Daniella Levine Cava arrived in South Florida more than 40 years ago. She never imagined she would run for office. She is now the head of a local government with over 28,000 employees, 3,000,000 residents and a budget of approximately $9 billion.
She began her career with Legal Services of Greater Miami as an attorney. In 1996, she founded Human Services Coalition to empower low and moderate-income families with tools that will help them overcome poverty.
She became the first woman to hold a public office as a commissioner of District 8. In that position, she was responsible for legislation ranging from environment protections and small business development to housing.
She describes her tenure as a year and a half in office. It is a year of leadership in crisis. She stated that we live in the moment and handle crises as they occur. She has had to deal with an inherited crisis, the ongoing pandemic. The Champlain Tower collapsed.
She stated that the June building collapse was something that we could not have imagined or predicted. We had support from all over the country and around the globe, and we coordinated all of it to do our best to help the families and survivors who lost loved ones.
The gun violence epidemic is a third crisis she has had to face. She stated that we have brought it under control thanks to the aggressive actions we took on both prevention and law enforcement. She continues to push for a more resilient Miami and Dade because climate change is a major concern. As a sign of how well we are planning around climate change, we have just been awarded the Gold LEED certificate by the US Green Building Council.
She was the first woman to be elected Miami-Dade mayor. She has also appointed many department heads.
With three years as mayor and the intention of serving a second term in the future, she already knows that equity, the environment, and community engagement are important priorities.
Mayor Levine Cava has a very busy schedule and makes it a point to keep in touch with her family. Robert Cava, a Miami native, is her husband. They have two children, Ted (33) und Eliza (36), as well as two grandchildren (4- and 6-year-old).
Mayor Daniella Levine Cava spoke to Gabriela Henriquez Stoikow, Miami Today reporter.
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