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The upcoming general election is quickly approaching us on August 18. Miami-Dade County residents will elect a new Mayor, which will bring new leadership to the county and can even be historic if the first woman is elected mayor..

Here at Hy-Lo News, we want to provide you with a voters guide about who will be on your ballet vying for the Miami-Dade County Mayor vote. Although most media attention is given to the Presidential election, we want you to know local elections are crucial for you to participate in. The Black and Brown vote matters on all levels. The Miami-Dade County Commission makes decisions that will affect you and the people around you daily.

The Role and Responsibilities of the Miami-Dade County Mayor

According to MiamiDade.gov, the Mayor shall serve as head of the county government with the following specific powers and responsibilities that include being responsible for the management of all administrative departments of county government; they shall carry out policies adopted by the county commission; sign bonds and appoint all department directors of the administrative departments of the county. To view the full list of powers and responsibilities of the Miami-Dade County Mayor, click here.

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Candidate research and reporting completed in partnership with The Culture.


Miami-Dade Mayoral Candidates

Daniella Levine Cava

BIOGRAPHY

Born in New York and raised partly in Latin America, I received my bachelor’s degree in psychology with honors from Yale University and graduate degrees in law and social work from Columbia University. I moved to my husband’s hometown of Miami in the 1980s and have spent the last 40 years in Miami-Dade being a force for good. First through Legal Services of Greater Miami, the Guardian Ad Litem program and the Department of Children and Families, then by starting the nonprofit Catalyst Miami, and finally as your South Dade Commissioner and your voice in County Hall. Throughout my life, I have been guided by the desire to give back to my community and stand up against the status quo to protect our environment, expand public transit, support working families, and hold special interests accountable. I’m running for Miami-Dade County Mayor to be the first woman mayor of our County, to lead through this pandemic, and to come out on the other side addressing our broken transit system, a rampant affordability crisis, and the imminent threat of climate change. As Mayor, I’ll build a broad, diverse coalition to face these issues and bring a brighter future to Miami-Dade.

IF ELECTED, WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE ACCOMPLISHED?

The spread of COVID-19 has highlighted many of the issues that are most pressing and that we must tackle in order to deliver a better future for all Miami-Dade’s residents. To address the existing affordability problem exacerbated by the virus, we can ensure our employees are paid a living wage, that we improve and expand affordable housing offerings, and that our public transit gives them access to more jobs and opportunities around the county. To improve transit, we must address reliability issues and create new corridors to connect economic opportunity with populations around the county. Lastly, we must prepare the county for climate change that we are already witnessing. Larger storms, more frequent floods, and hotter summers will pose issues especially for our most disadvantaged residents – we must do a better job of preparing ourselves and our county to mitigate these changes and protect vulnerable populations from their effects. Addressing our County’s affordability crisis, improving our public transit offerings, and transforming Miami-Dade into a climate leader are three of the most important priorities I will have as Mayor. That’s why I’ve already released a SECURE plan relating how we should approach the COVID crisis, and an EMPOWER plan to reinvigorate some of our forgotten communities including by addressing police accountability. I’ll be your Mayor with a plan and set forth from day one to deliver on these promises.

Learn more about Daniella Levine Cava via her Website – Instagram – Twitter – Facebook

Monique Nicole Barley

BIOGRAPHY

Born and raised in Miami Florida, I’m 37 years old. The schools I’ve attended we’re Lorah Park Elementary School, Miami Springs Middle, Horach Mann Middle, Miami Northwestern Senior High,Florida Memorial and ASA College. I’m a certified Medical Biller and Coder. I’m currently seeking my degree in Business Administration at Miami Dade Community College which is put on hold during the election. In 2011 i Started my very own Debt Collection Agency. I’m a debt buyer.The reason behind the purchase of charge off debts is to help consumers restore their credit by allowing them to settle at an affordable percentage. I’m the founder of Broken But Healed foundation i started the foundation in 2005 the name at the time was B.A.R.L.E.Y and it stood for Bettering America by remembering and Loving every Youth. However i decided to change the name to Broken But healed because no matter the age there’s always someone in this cold world that was once broken and somehow healed. My foundation service domestic violence victims rather male or female and i also service veterans. While i lived in North Carolina i decided to become a member of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce. Business Board. I dedicated my time to feeding the families at the Salvation Army. And made Christmas happen to families that lived in transition homes. In 2016 after becoming the office manager for former State Representative Roy Hardemon i decided to run for office. I didn’t know what office i wanted to run for until i found the one that best fits my experience. The County Mayor is a overseer and handles big projects with a big budget. I was always told to aim high and this is what I’m doing aiming high. My experience in accountant and Human Resources gives me the opportunity to demonstrate my skills. My heart is deeply into providing a better quality of life for all. My top project is economic development, I’m looking to give opportunities by creating jobs which will then decrease gun violence. By creating jobs will also give our residents an opportunity to live affordable. Another project i want to accomplish is to create a self sufficient program which will in detail help our resident with financial Literacy. And to help them become first time home owners. We need more home owners in our county. I hope when you fill out your ballot don’t think about the rich candidates think about the ones who’s running because it’s a passion and that we are true public service workers. I’m working for you and I’m looking forward to delivering excellence everyday.

IF ELECTED, WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE ACCOMPLISHED?

 Better transportation Economic development Affordable housing- a program to help low income families to become self sufficient and teach financial literacy to help families to become first time home buyers.

Learn more about Monique Nicole Barley via her Instagram – Facebook

Alexander “Alex” Penelas

BIOGRAPHY

Penelas, an American of Cuban descent, attended college at St. Thomas University. In 1985, he received his law degree from the University of Miami School of Law, where he graduated Cum Laude and was inducted into the University’s Iron Arrow Honor Society. Penelas and his wife, Lilliam, have two adult sons, William and Christopher , and a younger daughter, Alexandra. Alex Penelas served on the city council of Hialeah, Florida, from 1987 to 1990. In 1990, he was elected to serve as a county commissioner in Dade County. On October 1, 1996, Penelas became the first countywide elected Strong Mayor of Dade County (renamed Miami-Dade County in 1997).

IF ELECTED, WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE ACCOMPLISHED?

I intend to launch a bold and comprehensive agenda to foster engagement, inclusivity, transformation, and success for Miami-Dade’s Black residents, businesses, and their historic communities. The focal points of this effort will include policing and gun violence, economic equity, neighborhood affordability, healthcare, and County contracting.

Learn more about Alex Penelas via his Website – Twitter – Facebook

Ludmilla Domond

BIOGRAPHY

On May 22, 1978, a beautiful baby girl was born to Odette Magalie Romelus and Joseph Domond in Port Au Prince, Haiti.  The name given to her was, Ludmilla Domond. In February 1986, during the same time Jean Claude Duvalier fled Haiti, the three Domond sisters entered the land of the free, through the gates of Miami by way of Eastern Airlines.  Ludmilla Domond was only seven years old and started school in Holmes Elementary in the heart and inner city of Miami. In 1987, Ludmilla begin her second-grade year at North Miami Elementary and continued her schooling until the end of her eight-grade year. In the summer before her ninth-grade year, Ludmilla moved to Brooklyn, New York where she lived with her mother’s side of her family. As a new student at John Dewey High School, Ms. Domond’s love for school increased as she excelled academically. In April 1995, Ludmilla was forced to move back to Miami after the death of her mother in Haiti. There in Miami, Ludmilla completed her high school at North Miami Senior High.

Ludmilla Domond furthered her education at Florida International University in the summer of 1997. She obtained a Bachelor’s in Science in International Business and Management and then further her education at Saint Thomas University where she will be completing a Master’s of Arts in Pastoral Ministry with a focus in Education.  Ludmilla has already made her decision to continue her education at Saint Thomas University where she has already been accepted into the phd program where she will be receiving her phd in Ethical Leadership and Education.  Thus far, if her drive to further her education does not lay it out for you clearly, Ludmilla has a strong passion for education and to educate the youth of Miami-Dade county.

IF ELECTED, WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE ACCOMPLISHED?

​Improve community safety, improve school safey, affordable hosuing for all, ending domestic violene & human trafficakling, better education, create a better transit mobility.

Learn more about Ludmilla Domond via her Website – Instagram – Facebook

Xavier Louis Suarez

BIOGRAPHY

Xavier Louis Suarez is an American politician in Miami who was the first Cuban-born mayor of Miami and is currently a Miami-Dade county commissioner. Suarez was first elected mayor in 1985. He was re-elected in 1987 and again in 1989 for a four-year term. Suarez was highly regarded as mayor of Miami. As the mayor of Miami, Florida Xavier Suárez, declared “Yahweh ben Yahweh Day” on October 7, 1990. According to a March 30, 1993 article in the Miami Herald, “In 1989, [Suárez] won national admiration when he waded through hostile crowds in Overtown during civil disturbances to try to make peace.” Suarez cited the construction of 1,500 affordable homes as one of his “proudest achievements” during his tenure. He was also given the name “pothole mayor” for his attention to city neighborhoods. In 1993 Suarez got the Latin Builder’s Association to donate $150,000 to rebuild the only Catholic elementary school in Overtown. He decided not to run again in 1993 in order to spend more time with his family. He returned to practice law in Miami before he decided to run again in November 1997 and was re-elected. Suarez was elected as a Miami-Dade County Commissioner for District 7 on May 24, 2011 and was re-elected by a 44 point margin on August 30, 2016. During his tenure as commissioner, Suarez continued to advocate for affordable housing, as well as workforce development programs and funding for public transit.

Learn more about Xavier Louis Suarez via his Twitter – Facebook

Carlos De Armas

BIOGRAPHY

Carlos De Armas is a former Banker, Entrepreneur, and Consultant, who has decided to run for Mayor of Miami-Dade to work on those issues already due for decades. Carlos holds a Master’s degree from FIU, a undergraduate degree in Business Administration & Finance, and studies of Electronic Engineering. Carlos De Armas is the father of three children (14. 12, and 10). He was born and raised in Colombia and living in Miami since 2005.

IF ELECTED, WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE ACCOMPLISHED?

I have drafted a comprehensive and ambitious government plan based on information gathered for more than a years from around five thousand people. Such plan is designed to resolve those 20. 40, or 40 years old, already due, issues in housing, transportation, social tissue, education, safety, environment, etc. 

Learn more about Carlos De Armas via his WebsiteInstagram – Facebook

Esteban L. Bovo, Jr.

BIOGRAPHY

Esteban L. Bovo, Jr. was born on June 12, 1962 in Queens, New York to Marilyn and Esteban Bovo-Carás. As a member of the 2506 Brigade, Esteban Bovo’s father instilled in his son the value of fighting for justice while his mother taught him the importance of compassion and service to the community. Esteban Bovo has been a proud resident of Miami-Dade County for over 47 years and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Florida International University. He is married to Viviana and has five children; Oscar, Bianca, Esteban, Sofia, and Alessandro. Esteban L. Bovo, Jr. was elected in 2011 to serve as the Miami-Dade County Commissioner representing District 13, which includes Hialeah, Miami Lakes, Palm Springs North, and neighboring areas of unincorporated Miami-Dade. On December 6th, 2016 Commissioner Bovo was elected Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners for the 2017-2018 term.

IF ELECTED, WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE ACCOMPLISHED?

Oppose and veto any effort that increases property taxes and/or seeks to raise the millage rate. • Eliminate cronyism and “pay to play” culture that has corrupted contracts, such as Miami International Airport. • Govern with integrity by keeping the promises made to our residents. • Eliminate NO bid contracts, by requiring transparency and fairness in the procurement process. • Oppose all managed toll lanes on 826 (the Palmetto). • Keep our neighborhoods and schools safe. • Protect our Beaches and Everglades for our quality of life and prosperity. • Work with the State and Federal partners to address water quality issues; and put forth a serious transit expansion plan.

Learn more about Esteban L. Bovo, Jr. via his WebsiteInstagram – FacebookTwitter

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Remember to cast your vote for the Miami-Dade State Attorney candidates on August 18, 2020. You can also vote by mail to avoid the crowds during this pandemic. Be sure to check your voter’s registration card to see where your voting location will be and it’s hours. And know it doesn’t matter who you vote for, just know that your vote matters — Black Votes Matter!

Click here to read our full voters guide and the elections we’ll be covering this 2020 season. If there is an election we should be paying attention to, please email us at hylonews@gmail.com

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The article was written by Janey Tate. Follow Hy-Lo News Editor-in-Chief on Twitter @Janey_TateFacebook, and Instagram.

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1 comment on “Meet the 6 Candidates Vying for the Office of Miami-Dade Mayor

  1. Pingback: All You Need to Know About Miami-Dade County Elections Powered by Hy-Lo News, Black Collective & The Culture

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