Civic Engagement

Town Hall Meetings

As South Florida’s public media outlet, WLRN has a unique opportunity and responsibility to convene community conversations on critical issues. WLRN’s expertise in providing deep, analytical and relatable coverage of important news stories is reflected in its award-winning radio and online news coverage and it’s previous success in organizing, producing, airing and covering Town Hall events.

Major changes are occurring... more »
Who are you?

Friends of WLRN, Inc. is a 501 (c) (3) and is committed to the support of WLRN Public Media (91.3 FM and Channel 17) whose mission is to provide information, entertainment and life-long learning services to South Florida.

How does this project impact the issue you selected?

WLRN will provide a multimedia-platform for community stakeholders to engage and discuss key issues that affect South Floridians. The platform will include a Town Hall meeting, social media, online stories and radio to reach a larger audience. Thereby, creating a voice for the entire community to express their concerns and unmet needs.

What data points from The Our Miami Report does your project address?

WLRN’s news philosophy holds that news is a shared experience. We strive to create stories that are not just engaging, but that people can engage with. This effort leads to extended periods of concentrated outreach resulting in an increase in the following: number of people featured in the reporting, the number of people reached by the reporting, the length of contact with participants and people involved in the reporting process. The Town Hall will support those outcomes.

Please give examples of your project's success.

In February and November 2013, WLRN produced two Town Hall meetings: Florida legislative session at the Broward Ctr. with an audience of 600 to discuss key issues. The event led to an on-going series of radio and online reporting throughout the year. WLRN co-hosted The Coastal Communities Congressional Town Hall at the Broward County Convention Ctr. WLRN’s Elevation Zero - Rising Seas in South Florida special reports. WLRN won first place - 2014 Florida Associated Press radio series reporting.

Organization Name (or individuals name) Friends of WLRN, Inc.

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1 vote
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Education

Cinemagique

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Community Member
Cinemagique is a unique multidisciplinary, cross-cultural educational film program offered to students from third to twelfth grades in Miami-Dade public and charter schools. Students have the opportunity to view and critique European short films and learn short film production.

This hands-on approach allows students to:

• Develop the ability to think critically, creatively, and practically and learn how to assess... more »
Who are you?

Red Chemistry, Inc. is a Miami based non-profit arts education organization offering educational filmmaking and screening programs that promote literacy, cultural awareness, critical thinking, and develop an appreciation for European filmmaking.

How does this project impact the issue you selected?

This project enhances the quality of education by accompanying the standard school curricula with a film program that might not otherwise be available to students. Cinamagique's approach is multidisciplinary and participatory, integrating traditional academic subjects and a film project or film criticism. Interactive learning that is enjoyable, engages student's interests and is project oriented improves students' grasp of academic subjects as well as communication and critical skills.

What data points from The Our Miami Report does your project address?

Cinamagique directly addresses Education Goal 1: making instructional resources available that contribute to a high quality education. The language component supports schools with bilingual language programs; Education Goal 2: for students of diverse age, cultural, language and socio-economic backgrounds. The program also addresses the Arts and Culture issue by developing audiences who appreciate the arts and students who may go on to study art and go into art related fields.

Please give examples of your project's success.

Teacher feedback through workshop evaluations and teacher input has been highly favorable. The quality of student work is also a testimony to the project's success. Examples are script dialogues written by students at Carver Middle School and poetry written by fourth graders based on themes from films they viewed.

Organization Name (or individuals name) Red Chemistry

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13 votes
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Arts & Culture

A worthy home for world-class jazz

South Florida has a wealth of world-class talent in its jazz community. Although we have venues for classical music, opera, dance, and theater, there is no permanent venue dedicated to jazz. Moreover, existing (for-profit) jazz venues are disappearing. The Miami Jazz Cooperative is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 2010 by 115 South Florida jazz musicians, educators, and broadcasters to establish a permanent,... more »
Who are you?

Rick Katz, Executive Director of the Miami Jazz Cooperative

How does this project impact the issue you selected?

Dean Shelly Berg, UM Frost Music School:“The MJC envisions a center where professional and student musicians can interact, teach, learn, and perform. This will grow into an important component of the cultural fabric of our community.”
Michael Spring, Dir., Miami-Dade Cultural Affairs:“MJC is working diligently to preserve, establish, and grow the permanent presence of jazz in Miami. With recent closings of several jazz venues, MJC’s leadership in this initiative is needed now more than ever. “

What data points from The Our Miami Report does your project address?

The MJC mission directly addresses both of the Arts and Culture goals in the Our Miami Report. First, the MJC will fill a void in the arts community by providing a stable, sustainable venue for jazz. The MJC will not compete with other venues but will work to support jazz throughout the community with the conviction that a rising tide lifts all boats. Second, jazz , the original American art form, has great popularity in Europe and Latin America and the MJC will become a tourism draw.

Please give examples of your project's success.

In four years, the MJC has successfully produced four seasons of the Jazz in the Gables concert series (the fifth season begins on 1/14/15), built a growing audience at its popular Rent Party series, now an every Monday night jazz event, produced concerts featuring high school musicians, and presented master classes to jazz programs at Miami-Dade middle and high schools.

Organization Name (or individuals name) Miami Jazz Cooperative, Inc.

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11 votes
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Arts & Culture

WaveMaker Grants

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Community Member
WaveMaker Grants provides cash grants of up to $10,000 each to support and validate artist-centric, artist-driven projects that have a profound impact on the critical, intellectual, and creative depth of Miami-Dade County’s arts community. These projects are non-commercial, stimulate critical thinking and dialogue, and introduce audiences to innovative artistic practices typically under-recognized by traditional venues.... more »
Who are you?

Based in downtown Miami, Cannonball is a non-profit, 501(c)(3), arts organization dedicated to supporting artists, innovative forms of cultural production, and education to advance critical discourse and understanding of contemporary art practice.

How does this project impact the issue you selected?

WaveMaker Grants helps create a thriving arts community by giving $100,000 each year to artists, performers, writers, and other cultural workers. The only re-granting program of its kind in Miami, WaveMaker Grants supports the creation of new artwork and the creative individuals behind them. It also expands the type of artwork presented in Miami by focusing on non-commercial, non-institutional, and under-recognized art forms, ultimately introducing audiences to new ways of making and thinking.

What data points from The Our Miami Report does your project address?

WaveMaker Grants injects an additional $100,000 each year into our cultural economy, supporting the jobs and the work of independent artists, performers, writers, and other cultural producers. By supporting the work and livelihood of creatives, this program bolsters Miami’s capacity to retain artists and enhances the number of cultural activities in the city for locals and tourists alike. As a result, WaveMaker Grants advances the city’s mission to become an international cultural destination.

Please give examples of your project's success.

Since launching WaveMaker Grants in early 2014, Cannonball has leveraged initial support from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts to secure additional funding from local agencies, including Knight Foundation and Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, allowing it to double the program’s annual giving amount to $100,000. Cannonball has also offered public informational sessions and budget workshops to large, very engaged audiences interested in applying to WaveMaker Grants.

Organization Name (or individuals name) Cannonball

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4 votes
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Transportation

Better Streets Prototype

Using the design standards for the concept of Complete Streets (essentially, streets that, in the appropriate context, are designed to safely and comfortably accommodate all users), we seek to create a demonstration project that effectively transforms an existing street into a Complete Street.

This will be done in partnership with a local municipality. The City of Miami has expressed an interest in supporting such... more »
Who are you?

I am the Founding Partner and Strategies + Solution Lead for Urban Impact Lab. Our mission is to design urban experiences that cultivate civic innovation. Over the last two years I have been actively engaged in a number of city-related issues.

How does this project impact the issue you selected?

Better Streets Prototypes would provide a useful tool for municipal and county governments to take action, in cost-effective ways to address existing concerns, make decisions in a more nimble manner, and find the best ways to make our streets more walkable, bikeable and safe.

What data points from The Our Miami Report does your project address?

Datapoints: % of people walking or biking to work, % of population with walkable/bikable access to park.

This project would impact the Foundation's goal/metric of becoming more pedestrian and bike friendly.

Please give examples of your project's success.
  1. A quick shift into implementing the Complete Streets resolutions that have already been adopted.

  2. Greater understanding of the benefits and principles behind the concept.

  3. Greater advocacy from community and support from elected officials in prioritizing the implementation of such policies.

Organization Name (or individuals name) Urban Impact Lab

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3 votes
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Arts & Culture

Take Back the Mic

Take Back the Mic is a competition in which the fan is the judge. In Year One, fans vote on our Amp.It platform for their top-choice artists from Jamaica, Colombia and Brazil. The finalists from each country battle it out for the Golden Mic at the finale in Miami – the 3 top-scoring Amp.it fans worldwide will join them. While the competing artists learn from celebrity mentors, the fans learn along with them -- and use... more »
Who are you?

Our team has Emmy Nominations, an Academy Award submission and decades of experience working with entertainment moguls like Oprah & Spielberg & organizations like: Google, LinkedIn, MTV, AmEx, the DNC, NBA, NFL, HBO, ABC, Univision & Harpo.

How does this project impact the issue you selected?

Our experience in both the technology & entertainment sectors uniquely positions us to help young people see the power of what they can achieve with united voices. Ultimately, Amp.it will use art and culture to galvanize youth to "vote" for what they believe in.

What data points from The Our Miami Report does your project address?

We will harness the power of online communities to engage young people in the arts. Furthermore, TBTM will coalesce the Miami creative, tech & business communities to make this city the indispensable gateway for artists from the Global Underground to cross over. It makes the city not only the capital of the Americas, but of a global music movement. Ultimately, Amp.it becomes a platform where youth can "vote" on anything. And which can drive capital from all over the world to Miami.

Please give examples of your project's success.

The Amp.it beta platform launched in late October, after three months of intensive development. Our team has had experience building scalable tech platforms for hundreds of millions of users, as well as multiple media properties that have reached audiences of 100+ million.

Organization Name (or individuals name) Amp.it

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12 votes
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Civic Engagement

AEDAP Youth Step Up Initiatives

AEDAP Youth Step Up Initiatives is part of AEDAP Youth Leadership Trainings.
It is designed to enroll a series of youth ages 8 to 18 and provide them a media forum radio/television allowing them to share their thoughts on Civic Engagement. The program will have three aspects
1) Collection of Information - Free Speech: data collection. This process allows the youth to get acquainted with peers and start sharing by... more »
Who are you?

We are the Association of Exchange and Development of Activities and Partnerships, AEDAP
One of our great program is the Youth Leadership Program and we want to share the Idea of AEDAP Youth Step Up Initiatives

How does this project impact the issue you selected?

Civic Engagement needs to start with our youth through mentoring, coaching and empowering them to take the lead, to speak.
Voting should start early and our youth needs to be engaged in understanding the value and the importance of the act of voting. Beside voting,they need to know of the existence of many community based organizations and develop the natural desire to discover and serve.

What data points from The Our Miami Report does your project address?

Youth Adult Vote
We want to contribute in increasing the youth votes

Please give examples of your project's success.

Our program success is measured by a pre and post test.
How does the youth come to us on step 1. The data collected will differ drastically from step 1 to step 4 where at that level the youth will be experienced, will be exposed to the community and be a Transformed Young Leader as we call them. Step Up Initiatives also offer possibility for the successful youth to become a role model and coach for the new enrollees.

Organization Name (or individuals name) AEDAP

Voting

9 votes
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Economy

Service Dogs and Restaurants

This project witll work with Chambers of Commerce and reaturant owners to educate them about the service dog provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and state law. We also propose to train users of service dog.Service dogsa re individually trained to serve people with disabilities, come in a lsizes and breeds, and serve a range of disabilities. This project will reduce tensions, and increase awareness.... more »
Who are you?

Director of Advocacy, CIL of South Florida. Former Senior Trial Attorney, Civil Rights Division, US Department of Justice, 1993-2005.
CILSF serves a cross-disability population, and seeks to enhance voluntary compliance with federal civil rights.

How does this project impact the issue you selected?

Restaurants are often faced with the decision of whether to allow a customer to enter while accompanied by a dog, and are required by federal law to allow cutomers with disabilities to be accompanied by a service dog. There id often great confusion about what a service dog is, and what questions the restaurant may lawfully ask. This project proposes to train restaurants and users of service dogs about the law, to help alleviate confusion and tension.

What data points from The Our Miami Report does your project address?

Integration of underserved populations.

Please give examples of your project's success.

The CIL of South Flroida has trained restaurant owners and users of service dogs about the ADA, resulting in better relationsships and compliance with the ADA. We have also taught users of service dogs about their rights, and diminished the need for litigation. We have also worked with city officials and health department oficials about the rights and obligations set forth in the ADA concerning service dogs. Thsi project is intended to increase cooperation and compliance.

Organization Name (or individuals name) Center for Independent Living of South Florida

Voting

3 votes
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Education

Bringing Minnesota Magic to the Magic City

Why should kids in Minnesota be more prepared for Kindergarten than kids in Miami-Dade? The Minnesota Reading Corps (MRC) uses the AmeriCorps model to provide trained literacy tutors for children beginning in PreK. It is the largest state AmeriCorps program in the country. We are working with them to launch the Miami-Dade Reading Corps as the first replication in Florida for this innovative and successful program in school... more »
Who are you?

The Center for Social Change is a nonprofit dedicated to cultivating social innovation to achieve meaningful social change with maximum impact. Our dedicated changemakers work in education, entrepreneurship and everything in between.

How does this project impact the issue you selected?

A recent report from the Annie Casey Foundation tells us that children who get to fourth grade without learning to read proficiently are on the high school dropout track. The ability to read is critical to a child’s success in school, life-long earning potential and their ability to contribute to the nation’s economy and its security. By providing the MRC model here in Miami-Dade we can intervene early and make a real and measurable difference with a scalable model that has been proven to work.

What data points from The Our Miami Report does your project address?

We believe that here in Miami-Dade AVERAGE is not an option! The data on reading in the report indicates that Miami-Dade's 4th grade students are reading on par with the average US student, yet our 4th grade reading levels have dropped and the proficiency levels are less than 1/2 of a possible 500 points. We know that a child's ability to read at grade level in the 3rd grade is a predictor of their academic success later in life. MRC assures that they enter school at grade level.

Please give examples of your project's success.

Students who received MRC tutoring achieved significantly higher literacy assessment scores than students who did not. Why is that important? In 2013, 57% of Florida's 3rd grade students received a passing score on the reading FCAT test. In Miami-Dade, 56% passed. In the schools contained in the Educational Transformation Office (ETO), less than 30% of the 3rd graders received a passing score. MRC students achieved an 80% pass rate on the statewide 3rd grade reading test in the evaluation year.

Organization Name (or individuals name) Center for Social Change

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15 votes
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Arts & Culture

Dance Band Nights

The Rhythm Foundation will launch a new monthly series, Dance Band Night, at the historic North Shore Bandshell in Miami Beach. Each month will feature a band who play music with a specific dance (i.e. salsa, swing, cumbia, samba, disco). Before the band begins, dance instructors will give the crowd a short class so everyone can learn or refresh their moves before showing off their newly minted skills. Marketing will... more »
Who are you?

The Rhythm Foundation was founded in 1988 with a mission to promote cultural awareness through the presentation of live music and related media programming. We have become a leading presenter of world music in the US.

How does this project impact the issue you selected?

Dance Band Night will be a consistent series that brings people together to share a love of dance and music, centered on specific social dance styles of greatest relevance to the diverse North Beach community. In its heyday, the historic oceanfront structure hosted dances for area senior citizens. Now the neighborhood is a melting pot of young South American and Caribbean residents. We will build an event that allows people of all ages to share a cultural experience, literally dancing together.

What data points from The Our Miami Report does your project address?

The series provides residents with a rich arts and cultural environment and sustains an artistic community. With the regular activation of the Bandshell, a cultural gem in the heart of a lively but underserved area, we will anchor a cultural scene in North Beach connecting with the new art cinema, the mama-y-papa restaurants, working with area musicians and dance schools. We will showcase the vitality of the area through the music and dance traditions of the diverse people who live there.

Please give examples of your project's success.

Dance Band Nights is modeled on the popular Midsummer Night Swing series in NYC’s Lincoln Center, with whom we have block-booked artists in the past. Ours is a new series, but we have worked at the Bandshell for more than ten years, and have just been awarded a contract by the City of Miami Beach to manage the facility year-round. With another series we produce, Big Night in Little Haiti, we have found the consistency to be key in building community and meaning links with neighborhood partners.

Organization Name (or individuals name) Rhythm Foundation, Inc.

Voting

4 votes
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Environment & Public Space

Caribbean Reef SOS

Caribbean Reef SOS's mission is to save Caribbean coral reefs from extinction. It is a new, regional non-profit, based in Miami, that aims to raise awareness of the coral reef crisis, to organize concerned global citizens, and to raise funds for research, recovery efforts, and strategic advocacy. See business plan at CRSOS.org.

Who are you?

A South Florida native, I'm a mid-career consultant with master's degrees in both arts (UF) and science (FIU). I cover parks and environmental issues for the Biscayne Times. My goal is saving the ocean.

How does this project impact the issue you selected?

Researchers call the Florida Reef the world's worst case of impacts; likewise, the entire Caribbean reef region rates as endangered by the IUCN. As a Caribbean hub, Miami has the expertise and capacity to lead the region in reef restoration. As important as Everglades restoration, our reefs are part of a global crisis, and we can organize and lead from the epicenter--the reef's Ground Zero.

What data points from The Our Miami Report does your project address?

Environment & Public Space 1: Water quality is of highest concern to coral reef users and managers. Water is not simply drinking water; it is every drop that falls, collects everything in its path, and eventually flows into the ocean. 2. Beaches are the most popular public spaces, and their maintenance affects the nearby reefs. 3. Sustainability begins with healthy ecosystems.

Please give examples of your project's success.

The success is projected, once a community forms around this crisis. We have no choice but success. See business plan at CRSOS.org.

Organization Name (or individuals name) Caribbean Reef SOS

Voting

33 votes
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Education

UMCCE: Pathways to Progress

Access to and success in postsecondary educational pursuits is an important factor in today’s socioeconomic climate, particularly in the United States. A substantial literature indicates that going to college is associated with significant increases in opportunity, income, career achievement, health, and quality of life. In America, however, unequal access to high quality educational opportunities remains a serious challenge.... more »
Who are you?

The University of Miami’s Office of Civic and Community Engagement fosters university-community collaboration by engaging the university’s academic resources in the enrichment of civic and community life in our local, national and global communities.

How does this project impact the issue you selected?

The program seeks to address the disparities in high school education in Miami-Dade County Public Schools that leave many students unprepared for a college education by increasing educational opportunities for under-served students and improving their access to resources for college preparedness. In addition, the Partnership provides professional development and supplemental instruction resources for high school teachers.

What data points from The Our Miami Report does your project address?

The program seeks not only to increase the number of students who go on to pursue higher education, but also to provide teachers with classroom support and enhanced materials from UM students who are up to date in their field areas and can help enhance education quality. Miami-Dade County spends less per pupil than the US average, and schools like Miami Southridge and Booker T. Washington have few resources to provide to their students and teachers and administrators who are spread thin.

Please give examples of your project's success.

As mentioned above, Pathways to Progress has been extremely popular with all parties involved. Assessments and evaluations show a high level of satisfaction from the UM students, the high school teachers, and the high school students. CCE employs a rigorous assessment model which measures the impact of the partnership in many ways, including how effective the curricular enhancements were and and how many indicators of the creation of a college-going culture were strengthened or developed.

Organization Name (or individuals name) University of Miami

Voting

5 votes
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Civic Engagement

A Weekly Miami Event to Build, Share and Learn about Civic Tech

Code for Miami is a collective of locals who are committed to using technology to improve Miami’s civic engagement, relationship between local government and the citizenry and the overall quality of life of the community. We’re proposing the continuation and expansion of our weekly Civic Hack Nights; a weekly gathering for those who want to find innovative ways to better their communities. A “Hack Night” is for those... more »
Who are you?

Code for Miami consists of a group of citizen developers, designers, data geeks, leaders, and idea-makers. We are all volunteers that contribute our talents toward improving the way our local governments and community organizations use the web.

How does this project impact the issue you selected?

Code for Miami harnesses the power of individuals who want to create change in the community by providing an opportunity for like-minded people to collaborate on transformative projects that benefit local government, organizations and the community at large. A more civically engaged population is integral to our future and quality of life, and the type of projects addressed during Hack Night impact everything from greater awareness of sea level rise to easier access to legislative information.

What data points from The Our Miami Report does your project address?

Volunteer rates: In our first year of our Civic Hack Nights, we’ve had weekly turn-outs of 5-40 people, with a median of 15-20 people a week donating two hours a night. That’s 2,000 person-hours spent using tech to be civically engaged.

Voter participation and policy awareness: several projects address these topics, such as open source budget visualizations and web applications that track Florida legislature.

Participation of Miami young adults: More than 75% of our attendees are 18-36.

Please give examples of your project's success.

Florida Bill Tracker, created by two core members, was recognized at the White House at an event honoring Open Government and Civic Hacking Champions of Change

MiamiDadeCode.org, which provides the municipal code of the county in an accessible, understandable format
Created MiamiOpenData.org and expanded MiamiWiki.org

Organized Miami’s first National Day of Civic Hacking and CodeAcross; both now annual events

Make civic engagement tangible to young Miamians passionate about tech.

Organization Name (or individuals name) Code for Miami

Voting

7 votes
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Education

Alfalit International

A simple method to teach reading, writing and basic math to illiterate adults in a short amount of time.

Who are you?

Alfalit is a non-profit, faith based organization engaged in literacy, basic and preschool education. We work with all faiths and partner with organizations in 24 countries and in Miami, Florida.

How does this project impact the issue you selected?

The method we employ allows adults to learn to read and write in a short amount of time. It also allows the students to become independent and develop reading comprehension through complementary booklets that cover a wide range of interesting, informative and practical topics. Literacy empowers students to explore new ideas.

What data points from The Our Miami Report does your project address?

With education - reading and writing and basic math skills, students can improve the quality of their lives and those of their children.

Please give examples of your project's success.

A 49 year old woman learned how to write her name and read common words. Now she is a leader in her community.(Liberia)

A man working at a farm in Miami completed the Alfalit program and wrote and read his speech to the Alfalit audience in September 2014.

Organization Name (or individuals name) Alfalit International

Voting

7 votes
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Health & Safety

Close the Gap Campaign

Under the Affordable Care Act, nearly all U.S. citizens and Legal Permanent Residents (who did not already have insurance) were entitled to either assistance paying for health insurance through the marketplace or enrollment in an expanded Medicaid program. However, in 2012, the United States Supreme Court held that states were not required to accept federal funding to expand their Medicaid programs, and to date, the Florida... more »
Who are you?

The Florida Legal Services Miami Advocacy Office has been engaged in systemic advocacy to ensure justice for all since 1996. This project will be led by a senior health law attorney, an Equal Justice Works Fellow, and CJP.

How does this project impact the issue you selected?

This project will continue our longstanding efforts to ensure county residents have access to health care. By both advocating for the expansion of Medicaid and ensuring that current uninsured residents can utilize the existing safety-net system, we will work to ensure access to care both now and in the future. Moreover, we will ensure that our elected officials understand the positive impact that accepting the funding will have on their constituents, as well as the danger of failing to do so.

What data points from The Our Miami Report does your project address?

As the “Our Miami Report” indicates, Miami has the highest rate of uninsured when compared to other major cities. By advocating for the expansion of Medicaid, we will be working towards reducing the rate of uninsured residents. As a result of having insurance, these individuals will no longer rely on the ER, reducing costs for the community. Furthermore, covering those who currently fall in the “Gap” will reduce stress on the safety-net system, ensuring its viability for those not eligible.

Please give examples of your project's success.

The ultimate sign of our project’s success will be Florida legislature’s decision to accept federal funding to expand access to care for low-income Floridians. As we work towards that goal we will enable Miami-Dade residents to make their voices heard on why this issue matters to them, while simultaneously ensuring that the existing system continues to serve those in need.

Organization Name (or individuals name) Florida Legal Services

Voting

16 votes
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