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Our County, Our Climate Action

This project summarizes an 18-month campaign started by the Miami Climate Alliance. Throughout a series of six workshops hosted by Catalyst Miami, Miami-Dade County staff and some of our community partners discussed best practices for public participation.

The group's recommendations can be integrated in local government policy and practice to improve engagement. This will be particularly important while implementing Miami-Dade County's Climate Action Strategy to cut planet-warming pollution.

Local government must strive to address the legacies of exclusion, while creating shared accountability and a culture of transparency.

Watch the video below for an overview of the campaign's process and outcomes. 

All the recommendations here and in the full report relate to the main takeaway: Community leadership is essential to achieve climate justice.

When residents are given the resources and opportunities to work together on their neighborhoods’ challenges, they design more effective solutions and the process itself helps to build community power for decades to come.

There is an appetite for this approach to resilience policy- and practice-making in Miami-Dade County. Key decision-makers must do more to facilitate the community-centered processes that residents are ready and willing to propel to achieve true resilience.

Expand the menus below to learn more about each aspect of this community-determined framework. Leave us feedback using the form on this page!

Public participation goal

Provide the community with reliable and relevant information.

Outcome(s)

Access or Exclusion

Community empowerment goal

Consistently improve access to information on resources, planning, and decisions.

Recommended approaches*

*Examples here were suggested with the Miami-Dade County Climate Action Strategy in mind. See the full report for key context and strategies.

  • People-centered language
  • Outreach through quality partnerships
  • Balance of digital and in-person efforts
  • Multi-lingual materials as the norm
  • Work with constituent municipalities

Public participation goal

Gather input from the community on analysis and/or decisions.

Outcome(s)

Listening or Tokenization

Community empowerment goal

Listen to community concerns, acknowledge aspirations, and provide feedback.

Recommended approaches*

*Examples here were suggested with the Miami-Dade County Climate Action Strategy in mind. See the full report for key context and strategies.

  • Surveys as dialogue, distributed with trust and context
  • Work on respectful, mutually beneficial timelines
  • Supportive materials to integrate multiple preferred languages and literacy levels
  • Substantive feedback for participants
  • Communicate impact, not only intentions

Public participation goal

Work with the community to integrate local needs and assets during planning.

Outcome(s)

Voice or Pacification

Community empowerment goal

Give voice to new insights or perspectives that may shift planning, decisions, or analysis.

Recommended approaches*

*Examples here were suggested with the Miami-Dade County Climate Action Strategy in mind. See the full report for key context and strategies.

  • Establish shared definitions of resilience
  • Lead with community expertise
  • Coordinate with related departments
  • Leverage cross-sectoral partnerships
  • Practice cultural humility
  • Show up, and show up often

Public participation goal

Partner with and ensure community capacity to play a role in each aspect of decisions and/or planning processes.

Outcome(s)

Delegated Power or Marginalization

Community empowerment goal

Delegate power and resources to build the leadership of disproportionately impacted, under-resourced communities.

Recommended approaches*

*Examples here were suggested with the Miami-Dade County Climate Action Strategy in mind. See the full report for key context and strategies.

  • Talk with residents, not at
  • Community-led participatory mapping to identify assets
  • Grant more power to community advisory boards
  • Commitment to community throughout stakeholder partnerships
  • Art, photography, and storytelling as forms of expression
  • Support for community organizing

Public participation goal

Advance equity by deferring final say on decisions or planning priorities to the community.

Outcome(s)

Collective Power or Concentrated Privilege

Community empowerment goal

Unlock collective power and transformative solutions by centering community leadership.

Recommended approaches*

*Examples here were suggested with the Miami-Dade County Climate Action Strategy in mind. See the full report for key context and strategies.

  • Community-led visioning and planning processes
  • Address legal barriers to advancing equity
  • Participatory budgeting and community-driven policy evaluation
  • Open-access resources
  • Political culture that values and sees opportunity in civic engagement

Please leave your feedback by using the form on this page! You can use this same form to sign up for email and text updates from Catalyst Miami.

Become a member of the Miami Climate Alliance at miamiclimatealliance.org.

Helpful Links:

Natalia Brown
Camilo Mejia
Anaruth Solache
Zelalem Adefris
Izegbe Onyango
Nicole Crooks
Jeanette Ruiz
Dr. Kilan Ashad-Bishop
Mileyka Burgos-Flores
Elysa Batista-Delcorto
May Rodriguez
Santra Denis
Reginald Munnings
Casey Munga

Claudia Navarro
Megan Donovan
Daniel Gibson
Yanelis Valdez
Jessica Saint-Fleur
Emily Gorman
Kelly Lynch
MacKenzie Marcelin
Mayra Cruz
Lynn Purcell
Wade Kingcade
Valencia Gunder
Stibalys Gomez

Miami-Dade County Partners

James Murley, Chief Resilience Officer
Kimberly Brown, Director of Resilience Planning and Implementation
Karina Castillo, Resilience Coordinator
Galen Treur, Resilience Coordinator for Strategic Outcomes
Jane Gilbert, Chief Heat Officer

These recommendations were developed by partners with backgrounds in local government, community organizing, academic research, resilience policy, community economic development, intersectional climate justice action, public outreach and engagement. This project was supported by the Energy Justice Working Group of the Miami Climate Alliance and the American Cities Climate Challenge Justice40 Capacity Building Fund.