Commissioner Higgins launches East Little Havana Alliance

The Clean Up Flagler! event on Saturday, March 23 is the first initiative of the Alliance

Miami-Dade County Commissioner Eileen Higgins and over 100 Little Havana business owners, residents, community leaders, and non-profit organizations gathered on March 19, 2019 at CAMACOL (Latin Chamber of Commerce) to announce the launch of the East Little Havana Alliance (ELHA). The ELHA is the result of an ad hoc group of concerned businesses, residents, and community organizations who are passionate about the preservation of the historic East Little Havana neighborhood while ensuring positive growth where housing remains affordable, small businesses thrive, and streets are safe and clean.

“I’m committed to working with the East Little Havana Alliance to build the neighborhoods and streets near Flagler Street back up so that we can feel proud again about the neighborhood,” said Commissioner Higgins. “I invite all to come together to think big and bold for our beautiful East Little Havana, while ensuring we maintain the integrity of a neighborhood we all love so much.”

“Anything we can do to work together and help East Little Havana, its residents, and businesses – from affordable housing, minimizing construction impact on businesses, and public safety – is worthwhile,” said Senator José Javier Rodríguez.

“We are happy to continue to work with Commissioner Higgins and Alliance partners to build a community where children and families succeed and thrive,” said Betty Alonso, President and CEO of ConnectFamilias.

East Little Havana is the heart of County Commission District 5, and since Commissioner Higgins’ election in June 2018, she has fought for improving the Flagler Street corridor, where businesses and residents had endured the unimaginable due to street construction.

“Today, I join you with a giant sigh of relief now that the lengthy Flagler Street project is finally complete,” Commissioner Higgins told event participants. “Streets and sidewalks are now open; trees are planted; new street trash bins and benches are installed at Miami trolley shelters. It’s truly remarkable given Flagler Street’s condition just nine months ago when I was first elected.”

Commissioner Higgins also committed to working with county and state agencies to ensure road construction projects are implemented in a compassionate manner.

“Rest assured that a project like Flagler will not happen again under my watch,” she said. “That’s why I am happy to announce that I was recently appointed to chair of a new Urban Mobility Task Force that will look at the lessons learned from Flagler and identify ways to make FDOT and County projects neighborhood centered – always putting people first.”

“We are proud to stand with Commissioner Higgins who has taken the lead on this important initiative. She has placed the folks and businesses that live and work, in this once vibrant commercial corridor, first.  We are moved by her compassion and drive,” said Mercy Saladrigas, President of CAMACOL.

The first initiative of the East Little Havana Alliance is a community event in conjunction with the City of Miami called Clean up Flagler! to be held Saturday, March 23 at 9:00 a.m. at the CAMACOL, 1401 West Flagler Street. The public is invited to volunteer.

“The Clean-up Flagler! Event is the first of many economic development tools that I plan on implementing together with the East Little Havana Alliance in order to enhance the quality of life of residents and reignite the economic engine of the area,” said Commissioner Higgins. “I invite everyone to come out on Saturday to begin the important work of building up East Little Havana.”

For more information, contact Margaret Pulles, District Director at Margaret.Pulles@MiamiDade.gov or at 786-583-4680.


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