Jose "Pepe" Diaz, Commissioner, Miami-Dade County, Florida
The Challenge: With the bad economy, Diaz's constituents seemed frustrated. "People were calling my office and screaming at my staff for little things," he says.
How He Tackled It: The day before Valentine's Day, Diaz kicked off 14 Days of Neighborly Love: Inspiring Random Acts of Kindness. Local companies offered residents everything from cheap gas to free spa facials and marriage counseling services in hopes that every beneficiary would, in turn, do something kind for another person.
The Happy Result: Diaz still hears from residents who took on small but meaningful tasks like volunteering to walk a neighbor's dog. "One county can't fix everything," he says, "but we can still try."—Wendy Grossman Kantor