The 2009 numbers are in and violent and non-violent crimes in unincorporated Miami-Dade are at their lowest levels in five years. Nearly every area tracked revealed decreases, including robberies and motor vehicle thefts. The drop is in line with national trends, but it's also the result of long-term, comprehensive efforts to fight crime through targeted enforcement, community engagement and interagency cooperation. To the men and women of the Miami-Dade Police Department, thank you for your hard work, dedication and determination to keep our neighborhoods safe.
It was just after 4:30 one quiet morning in Tallahassee when a gun fight broke out between rival street gang members, the gunfire piercing the slumber of many residents in this part of the Panhandle where ringing church bells are the more typical Sunday wake-up call. When it was over, 15-year old Michael Jackson was mortally wounded, later pronounced dead at a local hospital. The two other gang members? According to the trial judge, they were acting in self defense in the deadly 2008 shootout, and under Florida “Stand Your Ground law, the killing was justified.
During boom and bust, I'm bullish on Miami, and nothing about the last few years has changed that. Anyone who disagrees is welcome to take a walk onto Biscayne Boulevard past the condos, bustling shops and sidewalk cafes that were not there six years ago. I'll take you to the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts which helped reinvent Downtown Miami. I'll show you projects from the Building Better Communities bond program, which is laying the foundation for the next generation of growth in Miami-Dade. And I'll give you an amazing view of the whole thing from the upper deck of our new ballpark, which is on track to be a national model for public-private partnerships.
Take a look around. What's happening is unprecedented in Miami-Dade County's history. Together with public and private partners, we're investing in infrastructure at a pace that hasn't been seen in decades. A new, modern airport is evolving at Miami International. Plans are underway to construct a tunnel under Biscayne Bay to alleviate traffic congestion Downtown and improve access to the Port of Miami. To preserve water quality and conserve usage, our water and sewer system is undergoing extensive upgrades. Metrorail is undergoing its first major expansion in two decades.
The Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), the largest and oldest Asian American human and civil rights organization in the nation condemns Washington D.C. City Councilman Marion Barry for his continued bigoted remarks concerning the role of Asian Americans in the city's economy.  Within the past month he has made public statements that are shameful and unbecoming a public official who alleges to be a champion of civil rights.  Barry needs to apologize for continuing to point to Asian Americans as the problem and should recognize that the American people of Asian heritage are as American as anyone else and have been a key in the economic growth and development of small business and the health sector.