Michael Lopez is a junior at the Honors College at Florida International University studying Criminal Justice with a Pre-Law Certificate. Expecting to graduate in Spring 2021, he expects to continue his academic career in law school, acquiring his JD and LLM. Being the first child in his nuclear family to go to college, he has a long way to go, and a lot of Cubans to make proud. Seeking a career as a Federal Criminal Prosecutor and specializing in the Civil branch of Intellectual Property, he expects this Bachelor Degree and Honors College education to enlighten his path towards great things and certainly a more enriching cultural mindset.
Town of Miami Lakes
Urban Design and Map of Miami Lakes
The Town of Miami Lakes with a total area of 6.52 sq mi, 5.67 sq mi composed of land and 0.85 sq mi composed of water, is a beautiful town filled with art, parks and history. Miami Lakes is composed of communities following the rules of the architectural design of New Urbanism as well as its own touches of baroque art and architecture. An example of its baroque would be the Miami Lakes Nautilus street pattern which mixes with the baroque radial city plan as it begins to surround residential communities, connecting itself by a series of concentrically arranged streets. In regards to New Urbanism, one can see it by having pocket parks and transit emerging with conveniently located retail areas close enough to residential areas but far enough not to disturb the Miami Lakes peaceful ambiance.
Beginning its construction in 1962 under the Sengra Company (now known as Graham Companies), this land used to be owned by Florida State Senator Ernest “Cap” Graham. Senator Graham and his family promised the public that this novel development should take at least 30 years to develop, however, they would not realize that even today, Miami Lakes is still being renovated and constructed. The construction of the town began East to the Palmetto Expressway, under the management of Lester Collins, former Dean of the Harvard School of Architecture, he began designing it by creating tree shaped roadways and many curving lakes; this was seen as usual at the time, given that many of the surrounding areas had “treeless streets on a square and rectangular lakes” .
With many of the businesses and land being owned by the Grahams to this day, they have decided to continue this path to New Urbanism, by ensuring shopping and services to be located in a walking distance of residences as well as narrow walkable streets with a plethora of neighborhood parks. The Town of Miami Lakes was given credit for its many “neighborhood shopping centers, tot-lot parks and its town center named Main Street”.
Finally incorporated into the Miami-Dade County as its 31st municipality on December 5, 2000.
On April 23, 2013, the Town of Miami Lakes had a grand opening and ribbon cutting event for its new Town Hall, located at the East of Main Street.
Population and Demographics
The population of the Town of Miami Lakes is 30,791 according to the 2010 US Census, this is a great growth increase from its 9,809 citizens in 1980. From 2000 to 2010 the town saw an increase of 29.5%, overall, the town has a population density of 5,211.4 residents per sq mi. With a demographics, categorized as age by gender: Males above 65 being 15.1%, 18-65 being approximately 5.9%, under 18 being 21.8% and under 5 years old being 6.1%. There being more women than men, the Town of Miami Lakes has only recorded 51.1% of its population as being female, age distribution has not been recorded. A median age of 36 years is reported in the Town of Miami Lakes with an average household size of 2.75, and the average family size being of 3.21.
The Town of Miami Lakes reported in 2000 having a language variance of around 72.41% being Spanish, 24.65% being English, Portuguese being 0.67% and Urdu being 0.64%. As will be conveyed later, this incredible diversity and focus on the Hispanic culture and the Spanish language is a fruitful and great influence on the Town’s cultural background and traditions.
Parks and Greenery
Now, parks and greenery in the Town of Miami Lakes is an abundance to be seen, however, five of the most famous ones are: (1) Miami Lakes Optimist Park, (2) Country Villa Park, (3) Royal Oaks Park, (4) Picnic Park West, and the (5) Graham Park.
The Miami Lakes Optimist Park, perhaps the oldest park in the town, was built in 1969, and ever since it has been a symbol of the greenery and open spaces offered to the Town of Miami Lakes’ youth, providing them with not only a soccer and football field, but as well with more than one baseball field; perhaps the more ingenious thing is how it shares its Basketball court with the Miami Lakes Middle School right next door.
When not visiting the Optimist Park, the other famous park in the Town of Miami Lakes is the Royal Oaks Park, home to the Veteran Memorial, a 50-foot-long memorial created by artists Alfred Darmanin and Michelle Stecco, inside of the park which was officially inaugurated on Memorial Day of 2011.
Health and Transportation
In regards to transportation, the Town of Miami Lakes has one of the fastest travel times to work, according to the 2010 Census, the mean working travel time for working ages 16 and up between 2014-2018 was 29.4 minutes. Having six different bus routes: 29, 54, 73, 75, 135, and 267, the Miami Lakes public transportation is of imperative use, especially with not only the age demographics, but as well because of the rigorous traffic in the area during rush hours.
The Town of Miami Lakes reported in the 2010 Census as having in its population, residents with a disability, under age 65 years between 2014-2018 as 3.8%, and persons without health insurance, under age 65 years old as 12.1%.
However, despite its 12.1% uninsured residency, the Town of Miami Lakes reports more than 20 medical offices, especially Pediatric doctors, with offices such as The Pediatric Associates Miami Lakes as well as Kid Care Pediatricians.
Eateries, Museums and Social Gatherings
Unfortunately, there are no museums in the Miami Lakes area, however, besides the Veterans Memorial mentioned in this article, there are a plethora of eateries and social gathering areas.
With over 30 restaurants in the Town of Miami Lakes, ranging from Cuban, to Nicaraguan and Honduran to Peruvian, the Miami Lakes area has some of the most diverse options for food. As well as the famous fast food places such as Starbucks, Menchies, McDonalds, Burger King, Subway and Pizza Hutt.
In regards to social gathering areas, Main Street is the place to be. With its Cobb 17 Movie theatres, famous for its movie choices, it is also famous for seeing a wealth of teenagers during the weekends and late Friday nights to see movies and perhaps walk around to enjoy the scenery. Perhaps one of the more famous date areas in the town, Main Street has a lot of restaurant options, from El Novillo to Italy Today. Even if you are not there for a date, it is still a good place to go spend time with your friends, from walking around the Main Street Fountain, to going to the Cobb 17 movie theatre, to walking across 67th Street to the next batch of Main Street restaurants such as Ruby Tuesday.
From movies, to its surrounding shops (Pandora, Victoria Secret, etc.) to its abundant food places, Main Street is the number one hotspot for not only the youth of Miami Lakes but as well as the everyday family.
Economy, Businesses and Economic Disparity
In the Town of Miami Lakes, the average median household income is $73,527. With single men earning around $45,759 and women earning $31,656 from the years 2009-2013. With a poverty rate of 8%, the residents of Miami Lakes must be thankful for the towns many firms and offices, who are the main employers of the town. According to the 2010 Census, in 2012, there were 2,815 men owned firms, and 2,171 women owned firms, showing a great focal point of 4,620 firms who were owned by minorities.
Its civilian labor force comprises of 66.9% being residents ages 16 and up, yet, more impressively, its labor force is mostly comprised of women, with a whopping 60.2%. Reporting a sale of food and accommodations per $1,000 of 101,287 or a total revenue of $101,287,000, for healthcare and social assistance revenue as of 2012, $284,406,000 of revenue were reported. Perhaps its biggest industries, its merchant wholesaler sector reported $835,121,000 in revenue in 2012, and its manufacturing industry $578,124,000.
In regards to political ideology, the Town of Miami Lakes reports 61.65% of its residents being Democrats, 30% being Republican, and 8.35% being Independent. Between 2015-2018, there were around 1,355 contributions totaling $1,704,159 to Democratic and Liberal Campaigns, averaging $1,258 per contribution. For the Republican party, there were approximately $1,955,261 worth of contributions, averaging $2,704 per contributions, for a total of 723 contributions between 2015-2018.
In Federal elections however, the Town of Miami Lakes has voted in the last five elections as follows: 2000-Republican, 2004- Republican, 2008-Democrat, 2012-Republican, 2016-Republican.
Its current council membership is composed of Mayor Manny Cid, Vice Mayor Nelson Rodriguez (seat 1), Councilmember Seat 2 Jeffrey Rodriguez, Councilmember Seat 3 Marilyn Ruano, Councilmember Seat 4 Josh Dieguez, Councilmember Seat 5 Luis Collazo, and Councilmember Seat 6 Carlos Alvarez.
Religions and Places of Worship
In regards to religion, the Town of Miami Lakes has reported 40.6% of its population as religious, breaking it down as follows: 5.4% Baptist, 22.4% Roman Catholic, 0.5% Episcopalian, 0.3% Lutheran, 0.8% Methodist, 1.7% Pentecostal, 0.5% Presbyterian, 1.2% Judaism, 0.2% Orthodox Christian, 0.9% Muslim, 0.6% Church of Jesus Christ (Jehovah’s Witnesses). The vast majority of the religious denominations are part of the Christian religion, especially Catholic, having many churches such as Mother of Our Redeemer and Our Lady of the Lakes. Thus, there aren’t many mosques nor Jewish Temples in the area. The closest Jewish Temple can be found in Miramar in the Broward County, and the nearest Muslim Mosque can be found in Carol City.
According to a 2006 William Institute Study, the LGBTQ Community membership in Miami, thus Miami Lakes has no niched study, is estimated around 15, 777 individuals and 183, 346 in the Miami Dade County. As of 2015, 5,131 married same sex couples were reported, which conveys 0.92% of all marriages in the county. As such, the vast majority of the residents of not only the county, but as well as the Town of Miami Lakes, would describe their sexual orientation as straight.
Race and Ethnicity
According to the 2010 Census, the Town of Miami Lakes described its race demographics as being 91.7% White or Caucasian(including Hispanic) with its Hispanic percentage being 81.1%, 14.4% Non-Hispanic White or Caucasian, thus 3.3% Black or African American, 1.5% Asian, 0.1% Native American or Native Alaskan, 1.6% Two or more races, and 1.8% being Some other race. This phenomenal statistic showing an 81.1% Hispanic citizenry is astonishing compared to the vast majority of Miami Lakes other Municipality, in fact, Miami Dade County alone reports 65% of its Population being Hispanic; Hispanics in general are a mere 22.5% part of Florida’s Population. The Town of Miami Lakes, is one of the very few municipalities in the county that has a Hispanic majority, besides Hialeah of course.
According to the 2000 Census, Miami Lakes ranked the 22nd highest percentage of Arab residents in the US, with 1.10% of the entire US population. Furthermore, the town ranked as the 27th highest percentage of Colombian residents in the US, at 4.43% of the towns population, as well as 12th highest with Cuban residents, composing 42.28% of its population, and ranking 96th with Dominican residents in the US, illustrating 1.65% in its population as well as ranking 80th on Venezuelan residents, who compose 1.06% of its population.
As seen in the statistics mentioned above, the vast majority of the culture in the Town of Miami Lakes reprises that of Hispanics with Cubans, Dominicans, Venezuelans and Colombians having a prevailing impact in the surrounding culture of the town.
As seen in its restaurants, there are as well European and other Latin and Central American influences (Italian, Spanish, Mexican and Nicaraguan, respectively) in the town, yet, the town derives most of its influence from its Caribbean neighbors (Cubans, Dominicans, Puerto Ricans, etc.).
The education in the Town of Miami lakes has a mélange of public, private, charter and religious sectors. Yet in general, there is a report based on the 2010 Census of 89.9% of its residents being High School graduates, and 36.7% of its residents as having a Bachelor’s degree.
To summarize, from its diverse political, religious and ethnic residents to its plethora of parks and businesses, the Town of Miami Lakes is a wonderful and peaceful area for those looking to not only start a family but as well as retire.
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