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The Manhattan Institute Honors outstanding urban leaders who have improved the quality of life in their cities with its annual Urban Innovator Award.

Gina M. Raimondo
Michelle Rhee
Renee Glover
Mitch Daniels
Jeb Bush
Paul Vallas
Raymond Kelly
Manuel Diaz
Martin O'Malley
Anthony Williams
Norm Coleman
Jerry Brown
Richard Daley


Urban Innovator Award Winner

Manuel Diaz.2004
Miami Mayor Manuel Diaz Receives Manhattan Institute's Urban Innovator Award

On October 26, the Center for Civic Innovation (CCI) at the Manhattan Institute honored Miami Mayor Manuel A. Diaz with its fifth annual Urban Innovator Award.

CCI recognized Mayor Diaz for his unswerving dedication to transforming Miami's government into a service-oriented organization, focused on improving quality of life and economic development citywide, rather than in just a handful of central business districts.

Before Mayor Diaz came on the scene, Miami was considered a city in decline. It was blighted by crime, hobbled by mismanagement, and saddled with a poor credit rating.

'Today crime is down and Miami is in the midst of a multibillion dollar construction boom," CCI Executive Director Henry Olsen noted. "Much of the credit for Miami's renaissance belongs to Mayor Diaz and his determination to retool the city's faltering administration, using sound business principles and a strategic vision for the City's future.'

After his November 2001 election, Mayor Diaz quickly developed a vision for Miami as an international city embodying diversity, economic opportunity and good government. To achieve his vision, Mayor Diaz, a former attorney and restaurateur, implemented a private-sector organizational structure throughout all city departments. This new system promoted effective goal setting and accountability through performance measures.

Just three short years after facing bankruptcy, Miami's bond rating soared from junk grade in 2001 to an A+ rating in 2004, the highest rating in the city's history. After its finances and management improved, Miami's private investment reached unprecedented levels. At least $16.5 billion in development is underway.

'In part, I have to credit the Manhattan-Institute for inspiring many of the steps we took as a city to bring about these innovative changes,' Mayor Diaz said in accepting the award. He added, 'the other thing that helped was The Entrepreneurial City, one of the Institute's landmark publications. The book was kind of a Bible for my campaign that we referred to often for guidance and expertise.'






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