Leaders from across South Florida gathered at the Hard Rock Stadium at the end of last week to celebrate the naming of the Ronald L. Book Pedestrian Tunnel.
Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, Miami Gardens Mayor Rodney Harris, Florida Senate Democratic Leader Lauren Book, D-Plantation, state Sen. Jason Pizzo, D-Miami, Miami Dolphins CEO Tom Garfinkle, Florida Panthers General Manager Bill Zito, Miami-Dade Commissioner Oliver Gilbert, former state Sen. Oscar Braynon and members of the Miami Gardens City Council and the Broward and Miami-Dade County Commission helped honor the longtime lobbyist.
“I am proud to be able to ensure pedestrian safety at such a special place in our community and truly humbled to receive this honor from my hometown City Council,” said Book. “I grew up in North Dade County, doing my local paper route and reading front-page news about the Miami Dolphins at a time when my family couldn’t afford tickets – now, I’m lucky enough to be a part of the ‘Fins family and take my kids and grandkids to games. I can’t wait to walk under the tunnel with my family, knowing we’ll all be able to cross safely and cheer our team to victory.”
The Miami Gardens City Council voted to name the pedestrian tunnel after Book following his work with Braynon and Miami Dade County Commissioner Oliver Gilbert to secure funding for the Hard Rock Pedestrian Safety Improvement Projects. Those projects include two bridges and two tunnels to enhance pedestrian safety at the stadium.
“I believe this tunnel has saved lives that we’ll never know about,” said Garfinkle. “Thank you, Ron, for your work to make this public-private partnership possible.”
For more than 40 years, Book has served as a top-tier specialist in governmental affairs and administrative law. His career spans from serving as Director and Special Counsel for the office of Cabinet and Legislative Affairs under former Gov. Bob Graham to now leading his own award-winning lobbying firm. Book is also an active participant in the South Florida community, serving as the chairman of the Miami-Dade Homeless Trust for more than two decades, a trustee of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Broward Sheriff’s Advisory Council, and an active Board Member for the Mourning Family Foundation, Best Buddies, and Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, among others. Book also serves as the chairman of the Lauren’s Kids Foundation, a charitable entity founded with his daughter Lauren to prevent childhood sexual abuse through education and awareness and help survivors heal with guidance and support.