Dear friends of Sweat,
My blood is boiling right now and yours should be too because the latest county budget proposes to cut a seriously major chunk of funding for the arts and arts organizations in Miami.
Please use this link to find out who your district Commissioner is and write them an email. From the statistics I’ve read, most people are so lazy that when someone actually does write an email they sort of weigh it as the opinions of as many as 100 individuals who didn’t make the effort.
So make the effort! If there was ever a good reason that will affect you directly, this is it. The letter from Michael Spring of the Department of Cultural Affairs is pasted below, and funnel the emotion you get from reading it into a very polite and passionate email…
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 http://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.”
Michael Spring, Director
Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs
111 N.W. First Street • Suite 625• Miami, FL 33128
305-375-5049 Phone 305-375-3068 Fax
“Delivering Excellence Every Day”