Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Super Committee Occupies My Miami Winter

Contributed by Catalyst Miami CEO Daniella Levine by way of the Huffington Post

The Super Committee "fails." Occupiers are evicted. Cool weather comes to Miami. How do these relate if at all? I try to see the large canvas. I imagine the pieces as on a chessboard, trumping and trumped. Kinged and queened. So what is the temperature this Miami Winter? Warmer for sure, but still delightful enough to turn off the AC and open the windows wide to the remaining birdsong, garden aroma and water splash.
The failure of a bi-partisan committee to find common ground on the role of government and needs of our nation does not surprise me. The fact that cities are growing weary of direct democracy and the price tag for peaceful dissent does not surprise me. But the fact that two small towns in Miami-Dade have voted to petition Congress for a constitutional amendment to end the recognition of corporations as people does. The fact that a young college graduate created the momentum to reduce banking fees does. And the tremendous appeal of being part of the 99% mostly surprises and delights me because it was so deceptively simple. Why did we not think of this angle before?

Monday, November 28, 2011



 Help Alison Win The Community Member of the Year Bull Award 

TACOLCY's very own Alison Austin has been nominated by Miami Northwestern's Class of 2005 for the Community Member of the Year Bull Award. Voting is now open and she needs your help to be victorious.

Voting is unlimited so cast your ballot as many times a day as you want until.

Simply click the link below, go under Community Categories, select Alison Austin and press send to cast your vote.

Then repeat the action several times daily!

Spread the word to all of your friends so we can help her be victorious!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Economic symposium

Contributed by Catalyst Intern Bryan Kapin

On October 26, 2011 business professionals and non-profit owners gathered in the Broward Convention Center to attend the Southeast Florida Economic Symposium. These leaders discussed the current state of South Florida’s economy and the trends along with the developments that are defining our region. With our current demographics becoming more diverse than ever, we are faced with many new challenges as well as many new opportunities. Due to cultural barriers, many businesses are having difficulty building partnerships with certain communities. This creates an opportunity for individuals to present themselves to both big and small South Florida businesses as potential employees with the ability to overcome the ethnic barriers that currently exist. Individuals must take advantage of their cultural diversity and prove to businesses that they can be a valuable asset in reaching broader communities and help facilitate relations within these communities.

Another important topic that was brought up was the lack of “skilled” workers in South Florida. A market exists for certain skill-sets that individuals just are not pursuing. For example, one business owner discussed his need for 30 new employees with technical and computer skills. However, during his search, he was only able to find two eligible candidates in South Florida. Although he wanted to hire locally, workers with the required skill-set were simply not available. This led him to outsource these positions to other countries in South America. South Florida is already suffering from a poor job market and in this instance, we lost 30 potential job positions for the simple reason that no qualified workers presented themselves. This scenario highlighted one of the most important lessons to take from this symposium- start training early. Higher education and university degrees are not for everyone. Thousands of South Floridians will not pursue higher education after graduating high school. In order to improve their chances of acquiring a steady job post-graduation they must begin focusing and training in a particular field early on in their high school career. By equipping themselves with the skills needed in a particular field, they become exponentially more appealing to potential employers not just in South Florida, but nationwide.

South Florida is actively trying to attract larger businesses to come here and provide more jobs, but it is up to those seeking employment in South Florida to adapt to the job market in order to meet the needs of these potential employers. It is important to note that although we are in the midst of a poor economy, the need for skilled workers still exists.

Monday, November 14, 2011


Join us for screening of our Eco Alert TV show
& Dinner & Discussion
When:         Thursday November 17th
Where:        Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden,
10901 Old Cutler Road,
Coral Gables, FL 33156. Corbin A
Time:           6 to 8PM
You are invited to preview two editions of our Eco Alert television shows.  Show #1 Tap vs Bottle and Show #2 Community Water.
Statistics for Action and Operation Green Leaves teamed up with local experts on water quality. The newest, yet to be aired Eco Alert shows are meant to inform and empower. Before they are aired, we want  to hear your reactions, your opinions, and your ideas.
Dinner and a stipend of $25 will be mailed to all who attend, complete a brief survey and participate in the discussion. You must be 18 or older to participate. Space is limited. To participate please RSVP at by November 14th, 2011.
This event is made possible with support from the National Science Foundation.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Using Social Media to Build Relationships That Make a Difference: 10 Links to Get Your Nonprofit Started

Contributed by Jessica Diaz Creator of  Wideeyed City

A few weeks ago the Miami Herald released an article about a documentary, “Connect with Me” by Scherazade Daruvalla King, which examines how social media affects relationships.  The film, presented by the nonprofit AmplifyMe, explores both the negative and positive changes this popular form of communication has had on our society.  While there are certainly many pros and cons, social media has great potential and many nonprofits are currently making this powerful tool work to their advantage. They are using it to build relationships with current and potential supporters.  
As Daniella Levine, Catalyst Miami’s President/CEO, stated “The net gain is that there is so much more information to share, so many more opportunities to connect with different people and different ideas, and to spark change in a positive way.” Through Facebook, Twitter and blogging, Catalyst Miami is embracing and promoting the use of social media to encourage civic leadership and spark change.
Inspired by the article, I began searching for tips and ideas on how to use social media to build relationships that will make a difference.  There are many articles out there, but here are just a few to get you started. Remember the key is to enhance, not replace relationships. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Not for Profit Profile: City Year

Contributed by Jaime Botero

*Author’s Note: Having completed a term of service with City Year, I will attempt to be as non-biased as possible. 

City Year is a Not for Profit Organization focused on Civic Engagement and ending the high school dropout crisis. City Year employs diverse teams of 17-24 year old aged volunteers to do 10 months of service in high need schools throughout the country. Serving at twenty-one locations nationally, as well as two international sites City Year is one of the more prolific AmeriCorps programs.
Volunteers, formally called Corps Members receive all the benefits entitled to AmeriCorps and extra incentives such as uniform, cellular telephone service, and the opportunity to receive scholarships through the many Give-a-Year partnerships that City Year has developed with higher education centers.
City Year writes,
As tutors, mentors and role models, corps members are uniquely able to help students and schools succeed through:
  • Academic Support: Provide one-on-one or small group tutoring before, during and after school
  • Attendance and Positive Behavior Encouragement: Lead energetic morning greetings, make attendance and positive phone calls home and lead mentor groups
  • Community and School Improvements: Organize and lead activities, celebrations and projects to improve the community and school environment which includes performing physical service such as: painting murals, planting community gardens, renovating schools and refurbishing community centers”
The organization started serving Miami schools in the fall of 2008 and has grown in part to its successful partnership with Miami Dade County Public Schools. Corps Members are serving as far south as Homestead High School and as far north as Carol City High School.
If you are interested in learning more about City Year or becoming a Corps Member please reach them at this web-link:

Catalyst Contributors: Katie Powell

Hello Friends! My name is Katie Powell and I am a Public Ally for the Prosperity Campaign at Catalyst Miami. I will be working on farmer’s market outreach for EBT recipients and getting the word out about double value coupons.  I recently moved here after graduating from Rollins College in May. While there I studied Sociology and Women’s Studies. When I’m not working I enjoy running, vegetarian food, traveling, Indian culture, and spending time with friends. I can’t wait to see how I will grow personally and professionally in the next ten months!