With everyone focused on the upcoming Presidential Election, Miami Dade County voters should not lose sight of the very important election coming up in just six days (Tuesday, August 18th). Below are my recommendations for the offices up in my area (Miami Beach). I hope this is helpful to friends and family.
STATE ATTORNEY, 11TH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
For the first time in a long time, I am very excited about our choice for State Attorney. While Fernandez Rundle has done some good things in her 27 years in office, it is time for new leadership in this important office that is ready to rise to the task of reforming our criminal justice system to address the systemic issues that plague communities of color and the less privileged. Not only does Melba have the resume to run this important position (16 years as a prosecutor in the DA's office, past president of the National Black Prosecutors Association and the Gwen S. Cherry Black Women Lawyers Association in South Florida, and former Deputy Director of the ACLU of Florida), she also has a bold plan for reforming the State Attorney's office. Highlights include tackling public corruption, creating a prosecutorial unit specifically tasked with investigating and prosecuting crimes by the police, ending the cash bond requirement for most non-violent offenders, addressing disparities between how white and black children are charged for the same crimes, and so much more. At a time when so many people are asking, "what can I do to advance the Black Lives Matter movement?", electing progressive prosecutors like Melba is one of the most important things we can do to immediately affect real change in our local community. Please join me in enthusiastically supporting Melba Pearson for State Attorney.
DANIELLA LEVINA CAVA
Danielle Levine Cava is the obvious progressive choice for Mayor of Miami Dade County. A brilliant and compassionate leader with great experience on our County Commission, Levine Cava is the best woman for the job in a field crowded with conservative men. I thought the Herald endorsement gave a great explanation of why she is the right choice: https://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/editorials/article244497367.html
Bottom line: Levine Cava has a history of dedication to fighting for the poor and disenfranchised as an attorney and has good ideas about how to accelerate small businesses, increase affordable housing, invest in public transportation, enact criminal justice reform, and prepare for climate change. Daniella is a dynamic and intelligent leader who will bring people together in our community. I am proud to support her candidacy.
SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER, DISTRICT 3
This is a tough race, with several very compelling and talented persons running who would make excellent School Board members. After much reflection, however, I believe the best person for this position is Rus Rywell. This is a very personal race for me because these individuals are running to replace Dr. Martin Karp, my teacher for six years during elementary school at the Biscayne Elementary gifted program and my friend and mentor who I helped get elected to this office as a campaign coordinator 16 years ago. It seems fitting to me that this spot on the board would go from one beloved teacher, Dr. Karp, to another, Mr. Rywell, currently a teacher at Beach High. After an impressive career in the private sector, Rus returned to his native Miami Beach, where he has had great success working with students. Rus has been endorsed by many prominent groups including United Teachers of Dade. For more on Rus, please check out the Miami Herald endorsement he received here: https://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/editorials/article244331142.html
(Resource: https://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/editorials/article244758887.html - I will only offer comments where my recommendation differs)
11TH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT COURT
OLANIKE "NIKE" ADEBAYO
RODRICK "ROD" VEREEN
THOMAS J. REBULL
DAVA J. TUNIS
11TH JUDICIAL COUNTY COURT JUDGES
Mr. Garcia is 84 years old and has held this position for over a decade. His challenger, who has worked beneath him in his office for the last 5 years, wants to make the Property Appraiser more accessible to citizens and will bring new energy to this important job. I believe it is time to support a qualified new leader for this position.
DEMOCRATIC COUNTY EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE, DISTRICT 16