Transit Day Stars
Written by: the Public Transit Day Team (Sarah Emmons, Anna Katter, Rebecca Fishman-Lipsey, Marta Viciedo, Irvans Augustin)
With less than a week to go, the Public Transit Day team is gearing up for the day-of-action of our dreams. Transit Day is a first — first for Miami and first for the team — and no one was sure what to expect as we headed into these unchartered waters. At this point, the team has experienced the typical challenges and frustrations of organizing a collaborative and far-reaching public event, but the overriding feeling coursing through each our veins is immense gratitude. Miamians and South Floridians have simply blown our socks off, in the best way possible. Let's illustrate a few examples:
Ralph was part of the original 100 Great Ideas on Transit team. He co-hosted the campaign back in March 2016 and was immediately inspired to do his very own 30-day transit challenge. Ralph was Transit Day’s #1 fan from the get go, bringing a resolution of support in front of the Miami DDA (Downtown Development Authority) early on and not only getting our electeds to take the pledge, but taking it a step further with his Transit Day challenge videos.
We've had a number of MVPs who have rallied their local elected leaders to get out and ride transit with us. The biggest hero of all is likely Dan Espino, who joined in right from the start, and inspired his entire City of Doral to participate in style. Doral is setting the bar for the day, with a massive citywide initiative. They'll be giving out stickers to participants who rode their free trolley, and a long list of local businesses will be offering discounts and deals that day to those who ride public. Doral and Dan. Very, very impressive.
County Mayor Carlos Gimenez AND County Commissioners Daniella Levine Cava, Rebecca Sosa, Jose ‘Pepe’ Diaz, Jean Monestime, and Esteban Bovo
These folks were, in fact, the dream. Engaging our elected leaders to take the pledge and ride transit with us on December 9th felt like a big and scary task. But what we learned is that our Transit Day team is, without a doubt, The Dream Team, and before we knew it our very own mayor was tweeting about taking the pledge and asking other to do the same.
This is a tiny sample of the amazing people that have stepped up to help and participate in Public Transit Day and, more importantly, show their commitment to improving transit in Miami-Dade. There’s our new friends to the north, particularly Valerie Neilson at Palm Beach MPO, who urged us to view transit this as a regional effort and proceeded to lay the foundation for tri-county participation and this lovely article in the Palm Beach Post. There's our local transit champions, like The Underline, who have organized a community Lunch@TheUnderline event to celebrate Public Transit Day and show how transit investments help create vibrant, liveable communities. Then there are all the members of our host committee that have schemed, emailed, called, tweeted, and guided us every step of the way.
As we round the corner to the finish line, we want to share the love and support that has been so generously shared with us. Thank you to all of our supporters, pledge-takers, electeds, transit-aficionados, collaborators, and friends!
This effort would not have been possible without the support and guidance of the good people at Miami-Dade Transportation and Public Works.
Public Transit Day has been generously supported by these local transit heroes: The Miami Foundation, Ride2MD, Lyft, Miami Center for Architecture & Design, AIA Miami, Health Foundation of South Florida, and Tri-Rail. A wonderful group of outreach partners have been essential in getting the word out and helping Public Transit Day shine. So grateful!
Before signing off, here’s an updated list of electeds that have taken the pledge as of Saturday, December 3, 2016:
- Ana Maria Rodriguez - Councilwoman, City of Doral
- Bruno Barreiro* - Miami-Dade County Commissioner, District 5
- Carlos Gimenez, Mayor, Miami-Dade County
- Christi Fraga - Vice Mayor, City of Doral
- Daniella Levine Cava - Miami-Dade County Commissioner, District 8
- Enid Weisman - Mayor, City of Aventura
- Estaban Bovo, Jr. - Miami-Dade County Commissioner, District 13
- Eugene Flinn - Mayor, Village of Palmetto Bay
- Grisella Digiacomo - Councilwoman, Town of Medley
- Isis Garcia-Martinez - Councilwoman, City of Hialeah
- Jose Felix Diaz - FL House of Representatives, District 116
- Jose 'Pepe' Diaz - Miami-Dade County Commissioner, District 12
- Karyn Cunningham - Councilwoman, Village of Palmetto Bay
- Ken Russell - City of Miami, District 2
- Kristen Gonzalez - Commissioner, City of Miami Beach
- Luigi Boria - Mayor, City of Doral
- Michael Greico - Commissioner, City of Miami Beach
- Nelson Rodriguez - Councilman, Town of Miami Lakes
- Nicholas X. Duran - FL House of Representative , District 112
- Oliver Gilbert - Mayor, City of Miami Gardens
- Patricia Fairclough - Vice Mayor, City of Homestead
- Paula Ryan - Commissioner, City of West Palm Beach
- Rebecca Sosa - Miami-Dade County Commissioner, District 6
- Roberto Martell* - Mayor, City of Medley
- Robert Weinroth - Council Member, City of Boca Raton
- Steven Abrams - Commissioner, Palm Beach County
- Susan Haynie, Mayor, Boca Raton
- Tim Daubert - Vice Mayor, Town of Miami Lakes
- Tony Lama - Councilman, Town of Miami Lakes
- Xavier Suarez* - Miami-Dade County Commissioner, District 7
- Zavier Garcia - Mayor, City of Miami Spring
*electeds that have verbally committed and we are awaiting their pledge