The Miami Herald – Speak Out | September 21, 2012
I’m a parent. I have a bodacious 3-year-old daughter who is ready to take on the world. She’s opinionated, articulate and loves Dora the Explorer.
I’m a young professional and own my business. My wife and I have student loans, we’re paying prepaid college, we have childcare and pre-K expenses and a mortgage. We want to have another child.
I’m a conservative. I demand a limited local government that prioritizes spending to provide value to the taxpayer — an innovative government focused on contributing to the growth of the private sector through the privatization of government services instead of increasing its own ranks.
With that said, I wholeheartedly and passionately support Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvahlo’s campaign to renovate crumbling schools and will vote to support the bond referendum.
Our school district, the nation’s fourth-largest, is dead broke in terms of construction dollars despite having almost $2 billion in unmet needs and deferred maintenance across nearly 400 schools and facilities.
We’ve inherited a wasteland of technology-starved, deteriorating schools with leaky roofs, moldy air-conditioning and exposed bathroom pipes that ooze filth through walls onto the floor under the children’s feet. I would not want my daughter walking through that wearing her Dora backpack.
Over half of our schools were built before Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon. I say “our schools” because we own them. We are the next generation of trustees and investors in Miami-Dade. By supporting the bond we will stimulate our local economy by getting our friends back into the workforce.
Most important, this bond referendum clearly lets us know what we’re paying for — there’s no bait and switch. These funds will not go to the excesses of bureaucracy and personnel. Money will go to bricks, mortar and technology — real stuff.
The time has come for us to own tomorrow. Vote Yes on Nov. 6. We can be the voice supporting this investment in our schools for our children — the real Next Gen.
Luis Andre Gazitua, a lawyer, and Miami Lobbyist, specializing in government affairs, authored the strong-mayor charter amendment approved by the voters in January 2007.
Read more: The Miami Herald