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August 2011

July 2011

Gimenez presents budget but at what cost?

Mayor Carlos Gimenez presented his 2011-2012 proposed budget with the property tax rate rolled back to the 2009 rate. By now, we know that property tax increase became the death knell for the tenure of Carlos Alvarez as County Mayor.

The hoopla over the tax increase brings us to the unpleasant situation in which we find ourselves. To fill the budget gap, 1,300 positions will be eliminated. Of those positions, almost 900 are filled. That means many people will lose their job. Some are firefighters and more than 360 are Head Start workers. You know, mostly black women who are also head of households. That's already sounding really ugly, right?

Supposedly another agency will take over Head Start. The children will continue to receive services and the workers will keep their jobs. Yeah, right.

These proposed job cuts appear especially distasteful considering Mayor Gimenez is bringing back his former Chief of Staff, Chip Iglesias, at $225K plus benefits and perks as Deputy Mayor. I'm waiting to see which other positions are eliminated, especially those high-level staff jobs. I think Gimenez is too smart to allow his Deputy Mayor position to become an albatross around his neck. I find it difficult to successfully defend such a high salary for a public service position regardless how logical the rationale.

Even if Julio Robaina had been elected County mayor, we would have found ourselves in an ugly budget situation. Gimenez already compromised on the number of libraries to be closed, let's see how much more compromising will be done before the final budget is adopted.

Stay alert and pay attention.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Miami Dade College unlikely to lose accreditation

Despite a warning from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, higher education experts say it is almost impossible for Miami Dade College to lose its accreditation. Miami Dade College president, Dr. Eduardo Padron, has already increased the number of full-time faculty. The number of part-time faculty was the basis for the accreditation warning.

Read more:

Just another weekend in the City?

Over the weekend there was a drive-by shooting in Liberty City and one in Little Haiti. In the first shooting a teenage boy was injured. Shots were fired from a white Nissan by masked gunmen.

Four people were shot in the incident in Little Haiti in front of a corner store a few blocks away from the first shooting. The car used in that shooting was dark colored. Two people died and two were hospitalized.

One of the survivors is a teenage mother of a one year-old. Her mother has been shown on television begging for the shooters to turn themselves in. Her daughter's injuries required the amputation of one of her legs. She also suffers from shots to her spleen and kidneys. The other survivor, a young man, is expected to recover fully from his wounds.

How can a person have such little regard for another person's life? How many more people will be shot and/or killed?

There have been complaints about the police shooting black men. When do we stand up and rail against black males shooting other blacks? Someone knows the persons who are terrorizing our community. Wrong is wrong. When will WE stop this madness?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

TACOLCY CDF Freedom School Scholars To Rally Against Education Budget Cuts

Join youth from TACOLCY on Wednesday, July 20 from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. at Miami-Dade County Hall as they have a peaceful rally to protest budget cuts to public education. The rally is the result of what youth learned on Social Action Day on Wednesday, July 13. Social  Action Day is a major component recognized annually by Freedom Schools across the country to raise awareness about important issues affecting children.  Through Social Action Day, youth learn to be civic advocates. Each year the priority is identified based on pressing needs surrounding children.

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Rennie Harris PureMovement takes over Miami with Illadelph Miami 2011, July 31 - Aug. 7


Illadelph remains the longest continually run Hip Hop festival dedicated to the evolution of Hip Hop music and dance, featuring the most electrifying innovators and pioneers of Hip Hop movement.

Celebrating over 12 consecutive years, the 2011 - "Illadelph Miami" Legends Festival (Illadelph) will take place July 31 – August 7, 2011 in the state-of-the-art facilities at Miami Light Project 404 NW 26th St Miami, FL 33127 & South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center 10950 SW 211th Street Cutler Bay, Fl 33189 with a full schedule of master classes, lecture demonstrations, open jam sessions, panel discussions, and break-out sessions from 9am-5pm daily.

The 2011 festival is set to be one of Illadelph’s finest and bring together some of the most influential and inspirational instructors from around the world to teach and mentor festival participants ranging from students to professionals. These originators and renowned practitioners of the various hip-hop movement styles will be teaching; Boogaloo, Locking, Popping, Hip Hop, House, B-Boy/B-Girl, Afro/Funk and Salsa Movement.

Illadelph’s newly appointed Artistic Director Emilio "Buddah Stretch" Austin, worked with Rennie Harris to bring in some of the finest pioneers from the international Hip Hop dance scene this past year, such as; Eva “Deva” Schou from Denmark, who taught Waacking, popping sensation “Acky” and House Dance International champion “Hiro” joined us from Japan along with France’s Michel “Meech” Onomo and Gemini Lockiano a new school Locker with an old school flavor. We were honored to welcome this year one of the original GoGo brothers, O.G. Skeeter Rabbit, along with 2nd generation GoGo Brother, Manny “Loose Caboose” Tristan.

Returning instructors to the festival included; Hip Hop choreographer and dancer Lanaya “Tweety” Straker, Tyrone “The Bone” Proctor, Waacking sensation, as well as one of his protégé’s, Aus “Ninja” Imperial, a master of Waacking and old school Locker Jazzy J.

The festival opens up a platform to artists, nationally and internationally, who can expand and challenge boundaries and definitions of Hip Hop overall. As Illadelph’s international reach grows, it provides an opportunity for participants to share ideas/work with a larger universal community.

By honoring and preserving the work of Hip Hop’s pioneers and supporting the creativity of the culture’s next generation, Illadelph creates a unique platform for Hip Hop’s past, present, and future to inspire one another and establish connections and change that
will last well beyond this week-long experience.

Source: Rennie Harris Puremovement


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From Rep. Cynthia Stafford: Budget/Legislative Snapshots – 2011 Session

If you've not done so already, check out the newsletter of Dist. 109 State Rep. Cynthia Stafford. It's one of the best I've seen as far as content, layout and overall presentation.

Here are highlights of the last Legislative Session that essentially frame our current predicament as a state and community. You can find this on page 7 of her newsletter. Do share with family and friends.

Budget/Legislative Snapshots – 2011 Session

  • The State’s workforce will be cut by 4,500.
  • Medicaid (the state’s insurance program for 3.1 million poor and elderly Floridians) will be turned over to private industry at a cost of $22 billion. Medicaid patients will now be enrolled in managed care.
  • Property insurance companies were allowed to raise taxes up to 15 percent.
  • Property owners have less time to file claims involving sink hole and storm related damage. The statute of limitations will be reduced to two years for filing hurricane and windstorm claims after a storm.
  • Bright Futures Scholarships were cut by 20%.
  • Courses covered by class size limits will be reduced from 849 to 304. (This is a back door way to circumvent the requirements of the citizen-led class size constitutional amendment.)
  • State employees will now have to work longer before they are eligible to retire. Retirement ages for employees hired after July 1, will increase from age 62 or 30 years of service to age 65 or 33 years of service.
  • The retirement age for special risk employees (such as police and firefighters) will increase from age 55 or 25 years of service to age 60 or 30 years of service. Vesting requirement will go from 6 years to 8 years for new hires.
  • Cost of living raises for retirees will be eliminated for all service earned on or after July 1 (effectively eliminating DROP).
  • Prisons in an 18-county area of South Florida will be turned over to private contractors, resulting in the lay off of up to 1,751 state employees.

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Speakout for Good Jobs Now stops in Miami TODAY

Join Congresswoman Frederica Wilson today for the "Speakout for Good Jobs Now" Tour in Miami. The event is part of a listening tour in which pro-worker members of Congress listen to YOU about the need for good jobs in our communities.

It's time we stopped giving tax breaks to billionaires and big corporations when working Americans are struggling to make ends meet. Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus will listen to what YOU have to say and take that back to Washington as we continue to fight to reinvigorate the American Dream — the ability to put in a day’s hard work for good wages and benefits so we can provide our children with a better future. 

Are you dissatisfied about the lack of good jobs and opportunities? This is your chance to tell YOUR STORY to a member of Congress who cares.

Here are the details:

"Speakout for Good Jobs Now Tour" comes to Miami

Saturday July 16th, 2:00-4:00 p.m.

Lehman Theater in the Arts Complex

North Campus, Miami-Dade Community College

11380 NW 27th Ave., Miami, FL 33167

Also in attendance will be Representatives Raul Grijalva, Keith Ellison, and Ted Deutch, as well as State Senator Oscar Brayon, State Representative Dwight Bullard, and other community leaders and activists.


Miami Dade College threatened with accreditation warning

The largest community college in the nation, Miami Dade College was warned it could lose it's accreditation by the Southern Association for Colleges and Schools (SACS) because it does not have enough full-time faculty.