About The Event


Our American way of life is based on a constitutionally provided system of checks and balances.  We thrive on the competition of ideas and our ability to openly and respectfully argue those ideas, allowing for opportunities to come together for compromise and collaboration. As in sports, we assertively compete under shared rules with referees to help us facilitate their enforcement. When we allow for a system of ideas under competition without umpires, America crumbles.

Many Americans are concerned with the tone and substance of the current political landscape. Our basic constitutional values are being undermined by direct and often public challenges to our democratic institutions.  Our courts are being disparaged at the highest levels, our cherished free press is being questioned, sometimes harshly, putting journalists in physical danger, while at other times blurring the lines between fact and political hyperbole. Additionally, there seems to be a growing indifference by some to the rule of law.

Overarching, however, is our belief in and commitment to a process by which we secure a democratic way of life that is far more important than any one policy or point of view.  A political environment where every man, woman and interest group is out only for themselves is potentially dangerous for all of us, regardless of our personal ideology.

Our ability as Americans to differentiate between what is policy, ideology and values is at the core of a healthy democracy. While we can support wildly different policy solutions to our country’s challenges, espouse different ideological perspectives reflecting fundamentally different approaches to running our country, utmost, as Americans, we share a set of core values and guiding principles that provide the framework for the health and vitality of our civic infrastructure, which throughout American history have served us as pillars of strength, as they must do now when facing the many challenges ahead.

In recognition of that imperative, a broad section of notable leaders in Miami-Dade have come together and agreed on the below set of stated values. They are not meant to be all- inclusive.

Throughout our history, Americans have been willing to self-evaluate and reflect on our democratic values and take action in order to strengthen our constitution’s practice and the unalienable rights it was meant to protect. History is filled with those moments of collective reflection.  They were evident in our decision to enter a world war, support suffragists in their fight to vote, begin to reassess our relationship with each other during the civil rights movement or in our more recent questioning of established political structures by the creation of the Tea Party movement.

While the past has taught us invaluable lessons about securing our freedoms, our greatest opportunity to ensure democracy for the future is now. “Democracy Lives in Miami” is an effort to bring us together as a community to remind us that our country is only as good as our ability to continually question our alignment to our shared democratic values and re-adjust accordingly.

Stated Shared Values

  • Core democratic values are the fundamental beliefs and constitutional principles of Americans. Attacks on the values and institutional protections that safeguard our freedoms are neither liberal nor conservative, they are un-American.
  • Both government and the governed should be subject to the rule of law.
  • American democracy depends on our government and its citizens telling the truth.
  • In a democracy, offering points of view and citing evidence as part of genuine discourse is a foundational principle of community and the engine for healthy politics, economics, and culture.
  • When correcting wrongs or making decisions, we expect justice.  When we can depend on being treated fairly, we become part of something bigger- a democratic community.
  • America is a nation of different races, cultures, genders, and identities united under the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law.
  • Being patriotic means acting on a commitment to our country, and our shared stated values.