I hope the Christmas season finds you in good spirits. 2016 has been a wonderful year in many ways, and I wanted to take a moment to share some highlights with you.
On a personal level, Mari and I are grateful for the many blessings from our Lord – especially Mia, Matias and Marcel, who continue to grow and learn and blossom.
Professionally, building upon almost 20 years of experience in city management and urban revitalization, in 2014 I opened Rosado & Associates, my own urban planning and economic development strategy firm. The company recently celebrated its 2nd anniversary and enjoyed serving on three teams that earned Best-of-Florida awards from the American Planning Association! Thanks to the various local governments, universities, nonprofits, and foundations that have placed their trust in me.
2016 has been a phenomenal year on the educational front as well. After earning my PhD in City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania, the nation’s first Ivy League university, I began working with the university’s publisher on a book on how residents throughout the US can ensure that their neighborhoods thrive. I’m also excited to be heading into my 4th year of teaching local government administration and economic development courses for FIU’s Executive Masters of Public Administration program.
As you know, civic pursuits are incredibly important to me. I completed my 8-year term on the FIU Alumni Association Board of Directors, and have continued my service on the Board of Friends of The Underline, helping to make the nation’s largest urban trail project a reality. Through the Hispanic Business Initiative Fund I help Hispanic entrepreneurs create jobs in Miami. And – thanks to creator Rebecca Fishman Lipsey and urban planner Marta Viciedo – I was able to co-host 100 Great Ideas for the Future of Transit and Mobility in Miami; local residents offered hundreds of ideas for reducing traffic congestion and led to the 1st-ever Miami Public Transit Day.
I grew up playing in some of Miami’s most popular parks, including Douglas Park on 37th Avenue. The park was closed in 2013 because of contamination, and progress stalled. In December 2015, joined by 50+ neighbors at a city commission meeting, I urged the city to undertake clean-up and reopening of the park. (Visit http://bit.ly/1kfddTq for the Miami New Times’ coverage of the issue.) City Commissioner Ken Russell and County Commissioner Xavier Suarez ensured that the clean-up process started right away, and now it’s almost complete. What’s even better: the rundown park building at the site has been demolished and is on track to be replaced by a true community center to open in spring 2018!
Finally, a group of friends and I launched the Abuelos Foundation; the organization helps needy senior citizens in our community with important home renovations – including installation of ADA ramps, energy efficiency upgrades, painting, and planting of fruit and vegetable gardens – that will make their lives easier, safer, and more affordable. Our tri-generational foundation involves our parents as well as our children, teaching our kids to appreciate seniors and to love public service.
The next year promises to be very special, and I hope we will get to share many moments together. From my family to yours, have a safe, healthy, happy, and fun 2017!
City of Miami – District 4