When Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez was first sworn in two years ago, one of his first public appearances was at an Aventura Marketing Council Chairman’s Roundtable meeting hosted by the powerhouse law firm Greenberg Traurig (GT). Recently returning for an encore appearance, Mayor Alvarez focused on “What Lies on the Horizon” for Miami-Dade – and once again, Greenberg Traurig raised the bar for hosting AMC meetings with the most illustrious guest speakers.
Mayors, commissioners and police chiefs from neighboring municipalities were invited to join AMC business and community leaders at the Newport Beachside Hotel and Resort for the October networking luncheon. GT principal shareholder Cliff Schulman who serves as AMC Chairman of the Board recognized GT president/CEO Cesar Alvarez and introduced GT attorneys contributing to the firm’s phenomenal success.
“Greenberg Traurig was founded in 1967 by Larry Hoffman, Bob Traurig and Mel Greenberg,” Schulman explained. “We’re now the seventh largest law firm in the country with over 1,500 lawyers – many of whom are featured in Best Lawyers in America.”
Schulman went on to celebrate cultural diversity, noting, “GT is ranked the number one law firm in the U.S. for having the most minority partners and the most Hispanic attorneys...We have professional offices throughout the United States and key markets around the world including Tokyo, Brussels, London, Rome, Zurich and Amsterdam...If you have a legal problem – GT has a legal solution for you.”
Taking the podium, Mayor Alvarez expounded on his dedication to serving the community. Born in Cuba, Alvarez has resided in Miami-Dade for over 40 years. After graduating from FIU, he joined the Miami-Dade Police Department in 1976 - starting out as a police officer on the midnight shift and working his way up the ranks until being appointed Director of the Miami-Dade Police Department in 1997.
During his mayoral campaign, one of Alvarez’s strongest messages was about “reform and accountability” in county government. “I believe the mayor should have certain authorities and responsibilities,” he said. “The mayor gets to appoint the county manager - but he doesn’t get to deal with department directors...Within the next 90 days [from Oct. 25] voters will have the opportunity to change the system of government in Miami-Dade County.”
If passed, the “strong mayor” plan would dramatically expand the county mayor’s authority by giving him the power to hire and fire department heads and the county manager. It also would give the mayor more control over contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
“Even though some commissioners oppose what I’m proposing, they felt very strongly that it had gotten to the point where it should be up to the voters to decide,” Alvarez said. “My philosophical view is shared by at least 124,000 people who signed a petition...I believe a mayor who has to run county-wide should be able to get involved with the day-to-day operations of county government without having to go through the county manager.
“Stay informed and exercise your right to vote...This is not about ‘personalities’ - this is about an issue...Major cities around the world have a strong mayor. I believe it will cut through the beaurocrocy and make Miami-Dade more efficient.”
For more information about Greenberg Traurig Attorneys at Law, phone: (305) 579-0613 or visit the website www.gtlaw.com