Business & Economy Miami News

Miami's power players unite: New group aims to tackle city's biggest challenges

Business and civic leaders launch "Partnership for Miami" to address housing, education, and transportation issues

Miami's skyline continues its meteoric rise, but a group of prominent residents is concerned about the stability of the foundation beneath it. To address the city's pressing social issues and ensure sustainable growth, a new non-profit organization, the Partnership for Miami, has been formed.

Led by a powerhouse board that includes billionaire newcomers Ken Griffin and Orlando Bravo, along with Miami Dolphins President Tom Garfinkel and local heavyweights like MasTec CEO Jorge Mas, the Partnership aims to be a catalyst for change. Each board member has pledged significant financial support to launch the initiative, with the organization vowing to remain entirely privately funded.

Setting a vision for the future in Miami

The Partnership is committed to more than just reacting to problems. Their mission is to establish a clear vision for the future and develop long-term strategies to maintain its growth trajectory. This includes identifying areas where the city lags behind its peers and crafting solutions to close those gaps.

Raul Moas, the President of the Partnership for Miami, acknowledged Miami's undeniable rise as a global center for business, sports, and the arts. However, he emphasized that this success wasn't guaranteed and required deliberate action and a commitment to progress. Moas highlighted Miami's ongoing evolution and stressed the unique opportunity to shape the city's future.

Coinciding with the Partnership's launch is the release of a comprehensive report titled "Miami 2035." Authored by business consultancy McKinsey & Company, the 126-page document serves as a factual and analytical baseline for the organization's future endeavors.

The report paints a familiar picture for the city's residents, highlighting the housing crisis, economic disparities, and low educational attainment levels. While teacher pay also falls short of national benchmarks, the findings offer no specific solutions, suggesting instead a call for better and more comprehensive public transportation as a priority.

In an interview, Raul Moas clarified that the report wasn't solely focused on Miami's challenges. He explained that it also recognized the city's numerous achievements and served as a broad foundation for the Partnership's future endeavors.

A boat gliding down a river, surrounded by towering buildings in the background.

Building a "Bold Civic Agenda"

While specific proposals are still under development, Moas promises a "long-term, ambitious civic agenda." The Partnership, a volunteer group with no governing authority, will work collaboratively with elected officials, government agencies, civil society groups, and other non-profits to translate ambition into action.

Raul Moas explained that the Partnership was envisioned as a platform to systematically leverage the expertise and experience of Miami's business leaders. He noted that such a systematic approach had been absent for a considerable time, referencing past recovery efforts after Hurricane Andrew in 1992 as an example.

The Partnership isn't the first organization seeking to guide Miami's future. Notably, a secretive group called the "Non-Group" wielded significant influence in the city's development for decades. Comprised primarily of white, non-Hispanic business leaders, the Non-Group operated behind closed doors, setting the city's public agenda for years. After its existence was exposed in 1985 by a Miami Herald investigation, the Non-Group went public, diversified its membership, and eventually disbanded.

Raul Moas emphasized the importance of transparency and open communication for the Partnership. He did not reveal specific details about the financial contributions or the organization's budget but assured the public that this information would be made available when they filed their federal tax returns.

Moas indicated the organization's strong financial backing by describing the donations as "multi-year commitments at a high threshold." He further emphasized the board members' dedication, noting that all of them had been actively involved for the past year and would continue to contribute as the Partnership developed its initiatives.

Moas declared the Partnership for Miami to be a working group comprised of passionate Miami leaders. He emphasized their collective commitment to seizing the current opportunity, acknowledging the complex challenges facing Miami. Moas stressed the need for a united effort from all stakeholders, as no single entity could solve these problems independently.

The board includes the CEOs of some of Miami-Dade County's largest businesses, such as Royal Caribbean Group,Baptist Health, and Ryder System. Notably, Jackson Health System CEO Carlos Migoya is the sole representative of a public entity. The group is co-chaired by Andre Dua, McKinsey's Miami managing partner and developer Codina Partners CEO Ana-Marie Codina Barlick.

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