County Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava speaks at Women’s Equality Day 2017.

This month’s member profile is of County Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava of District 8 in Miami-Dade County, Florida. County Commissioner Levine Cava was first elected in 2014 and has been an advocate for South Florida residents and communities for over 30 years. Prior to taking office, she served special needs children and immigrants at Legal Services of Greater Miami, and then represented children in the child welfare system as Associate and Legal Director for the Guardian Ad Litem Program.

We asked her some questions about her work in South Florida and what the future holds for progressive policy in Miami-Dade.

Local Progress: What motivated you to run for public office?

Daniella Levine Cava: I’m a democracy addict! Unfortunately, people do not trust our government and I believe that is corrosive to democracy. I’m working to restore trust in our local government and to strengthen our democracy. Also, issues I deeply care about were not being addressed. Such issues as creating more economic opportunity, protecting our environment, common sense approaches to traffic solutions and affordable housing, need to be or prioritized by our local government.

LP: Tell us about the communities you represent in Miami-Dade County – what should people know about them?

DLC: Miami-Dade County District 8 is very diverse. It includes three municipalities, unincorporated neighborhoods and a farming community. It is the lowest in density population of the 13 districts, which means there is more open space and more recreational opportunities for our families. We have two national parks, outstanding schools, a well-educated and tri-lingual workforce, many entrepreneurs, small businesses and nonprofits serving our residents.

LP: What accomplishments are you most proud of during your tenure in office so far?

DLC: Increasing government transparency through campaign finance reform. Creating an employee protection ordinance to encourage reporting of fraud, waste and abuse in County government. Protecting our water supply; promoting smart growth and development, rather than unbridled growth, such as along our transit corridors. Protecting our parks, agricultural land and open spaces.

LP: What are some of your upcoming policy priorities?

DLC: We are working on improving our transit system, promoting women’s equality/gender equity, expanding the County Living Wage and paid sick leave to those that do business with the County, reducing our carbon foot print, protecting our pets, and improving public safety in an area of astronomical population growth.

LP: When you look back on your tenure as County Commissioner, what do you hope to have accomplished?

DLC: I hope residents will feel that their County government has been responsive and accountable to public concerns and priorities.

LP: Why are you a member of Local Progress?

DLC: It’s great to be a part of a network of like-minded elected officials. I have gotten ideas and inspiration from the group that I’ve put into action. And I’ve been happy to share my experiences for the benefit of other communities.