Young family with child

Strengthening our Community by Empowering Residents

Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember; involve me and I will understand.”—Confucius

By Jeniffer Viscarra, Commissioner

(Saturday, January  25, 2020) – Throughout 2019, the Mayor and Commissioners, each in our own way, wrote about the importance of public participation. Whether it’s for “building a unified community” as Vice Mayor Svechin said, or to “make our democratic process stronger” as Commissioner Lama reminded us, there is no question that our residents’ civic engagement is incredibly important. However, many residents don’t know where to begin and/or are shy about reaching out, no matter how often they come across contact information. The question then becomes: how can the city transition from informing residents to involving residents?

At our January Commission Meeting, we discussed the possibility of starting a Sunny Isles Beach Residents’ “Academy.” Similar to other Florida municipalities, our program, should it be approved, will provide adult residents a detailed look into SIB government over the course of a “semester.”

If the program is approved, funding will be allocated for next fiscal year. Following the development of a curriculum, we would hope to start signing up students in the fall of 2020. The SIB-focused sessions are not only intended to familiarize you with your city’s government and services but also to connect you with other civically engaged individuals. The ultimate goal is to strengthen our community by empowering you. Do you want to be in our inaugural class? I will help you get involved. Start here: my email is and my phone number is 305.792.1750.