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Plus, a series of sustainable PSAs and new rules about masks in public schools.
The New Tropic
Promotion from Wynwood BID

📍 Preparing our neighborhoods for the next decade

The New Tropic is hosting a chat with three leaders who are championing their neighborhood BIDs & a biz exec who continues to innovate.

Join us Nov. 9 at noon

🗳 It’s Election Day in Miami-Dade

Plus, a series of sustainable PSAs and new rules about masks in public schools.

By Zach Schlein

Welcome to Tuesday, Miami.

Hope everyone had a fun-filled Halloween weekend. Now that scary season is over, it’s time for another ghoul-filled and all together ooky activity: Election Day! (Only half-kidding.) 👻

If you didn’t participate in early voting or send your mail-in ballot already, today is the last day to make your voice heard in local races. Be sure to look up your local precinct and nearby polling place by clicking right here. And while you’re at it, consider checking out these voter resources from the Miami Herald and Engage Miami.

Once you’re done planning your civic duty, erm, duties for the day, scroll on to see what else is happening around Miami and Florida right now...

💧 What Miami is talking about 

Whether it’s clear blue skies and waters or purple lifeguard stands, there’s no shortage of colors to see on Miami Beach. | Want to see your own picture in this space? Tag either #thenewtropic or @thenewtropic to be featured in our Instagram of the Day. (📸: @patch_06)

✍️ An ethics complaint has been filed against Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber. It was submitted last week by Ronnie Eith, an ex-bank executive who’s hoping to unseat Gelber in today’s election. As reported by Miami New Times, the complaint concerns leaked audio of Gelber and his predecessor, Philip Levine, asking for mutually beneficial support from Miami Beach real estate developers. 

Gelber is quoted as saying "I'm prepared to do whatever we need to do and support any idea even if it's not particularly popular. I will push to put it on the ballot or you can put it on the ballot...you know, forcefully without commission approval." 

The complaint against Gelber contends "Mayor Gelber's attendance at this Zoom meeting filled with Miami Beach real estate developers should be investigated to determine if the Miami Beach City Code was violated, and if any additional ethics violations occurred." However, Miami-based elections law attorney and former elected official Juan-Carlos Planas spoke with New Times and asserted that there don’t seem to be any conflicts, telling the alt-weekly “he sees no path forward for the complaint and expects that it will be dismissed.”

Gelber has been making headlines recently for his push to move Miami Beach’s last call for alcohol up to 2 a.m., a proposal that’s been roundly decried by local hospitality workers. Voters will weigh in on the matter today with a non-binding question asking if they’d support such a measure.

In other news…

😷 Lower COVID-19 rates mean relaxed mask mandates for Miami-Dade students: Superintendent Alberto Carvalho announced yesterday that parents can now opt students at public middle schools and high schools out of the county’s required mask policy. The change is effective immediately and stems from the decline in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations in the community. (Miami Herald)

🗣 Florida lawmakers will return to Tallahassee in two weeks for a special legislative session to push back against federal COVID-19 vaccine mandates. Governor Ron DeSantis issued his intention to convene legislators on the matter last week; the special session is expected to last from Nov. 15 through Nov. 19. (WLRN / News Service of Florida)

♻️ Oolite Arts has announced the winners of its Sustainability in Action PSA campaign. Earlier this year, the arts org partnered with Miami Beach and invited locals creatives to submit short videos detailing how residents can help keep our scenic slice of paradise clean. Now, 10 winners have been selected, and their shorts will be screened on Thursday, Nov. 18 at SoundScape Park — more details are available at the link. ➡️ (Oolite Arts via Instagram)

Promotion from The Miami Foundation

💜 Your vote is needed!

With nearly 1,000 local nonprofits participating in The Miami Foundation’s 10th Give Miami Day, we wanna know — which one are you the most excited to support?

To find out, The New Tropic is running a little contest to see which org has the most-energized base.

Last week, we asked our readers to name up to 3 nonprofits that are taking part in this year’s Give Miami Day. We went through the nominations and we have the 10 most-nominated organizations. 

It's up to you to determine which organization should receive an extra $500 gift from The New Tropic on Give Miami Day.

Voting ends Friday, Nov. 5 at noon!

Go share your vote!

🎨 How Manny Gonzales and Wynwood BID helped transform Miami’s iconic art neighborhood

Manny Gonzales (center) has helped spur Wynwood’s evolution into an international art hub and destination. (📸: Courtesy photo)

Let’s say you’re a small, bustling neighborhood in Miami and you want to — no, need to — grow and progress without sacrificing your unique artistic and industrial character along the way. Who do you call?

Easy: the Wynwood Business Improvement District.

Over the last decade, the BID has led the 50-square-block neighborhood of Wynwood and its 400+ local property owners into a new renaissance. By providing crucial services that have helped the community come into its own as a vibrant and essential part of Miami life, the BID has made itself indispensable to the 305 at large.

A Decade of Wynwood BID

Nearly a decade onward from its founding, Wynwood BID is still going strong. To recognize its commitment to the community, we sat down with Manny Gonzalez, the BID’s executive director, to discuss its accomplishments, what he’s been most proud to see implemented, and what he’s looking forward to in the next decade.

The New Tropic: For people who don’t know about the Wynwood BID, can you explain what it is and how you became involved with it?

Manny Gonzalez: The Wynwood BID is basically a semi-autonomous agency [within the City of Miami] that represents about 400 businesses as well as approximately 180 different property owners within a 50-block district. Think of it as a homeowners association but for businesses. 

I became involved with the Wynwood BID because I was working at the Coconut Grove Business Improvement District in 2009. In 2017, I came over to the Wynwood BID because there was an opening and it was just an upgrade of neighborhoods, so it was just the natural progression of going from 17 blocks to now 50.

Can you talk about Wynwood’s laidback character, namely,  its welcoming diversity, the art, and how all of this is fueling the neighborhood’s growth?

Our goal is to continue being an area that’s welcome to everyone. Here in Wynwood it’s like if you come in a suit, you look like the odd man out. I used to come in [wearing] a suit and tie. At my first board meeting my colleagues were like, “You got to calm it down. You look like you’re out of place.” And I was like, “Oh, okay.”

But the colors, the music, the people, the youth; you go into these residential buildings, and they’re young professionals from all over the world. And they’re coming here because they know that Miami is the gateway to Latin America, the gateway to Central America, and a gateway into the U.S. And with this movement of the Northeasterners just having enough and going “Hey, we need more space,” it’s just a matter of time before Miami goes from a population of 400,000 to a million; everyone’s falling in love with it. 

It’s just like the art: it’s all different, it comes from all different parts of life. You look at it, and you fall in love with it. So maybe that’s the secret to Wynwood.

Be sure to read the full story and Q&A on The New Tropic website.

Today

💛 Celebrate Diwali at Oasis Wynwood (Wynwood)

🏵️ Join the DIA DE LOS MUERTOS celebration with RUTA DE OFRENDAS and attend two hybrid talks (in person or virtual) to learn more about this ancient Mexican tradition, the Catrina makeup everybody likes to wear, and the different ofrenda altars (Little Havana)

Tomorrow

🍸 Grab your business cards and head over to Mamey to network and mingle (Coral Gables)

Thursday

🗣 Join the Boss Babes Social Club Featuring Disabled Diaries at The Lincoln Eatery(Miami Beach)

😀 Learn how to create a self-portrait using objects and craft a modern vanitas from the things you keep (Miami)

Saturday

💆 Dance, stretch, and meditate with free classes at Wellness @ THesis (Coral Gables)

📚 Attend the grand opening of South Florida's newest independent bookstore, Sweet Haven Books, located in Historic Cauley Square (Miami)

Sunday

🎥 Watch the heartwarming film "Duty Free" as part of the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center's Indie Flicks series — screening Sunday, Nov. 7 through Wednesday, Nov. 10 (Online)

☝️ One more thing… 

🔥 ICYMI the Miami Heat have been on an absolute hot streak recently, which might be why Jimmy Butler was just named the NBA Eastern Conference Player of the Week. Let’s hope they can keep the momentum going in tonight’s match against the Dallas Mavericks. 🙏🏀🙏

Besos, 

Zach at The New Tropic

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