Government Relations Specialist if you held only one public office Kevin Marino Cabrera It has a strong political history.
He has worked for former governors, US senators, representatives, and state senators currently sitting on the Florida Supreme Court.For a time, he headed the nonprofit’s South Florida operations Libre Initiative, a conservative advocacy group for Latinos. During the 2020 election, Cabrera served as his director at the Republican National Committee’s Florida Field, successfully bringing the Sunshine State to life. donald trump.
But aside from a stint elected on the Miami-Dade County zoning board, Cabrera seemed mostly content to work behind the scenes until this year. That has changed, he said. He became increasingly upset by what he called the usual policies of the Miami-Dade Commission. The biggest membership upheaval in history.
According to Cabrera, senior vice president of a global public strategy firm, Mercurytoo many decisions from the rostrum of county commissions go against the wishes of its voters.
“For too long, I’ve seen counties doing whatever they want,” he said.
The desire to change that is what prompted him to run for the fixed-term commissioner seat, he said. Rebecca Sosa Located in the 6th Ward, it covers the north central part of Miami-Dade, including parts of Miami, Coral Gables, Hialeah, and parts of the unincorporated portion of the county.
Judging by the results of the Aug. 23 elections, the message has resonated. Cabrera led her four candidates with over 43% of the vote.His closest competitor, Coral Gables City Commissioner Jorge Force Jr.received 26%.
because miami dade law Cabrera and Force currently hold the compete in the final It will culminate in the general election on November 8th.
“Our campaigns always put Miami-Dade County residents and small businesses first,” he said. “Compared to career politicians and the failed policies of the last 30 years, we are a breath of fresh air.”
Cabrera sat down with Florida Politics to discuss the run-off ballot and, if elected, his plans for all of Miami-Dade County, especially District 6. The conversation transcribed below is for clarity and brevity. Edited for the sake of
Florida Politics: After the primary, you received more votes than any of the other three candidates running for District 6, but not enough to win outright seats. was. What are your thoughts on how it went down?
Cabrera: Above all, it’s important to thank the more than 5,000 voters who knocked on our doors and opened our doors in the last four months. they supported us.
Ultimately, it is a victory for those who stand for the new leadership of the county commission.
You are now facing Coral Gables Commissioner Jorge Force Jr. in the runoff. Are you readjusting your campaign strategy before facing him in General?
Our message clearly resonated with voters. Mathematics doesn’t lie. Some candidates in other district constituencies received significant votes even though they spent nothing. In our race, where there was a fair amount of money on both sides, we got 43% of the votes, a fair amount for a four-man race.
What it shows is the rejection of career politicians and their failed policies. No politician has a seat. You cannot designate an heir. This is not a monarchy and voters want fresh, new blood in county commissions.
That’s the whole purpose of term limits, not recycling politicians.
What do you think of Fors?
He is like any other ambitious career politician. We’ll see if he can break that cycle.
To be fair, he has not been on the Coral Gables Commission for long, and by the end of what he hopes will be his first term on the county commission, he will have served longer than he has been in the city. You are serving on the platform. By your own definition, doesn’t that make you an ambitious career politician?
No. But I think it’s sad that he hasn’t completed his term and is abandoning Coral Gables voters for this purpose. He should finish his term.
What do you think District 6 voters should know about you and your run for Miami-Dade County Commission? How will you govern from the podium?
All you have to do is half penny surcharge Voters passed (to pay for transportation construction and expansion in 2002).
We asked for a new capital project for transportation. What did the county do in its infinite wisdom? Did. Civic Voluntary Transport Trust.
Jorge Forus said miami herald I should look at the “narrow definition” of a sheriff. 58% of voters in this county voted for sheriffThey didn’t go to Florida law and see what a sheriff was. They voted for the sheriff we know, someone in charge of law enforcement.
Again, they just think they know more than voters. I tell people
As for the half-penny tax, the Miami-Dade Commission has hit the Great Recession and the county is considering cutting critical services or supplementing them with other sources of funding that were not originally intended to pay for them. This was a difficult choice when the half-penny fund was released a few years agoBut what would you do if faced with a similar situation?
Things must be used for their intended purpose. A county forensic audit must be conducted. I remember being told they would mow the park once a month and close the library. I think I said the county would save about $200 million.
Activists showed up at the courthouse in shirts — the whole ordeal. What Happens Each Time – The county didn’t cut service, they didn’t raise mileage rates, but somehow they kept the library open and he gave $200 million to cut the grass in the park I found.
What it shows is the lack of budget transparency. It doesn’t necessarily refer to the current administration. It is a systemic cultural bureaucracy without transparency.
We need to bring transparency to county budgets. We need to find efficiencies and make sure there are structural changes to be transparent to voters.
The second is the need to ensure that the will of the electorate is followed. we don’t know much.
What do you think are Miami-Dade County’s three biggest needs?
First and foremost, the housing crisis for both affordable housing and workforce housing. We already know that Monroe County has a lot of service industry people who have to bus from South Dade. We need to make sure Miami-Dade County isn’t the next place from a neighboring county that has to do the same.
Second place is transit. No public transport yet. Hundreds of thousands of people are moving here, whether it’s from Latin America — I think he said 30,000 moved from Colombia the week after the election — or from other parts of the country is. They move to Florida, specifically Miami-Dade.
If we don’t fix our mass transit problem, we’ll be the next Los Angeles stuck in traffic for two to three hours a day. That is why the half-penny issue and its use are so important.
And the third is property tax. All of these issues are somehow intertwined with each other. Knocking on the door of people, especially retired people, they are now feeling it with gas pumps and their property insurance.
We are currently debating whether the property tax should be 1% or 3%. Frankly, we have to find a way to keep people’s taxes from going up.
The amount of new inventory built in this county has generated a significant amount of new dollars against the budget. We need to make sure they don’t get kicked out of their homes because the property tax is eating them alive.
i got my property trim notification Yesterday you said my taxes would go up by $1,000, which was low. That $1,000 is no joke. That may be the difference between edible and non-edible.
What about District 6? What are its greatest assets and needs?
Its greatest asset is probably Miami International Airport — and if not the number one economic engine in the county portBeyond that, it’s the small businesses and people who live here and make up the district.
Our biggest problem is mixed with everything I just said. Affordable housing is a big issue in District 6. I hear it from Hialeah, from all over the district, and from mass transit people.
Permission is an issue I dealt with. It took seven and a half months to get the conversion from septic tank to sewer.
District 6 also has one of the highest rates of seniors and retirees. When I knocked on the door, they were the ones who told me that if we continued to raise property taxes, they wouldn’t be able to live in their homes. I’ll have to sell it and find another place.
It’s unfair. That doesn’t do justice to the people who built this county and helped create the environment in which people want to move here.
What do you enjoy about the campaign? what do you dislike?
I don’t like collecting money. I enjoy retail politics, conversations with voters and small businesses, and learning about district issues.
But being able to knock on someone’s door, sit in their living room, share a coffee, learn a little bit about their lives, the challenges they face, and try to find ways to make things easier is , is what I enjoy..
We are all from different schools, different places, different lives. It’s humbling to meet different people from different parts of the district, from different backgrounds, learn about the problems they have in their particular area, and try to find ways to solve them.
Who on the county commission do you think is a potential ally in advancing some of the things you want to accomplish?
I am thrilled to be working with all of them. Observing everyone, each one adds to what I feel will be a great committee, and there will be a lot to come in the next eight years.