[OPINION] Hispanicize Founder to Miami Beach Mayor: Technology hub is not fad or ‘dumb idea’ for the region

 Tech and social media leader Manny Ruiz, founder of the South Florida’s largest annual tech and social media event Hispanicize 2014 (http://www.HispanicizeEvent.com), issued a statement today in response to remarks Miami Beach Mayor Phil Levine made this week at the U.S. Conference of Mayors where he said that the blossoming tech scene in his city is “the dumbest idea in the world.” In yesterday’s Washington Post story titled “Miami Beach mayor: Take your tech start-up gospel, and shove it”, Levine added that “People cling on to things that are not the highest and best use for their city. Miami Beach is never going to be a high tech hub. As much as it sounds great, it’s sexy, that’s not who we are.”

The following statement was issued by Ruiz, chairman of the Hispanicize platforms that also includes the Latina Mom Bloggers network, Being Latino, Hispanicize Wire, Hispanicize.com and the Hispanic PR Blog:

“As one of the region’s most visible champions for creating a strong tech scene in South Florida and the organizer of an event that brings millions of dollars to the region, Hispanicize is flabbergasted that the mayor of one of the nation’s most prominent cities believes that technology, innovation, high paying jobs, economic strength, a better education system and higher tourism dollars amount to a ‘dumb idea’.”

“Every city in the world would be the envy of Miami Beach and South Florida if we were to fuse the beauty and weather of our precious region with the power, creativity, education and innovation of technology. How can being a ‘smarter place to live and work,’ possibly be “dumb?”

“As a 44-year-old, lifelong South Floridian and former reporter I have never seen a local elected official go out of their way to nationally attack a movement that so positively moves us towards progress. Mayor Levine claims a technology hub would distract his city from its historic dependence on tourism but that seems like a copout. It takes vision to propel a city into a future that is not solely dependent on tourism and the way things have always been.”

“Today Hispanicize calls on all South Florida political, tourism and business leaders as well as Miami Beach’s own elected officials to stand with us and other tech leaders in decrying Mayor Levine’s remarks. Building a hub for technology in our region is critical to South Florida’s long-term growth, prosperity and tourism.

“We sincerely hope that the rest of the nation and the world know that Mayor Levine’s words do not in any way reflect the passionate commitment many of us here are making to cultivate a technology-friendly landscape for South Florida.

“Sincerely, Manny Ruiz.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: To request an interview with Mr. Ruiz about this topic, tech or Hispanicize 2014 in general, please email the media relations contact listed below.