News: Diaz also hired a new police chief, John Timoney, who was a top police official in both New York and Philadelphia, to help improve the department's reputation after corruption scandals in the late 1990s.
And Miami, which had the nation's highest poverty rate in 2001, had improved to No. 5 on that list as of 2003, according to the Census Bureau.
George Gonzalez, a University of Miami political science professor, said many of those improvements can be attributed to the healthier nationwide economy. But Diaz stands to benefit.
'It's really hard to attribute improvement in the poverty rate to the mayor,' Gonzalez said. 'Diaz has the advantages of incumbency. The economy has been going pretty well. He can run on that.'
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