Governing Magazine recently presented their Public Official of the Year Award for Outstanding and Difficult Achievement while in public office to eight leaders across the US, including our own Ana Gelabert-Sanchez.

Photo by Marina Khoury, DPZ

Ms. Gelabert, Director of Planning for the City of Miami under former Mayor Manny Diaz, was hailed as “the Code Breaker,” a public servant “inspirational and immensely dedicated to making the city a better place for its citizens”. She was recognized not simply for great service but for a tremendous accomplishment in the face of tremendous adversity. Here at, we remember the incredible challenges she faced in bringing us Miami21 and we know there could hardly be a more deserving recipient.

We will point out that among her colleagues receiving this award was Mick Cornett, Mayor of Oklahoma City, whose progressive work installing sidewalks and bike-trails throughout the city’s downtown contributed to a collective loss of more than 1,000lbs among his now healthier and happier residents. His award-winning livability track record has also made him one of the most popular mayors in the city’s history – and only the third to ever be re-elected to a third term.

This is a message to leaders across the country: your colleagues are watching and what impresses them is work that promotes healthier, happier, more connected communities.

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One Response to Governing Magazine Recognizes Gelabert-Sanchez, Miami 21

  1. for the public says:

    This is a story that I have to cry and cheer. Miami 21 began as the closest thing to planning the planning department has ever done. Not because they wanted to but rather we had a great visionary mayor that mandated it. Unfortunately, this has already began to unravel. Leading the planning department in miami is no small task of legal and political manuevering. ask the current director about his first time through the machine. however, i’m saddened that this national award goes to one person that did so much to prevent the public from planning and help developers attorneys and politicians. in the end yes miami 21 passes and i guess just like miami 21 was not a pure planning exercise at the end neither was mrs gelebert a pure planner for the public interest. maybe its the city we live in, maybe its the culture we became, maybe its just south of america, but its a bittersweet day.


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