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Jackson Health System to step up bond campaign

@dchangmiami

Officials for Jackson Health System vowed this week to step up the campaign to persuade Miami-Dade voters to vote ‘Yes’ in November on an $830 million upgrade for the county’s public hospital system to be financed by a property tax hike.

Darryl Sharpton, chairman of the Public Health Trust that runs Jackson, told Miami-Dade commissioners on Thursday that the campaign was gearing up for a big launch.

“In the next couple of days, that ramp up should be very obvious,” Sharpton said, though he did not give details.

The campaign’s fundraising committee, Citizens for a Healthy Miami-Dade, has raised more than $1 million since July.

Separately, Jackson’s employee unions also are supporting campaign, spending their own money to have airplanes pull banners urging football fans at Sun Life Stadium for Saturday’s University of Miami Hurricanes football game and Sunday’s Miami Dolphins game to “Vote Yes.’’

“We’re starting our campaign,” Martha Baker, president of SEIU Local 1991, which represents Jackson’s nurses and other healthcare professionals, told commissioners.

--DANIEL CHANG

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