Watch CBS News

Man On A Mission: Miami Mayor Francis Suarez's Movement To Bring Big Tech To The Magic City Enters National Spotlight

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami's mayor is a man on a mission.

Francis Suarez is promoting Miami as the place to relocate, especially if you're a big tech company.

The high-profile effort has grabbed national headlines, like Thursday morning on CBS This Morning.

His interview was four minutes and 35 seconds of invaluable promotion for the Magic City.

"People will often counter-brand Miami. They'll say, 'Well, Miami is just a, you know, a hospitality town,' or, 'It's just a retirement place,' or, 'This is just a moment in time.' And for me, this is a movement," he said.

It's a movement that has put Suarez on cable news business channels, the Wall Street Journal and Forbes. He's gotten national and international attention for using Twitter and other social media platforms. His face-to-face meetings with high-tech and startup entrepreneurs.

"We elect the mayor as our spokesperson to sell the city to the rest of the county as a safe place to visit," said FIU professor Dario Marino, a veteran political observer and pollster. "To sell the city to the rest of the world as a place where you can do business."

The CBS This Morning story certainly detailed that, featuring a New Yorker who made the move from the Big Apple to the Magic City. It's a constant theme championed by Mayor Suarez.

"I've seen a growing, sort of, ecosystem of talent pools coming here to Miami over the last couple of months," said Jason Richman.

Richman works for Denver-based data company SafeGraph. But he's working remotely from a balcony in Miami.

"Trying' to figure out where can I go somewhere warm with low taxes, healthy lifestyle – and this was the natural choice," he said.

That's been the Suarez message for months, which once again played out for a national audience.

"You have to walk a fine line when you are out there, when you are doing the CBS interviews," said Marino.

Because there is a city to watch over, full of pot holes – both political and real – that can quickly turn ugly at Miami city hall.

"He has avoided the snake pit that we see at Dinner Key," Marino said. "It shows the mayor's real power and influence is the bully pulpit."

Selling the city hard means lots of attention, and the question always comes up:

"Maybe the first Latino president?" correspondent Enrique Acevedo asked Suarez.

"You never know," he responded.

Will the vision of a high-tech Miami propel Suarez to a higher office? Professor Marino reminds that no Miami mayor has achieved higher office – not governor, not senator.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.