Pages tagged "Media Materials"
After unprecedented flooding, Florida lawmakers are close to passing a law that would dump cancer-causing waste into our roads and communities.
As of Monday, May 1, 2023, the bill has passed the full House and Senate, and will be on the desk of Governor Desantis in a matter of days, without Floridians' intervention.
Severe flooding releases toxic waste from our roadways into our environment. House Bill 1191 and Senate Bill 1258 would allow the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to use phosphogypsum in road construction. Decades of science prove that phosphogypsum — a high-risk, radioactive pollutant that releases toxins — poses a substantial risk to people's health, workers' safety, and the environment.
As the Center for Biological Diversity wrote about HB 1191 and SB 1258, “The EPA has long prohibited use of phosphogypsum in roads” because it’s “linked to higher risks of cancer and genetic damage. But for several years, the fertilizer industry has pushed lawmakers to allow it.” (link to lobbyist disclosure)
Catalyst Miami’s director of policy and advocacy Camilo Mejia is available to discuss the irreversible harms this legislation would impose on frontline communities and Floridians at-large. We implore the legislature not to advance this irresponsible bill any further, and for Governor Desantis to veto this deadly industry favor should it reach his desk. To schedule an interview with Mr. Mejia, please contact Carolina Fernandez at [email protected] or 786-414-1290.
Read our op-ed in the Orlando Sentinel. Learn more about this issue in the Tampa Bay Times and Florida Politics.
Residents can take action at catalystmiami.org/radioactive
Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava Commits to Inclusion for Climate Action Strategy
County residents pushed back on environmental injustices and held elected officials to their commitments on climate change.
MIAMI — On Saturday, January 21, Miami-Dade County officials and community-based organizations Catalyst Miami and Miami Climate Alliance hosted a town hall to mark the next phase in the implementation of the County’s Climate Action Strategy. At the town hall, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava answered questions about the strategy’s timeline and addressed residents’ feedback about how projects have been implemented.
Concerned community members, representatives from local resiliency boards, and County stakeholders packed the Main Library auditorium and engaged directly with the Mayor and County department heads on their commitments to equity in their climate action work. Several members of Catalyst Miami’s Overtown Community Champions team were in attendance and tasked the County representatives with more transparency and action, especially when it comes to infrastructure projects in historically disinvested neighborhoods.
“In my neighborhood of Overtown, you know we have the I-395 that’s going through there, and there’s going to be a lot more traffic than before,” said Casey M., an Overtown Community Champion, to a panel of County officials. “I’m thinking about people who are already at a disadvantage with the construction and the pollution. Also we have landfills and a waste disposal place just up the street from where I live, and also we have power plants. … We have parks that are built over landfills. And I know that Overtown is now becoming an emerging community, where it’s being looked at as some place that’s higher ground that people want to move there. What plans do you have in cleaning up those areas? … What’s going to happen to all those people? Where are we supposed to live?”
“We understand there’s a trust deficit, especially in communities that have been historically harmed, even by your own county government, in the past,” said Juan Felipe Visser, Deputy Director of Equity & Engagement, Office of Miami-Dade County.
Mayor Cava committed to a new set of community recommendations and told the town hall attendees that progress on the Climate Action Strategy would be detailed in a report to be released by Earth Day, 2023. The recommendations are the product of two years of collaboration between County staff, community leaders, and residents. The framework breaks down how local governments can address legacies of exclusion, increase transparency, and develop the best solutions when everyone has a seat at the table.
Attendees reiterated during the session their desire to see County representatives meet with residents more often, especially when the County is making decisions about their neighborhoods. Chief Resilience Officer Jim Murley acknowledged his team’s desire to host more of these community conversations and shared that additional meetings would be scheduled in the coming months to get community members’ feedback on the Climate Action Strategy’s latest progress.
About Catalyst Miami
Founded in 1996, Catalyst Miami is an economic justice nonprofit organization whose mission is to identify and collectively solve issues adversely affecting low-wealth communities in Miami-Dade County. Learn more at www.catalystmiami.org.
About Miami Climate Alliance
The Miami Climate Alliance was convened in 2015 by a diverse group of Miami-Dade residents and now represents countless individuals and 152 member organizations. The Miami Climate Alliance works for equity and resilience by activating community through strategic action, increasing understanding of climate change as a threat to all forms of justice, and building urgency around our shared community well-being. Our mission is to achieve justice for all of Miami's communities in the face of climate change and its effects. https://miamiclimatealliance.org/
Carolina Fernandez-Mazzoni, [email protected], 786-414-1290
Val Glenister, [email protected], 754-971-5302
Media Interview Training
The media is a powerful tool for 1) raising awareness about issues that are important to us, 2) demanding accountability from those responsible, and 3) driving the action we want to see.
Reporters may come into an interview with their questions set, but we should also come in with our narrative set.
It's YOUR narrative to shape, YOUR voice and community, YOUR story to tell. This resource is about how, in media interviews, we can take the ball back. How do we tell the story we want to tell when talking to media?
Let's look at some tips below. Click here to download a mobile-friendly TIP SHEET to save for use later!
Questions about anything on this page? Please send an email to [email protected]
Community groups say the Florida Public Service Commission should reject FPL’s plan for the sake of its customers and our climate.
Miami-Dade is experiencing three times as many days over 90 degrees as it was 50 years ago, but FPL wants customers to shoulder $500 million for extreme winter.
Miami, FL — Drawing false parallels to the energy crisis in Texas, Florida Power and Light Company (FPL) is seeking the Public Service Commission’s approval to spend hundreds of millions of dollars in fossil fuel projects for extreme winter weather.
In advance of the PSC’s upcoming decision on FPL’s 10-year site plan, Catalyst Miami’s Natalia Brown and Healthy Gulf’s Christian Wagley are available to discuss how this proposal would harm all FPL customers, especially middle-to-low-wealth households and communities of color. According to Bloomberg, Miami residents’ electricity bills are already nearly 40% higher than last year, and this plan, if approved, would authorize FPL to pass the costs of unnecessary capital projects straight to ratepayers. In Northwest Florida, Pensacola residents’ rates have skyrocketed to the second highest in the state following a 2021 merger between FPL and former Gulf Power territory.
Public comments for the FPL ten-year site plan close on June 15 and the PSC is expected to make a decision shortly thereafter.
Ms. Brown and Mr. Wagley are available to discuss:
- How the plan increases Florida’s dependence on price-volatile and polluting gas, with no investments in energy efficiency (a proven method of meeting customer demand by reducing waste and lowering bills for everyone)
- Expert testimony at the PSC’s hearing on 10-year site plans proving that FPL’s hypothetical winter proposals have a less than a one-in-a-million chance of occurring
- The ironic disconnect between the regulatory process and reality: discussing below-freezing temperatures while low-wealth households and communities of color across the state aren’t getting the cooling, lighting, or electricity they need during extreme heat conditions because of rising prices
To schedule an interview with Ms. Brown or Mr. Wagley, please contact Carolina Fernandez-Mazzoni at [email protected] or 305-815-4520.
The public can write to the PSC at bit.ly/fplaction.
Monday, June 13 - Wednesday, June 15, 2022
Carolina Fernandez-Mazzoni, [email protected], 786-414-1290
JPMorgan Chase provides $1 million grant to help North Miami residents own and operate commercial real estate through Catalyst Miami’s community property cooperative
Project will build wealth for families via small-dollar investments and give community residents more control over development
MIAMI – JPMorgan Chase granted Catalyst Miami $1 million to fund the North Miami Community Investment Cooperative (NM-CIC), a commercial property cooperative that will be owned and operated by North Miami community members. The NM-CIC opens up investment opportunities in real estate to working-class residents, especially as mobility- and transit-oriented development increases in the area.
NM-CIC will provide education and capacity-building opportunities to help local, small-dollar investors govern and manage the property. The initiative also supports the hyperlocal economy by recruiting local businesses to lease spaces and receive technical assistance through Catalyst Miami’s small business services. And because this is a replicable model, the transformative scope of the project could eventually extend to all of Miami-Dade County.
“One of the most important and effective keys to building wealth and reducing the racial wealth gap is in small business and property ownership,” said Maria Escorcia, Vice President of Global Philanthropy at JPMorgan Chase. “Initiatives like NM-CIC are intended to help not only small business owners, but the community at large. JPMorgan Chase is proud to support Catalyst Miami in this initiative to create a more prosperous and inclusive North Miami.”
The NM-CIC initiative is part of Catalyst Miami’s efforts to spearhead wealth-building projects that promote economic inclusiveness for communities that were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and were already at a disadvantage with regard to the racial wealth gap.
“The investment cooperative is an exciting part of our overall strategies to create shared economic prosperity, build intergenerational wealth, and advance racial equity on a scalable, community level,” said Catalyst Miami Vice President of Community Economic Development, Ahmed Mori. And the project is not only about asset ownership. "Expanding community control—putting people at the center of decision-making—is often missing from more standard efforts to address poverty and the racial wealth divide,” Mori said.
“Recovering from this pandemic is going to be difficult for communities that already bore the brunt of economic and racial injustice,” said Catalyst Miami CEO Gretchen Beesing. “It’s a crucial time for intentional intervention and community investments, and for rethinking the systems that have long denied equitable access to economic mobility opportunities.”
In the first phase, which begins this year, Catalyst Miami will facilitate the purchase and initial management of the commercial real estate, including making infrastructural repairs and managing commercial tenant relations. Then, Catalyst Miami will oversee the process of selling the property back to members of the surrounding community.
The City of North Miami is among the most demographically diverse municipalities in Miami-Dade County, and is home to a vibrant small business community. By giving residents an opportunity to “buy back the block” and centering economic development on local neighborhoods, the NM-CIC provides a demonstration of community-level economics that supports equitable wealth-building, collective ownership, and stabilization instead of displacement.
To schedule interviews with Ahmed Mori or Gretchen Beesing, please contact Carolina Fernandez-Mazzoni at [email protected] or 786-414-1290. To schedule interviews with Maria Escorcia, please contact Allison Reed at [email protected] or 240-506-7897.
About Catalyst Miami
Founded in 1996 by now-Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, Catalyst Miami is an economic justice nonprofit organization whose mission is to identify and collectively solve issues adversely affecting low-wealth communities in Miami-Dade County. Learn more about the organization at www.catalystmiami.org
About JPMorgan Chase
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $3.2 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of customers in the United States and many of the world’s most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com
Carolina Fernandez-Mazzoni, [email protected], 786-414-1290
Allison Reed, [email protected], 240-506-7897
Miami: Center Equity in Addressing Heat Risk
Extreme heat is dangerous to everyone, but children, the elderly, outdoor workers, communities of color, and pregnant people face higher risk and need protection.
MIAMI, FL – Heat is a justice issue. Public awareness, labor protections, and improved access to cooling resources are all needed, a coalition of health professionals, researchers, and NGOs said, leading up to National Heat Awareness Day on May 28. The coalition is calling on local, state, and federal officials to protect vulnerable populations against increasing extreme heat exposure.
If you are interested in covering heat as a justice issue, below is a list of events, experts, and resources for your story.
What: Shading Dade Heat Sensor Deployment
When: Monday May 24 at 1:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Who: Shading Dade: Catalyst Miami + FIU’s Sea Level Solutions Center in the Institute of Environment + FIU’s Department of Journalism and Media + University of Miami
Where: Legion Park at 6447 NE 7th Avenue, Miami, FL 33138
About: Shading Dade is a citizen science project that uses dime-sized heat sensors called “iButtons” to record temperatures at specific locations, such as bus stops, across Miami-Dade County. Participants will convene at a City of Miami park to meet their teams, receive instruction on the deployment protocols, and pick up temperature sensors. After picking up sensors, participants will fan out across Miami-Dade County to deploy sensors in designated locations. Sensors were first deployed in 2018 by researchers and the work continues this week with a new batch of sensors to be deployed by Shading Dade Ambassadors. To see the existing sensor data click here.
>>> To contact Shading Dade, email [email protected], or Sign Up for Details.
GROUPS WORKING ON HEAT IN MIAMI
Miami’s Urban Heat Research Group (UHRG)
Miami’s Urban Heat Research Group (UHRG) is composed of local non-profits, government staff, and community leaders, as well as faculty and student researchers from Florida International University and University of Miami. Through monthly meetings, the group comes together to address the growing issue of heat, data and studies centered around this, and initiatives that push towards tackling the issue on the fronts of both the environment and public health. (Troxler, Clement, Mach, Obeysekara, Bhat)
>>>> To contact the researchers at UHRG, contact [email protected] To see a list of heat-related student research projects, scroll down.
The Miami Dade Women’s Fund: Pregnant Women Face Higher Risk
- Marya Meyer, Interim Executive Director: “We are collaborating with the City of Miami, Miami-Dade County and community partners to raise awareness that pregnant people are at greater risk of suffering adverse effects of extreme heat. Heat exposure is linked to higher rates of premature birth (climbing in Miami Dade, and far higher for black and brown mothers), linked to greater risk of infant mortality and lifelong health consequences.”
On Friday, May 28 The Women’s Fund Miami-Dade, in partnership with City and County officials, will hold a press conference to launch the beginning of the heat and pregnancy health outdoor public awareness campaign on National Heat Awareness Day.
>>>> To learn more, contact Viviana Alvarado Pacheco at The Women's Fund Miami-Dade at [email protected] or 757-206-3363.
Miami Climate Health & Equity Coalition (MCHEC): We need community-led solutions to address heat in an equitable way.
- Mayra Cruz, MPH, Climate Justice Director, Catalyst, Miami: Across the US, poorer neighborhoods, often where communities of color live, are much hotter than whiter, richer neighborhoods. Wealthier neighborhoods tend to be lusher with fewer roads and big buildings, as well as more cooling greenspace. These residents are also more likely to be able to afford AC and better-quality housing that protects against heat. “The same marginalized communities that see greater rates of chronic illnesses and poverty are also those that are hotter,” Mayra said. “Poorer families have less cash to spend on AC and other ways to keep cool.”
>>>> To Interview Mayra Cruz at Catalyst, or talk to front-line communities, contact her at 786-527-2573.
Florida Clinicians for Climate Action (FCCA): Center Equity in Climate-Health Solutions
- Dr. Cheryl Holder, Founding Co-Chair, said, “Most of my patients are working at the lowest tiers of South Florida’s thriving agriculture, construction, hospitality and health care industries.” Some people are more vulnerable to heat than others. Older people, people with health conditions such as respiratory or circulatory problems and people taking certain medications, (e.g., antidepressants,) are more likely to experience heat-related illnesses. We must look at solutions with an equity lens. Programs that help low-income people have access to cooling will improve social determinants of health.
>>>> To Interview Dr. Cheryl Holder, call Melissa Baldwin at 727-743-3778
WeCount: Outdoor Workers Deserve Access to Shade, Rest, Water
- Oscar Londoño, Executive Director, WeCount!: Florida’s outdoor workers in agriculture, day labor, and construction will increasingly be at high risk of experiencing the “silent killer” of heat-related illness. “Outdoor workers perform essential work that drives our economy, unfortunately, they do not have a federal or state standard to protect them from heat at the workplace.” Unlike other states, Florida has no heat standard to provide outdoor workers with access to heat stress education, water, shade, and rest breaks. The CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has recommended better labor protections against heat for American workers for decades. WeCount! launched a local campaign, “Que Calor!” to talk about the risk of extreme heat faced by outdoor workers.
>>> To Contact WeCount!, call Oscar Londoño at 786-342-9515.
RESEARCH & EXPERTS
Florida International University (FIU)
To interview faculty or students at FIU, contact Candice Allouch, Program Director of Communications and Strategic Partnerships, FIU Institute of Environment, an FIU Preeminent Program at 305-919-4121 or [email protected], or Chrystian Tejedor at [email protected]
- Jayantha Obeysekera is a Research Professor and Director of the Sea Level Solutions Center in the FIU Institute of Environment. He can speak to sea level rise and adaptation. Obeysekera previously served as chief modeler at the South Florida Water Management District, where he had a leading role in modeling of the Everglades and Kissimmee River and Everglades restoration projects. He was co-author of the sea level rise projections report published by NOAA for the National Climate Assessment. He also co-authored a report on regional sea level projections for Department of Defense facilities across the globe.
- Christopher Baraloto is a Professor and Director of the FIU Institute of Environment’s Land and Biodiversity division. He leads the Grove ReLeaf citizen science project which aims at understanding the canopy composition of Miami, particularly in the neighborhood of Coconut Grove. It focuses on the eco-benefits of trees, such as shade. He also leads research on the impact that global climate change has on terrestrial ecosystems, biodiversity and forest management.
Meenakshi Chabba Jerath is a Ph.D. candidate at Florida International University’s Department of Earth and Environment and Extreme Events Institute. Her research will examine the perception of heat risk and the differential heat stress impacts on South Florida residents’ health, subjective well being, daily life, and work productivity. Her work will further investigate South Florida farm workers’ coping strategies for extreme heat and residents’ adaptive preferences regarding nature-based solutions
University of Miami
To interview experts at University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, contact Diana Udel at [email protected] or 786-256-4446.
- Amy Clement is a Professor in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. She is an expert in climate modeling and in her research, she strives to understand the mechanisms of past, present, and future climate change.
Abess Center Student Research Affiliates
- Lynée Turek-Hankins is a second-year Ph.D. student in Environmental Science & Policy at the University of Miami’s Abess Center. She researches how the built environment, housing, and energy influence extreme heat exposure and opportunities for equitable adaptation among frontline communities. Next spring she will be working on a citizen science research collaborative to document indoor heat exposure among vulnerable households in Miami. If you live in a household with limited air conditioning usage or face energy insecurity and are interested in participating in this study, you can reach out to her at [email protected] (https://climateprep.rsmas.miami.edu/index.html)
Nkosi Muse is a first-year Environmental Science and Policy Ph.D. student. His work involves using mixed methods to identify areas, communities, and populations that are most exposed to climate hazards—especially extreme heat. This work is key in informing and furthering climate resilience research, as well as advocating for inclusive and equitable policy. (https://climateprep.rsmas.miami.edu/index.html)
>>>> To interview, contact Nkosi at [email protected]
Laurence S. Kalkstein, Ph.D. is the President, Applied Climatologists, Inc. which is a research lab that is developing heat/health warning systems around the world to notify local weather service offices when the weather is dangerous enough to cause negative health outcomes.
>>>> To interview Dr. Kalkstein, call 302-584-5731 or email [email protected].
BACKGROUND ON HEAT
Heat is the Number One Weather-Related Killer
Heat kills more people than other weather-related events, and official numbers are likely underestimated. In 2020 the health journal The Lancet reported that heat related deaths for older people in the US almost doubled in the past two decades, hitting a high of some 19,000 deaths in 2018.
Future Heat Predictions for the Miami Area are Startlingly Bad
The non-profit Union of Concerned Scientists “Killer Heat” report shows that while Miami Dade County currently experiences around 41 days a year that “feel like” 100°F, residents will experience 134 such days by mid-century if current emissions continue, and 115 even if bold action is taken to cut heat-trapping carbon emissions. Climate Central, an organization providing information about climate impacts in the US, has made similarly dire predictions. Everyone is at risk of heat-related illnesses and especially with US spikes in average daytime and nighttime temperatures, yearly highs and the number and severity of heat waves.
Miami-Dade County’s Chief Heat Officer is A Move In The Right Direction
Miami-Dade County’s newly formed position of Chief Heat Officer and the associated heat task force is a great step. Another important improvement was in March the Miami Division of Emergency Management updated its extreme heat dangers webpage to include a broader range of vulnerable populations, including pregnant people (see here for a resource on why heat is a reproductive justice issue in the US), outdoor workers and noted inequities in risk between neighborhoods.
More Government Action is Needed to Protect the Most Vulnerable
Weatherization and cooling subsidies should be more readily accessible and more generous. More attention must be paid to raising awareness about heat-related illnesses and who is most vulnerable. Planning for interventions, such as tree planting and placement of cooling centers should be designed with equity and the needs of the most vulnerable communities in mind.
This year, the Florida Legislature passed a bipartisan Resilience bill to combat sea level rise. Unfortunately, the legislation raids the affordable housing fund, and it does nothing to address heat, or to get to the root of the problem. Fortunately, local Counties like Miami-Dade are taking proactive action through Resilient 305. Comprehensive action is required at the state, federal, and international levels to keep greenhouse gas emissions within safe limits.
To interview Shading Dade citizen scientists, contact Alyssa Hernandez at [email protected].
To interview experts at Florida International University, contact Candice Allouch, at 305-919-4121 or [email protected], or Chrystian Tejedor at [email protected].
To interview experts at University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, contact Diana Udel at [email protected] or 786-256-4446.
To interview clinicians, including, Dr. Cheryl Holder with Florida Clinicians for Climate Action, call Melissa Baldwin at 727-743-3778 or email [email protected].
To Interview farmworkers, contact Oscar Londoño at WeCount! at 786-342-9515.
To Interview front-line communities, contact Mayra Cruz at Catalyst Miami at 786-527-2573.
To interview human rights advocates regarding maternal health in the climate crisis, contact Amanda Klasing at Human Rights Watch at [email protected]g or 646-427-5113.
Poverty Solutions Summit to feature Mayor Levine Cava and 50+ local, national leaders in a community-driven dialogue
MIAMI - On February 4-6, 2021, Catalyst Miami will host its fifth Poverty Solutions Summit, the nonprofit organization’s signature convening around equitable and innovative solutions to community issues. The virtual Summit will feature panel discussions among local and national leaders, who will share ideas and solutions that were developed by and for communities. Speakers and panelists include Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, Dr. Darrick Hamilton, former senator Jose Javier Rodriguez, Dr. Cheryl Holder, and many more.
The 2021 Summit’s theme is “Divest from White Supremacy, Invest in Community Healing and Ownership.” The sessions will largely fall under three tracks:
- community-controlled initiatives (e.g. community land trusts, public banking, worker cooperatives, community energy);
- achieving health equity (e.g. addressing implicit bias in the medical field, strategies to increase access to healthcare); and
- equitable governance (e.g. reimagining community safety; participatory budgeting; restructuring Florida’s tax system)
In addition, there will be panel discussions around rethinking exploitative narratives, investing in Black futures, and skills for advocating on a local level. On the final day of the Summit, there will be breakout sessions for attendees to dialogue and get involved in local initiatives, campaigns and opportunities.
To learn more and register for the Poverty Solutions Summit, please visit www.catalystmiami.org/summit.
About Catalyst Miami
Founded in 1996, Catalyst Miami’s mission is to identify and collectively solve issues adversely affecting low-wealth communities throughout Miami-Dade County. We help ensure that families’ basic needs are met, provide coaching and tools to establish long-term wellness, and create effective coalitions of change-makers. Our vision is a just and equitable society in which all communities thrive.
Carolina Fernandez-Mazzoni; [email protected] or 786-414-1290
Aidil Oscariz, [email protected] or 786-530-9729
County Commission Approves $500k Investment in Universal Children’s Savings Accounts
MIAMI - On October 8, 2020, Miami-Dade’s Board of County Commissioners passed a resolution granting $500,000 for the expansion of Future Bound Miami, a universal Children's Savings Account (CSA) program that will be implemented in phases throughout Miami-Dade County Public Schools. The funds, which will come from the Community Disparities Subcommittee reserve, will provide CSAs with initial “seed” deposits to more kindergarten students in the district. The 10 commissioners in attendance voted unanimously in support of the item.
Future Bound Miami launched in Fall 2019, establishing a CSA for kindergarten students attending 30 elementary schools that feed into the five high schools within the City of Miami. This new investment from the County expands the program to include an additional 98 schools. The goal is to make CSAs available to all kindergarten students in Miami-Dade County Public Schools by 2023.
“By contributing additional seed funding to the Future Bound Miami program, and leveraging it with contributions from the private sector, we are helping to address economic disparities in our County, helping to make our community stronger and more economically resilient. Research has proven that these accounts have a positive impact on early childhood development and academic performance, increase future financial capability, and reduce the racial wealth gap," said Commissioner Eileen Higgins, who championed this legislation. "By investing in our children, we're investing in the future of Miami-Dade."
Children’s savings accounts put postsecondary education within reach by allowing students and families to accumulate savings and increase educational expectations. Research shows that children with a college savings account of as little as one dollar are three times more likely to go to college and four times more likely to graduate.
“Today’s vote to invest in the future of our youth is a big step forward in reducing Miami-Dade’s wealth gap,” said Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava. “I am a long-time advocate of CSAs because we know they improve early childhood development and academic performance, raise the college expectations of children and parents, and improve the financial future of our children. The adoption of this resolution is the crowning achievement of the implementation of the Prosperity Report, of which I am the proud sponsor and brought to our Subcommittee on Disparities that ultimately introduced funding this countywide initiative. I thank Commissioner Higgins for her leadership and my former nonprofit Catalyst Miami for their vision.”
“Catalyst Miami has been working on this for over five years with a consortium of dedicated partners,” said Gretchen Beesing, CEO of Catalyst Miami. “We’re thrilled that the BCC has chosen to make this investment in our County’s children.”
To learn more about the program, please visit www.futureboundmiami.org.
About Future Bound Miami
Future Bound Miami is a savings initiative designed to make postsecondary education more accessible and advance economic opportunities for families and children in Miami-Dade County. It is the first universal children’s savings account program in the state of Florida and, at scale, has the potential to become the largest CSA program in the country.
Future Bound Miami was established by a consortium of partners, including Catalyst Miami, The Children’s Movement, The Children’s Trust, the City of Miami, Health Foundation of South Florida, Junior Achievement of Greater Miami, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, The Miami Foundation, Sant La Haitian Neighborhood Center, South Florida Educational Federal Credit Union, and the United Way of Miami-Dade.
Media Contact: Chris Moreno; [email protected], 786-414-1302
How to Submit Op-Eds & Letters to the Editor
You've written an op-ed or letter to the editor, had friends give you feedback, and now you're ready to send it in. Where do you start? This document explains how to submit your piece to the editorial board of various South Florida news outlets.
Catalyst Miami and the Miami-Dade Oral Health Network to Host 5th Oral Health Equity Summit
WHAT: On November 19, elected officials, leading experts in the oral health field, and community members will discuss the current state of oral health care access and equity in Miami-Dade County. A panel discussion will feature a Florida Senator and high-level speakers presented by the Pew Charitable Trusts and the American Dental Association.
WHO: Catalyst Miami and Miami Dade Oral Health Network, in partnership with the Oral Health Progress and Equity Network, and Miami Dade College Hialeah Campus. Almost 250 registered guests. Speakers include:
- Senator Jason Pizzo, Florida Senate District 38
- Scott Tomar, D.M.D., M.P.H., Dr.P.H., University of Florida Department of Community Dentistry and Behavioral Science
- Jane Grover, DDS MPH, American Dental Association
- Kathlyn (Katy) Leiviska, HealthPartners Advanced Dental Therapists
- Scott Darius, Florida Voices for Health
WHEN: Tuesday, November 19, 2019
11:00am - 2:00pm
WHERE: Miami Dade College Hialeah Campus
1780 West 49 Street, Hialeah, FL 33012
Building 5, Room 5101
WHY: The summit’s goals are to:
- Invite public figures and industry leaders into the discussion with their community members about oral health care inequity as a public health issue
- Give community members a platform to advocate directly to their legislators on behalf of better policies and systems that will address disparities in oral health care access
- Identify available resources for comprehensive oral health programs in our communities
According to the U.S. News and World Report (2019), children and adolescents from low-income families have approximately two times or greater the rates of tooth decay than children from higher-income families. Other specific groups also lack access to proper oral health care coverage, including seniors, people with disabilities, and Medicaid and CHIP recipients, due to a shortage of dental care providers who accept public insurance plans.
Admission for the summit is free. Lunch will be served. Registration and more info can be found at bit.ly/oralhealthsummit5.
The Miami Dade Oral Health Network (MDOHN) is a community-centered grassroots initiative committed to improving oral health through education, policy/program development, direct services, and collaboration. MDOHN promotes cooperation, communication, and concerted action among community residents and organizations dedicated to eliminating oral health disparities.
About Catalyst Miami
Catalyst Miami believes everyone deserves a healthy and financially secure life. Currently, two in three families in Miami don’t have enough savings to weather a financial emergency of any kind. For over 20 years, Catalyst Miami has been committed to empowering residents to build better futures by providing family economic security programs, developing leadership and civic engagement, and building coalitions to address poverty. More detailed information about their programs can be found on catalystmiami.org.