Commissioner Viscarra

Teens at the Forefront

Three teens making pizza at a teens only cooking class

By Jeniffer Viscarra, Vice Mayor (Thursday, July 14, 2022) – Sunny Isles Beach celebrated its 25th anniversary last month. Since incorporating in 1997, we have become a more diverse and family-oriented place to live, work, and play. As our city changed, so did our residents’ needs. Among those needs is the social well-being and safety of our teens. At the …

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Banning Smoking on our Beaches: An Example of Restoring Home Rule

People on the beach in sepia tone photo

By Jeniffer Viscarra, Vice Mayor (Friday, March 4, 2022) – In early February, Deputy City Manager Susan Simpson and I joined the Florida League of Cities and other municipal officials in Tallahassee to advocate for self-government / Home Rule. Home Rule is the right to local self-government and involves the authority of a local government to prevent state government intervention …

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A Road to Community Empowerment

City Commission at dais

By Jeniffer Viscarra, Vice Mayor (Friday, January 7, 2022) – And just like that, 2021 is behind us. For many of us it was a year of transitioning “ back to normal.” Our children went back to school. Our commission meetings went from Zoom, to hybrid, to fully back in person. Our events calendar got a little fuller, and residents …

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A Look Back at 2021

Sunny Isles Beach skyline

By Jeniffer Viscarra, Vice Mayor (Friday, December 3, 2021) – As 2021 comes to an end, I want to wish all our residents a very happy and safe holiday season. For Sunny Isles Beach, 2021 was a year marked with surprises and tragedy. As for surprises, the biggest was former Mayor Bud Scholl’s resignation, which left us with a four-person …

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Special Elections and Your Role in the Future of our Commission

Polling location sign pointing to the entrance of the SIB Government Center

By Jeniffer Viscarra, Commissioner (Wednesday, September 1, 2021) – By now you’ve heard that Mayor George “Bud” Scholl resigned effective September 1, 2021. Given the demands on him as President and CEO of One Blood, he felt he could no longer give the city the attention it deserves. To his credit, Bud stepped aside to allow a leader with greater …

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Becoming a More Inclusive City

woman holding heart with puzzle on white with hand prints for World Autism Awareness

By Jeniffer Viscarra, Commissioner (Monday, May 3, 2021) – My first “real job” after graduating college was as a special education teacher at a school that catered to students with special needs. It was in that role that I became more familiar with autism and grew to appreciate all the dedication that families pour into every victory, however big or …

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Ironing Out the Wrinkles in the Town Center District

Town Center North Overlay

By Jeniffer Viscarra, Commissioner (Friday, February 26, 2021) – As you may recall, in early 2019 the City discovered an inconsistency between its Comprehensive Plan and its Zoning Code, which caused great public outcry. To ensure that residents’ voices were properly taken into account, the Commission supported a significant and unprecedented effort in community outreach. During the last City Commission …

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An Informed Community is a Strong Community

Polling location at Government Center

By Jeniffer Viscarra, Commissioner (November 30, 2020) – I remember the first time I voted. The only truly informed opinion I had was on the presidential race. There was no Google, cell phones or social media at the time. To be informed, you really had to do your homework. I did the best I could with the rest of the …

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Helping Families in Times of Need

KidSide Taking the kid's side in high-conflict Family Court

By Jeniffer Viscarra, Commissioner (August 31, 2020) – Many families in high conflict court proceedings simply cannot afford the therapeutic services necessary for critical intervention. For this reason, Miami-Dade County created Family Court Services (FCS), which provides supervised visitation and family, individual, and reunification therapy. As an attorney and Guardian Ad Litem, I have seen how invaluable FCS is for …

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Congratulations to the Class of 2020

Sunny Isles Beach graduates at Grad-and-Go event

By Jeniffer Viscarra, Commissioner (Tuesday, June 23, 2020) – A lot was asked of families and communities as we turned our homes into offices and classrooms as a result of COVID-19. A lot was asked of children who had to quickly adapt to schooling through a laptop. A lot was asked of parents who had to learn alongside their kids …

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