Miami’s Community Newspaper: “Equality Florida Action PAC endorses Mayor Dan Gelber and Commissioner Mark Samuelian”

Today, Equality Florida Action PAC, the state’s largest LGBTQ political action committee, announced its early endorsements of two key incumbents ahead of the November 2021 elections – Mayor Dan Gelber and Commissioner Mark Samuelian. In their endorsement, Equality Florida Action PAC pointed to Mayor Gelber and Commissioner Samuelian’s steadfast leadership on LGBTQ rights, reproductive freedom, and common-sense gun safety reforms.

As previously endorsed elected leaders running for reelection, Gelber and Samuelian have earned a well-deserved early endorsement and recognition of their work while in office to advance progressive policies that position Miami Beach at the forefront of LGBTQ rights.
Equality Florida Action PAC Senior Political Director and Former State Lawmaker Joe Saunders said, “Equality Florida Action PAC has a long history of working with Mayor Gelber and we are excited to see him run for a final term. As municipal leaders both Mayor Gelber and Commissioner Samuelian have defended attacks on conversion therapy bans in federal courts, challenged Tallahassee to end erroneous and unpopular attacks on abortion rights, and have pushed for greater local control when it comes to gun safety reforms. They have kept their promises to advance policies we all believe in and that’s why Equality Florida Action PAC has pledged our support.”

Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber shared, “Equality Florida Action PAC has been in the trenches for years fighting for the issues and causes that make lives better for residents, which is why I am humbled and honored to earn their early endorsement. While much progress has been achieved to have an equal society, we know there is much work left to do to ensure everyone feels safe and free from any form of discrimination. I am excited to continue the work together to ensure Miami Beach is truly an inclusive home for everyone.”
Comm. Mark Samuelian expressed, “I am truly proud to earn the early endorsement of Equality Florida Action PAC. Together, we have worked to make Miami Beach a more equal and welcoming city, and I remain committed to ensuring we are always at the forefront of tearing down any form of discrimination. I look forward to the continued work with such great organizations like Equality Florida Action PAC, who every day fight for a better and more fair community.”

View the original article here.

WSVN: “Local leaders urge spring breakers to social distance, wear masks as crowds grow”

As the race to vaccinate speeds up, a big worry to local leaders are the crowds that come with the spring break season.

Miami Beach and Fort Lauderdale are cities where spring breakers usually flock to, and local leaders are urging visitors and residents to be safe.

“We are very worried that there’s going to be a convergence of people here and a real problem in the aftermath after that,” said Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber.

“If everyone follows the rules and stays 6 feet away from each other, wears their masks in the bars, things like that can definitely keep from spreading it,” said resident Yann Meyjonade.

Last weekend, beaches were crowded, and the crowds are expected to grow this coming weekend.

In Miami Beach, officials are restricting the beaches normal open hours to 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and sidewalk cafes will close at midnight. No inflatable devices, tents, tables, loud music or coolers are allowed on the beach.

In Fort Lauderdale, no Lyfts or Ubers are allowed along A1A, which is usually congested during spring break. Barricades have been set up to help keep pedestrians safe.

“Seeing all the gates like that is something I haven’t seen before,” said Meyjonade.

No alcohol is allowed on the beach, as well.

Signage has been put up in hotspot areas to remind people to follow the rules that have been in place for almost a year. These include maintaining social distancing and wearing masks.

Some residents said the crowds are significantly smaller in 2021 compared to past years.

“Not near the number of people this year as it was last year,” said resident Roy Moore.

“I was a little shocked at how packed it was, especially last night for being a Thursday,” said visitor Paula Coleman. “Other than that, you know, we’re just kind of getting our feet wet here today.”

Miami-Dade County has a curfew in effect for spring break that starts at midnight and runs until 6 a.m.

Broward County officials debated implementing a curfew but decided against it. They said, however, if any business or restaurant breaks the rules put in place, they are at risk of being shut down.

View the original article here.

CBS Miami: “Facing South Florida: COVID, One Year Later”

This past week marked one year of the coronavirus in Florida.

Now, the state is approaching 2 million cases, and more than 31,000 lives lost statewide.

Lauren Pastrana spoke with two local mayors, separately, about their initial responses, what they would have done differently and what’s ahead for their communities.


Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis

View the original article here.

RE Miami: “art will fill vacant spaces in miami beach”

Art and culture are key components of the Miami Beach DNA so it’s natural they would be part of our recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. The City, in collaboration with private property owners, is launching Miami Beach Open House, “a city-led investment in the revitalization of its commercial corridors with experiential artist residencies utilizing vacant spaces,” according to an announcement of the program.

The goal is to activate empty spaces throughout Miami Beach while supporting local artists and the arts community which have been hard hit by the pandemic and subsequent economic downturn. Participating properties include vacant storefronts, restaurants and nightclubs as well as City offices, public parks, and cultural venues.

“Privately-owned vacant spaces serve as workspaces, studios, exhibition space and communal areas that encourage dialogue and collaboration,” the City says. “In collaboration with participating property owners, Miami Beach Open House provides the space and support necessary for artmaking and peer-to-peer exchange, supporting growth for the city’s entire arts community.”

“The City of Miami Beach is dedicated to art and culture, and we will not allow the challenges of the past year to diminish that status,” Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said. “It is with this in mind that we are exceedingly pleased to be able to present programs like Open House, which will provide a platform to allow our local businesses and artists to mutually support each other.”

Through the program, 71 artists and nonprofit cultural organizations will receive “heavily subsidized space and financial support.” Artists receive a stipend of $2,500 and pay “a nominal fee” for their space.

Rolling out now through April, the program formally runs through early summer though the City notes select artists may work with property owners to stay at their locations “for the indefinite future.”

“Working in the context of each of these spaces, artists have the opportunity to exhibit and sell their works, build networks, and collaborate with Miami Beach institutions and their constituents,” the City says. “Through this project, property owners are able to positively support innovative cultural work in Miami Beach, and expose their properties to the public while creating new, accessible spaces and platforms for cultural tourism.”

The program includes indoor and outdoor temporary public art installations throughout the City.

currently on view: 

Phrases by Juan Requena at 640 Collins Avenue (photo above)
“Through his multimedia work, Requena tells stories of situations related to racial discrimination, post gender thinking, human relationships and our behavior in the natural habitat. Currently working with textiles, powder, video & sound, his glow in the dark floor installations present phrases made of powder that are at once fragile and ephemeral. The statements are taken from books, movies and the artists’ personal conversations.”

My mother would say I lack discipline by Najja Moon at the Rotunda in Collins Park
“Commissioned by The Bass Museum for New Monuments, as part of a five-year initiative supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the work will use a wide range of voice recordings of women speaking maternal affirmations, reminders and critiques. The Rotunda will also serve as a meeting point to conduct those interviews. Moon is also developing a second project, where she is transcribing her drawings into music. An array of musicians will be working to perform the scores she writes [on site].”

Night Drawings for Pedestrians by Michelle Weinberg converts the storefront at 7409 Collins into a light box
“The work is composed of invented architectures, using carbon paper to create wayward symmetries. After the drawings are completed, the black carbon papers that contain layers of drawing marks are illuminated at night, revealing the skeletal architecture of the drawings, like an X-ray or a blueprint. The installation appears as a long, illuminated graphic novel winking back at the community.”

Department of Reflection, 800 Ocean Drive, founded in 2018 in collaboration with the City of Miami Beach
“[T]he Department of Reflection is a foil (or reflection) of municipal entities that produces creative moments of exchange (and reflection) between the municipality and its residents. As a post-governmental agency, the Department of Reflection collaborates internally but maintains its autonomy, pushing and interrogating the work of the government while creating bridges between it and the residents of Miami Beach. Its work brings new perspectives to important local conversations, ideally even leading to solutions.”

Sunset Archive, 431 Washington Avenue, a collaboration with FIU curator Yi Chin Hsieh and visual artist Juan Requena, presenting a 20-minute video installation by Reqena titled, Galaxy View cast on the property’s exterior doors
“The video… was shot in the first-person perspective, collecting sunset scenes for years at a beach in Mumbai, India. The artist placed a camera on a small remote-controlled car and monitored it at Bandra West, Mumbai, documenting the sunset. While enjoying the view from [a]far, the video also walks the viewer through piles of garbage and encounters with wild animals at the beach, providing the audience multi-perspective views and thoughts on environmental issues, urban lifestyles, and mental stability. In the artist’s words ‘The video pays homage to the lush but fragile, threatened natural resources of this region.’”

A curatorial advisory committee, composed of members of the Art in Public Places Committee and Cultural Arts Council, selected 71 applicants to participate in Miami Beach Open House. 

participating artists 

  • Studio AMLgMATD 
  • Jason Aponte 
  • Jenna Balfe 
  • Ballet Flamenco La Rosa 
  • Bas Fisher Invitational 
  • Thomas Bils
  • Liene Bosque
  • Scott Brennan 
  • Belaxis Buil 
  • Laura Casanas 
  • Domingo Castillo 
  • Beatriz Chachamovits 
  • BABA Collective 
  • Coral Morphologic 
  • Penny Crane 
  • Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami 
  • Carolina Cueva 
  • Dance Now! Miami 
  • Cara Despain 
  • Bernadette Despujols 
  • Gianna DiBartolomeo 
  • Dimensions Dance Theatre 
  • Dimensions Variable 
  • Giannina Dwin 
  • Jenna Efrein 
  • Christian Feneck 
  • Fiber Artists Miami (FAMA Art) 
  • Chris Friday 
  • Lucila Garcia de Onrubia 
  • Mauricio Giammattei 
  • Jessica Gispert 
  • Kristin Guerin 
  • Jacquelyn Guerrero 
  • Alan Gutierrez 
  • Hispafest 
  • Rachel Hovnanian 
  • Yi Chin Hsieh 
  • Carla Jerez 
  • Summer Jade Leavitt 
  • Justin Long 
  • Monica Lopez De Victoria 
  • Laura Marsh 
  • Juan Matos 
  • David McCauley 
  • Miami Beach Urban Studios-FIU 
  • Miami Dance Hub 
  • Najja Moon 
  • Charo Oquet 
  • PATH to Hip-Hop 
  • Edison Peñafiel 
  • Devora Perez 
  • Peter London Global Dance Company 
  • Lee Pivnik 
  • Project Art 
  • Juan Requena 
  • Timothy Reyes 
  • Adee Roberson 
  • Dinorah de Jesús Rodriguez 
  • George Sanchez-Calderon 
  • Nathaniel Sandler 
  • Tom Scicluna 
  • Barron Sherer 
  • Magnus Sodamin 
  • Misael Soto 
  • Erin Thurlow 
  • Eric Trope 
  • Alejandro Valencia 
  • Joshua Veasey 
  • Michelle Weinberg 
  • Michael Williams 
  • Young Musicians Unite 

Property owners participating the Miami Beach Open House program include:

  • 420 Lincoln Road Development
  • Robinson Properties
  • Ocean Terrace Holdings
  • Goldman Properties

Additional property owners will be added throughout the duration of the program. 

For more information on Miami Beach Open House visit the website at

View the original article here.

CNN : “Miami Beach mayor “very concerned” about potential spring break Covid-19 surge”

Miami Beach, Florida, Mayor Dan Gelber is bracing for a possible coronavirus spike if people who’ve been stuck in their homes for a year visit his city during spring break. 

“We’re very concerned. You know, a lot of things are happening simultaneously. You have the variant down here, and we still are having sometimes dozens of deaths a day in our county,” Gelber said on CNN’s “New Day.” 

“And at the same time, we’ve got incredibly cheap round-trip tickets for 40 bucks from anywhere in the Northeast down here, discounted rooms and people who have been really…pent up and wanting to get out with no other place to go than here. So we are very worried that there’s going to be a convergence of people here and a real problem in the aftermath of that.” 

While there is ample outdoor dining and hotels have been following guidelines, Gelber said that gatherings at bars “might become the kinds of super-spreaders that I think we saw a year ago.” 

Gelber said Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has hampered his ability to give out fines, so police officers and ambassadors are handing out masks. The city is also enforcing a curfew and a noise ordinance.  

“I would love to have the governor’s voice urging people to be responsible, but we really don’t have that right now,” he said. 

View the original article here.

WLRN: “Cracking Down On Spring Breakers, Flood Insurance Prices To Go Up, And Ali’s Final Fight”

Cracking Down On Spring Breakers

March is normally a massive month for tourism in South Florida because of spring breakers.

Those partiers and tourists have become an issue for politicians and law enforcement — while being a symbol for uninhibited partying for millions of young people.

“Part of the problems is we’re in the middle of the pandemic,” said Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber. “We’re trying to let people know that are going to come here that they can’t just let anything go, they can’t act any way they want to.”

He added that efforts to tame spring breakers include Miami-Dade County’s midnight curfew, mask distribution, license plate readers and increasing police “dramatically” by asking neighboring cities to assist.

The city had nearly 400 arrests from Feb. 3 to 21 amid measures to crack down on spring break crime and keep COVID-19 from spreading, according to figures cited by Gelber.

Some residents worry these efforts could target communities Black and minority communities.

View the original article here.

Blueprint Future: Episode 02 – Mayor Dan Gelber, Miami Beach

From the Florida House of Reps to the State Senate and now the top office in Miami Beach, Mayor Dan Gelber is a seasoned public servant. He sat down with Richard and Padden to share the wisdom he’s picked up along the way, including how to keep a hospitality town afloat during a pandemic, lessons from being a Democratic mayor in a Republican state, and prioritizing livability in a growing city.

Click here to listen to the full podcast.

News Break: “Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber: ‘Our City Is Outraged’ At Violent Weekend That Saw People Robbed, Shot”

 Miami Beach police and city leaders say they are cracking down on crime and beefing up enforcement.

In a news conference Monday, Mayor Dan Gelber says this past weekend was the latest in an unfortunate trend in violence in the city.

“Our city is outraged,” he says. “What we saw this weekend and, frankly, what we’ve been seeing for a while now is well beyond unacceptable.”

The weekend began with several tourists being held up at gunpoint Friday, in broad daylight.

It ended with a separate incident Sunday night, when shots were fired on a busy Washington Avenue. Two men and a woman were injured in the shooting.

The mayor says they are taking action.

“We are going to have dozens of more police officers enforcing every ordinance we have.  All the signs coming in here will let people know they are going to be arrested if they misbehave,” he says.

In that news conference, Miami Beach PD identified the suspected gunman from Sunday night as 24-year-old Keshawn McLean , telling the public to be on the lookout.

Meantime, Chief Richard Clements says he’s making changes to provide better security.

“We will be looking for different staffing plans and staffing components for our patrol division and our police department to see if we can go ahead and enhance their performance, in terms of being in all places at all times, as best as we can, in order to deal with the expectations our residents have,” says Clements. “They deserve the right to be safe here and it’s our job to make that happen, and, quite frankly, people like this walking around don’t make it safe. We need to do a better job, and we’re going to do a better job.”

He also expressed frustration with people visiting who treat Miami Beach like a free-for-all.

“I think we have to change the narrative that’s out there that’s coming from people all over the country that when you come down here, anything and everything goes. Not anymore,” Chief Clements says. “I think the men and women of the Miami Beach Police Department are tired of it. They’re tired from the attitudes that they’re getting when they go out there and try to keep, for lack of a better term, a lid on things. More importantly, they’re stressed every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night about having to go out there and do the same thing over and over and over again.”

Mayor Gelber says they will also be working on an enforcement plan for bars and restaurants with the upcoming spring break.

If you know Keshawn McLean or know where he is, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS (8477) or contact them online at .

View the original article here.

News Break: “Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber To Spring Breakers, ‘Want To Act Crazy, Please Don’t, Go Somewhere Else’”

We are getting close to that time again when thousands of college students flock to South Florida beaches for spring break.

Last year, crowds packed in just as the coronavirus began to spread here.

Then beaches closed, stopping the party in its tracks.

Now, the concern is what will happen this year?

“Given where we are now with COVID, the lack of vaccines, the fact that UK strain is in Florida pretty prominently. The fact that there are now cases of the South African strain here, spring break could tend to be a significant super spreader,” said concerned CBS 4 viewer David Moss.

He looped us in as he reached out to local leaders to find out what the plan will be this time around.

“If people are coming here to go crazy please don’t, go somewhere else,” urged Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber. “If you’re coming here because you think we don’t have rules with regard to COVID, go somewhere else as well,” he said.

Mayor Gelber said with the governor’s orders, it’s difficult to enforce mask mandates and other rules, but Miami Beach plans to do what it can, including not approving permits for big events.

“We obviously are going to be enforcing the curfew, vigorously,” Mayor Gelber said. “We still have the mask mandate. We’re limited by the governor as to what we can do to enforce it. But we’re still walking up to people asking them to wear masks and giving them masks,” he said.

Broward Mayor Steve Geller spelled it out, “If they come, they stay out in the open on the beach, on the breeze, they’re 6 feet away from each other, God Bless them. We’re not going to do a thing to them,” Mayor Geller said.

The county plans to vigorously enforce mask mandates and county rules.

Geller said they will be watching bars and restaurants closely.

“I do not want to shut down a single business in Broward County because of COVID. But if we’re going to avoid shutting them down then they need to comply with our orders with masks and social distancing,” he said.

Neither mayor is holding out much hope that the governor will call for stricter rules during spring break. They just stress they will strongly enforce rules that are on the books already.

View the original article here.