Miami Beach is famous for its amazing beaches, vibrant downtown, palm tree-lined streets, and of course, Miami Vice. But did you know this resort destination is making kind strides in its community and the press?
We had the opportunity to interview Miami Beach Commissioner, Micky Steinberg who shared how kindness is inspiring this well-renowned coastal area.
City of Kindness: What are your favorite things about representing Miami Beach and why?
Commissioner Steinberg: Since being elected in 2013, I have had the opportunity work with such a wonderful community and residents. I am so proud that in March 2017, the Miami Beach City Commission unanimously approved joining the international movement to become a City of Kindness — recognizing how a simple act of kindness, big or small, can bring people together to build a stronger community. This initiative launched a robust citywide campaign to include kindness challenges among city staff, residents, students and business community.
City of Kindness: How are you seeing kindness affect your town?
Commissioner Steinberg: This summer, one of the City’s Code Compliance Officers, Jacqueline Caicedo, along with 11 of her colleagues, went beyond the call of duty and rehabilitated the home of an elderly resident in need. Following the loss of a close family member, the elderly man had not cut his lawn in over four years. Due to serious health complications this past year, he’s also been physically unable to cut his lawn or afford costly lawn maintenance from a landscape company. Touched by his story, Caicedo felt compelled to help. She quickly called upon her fellow colleagues to join her in volunteering their Saturday morning to address the immediate property maintenance concerns. The generous employees brought their own equipment and got to work mowing the yard, pulling weeds, fixing the patio screen and more to bring his home into compliance instead of issuing him a citation – ultimately, spreading kindness throughout the community. It was wonderful to see people helping people and reinforcing the true meaning of community. Because of their compassionate act the entire crew was awarded Miami Beach’s first City of Kindness Award for going above and beyond in performing an act of kindness toward a fellow community member and for embodying the City’s commitment to spreading kindness throughout Miami Beach.
Another example of kindness in action was seen during the City’s Annual Fire on the Fourth Celebration where Miami Beach extended the kindness movement to America’s heroes. The city partnered with Operation Gratitude — an organization that seeks to lift the spirits and meet the evolving needs of the U.S. Military and First Responder communities, as well as provides volunteer opportunities for Americans to express their appreciation to all who serve our nation. Throughout the event, attendees of all ages wrote letters of gratitude and illustrated sweet and thoughtful pictures to send to new recruits, first responders and the brave men and women who are fighting, or have fought, for our nation’s freedom overseas. Attendees expressed their sincere thanks to our heroes for their courage, sacrifices and selflessness.
City of Kindness: Why kindness? In all the ways you can better Miami Beach, what is it about kindness that stirs you?
Commissioner Steinberg: In light of recent happenings, both locally and nationally, it is more important than ever for us to focus on kindness instead of hate. I am proud to be a part of a city that values signing this pledge, and I am excited to work with our schools, businesses and residents to implement a great program and spread kindness throughout Miami Beach.
City of Kindness: What is the legacy you want to leave behind and how are you challenging others to leave their personal legacies?
Commissioner Steinberg: As a Commissioner, one of my roles is to help improve the quality of life for our residents. Having championed initiatives such as strengthening our human rights ordinances, expanding behavioral health services within our schools, and fighting for a sustainable community, I have learned that kindness, respect and compassion have far reaching benefits. Kindness is contagious, and I encourage all to do their part.
City of Kindness: What’s the kindest act someone has done for you?
Commissioner Steinberg: Sometimes the simplest acts of kindness have the most profound effect. I have a dear friend who listened to me when I needed them. Holding someone’s hand and quietly listening can be a powerful thing.
City of Kindness: What’s an unseen act of kindness you’ve done for an individual?
Commissioner Steinberg: My family and I support many philanthropic initiatives. I try to pass on to my children the idea to always help when you can. Every kind act, no matter how big or small, can go a long way. For example, I donated my hair to Locks of Love, an amazing organization that is doing wonderful work by returning a sense of self-confidence and normalcy to children suffering from hair loss by utilizing donated ponytails free of charge. We also we cleaned out our family bedroom closets and donated gently used clothes and toys towards helping victims of human trafficking.
Thank you, Miami Beach! By serving as a City of Kindness, you are sending kind ripple effects from one coast to another.