Tuesday, June 9, 2009

My Year of Hopefulness - Miami Gardens, FL

Tonight on NBC Nightly News, the featured the city of Miami Gardens, Florida on their "What Works" segment. Shirley Gibson, the woman who is responsible for its creation 6 years ago, isn't one to take responsibility lightly. She was a police officer for 17 years, a small business owner for 15 years, and determined to help build a city that provided its residents, all 110,000 of them, with good quality services. Crime is down 22% and the city is now focusing heavily on improving education. Shirley Gibson is now running for Congress. Despite people who said Miami Gardens would never be because people in that area would never pay for services, residents agreed to double their property tax to improve the community.

Miami Gardens is a living, breathing example of what can happen in a community when people take pride in where they live. They ignored naysayers and refused to believe that they could never have a brighter tomorrow. They rose up together, putting their heart, hopes, and earnings on the line for one another. It's an incredible testament to the power of organizing and a long-term vision. Miami Gardens prove that anything, and everything, is possible.

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