Special Election -

County Commissioner District 5 Voter Guide

 

On March 31, 2018, Commissioner Bruno Barreiro resigned, prompting a special election for Miami County Commission Seat for District 5. 

The county commission functions as the county's primary legislative and policy-making body.  Miami-Dade County has 13 commissioners who are elected by district to four-year terms. District 5 includes parts of downtown Miami, along with Little Havana, Brickell, Shenandoah and other city neighborhoods before stretching over the MacArthur Causeway to run through South Beach and coastal Miami Beach. The winner of the special election will finish the remaining term of resigning Commissioner Bruno Barreiro, through the fall of 2020.

Early voting will take place from May 12 through May 20, polls are open Monday-Friday - 8:00am-6:00pm, Saturday and Sunday - 8:00am-4:00pm at the following locations:

  • Hispanic Branch Library
    1398 SW 1ST Street, Miami, FL 33135
  • Miami Beach City Hall
    1700 Convention Center Drive
    Miami Beach, FL 33139
  • Shenandoah Branch Library
    2111 SW 19TH Street, Miami, FL 33145
  • Stephen P. Clark Government Center
    (Elections Branch Office)
    111 NW 1ST Street (Lobby), Miami, FL 33128

ELECTION DAY for County Commissioner, District 5 is May 22, 2018. Polls are open from 7:00am-7:00pm. Find your local polling station here.  

 
 
Zoraida_Barreiro_District_5

ZORAIDA A. BARREIRO

  • Why are you running for office and what qualities, training, experience and skills do you bring to this position?

I am running for Miami-Dade County District 5 because as a businesswoman and mother I understand the needs in the community are many and come from different directions. As a businesswoman, I am faced with many of these challenges on a daily basis. I understand the need to streamline and deliver more economic opportunities to both our residents and business communities. At the same time, as a mother, I am committed to ensure that our children live in a safe and active learning environment by enhancing our parks, libraries, and cultural venues. My family has a long history of public service and we have always strived to assist those less fortunate, a responsibility I take seriously and hold dear to my heart. I respectfully ask that on May 22 you vote #120 on your ballot.

  • What are the 3 most important issues facing your community? For each concern, how do you propose to mitigate/improve/resolve the issue?

There are numerous issues facing Miami-Dade County residents. I am committed to address and represent the constituents of District 5 and the whole of Miami-Dade County to the best of my abilities. I know there will be tough and sensitive issues to address, but the 3 most important issues facing Miami-Dade County District 5 are Housing, Transportation, and Beach Renourishment.

HOUSING – We are facing a housing crisis due to increasing cost of living in Miami-Dade County. I am in favor of amplifying affordable housing opportunities for the elderly on fixed income and expanding workforce housing opportunities for young families and professionals. Efficiency is key, we need to make sure housing developments run on time, on budget and guarantee that they stay affordable. I will work closely with the County’s Public Housing and Community Development Department to champion legislation to maximize all incentives necessary to deliver and increase the affordable and workforce housing inventory for elderly and working families. I will work closely with the cities of Miami and Miami Beach in District 5 to identify additional funding sources to leverage the existing funds.

TRANSPORTATION – Everyday there is more traffic congestion and relief seems to be nowhere in sight. We need to invest in more transit options to get residents out of their cars and into public transportation. I will continue to support the existing No Fare Systems like the downtown people mover, the Golden Passport for Seniors, and the Patriot Passport for Veterans. I will support the actualization of the Bay Link connecting the cities of Miami and Miami Beach. I will work closely with FDOT to reverse traffic flow on SW 7th Street to head East and reverse traffic flow on SW 8th Street to head West in order to relieve traffic congestion out of Brickell and Little Havana. It will relieve the bottleneck congestion in Brickell and create new business opportunities on SW 8th Street. I will also support the expansion of the dedicated bus lane pilot program out of downtown Miami to roads with a minimum of three lanes each way to get transit riders to their destinations on time. I will review all Transit Oriented Developments in District 5 to maximize transit opportunities with upcoming housing developments.

BEACH RENOURISHMENT – While Miami-Dade County continues to diversify economic opportunities; Miami-Dade’s leading economic engine is Tourism. The County’s beachfront continues to be its largest natural resource drawing tourism into our community. I will be steadfast in my resolve to ensure we continue to protect this natural resource and economic engine. Beach erosion and water intrusion is a reality we constantly tackle and must alleviate to protect the beach’s natural habitats and our tourism dollars.

 

ALEX DIAZ DE LA PORTILLA

  • Why are you running for office and what qualities, training, experience and skills do you bring to this position?

The candidate did not respond to request for information.

  • What are the 3 most important issues facing your community? For each concern, how do you propose to mitigate/improve/resolve the issue?

The candidate did not respond to request for information.

 

CARLOS GARIN

  • Why are you running for office and what qualities, training, experience and skills do you bring to this position?

The candidate did not respond to request for information.

  • What are the 3 most important issues facing your community? For each concern, how do you propose to mitigate/improve/resolve the issue?

The candidate did not respond to request for information.

 
Eileen_Higgins_District_5

EILEEN HIGGINS

  • Why are you running for office and what qualities, training, experience and skills do you bring to this position?

I decided to run because I wanted to represent my neighbors … who are the people I live, work and commute with every day. Those words – live, work, commute – are all a struggle for many of us in the County. Housing costs, well, they are out of control and we’ve got to begin implementing solutions now. We should have started years ago. Working here throughout your career is a difficult because we’re not creating enough high wage jobs to go around. Just last week, one of Miami’s most promising young leaders left for a higher-paying job in Tennessee. Just today, I was on the trolley on Flagler Street where small business owners (our job creators) have boarded up their shops and are gone for good because of street construction delays. And commuting, you know it’s nearly impossible. If you drive, it’s a nightmare. If you ride transit like me, it’s limited and unreliable. The nexus between housing costs, low-wage jobs and poor transit are holding our County back from achieving its potential. I’m running for Commissioner because I don’t want to “read” about these issues any more, I want to solve them.

I'm a business owner, public-transit rider and active community advocate. I have a long career as a leader in the private and public sector. I started as an engineer, got an MBA from Cornell University, and served as a Peace Corps Country Director. My experience and skill set position me to be an innovative, independent voice on the County Commission.

  • What are the 3 most important issues facing your community? For each concern, how do you propose to mitigate/improve/resolve the issue?

Housing cost / lack of affordable housing: One idea to address this problem is to institute inclusive zoning in the County. Developers can either include a certain amount of affordable units in each of their projects or they can waive the requirement by contributing a designated amount to the housing trust fund. The County needs to build more affordable housing implementing inclusive zoning.

Transit / Traffic: I will work to address operational issues with our public transit as I feel that a significant proportion of the problems with public transit are around reliability which can be addressed by making operational adjustments and using current resources to better effect. Creating bus only lanes on high use lines will help get people to work and home faster. I would like to see an expansion of community trolleys since we are already paying for them with our 1 penny tax.

Better paying jobs: The economy of Miami-Dade is too narrowly focused. Tourism and service industry jobs do not pay well and though we are one of the top start-up cities in the country bringing companies to scale and growing them to create more and higher paying jobs is a challenge for us right now. I want to develop programs and policies which support and incentivize diversification of our local economy. This way we can create job with better wages which will make it easier for people graduating from college and others to stay and contribute to Miami-Dade.

All three of these issues are interrelated and need to be treated in an integrated fashion and by working with other local governments especially the city of Miami.