In Miami Florida the political influence continues to lean heavily in favor of dynamic Haitian leaders stepping to the plate, running for office and scoring victories. In Miami-Dade's District two county commission race, two Haitian civic and community leaders earned the right to face off in a November 8th election. Both candidates broke through a crowded field of strong and polished candidates. Phillippe Bien Aime was able to earn a larger share of the percentage of the votes while Marlene Bastian came right behind him forcing a face off between the two.
MORE ABOUT DISTRICT 2
District 2 includes portions of Miami, North Miami, North Miami Beach, Opa-locka, Hialeah and the unincorporated neighborhoods of Liberty City, North Dade Central and Biscayne Gardens.
District 2 is large and expansive with cities operating with various populations to serve. North Miami has a population of 62,468 (2020) while North Miami Beach has a population of 42,824 (2020) and Opa Locka has a population of 16,008 (2020).
BIG SHOES TO FILL
There are big shoes to fill in District 2. The district’s current Commissioner, Jean Monestime, elected in 2010, must leave office in November due to term limits voters approved in 2012.
He is the first Haitian-American to serve as a Miami-Dade County commissioner, as well as the first to chair the commission. Montestime, who campaigned on a promise to revitalize District 2's economy, secured $126 million in county funds to provide new sewage hook-ups throughout Miami-Dade County, including a commercial district near Northwest Seventh Avenue, which had previously utilized septic tanks.The Miami Herald called the funds the "biggest achievement" of Monestime's first term as a commissioner. He won re-election for a second term in 2014. He did not endorse anyone as his preferred successor.
This face off represents a win-win opportunity for voters in Miami-Dade county and particularly in that district. Both of these candidates are incredibly talented, deeply engaged in the communities, and they understand how to raise money, run campaigns, and get things done.
HAITIAN POWER ON THE RISE
As the Haitian-American population has grown to more than 300,000 in South Florida, so too has its political influence. People with Haitian ancestry now hold office in Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties. Major candidates court the region's Haitian-American voters. And non-Haitians from both political parties are analyzing and attempting to engage with the community's voters, hoping to reap long-term political gains.
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