The day after a charter flight that holds 250 individuals Miami-Dade leaders returned to Miami from Tallahassee after a successful annual trip presenting the needs of south Florida residents during the annual event known as “Miami Dade County Days,” the Miami Herald ran a story that totally missed the point. It focused solely on luggage that was misplaced for an hour. You want to talk misplaced? We at Community Newspapers think the Herald “misplaced” the point of the trip. That yet again, after 28 successful years, hundreds of people representing every element of our community went to Tallahassee in an amazingly unified force for a worthwhile purpose.
Not a peep other than mishandled luggage for some politicians – not one line of ink about one of the most successful efforts this community puts forward. It was 28 years ago that then chair of the Miami Dade Legislative Delegation, the late Representative John F. Cosgrove got together with lobbyist Bob Levy and Dianne Raulson, Monty Trainer, Sherman Winn and a handful of people who truly care about our community and began Miami Dade County Day, as it was then a one day up and back trip – now expanded to two jam packed action days. We used to do it all at Steve Winn’s Tallahassee farm on the outskirts of town with about 50-75 people.
Beginning with Paella being served to over 3000 people on the plaza area, served by sponsors, and many of the more than l00 politicians who attend from local city officials to cabinet members including Lt. Governor Carlos López-Cantera.
Aprons provided by the Port and Airport, with designs including parts by Romero Britto, protect everyone’s clothing and their ties and scarves – the ties and scarves provided by Baptist Health South Florida, and designed in an annual highly competitive contest among design students at the New World School of the Arts. The politico’s serve up Bijan’s internationally renowned paella – to more than 3000 people, all free of charge, paid for by the dozens of sponsors who participate.
Then world renowned political guru Marian Johnson and her staff did a presentation from the Florida Chamber of Commerce and Miami Dade Delegation Chairman Rep. Jose Felix Diaz did one on Delegation priorities and their status. An annual tradition follows as Dean of the Legislature Senator Gwen Margolis with more than 40 years of public services hosts a reception in her offices in the Senate.
Beginning at 7 p.m. is the Mambo King function, featuring Orchestra America’s 20 piece band and vocalist Lucy Grau, and in past years, Nestor Torres, Nicole Henry and other icons of our community. And there’s the annual crowning of the King and Queen – this year Rep. Jeanette Nunez and Rep. Kionne McGhee – and afterwards a late night social highlight sponsored by Waste Pro.
The morning after hosted by the Miami Association of Realtors, a seminar with almost 20 department heads and people who actually make the state work to explain exactly what their department does, and open questions and answers. It’s an invaluable open exchange between our community leaders and the state leaders.The closing event is a lunch honoring well deserved individuals receiving awards named for people who have been engaged with Dade Days for 28 years from Sherman Winn to Elaine Gordon.
Then the charter flight is off – and somehow a few politico’s bags get lost – and you have already read an excessive amount about that but if not for this article you would never know about this wonderful show of unity on the part of our community – the Herald apparently thinking you would have a greater interest in lost luggage.
Every single element of our community is involved in making this event a success from the Beacon Council, the Chambers of Commerce of Dade, Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Farm Bureau and on and on, from the dance floor at mambo kings to the halls of government in Tallahassee, our area leaders working to make sure everyone in our diverse community has a voice.
We at Community Newspapers think this is more important than lost luggage. We think you will as well.