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Make a Difference — Join Tomorrow’s South Dade

Make a Difference — Join Tomorrow’s South Dade

South Miami-Dade County, or simply South Dade, is a very unique place. Defined by its cultural diversity, deep agricultural roots and natural beauty, South Dade is on the verge of a growth spurt not felt in many years, perhaps a generation.

If you live, work, play or just have interest in the future of South Dade and are the kind of person that wants to get involved and make a difference, now is your chance.

A few facts about South Dade.

Agriculture remains the largest ‘category’ of economic strength in Florida. South Dade is home to over 15,000 agriculture- related jobs, generating over $132 million in payroll and $604 million in wholesale sales. The foundation of South Dade’s economy is built on the dominance of the Agriculture industry.

Homestead Air Reserve Base employs over 3,100 local civilians, and an ever increasing number of reserves and active military personnel. It is thriving with four major construction projects underway and a runway expansion.

The ‘Super Bowl’ of NASCAR takes place in Homestead each year bringing $250 million into the South Dade economy. And the Homestead-Miami Speedway just secured the Nascar Championship for the next five years.

Florida Power and Light parent company Next ERA has received the green light from Tallahassee to begin the expansion of the nuclear facility at Turkey Point. With the multi-billion dollar project comes upwards of 5,000 new jobs.

South Dade is also the only place in the United States that can boast of not one, but two, national parks. Everglades and Biscayne National Parks draw over 1 million visitors each year to our area. Two more national parks are within a short drive – Dry Tortugas and Big Cypress draw tens of thousands through South Dade every year.

The vacation destination for millions each year, the Florida Keys, is a mere stone’s throw away. These American tourists and international travelers pass through the heart of South Dade every day.

The quagmire left from the devastation of Hurricane Andrew, now more than 20 years in the past, is but a dark memory. Many in the community see the future of South Dade as bright as the sunrise over Biscayne Bay.

Homestead, being the heart and soul of South Dade, has experienced a rebirth, as some are calling it, in civic pride. A pride and new direction that has the city embarking on many civic projects including the construction of a new city hall, the completion of the iconic Seminole Theater, a new police headquarters and even planning an attraction that will encourage the travelers passing through the area to stop and visit. And spend.

A working group of concerned business, political, educational, civic, religious, military and other leaders have joined together to shape this prosperous future. Tomorrow’s South Dade, as the group is calling itself, has begun.

The group’s intention is to take the next six months and map out a strategy to take advantage of the economic strengths developing in the region. The group will identify future leaders that will enable and direct the growth and prosperity heading our way. Multiple committees are being formed. Help is needed as Tomorrow’s South Dade works with a team of professional facilitators hired to harness this energy and develop a plan that will be the foundation for South Dade, and for all families and businesses that call South Dade home.

If you want to make a difference in your neighborhoods and overall community, this is your chance. If you want better schools, better government, better infrastructure, more jobs and better opportunities for you and your children, here is your chance.

Each of the committees will dissect one category identified by the group. That committee will meet regularly, strategizing the best moves to develop the overall plan for the future. The facilitators will organize and do the leg and paper work. Your ideas are what are needed. Your opinions are what will make a difference.

If you’ve ever wanted to be one of the ‘movers and shakers’, we welcome your input. We need your voice. You can make a difference for Tomorrow’s South Dade. There is room on every committee.

They are:

• Business Development

• Tourism

• Military

• Quality of Life

• Infrastructure

• Housing

• Education

• Agriculture

• Leadership Development

Email your willingness to help to: tomorrowssouthdade@ gmail.com. Do it now.

Select a committee and that chairperson will contact you.

Dale Machesic may be reached at atdmachesic@ calkins.com.

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