Rogers Cherry  

You should review your credit report at least twice a year to be sure that it's accurate and to check for identity fraud. Go to for one free report per year.

Lisa Rogers-Cherry is the author of Lifting the Burdens of Debt:  A Helpful Guide to Getting Your Debts Paid and Your Life Back on Track (2005; $14.95).  If you have a question or would like more information about the book go to, e-mail her at, or write Lisa Rogers-Cherry, Red Pen Press, P.O. Box 1196, Dania Beach, FL 33004.

Interesting Op-Ed from the Miami Herald on Pay to Play

End pay to play

OUR OPINION: Commissioners' cozy relationship with lobbyists, consultants breaks public trust

Some of the unsavory inner workings of how things get done in Miami and Miami-Dade County were detailed in a closed corruption probe of Miami Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones and a prosecutor's report with accusations of kickbacks to former Miami-Dade Commissioner Barbara Carey-Shuler.

They point to a need for reforms, but changing laws is only a partial solution. The real need is to change business as usual, which was one of the conclusions of a 1999 Miami-Dade Grand Jury report on the county's contract process. (Go to for the report.)

A decade later, too little has changed. And it won't until voters send a strong message to incumbents and elect people willing to cut the symbiotic cord between commissioners and lobbyists. It means citizens must come forward and expose corruption rather than go along to get along. [More]