Policy & Engagement
We believe that the communities most affected by issues are the ones who know best how to solve them.
Catalyst Miami trains residents of all ages to become grassroots leaders who can create positive change in their communities. We listen to the needs and concerns of our people, then identify and advocate for our shared priorities together. By increasing civic participation and fostering meaningful engagement within neighborhoods, we’re catalyzing better policies and systems from the ground up.
Our policy and engagement work helps ensure that everyone has access to the democratic processes and movements that drive justice forward.
Scroll down for a list of our programs.
Our community advocacy and organizing initiatives are creating transformative change.
Listening to our communities through organizing and direct service
Training individuals of all ages as grassroots leaders in their communities and beyond
Connecting residents to opportunities for advocacy and civic engagement
Achieving policy wins in coalition with our communities and partners
Boosting community participation in government processes and forums
Building, growing and catalyzing networks for collective action
Network Development and Support
Catalyst Miami helps groups come together and form networks that can make a bigger impact across sectors, issues, and communities. Examples include the Miami Climate Alliance, the Clean Energy For All coalition, the Consumer State Advocacy Project, the Miami Birth Justice Initiative, and more.
By connecting our clients and leadership graduates with groups like these, we foster sustained, effective activism. This also helps them learn about what’s happening on a national, state, and local level so they can get involved in community projects and advocate for necessary policy change. The backing of these networks plays a critical role in policy wins.
The Miami Climate Alliance is made up of 100+ organizations, as well as local residents and nationwide experts. It is dedicated to building urgency, power, and cohesion around climate change and sea level rise by achieving significant policy wins and working to establish a model for just, equitable, and resilient communities.
The Consumer State Advocacy Project, which seeks to expand Medicaid in Florida, includes partners and community members from across the state, such as the Florida Policy Institute, Florida Voices for Health, the Florida Health Justice Project, and Central Florida Jobs with Justice. Broadly speaking, the project uses national healthcare policy and its impact on local communities as a benchmark and guide to increasing access to care.
Issues We Care About
We believe that the people most affected by a problem should be the ones deciding how to solve it. We need public policies that ensure everyone's needs are met, resources are distributed fairly, laws are just and equitable, and that we can respond to new challenges. At Catalyst Miami, we prioritize policies that our community identifies as important and that are critical to our people’s well-being.
Catalyst to the Capital
Each year, we organize a three-day trip to Tallahassee called Catalyst to the Capital. During this trip, community members, staff, and partners meet face-to-face with elected officials to advocate for policies that are most important to our communities. Participants of Catalyst to the Capital receive training on the legislative process and put their advocacy skills into action.
Community Champions is our neighborhood-based community organizing initiative. We bring together residents who collaborate to make sure that key investments and decisions being made in their community truly center the people who live there. This way, residents themselves build their civic power and ultimately shape their neighborhoods.
Our Community Champions meet regularly to implement projects, with our support, that strengthen their neighborhoods. They work to improve infrastructure, enhance the well-being of their neighbors, engage with local governments, and reduce existing inequalities. To name just some of their efforts, our Champions are steering the early stages of our real-estate cooperative in North Miami, and rallying Overtown residents to get involved in the re-development of the communal space beneath I-395.
Catalyst Miami has helped hundreds of adults and young people develop their leadership by training them to be advocates around important public policy issues, like climate, health, and housing. After completing one of our leadership programs, we connect graduates with fellow community leaders and opportunities to continue their work, such as speaking out at government public forums, joining a coalition, or creating their own community project.
We are committed to making sure our leadership training programs align with the issues our community has said are most important. Our goal is to inspire resilience strategies that are led by residents and include a community-driven policy agenda.
The Covid-19 pandemic unveiled the widespread suffering many in Miami-Dade County continue to face daily due to a lack of stable housing, adequately-paid jobs, and affordable healthcare. On top of this, 2020 put a nationwide spotlight on police brutality, particularly after the brutal murder of George Floyd. Motivated by these realities, hundreds of Miami-Dade County residents bravely shared their vision for less criminalization and more housing, social services, environmental protections, and critical community programs at the 2020-21 Miami-Dade County budget hearings.
Disability Rights & The Enable Project
The Enable Project is a coalition led by Catalyst Miami that trains nonprofits on how to include people with disabilities in their organizations and movements. There are three main goals of this collaborative project:
- to help people with disabilities secure the public benefits they’re entitled to;
- to encourage people with disabilities to advocate and get involved in policy decisions that affect their lives; and
- to increase the representation of people with disabilities in social justice movements.