Whether you’re Gen Z or millennial, no matter what neighborhood you live in, or when you or your family moved to Miami, we care about our community, and we love our city. We want to see our communities invested in, and local government that takes bold action on the issues that matter to us. Whether you have roots in Cuba, Haiti, Brazil, Colombia, Nicaragua, the Bahamas, or your family moved from Georgia or Michigan, whether you’re born and raised or moved here yesterday, young people want to see that a better future is possible and need to see real action to make that happen. 

Engage Miami’s 2024 Young People’s Priorities platform for local leadership:

  • Housing Affordability: because we need a place to call home that doesn’t make us broke, and for those who live and work here to be treated fairly.
  • Climate Action: because the seas are rising and so are we, and we’ve come too far to let our city sink.
  • Community Safety: because real community safety means protection from gun violence, safety from deportation, support for mental health, and proactive services to keep our communities and families whole. 
  • Public Parks, Libraries and Transit: because public means for people, and parks, libraries, and transit make our city stronger.
  • Economic Opportunity: because the rich are getting richer while most of us can’t pay our rent, the cost of living keeps going up, and big corporations are pushing out the locally owned businesses that make our city belong to us.
  • Public Education: because public schools are our future, and every student deserves support and resources.
  • Democracy and Voting Rights: because we all should have an equal say in a government that really represents us.

There is power in numbers, and you’re not alone! Sign on to show just how many of us share these priorities, and demand bold action from local leaders. Whether you have five minutes to add your name, want to become a member, are eligible to vote or not, or are ready to speak up at city hall and get involved in local campaigns, your voice matters!

We’re in it for the long haul and committed to our county. But right now, young people don’t have enough power or access to solve the problems we see every day. We’re here to fix that and build power together to make sure our city, county, and school board hear our voices loud and clear. We don’t do it alone, we do it together. By building the power of our membership and working with our partners, we can change the narrative, advance our agenda, and shape our future. 

We’ve got issues, and we’ve got solutions, and we have the Young Peoples’ Priorities. It’s our platform to create the future we deserve. 

Housing Affordability: Our neighborhoods should have safe and affordable housing so everyone has a roof over their head and can stay in their community, and where people aren’t displaced by major developers or bought out by corporate landlords. We need local leaders in our county and city to take bold action so that:
  • Public and affordable housing is accessible where we don’t sit on waitlists for years and we invest in innovative approaches like Community Land Trusts, social housing, and shared ownership, as well as providing dignified housing and shelter for people who are unhoused
  • rents don’t jump so much we have to move yet again and our homes are maintained in good condition with enforcement to make sure landlords have to adhere to rental housing standards
  • tenants are protected from predatory landlords and unjust evictions through county-supported mediation and direct rental assistance
  • we build new housing close to great transit and protected from sea level rise and zoning regulations support housing density, such as allowing accessory dwelling units
Climate Action: We must protect our natural ecosystem, adapt to rising seas, invest in renewable energy, and protect local residents from flooding and climate emergencies. We need local leaders in our county and city to take bold action so that:
  • the Everglades and Biscayne Bay are protected and we hold the line to protect green space, sustainable agriculture, and drinking water
  • our infrastructure is upgraded to weather rising seas and stronger storms to reduce flooding and stormwater runoff pollution, prioritizing communities most vulnerable to risk
  • young people are trained and employed in good green jobs that support the energy transition and climate resilience 
  • emissions from transit and buildings are reduced by investing in public transit, requiring low emission regulations on all future construction, and transitioning as many buildings as possible to solar and renewable energy 
Community Safety: From Homestead to Hialeah, Liberty City to Miami Gardens, every resident should be safe from gun violence and police violence, and every resident should have access to services for mental health, support with immigration, and services for diversion and re-entry. We need local leaders in our county and city to take bold action so that:
  • Community-based crisis response workers or social workers are available and called for emergencies so we stop calling on police and using the jail system as our community mental health provider 
  • there are social workers in every library to provide access to care and resources and increased programs so youth can access opportunities and community members, including those who don’t have housing, have increased access to support and resources
  • incarceration is reduced through early intervention, diversion, and re-entry services and we expand the civil citation program to reduce needless arrests
  • immigrants are actively welcomed and given the tools to thrive in our county, including support with citizenship, legal support, and multilingual services
Public Parks, Libraries and Transit: Whether you’re 6 or 60, a renter or a homeowner, every resident should be able to get to an amazing public park or library that’s ten minutes from home, accessible every day and well-resourced – and it shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes to catch the bus or train no matter where we live. We need local leaders in our county and city to take bold action so that:
  • libraries are open seven days a week, with funded social workers, community programming, and can run on solar while serving as resilience hubs to support emergency preparedness
  • busses and trolleys arrive on time and bus stops protect people from sun and rain with comfortable benches while we wait, and the metrorail is finally extended across the county so we can get more cars off the road and residents don’t need to go into debt to own a car
  • we design and invest in walkable and bikeable cities where pedestrians feel safe, have shade from tree canopies, bike lanes actually protect cyclists and there’s a trash can for waste on every block so our streets stay clean
  • public parks are maintained in every neighborhood with access to swimming pools, free summer programs, and activities for all providing green space that is welcoming and promotes habitat and climate resilience
Economic Opportunity: Every resident should have the opportunity to open or grow their businesses in the neighborhoods they grew up in, have access to training and apprenticeships to grow in a career, and be protected in the workplace, while we invest in and protect locally-owned and worker-owned businesses. We need local leaders in our county and city to take bold action so that:
  • small businesses and entrepreneurial programs have real support, including access to capital, help navigating government processes, technical assistance, and mentorship
  • workers can build wealth and increase their ownership of businesses through investment in and incubation of worker-owned cooperatives
  • labor laws are actively enforced to protect workers, and there are requirements to hire local and contract local whenever possible, especially when developers and businesses get tax breaks or county funding
  • every resident has access to quality apprenticeship and job training initiatives creating a pipeline to new careers
Public Education: Every student deserves access to a well-resourced public school, where teachers are paid like the leaders they are, books are never banned, LGBTQ and immigrant students are supported and celebrated, and Black history and sex ed are taught like students have a right to learn. We need local leaders in our county and city to take bold action so that:
  • no books get pulled from the shelves, Black history is never censored, comprehensive sex education is taught fully, and queer and trans students and staff are always safe and supported
  • every school is well maintained, has multiple extracurriculars to choose from, students have equal access to AP courses, and there’s a good meal at school for every student who needs it, so access to opportunities isn’t based on zip code or wealth and restorative justice practices help break the school-to-prison pipeline
  • students are prepared to be the civic leaders of the future, explore issues of importance, understand our changing climate, and are ready to vote and advocate in our community
  • teachers aren’t overworked and underpaid and we can recruit and retain talented teachers and staff for public schools
Democracy and Voting Rights: Whether residents are eligible to vote or not, everyone deserves the right to have a voice in our community, and every eligible voter should have the opportunity to register and cast their ballot, closing the turnout gap between generations, and increasing fair representation for all. We need local leaders in our county and city to take bold action so that:
  • every eligible voter is asked to register, including pre-registration in high schools, active outreach in jails, and year round voter registration and vote-by-mail drives to reach every potential voter
  • districts are drawn fairly with public input and increased representation and power of underrepresented voters, and racial and political gerrymandering is a thing of the past
  • budgets for our cities, county, and schools are created with community input to make sure that resources are going where they are most needed, and residents have a voice and choice in how our tax dollars are spent
  • early voting sites are open with the maximum amount of time, with early voting sites on as many college campuses as possible, and voters are always protected from intimidation

Year in, year out, and most importantly, year round, we’re here building power and building our platform because the young people of Miami don’t stop, and we won’t give up on us. We’ve shown up to county budget hearings and local elections every year because our generation is impacted the most by the policies and budgets passed at the local level. 

Count on us, count on each other, and count the years:

  • Founded in 2015, Engage was created by millennials who had been organizing informally for years, and were tired of sitting on the political sidelines while dynasties and developers wrote the rules and ran the maps.
  • From 2016 – 2017, we registered voters, held monthly meetings, and built an organization to be a real vehicle for change led by and for young people committed to justice, sustainability, and democracy at the local level. 
  • In 2018, we realized the power of the county budget, advocating for and winning additional early voting sites on college campuses, our first major budget victory!
  • In 2019, we held monthly meetings and working groups, and worked with members and partners to align on the top issues impacting young people and research the impacts and root causes, while building out our locally focused political education to shine a light on the power of local governance.
  • In 2020, we unveiled our platform: the Young People’s Policy Priorities, our vision for change at the local level, including housing, transit, climate action, community safety, and democracy done right. Thousands turned out to the Miami-Dade County Budget hearings to demand investment in real solutions that support communities, speaking to the racialized harms of policing and incarceration.
  • In 2021, we advocated for fair districts at the local level and demanded investment in the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, Office of the Tenant Advocate, increased funding for mental health resources, and alternatives to incarceration.
  • In 2022, we added education to our platform, because our public schools, teachers, and students are under attack, and our school board’s actions affect us all. 
  • In 2023, we dug into the importance of public libraries as key resources for our neighborhoods that impact all the issues we care about and advocated for full investmentment in housing, climate action, and social workers in libraries to connect communities to resources and support.
  • In 2024, after surveying hundreds of young people across the county, we’re updating our platform to include economic opportunity, and including public parks, libraries, and transit to reflect the importance of our social infrastructure and public spaces.