THE UPDATE Miami Gardens in transition


Miami Gardens, Florida is the largest city in Florida with a majority African-American Population and it's about to be transformed. With a population of over 110,000 and the third-largest city in Miami-Dade County. Miami Gardens is primed for a bright future. But first, it must overcome its image and perception "problem." Leaders say it's an unfair story painted by an unfair media. Some pundits complain that the city lacks transparency, effective communications, oversight and accountability from its elected officials and police. This perception, true or not, could continue to hold the city back from reaching its full potential.


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For nearly three decades while producing IN FOCUS Magazine, we witnessed the city of Miami Gardens come to life out of what was Carol City and unincorporated Dade County. It was and still is a great source of pride.

Some of us have relatives, friends, associates and business partners in Miami Gardens. We watched with hope and inspiration that this newly formed Black city with its first mayor, a Black woman, would rise to its full potential and become one of the premier cities in our state. The new city still has some issues to address including affordable housing, employment for more Miami Gardens residents, effective public services, and fighting rampant crime. Miami Gardens is coming to grips with these challenges yet it continues to grow.


The upcoming election will include a new mayor, and the majority of the city council seats will be filled with newcomers. Miami Gardens City Council consists of seven members: a Mayor and two Council Members elected citywide and four additional Council Members elected by individual districts (four-year term). The implications also include the City Manager because the administrative responsibility of the city rests with the City Manager. This too is a powerful position for a growing city. Listed below are the candidate running for Mayor of Miami Gardens and some of their background history and credentials.


Candidates for Mayor; Miami Gardens

Lisa C. Davis

  • Raised and lived in Miami Gardens for the past 42 years

  • Former member; Miami Gardens City Council / Vice Mayor

  • Consistently on the ground, hands on, engaging citizens

  • Founded Miami Gardens Wine and Food Festival

  • Priorities: Jobs/economic development; reduce crime, uplift youth and seniors




Rodney Harris

  • A council member and Vice Mayor for the City of Miami Gardens

  • Established the Robotics Competition for student growth through S.T.E.A.M.

  • Lead steward of the city’s finances






Lavern Deer

  • Dedicated to youth development, social reform, crime reduction, safety, economic development

  • Wants to fight for access to quality healthcare

  • infrastructural beautification and cultural integration

  • Hard working, involved and solutions oriented






Sharon Pritchett

  • Democratic member of the Florida House of Representatives, representing the 102nd District

  • She served on the Committee to Incorporate the City of Miami Gardens in 2002, and shortly after, the city was successfully incorporated

  • She was elected to the Miami Gardens City Council, where she served from 2003 to 2011




The future looks bright for Miami Gardens as early voting begins. New leadership will come into place as the residents make their needs heard. This will determine the direction of growth and where changes are needed in the City.






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