This just came in from Tiger Tail Productions.
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July 16, 2009
Dear Friend of Tigertail and Friend of the Miami Dade Cultural Community,
We need your help. Action steps are needed today. A bulletin came from Michael Spring, Director of the Miami Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, late yesterday. Below is Michael’s email. Please call and email our commissioners NOW and let them know that the arts support jobs, tourism and a positive image of a progressive city. Most of the cultural organizations and cultural community would disappear if these cuts take place.
At the bottom of this email you will find a short sample email you may use. We urge you to modify this and add your own points. You will also find a list of Miami Dade County Commissioners and a link to a county site where you can identify your commissioner. I urge you to phone your commissioner and email the remaining 12 commissioners.
Mayor Alvarez released budget recommendations for the County’s FY2009-2010 budget today. This proposal includes substantial service cuts and workforce reductions to fill a $427 million projected budget gap.
If the budget is adopted as proposed, the Department’s budget will be reduced by more than $11 million dollars, requiring the elimination of nearly all of the Department’s grants for cultural organizations. Grants to all social service “community-based organizations” and “mom and pop” small businesses are slated for elimination also. All county departments and services are impacted significantly.
The next step in the budget process is for the Board of County Commissioners to set a preliminary millage rate next Tuesday, July 21. This will determine the degree to which the Commission can address and expand the budget priorities over the coming weeks, before the final budget is adopted. It is critically important to let the County Commissioners know the impact that County funding has on providing great arts and cultural programs and services for the citizens of Miami-Dade County. For contact information for the County Commissioners, please go to WWw.miamidadearts.org/Documents/Forms/Grantees/County%20Commission%20Contact%20List%207-15-2009.pdf
Historically, the County Mayor, County Manager and the Board of County Commissioners have been very supportive of the Department’s budget. In previous, difficult budget years, they have consistently appreciated the impact of the cultural industry on the local economy, the importance of culture on the quality of life and the competitive advantage of our community, and have been mindful of the extraordinary return generated by the County’s investment in the community’s cultural assets.
We are scheduling a town meeting in the coming weeks to provide more details on the County’s cultural budget reductions and recommendations. We strongly encourage you to participate in the budget discussions that are taking place from this point on.
PS To see the entire proposed budget, please go to www.miamidade.gov and click on the link “View the Proposed Budget.”
Miami Dade Board of County Commissioners:
Barbara J. Jordan 1
Dorrin D. Rolle 2
Audrey M. Edmonson 3
Sally A. Heyman 4
Bruno A. Barreiro 5
Rebeca Sosa 6
Carlos A. Gimenez 7
Katy Sorenson 8
Dennis C. Moss (Chair) 9
Javier D. Souto 10
Joe A. Martinez 11
JosÃ© “Pepe” Diaz 12
Natcha Seijas 13
None. Fax 305-375-2011
Who is your commissioner? http://gisims2.miamidade.gov/CServices/CSMap.asp?Cmd=DUMMY&ShowWhat=12
Dear Commissioner [Commissioner’s Last Name here. Be sure to spell it right!],
I am very concerned about the proposed cut to the county arts budget. Your past support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs has helped make the arts a Miami-Dade County staple.
The proposed more than $11 million cut to the Department of Cultural Affairs would have an enormous detrimental effect on Miami-Dade County. Our arts organizations, from small to large, contribute greatly to the economy of our region. Just the loss of jobs resulting from this proposal will be huge, let alone the impact on tourism and the general economic and cultural health of our community. Thousands and thousands of jobs and services would disappear overnight. Tourists would be left with little to do and Miami would retreat to an image that all of us have fought hard to change.
I strongly urge you to vote to continue current support for the arts and community-based organizations.
Tigertail Productions 842 NW Ninth Court Miami, Florida 33136 305 324 4337 www.tigertail.org
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