South Dade News Leader: Levine Cava Seeks to Ban Fracking in Miami-Dade

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An ordinance banning fracking has passed an initial committee hearing at county hall.

The legislation was brought forwarrd by Miami-Dade County Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava, who represents parts of South Dade, and would regulate and/or prohibit the well stimulation method of gas and oil exploration, commonly known as fracking.

There is a way to receive a variance, but it would require a public hearing and a positive vote from the board of County Commissioners.

Judging by the passionate response this ordinance got from the public last week in its preliminary form, a public hearing would be a daunting hurdle to jump over.

“This shouldn’t be just atheoretical ordinance, there is a proposed well site in Broward that possibly possesses a threat to the Miami-Dade water. They [the oil companies] are looking for sites in South Florida,” Jorge Aguilar warned at the public hearing.

Levine Cava thanked the crowd for showing up, showing passion, and making a compelling case.

“This commission has stood solidly behind the state ban,” Levine Cava said when addressing the dais.

She also acknowledged the situation in Southwest Florida where the oil and gas industry have set their targets on, and possibly even more of the South. She called the possibility “chilling.”

“This risk, the potential long term damage can not be compromised for the short term gain of a few,” said Levine Cava.

In it’s current form, the ordinance will serve as the rules in unincorporated parts of the county, and as a minimum standard for the incorporated portions.

The new article it creates is specifically for gas and oil exploration that utilizes well stimulation. Usually such tactics employed are a protected trade secret, and so no specifics in chemicals or methods are traditionally made public. And so the wording is broad while still specifically describing fracking.

It is described as “a well intervention, exploration, operation, or maintenance procedure performed by injecting fluid, which may include additives, into a rock formation to increase the rate of production at an oil or gas well by increasing the flow of hydrocarbons from the formation into the wellbore.”

But the ordinance does chiefly cite the “health, safety, welfare, comfort and convenience” of the county residents and their property rights as the driving force behind the steps.

The legislative findings state that potential impacts of such fracking would impact properties well past the immediate vicinity, possibly causing structural damage to buildings and foundations.

While variances are a possibility, they would only be granted if a hardship is shown by the literal enforcement of the regulations. Meanwhile the variance must be simpatico with the spirit of the ordinance and not result in harm to the land.

Fracking in Florida would mean using acids and chemicals said Levine Cava, and it could “pose a threat to the drinking water.”

Then of course it must be granted with a public hearing attached to it.

“I wanted to thank you all for your leadership. The ordinance passing last week sent a message to the state legislature,” said Pete Gonzalez who spoke during the public hearing. “It has no place here, and we already have enough threats to our drinking water.”

Miami’s Community Newspapers: Commissioner experiences first National Convention

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Miami-Dade Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava, who represents District 8, served as a delegate to the recent 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. This was Levine Cava’s first time at a Democratic National Convention and it made a huge impact on her as a commissioner.

The Convention ran from Monday, July 25, to Thursday, July 28.

“It is a convention of a lifetime,” Levine Cava said. “I had never been active in Democratic Party matters prior to the convention.”

Levine Cava said she believes this upcoming presidential election is important because it determines what is at stake for the nation. She was excited to attend the convention for a couple of reasons. In addition to being her first time at a convention, her son just moved back to Philadelphia after being out of the country for one year in India.

The ability to witness Hillary Clinton on the convention stage was an overpowering experience for Levine Cava.

“I have been a great admirer of her for many years,” Levine Cava said.

She knows Clinton personally because they worked on the same children and women’s issues for organizations that supported the Children’s Defense Fund where Clinton served as the board chair. Clinton and Levine Cava also attended Yale University, although at different times. Levine Cava went to Yale as an undergraduate student and Clinton went as a law school student.

“I feel confident that the Democratic nominee will be able to move the country forward. She will be inclusive and be able to allay our fears. I think she will be able to strengthen our economy and restore trust in the government,” the commissioner said. “The whole tone of the convention was one of optimism with a path toward strengthening our democracy and country.”

Levine Cava takes her job as a commissioner for Miami-Dade County seriously. She serves in a non-partisan seat and believes that it is very important to solve issues at the local level. She said that the decisions that are made cross political lines, and she doesn’t want to mix her Democratic Party affiliation with her commissioner duties.

“I’m always looking for a commonsense approach for my constituents,” Levine Cava said.

She was sworn into office in November 2014 and wants to accomplish many things for South Miami-Dade including enhancing environmental factors, creating more jobs, improving transportation options and solving economic issues. “It has been a great opportunity, and I’m so grateful that I was elected.”

Levine Cava said the main reason ran for office is because of the distrust in the government, which she feels is hurtful.

“I will do everything I can do in my lifetime to instill a sense of pride in the government and the country.”

She has worked on improving government transparency as a commissioner.

Levine Cava received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Yale University and graduate degrees in law and social work from Columbia University. She is married to Dr. Robert Cava and raised two children, Eliza and Edward Cava, in Miami-Dade County.

Miami’s Community Newspapers: Student is a summer intern with county commissioner

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Mark Merwitzer, a resident of Palmetto Bay and a student at Miami Palmetto Senior High School, is turning his summer vacation time into a learning experience of a different kind. He currently is a summer intern for Miami-Dade County Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava.

Merwitzer, who has been very active in standing up for the needs and wants of his community since age 7, when he helped push for higher wages and better benefits for teachers, was appointed at the age of 15 to the Palmetto Bay Youth Advisory Board.

Since then he has raised money and handled many logistical aspects for the Palmetto Bay Relay for Life booth. He has taken an active interest in politics on all levels, local through national.

“I first met the commissioner in May, when I saw about the FPL Turkey Point Power Plant meeting in Community Newspapers,” Merwitzer said. “I’ve learned a lot about how local government works. I’m really thankful for Commissioner Levine Cava mentoring me and giving me useful advice.”

A personal project Merwitzer has been working on relates to distracted driving due to cell phone use. Besides research, he has drafted a letter to the legislators for his district, Rep. Michael Bileca and Sen. Gwen Margolis. He plans to reach out to them by telephone and also invite them to meet with him in the hope they will sponsor legislation at the state level to allow county or municipal regulations regarding cell phone use while driving. Currently the state has full control over cell phone laws. Already, the Office of Rep. Holly Raschein has invited Merwitzer to meet and discuss these policy considerations.

“I want to give back to the community and help make this a safer place to live and work,” Merwitzer said. “Cell phone usage is the No. 1 cause of distraction in auto accidents. My plan right now, since Florida legislators are in recess, is to try to speak with them about this issue.”

Merwitzer started his summer internship at the end of June and in the fall will begin classes at the Miami Dade School of Advanced Studies, Wolfson Campus, where he will do both high school and college level work. Merwitzer also has a passion for aviation and computers. He built his first computer at age 13 and currently is pursuing his private pilot’s license.

Richard A. Morgan, community liaison and special projects at Commissioner Levine Cava’s office, is pleased Merwitzer is there.

“He brings a lot of enthusiasm to our team,” Morgan said. “We have enjoyed having him, as well as our other summer interns.”

Merwitzer would like to encourage others to reach out and share their concerns about distracted driving due to cell phones as well.

Readers may find their state representatives at the following link: or by calling Miami-Dade 3-1-1.

Miami Herald: Miami-Dade Commissioner calls for special meeting on Zika efforts

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UPDATE: Monestime and Levince Cava have called a special meeting Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. on the 18th floor of the Stephen P. Clark Center, 111 NW First St.

Miami-Dade Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava said Thursday she will request a special meeting of the Board of County Commissioners to discuss coordinating local, state and federal efforts to quash a Zika virus outbreak in the city of Miami.

So far, health officials have identified 15 people who have contracted the virus from mosquitoes in Miami-Dade County, all but one of which inhabited a one-square-mile zone in and around Wynwood. The county has increased efforts to kill mosquitoes in the area, and county Mayor Carlos Gimenez, Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado, and Florida Gov. Rick Scott have all made appearances in the neighborhood during the last three days to answer questions about local and state efforts.

Gimenez and Scott have planned a joint press 3:30 p.m. conference Thursday at the Miami-Dade County Emergency Operations Center, 9300 NW 41 Street, in Doral.

Here’s a copy of Levine Cava’s letter:

August 4, 2016

The Honorable Carlos A. Gimenez
Mayor, Miami-Dade County
Stephen P. Clark Center
111 NW 1st Street
29th Floor
Miami, Florida 33128

Dear Mayor Gimenez,

Thank you for your leadership thus far in addressing the threat of the Zika virus in our community. We have all been watching developments in the spread of this disease closely, with national and international news outlets reporting on the matter over the last few days.

I know your office has been coordinating with various government agencies to ensure we engage in an aggressive public education campaign. Further, I know action has been taken for aerial spraying to control mosquitoes and the distribution of repellant wipes for residents.

As we work together to face this challenge and keep our residents and visitors healthy, it is imperative that we all coordinate our efforts effectively and deploy our elected leaders to ensure that the state and federal governments put resources in place to combat the impact of Zika on our community and our tourism brand.

Today I will send a memorandum to Chairman Jean Monestime requesting that he convene an emergency meeting of the Board of County Commissioners pursuant to Rule 3.02(b) of the Rules of Procedure to discuss our response to the public health threats posed by the Zika virus. Such a meeting would provide the opportunity to coordinate the support from our federal partners, and to understand what support Miami-Dade County can expect from the state of Florida.

I appreciate your attention to this matter and look forward to working together to keep Miami-Dade healthy and open for business.


Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava

Miami’s Community Newspapers: Danilla Levine Cava celebrates first year as District 8 Commissioner

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It’s been a whirlwind year for District 8 Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava, who celebrated her first year in office on Nov.18th.

An active volunteer in her community since her childhood in the ‘60s and working in community service in South Florida since 1982, her victory in District 8—which includes Palmetto Bay, Cutler Bay, Homestead and unincorporated areas of South Dade including the Redlands, Falls, Princeton, Naranja, Leisure City and parts of West Kendall—marked the first time she ever ran for public office and just the third time anyone in Miami-Dade County history defeated an incumbent commissioner.

“There were many individuals over the years who had asked me to run for public office and I thought that it was a good opportunity to take my decades of service to a different level and give back in this deeper way,” she said. “We’re very happy with what we’ve accomplished this year.”

With an ambitious campaign focusing on issues such as job growth, increased environmental responsibility, improved transit, affordable housing, government accountability and responsiveness to community concerns, Commissioner Levine Cava knew she had to hit the ground running her first year.

She partnered with District 9 Commissioner Dennis Moss to host the inaugural South Dade Solutions Summit, where business, community and government leaders outlined success plans in the areas of transportation, the economy and quality of life and where more than 170 community stakeholders were in attendance.

Recommendations included the county buying local food and produce, promotion of “farm to table” dining, transit investments and greater marketing of the region’s unique assets. The plan drawn from the summit, she said, will be the guiding document framing District 8’s agenda over the next three years.

“We really are working with the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, Beacon Council and local mayors to come up with a shared marketing plan for South Dade,” she said.

Commissioner Levine Cava was instrumental in the purchase and implementation of 60-foot, super-capacity “bending” buses along the South Dade Busway, a crucial move to relieve commuters of congested roadways. She also secured county support for transit-oriented development in Palmetto Bay with funds recovered from stagnant projects.

“Even though we’ve got the new buses, we still have to make improvements to the busways and do more to turn our bike paths into real transportation options,” she said. “We currently have an item to move the city circulators onto the busway and coordinate them so it’ll also be an enhancement to transit.”

Joining forces with a coalition of engaged county residents, Commissioner Levine Cava helped restore funding for local parks, doubling her goal of 10 percent to 20 percent. On the climate change front, she and District 6 Commissioner Rebecca Sosa have united to combat sea level rise with sensible approaches that will continue to develop over the course of her term.

“In recent years, there have been cuts to all kinds of basic services and this was the first year that we were going to see an opportunity to restore some of those cuts,” she said. “We were determined to restore funding to the parks in a significant away and did so in coalition with hundreds—if not thousands—of residents who petitioned, sent letters and showed up at public meetings, so we’re really thrilled about these particular results.”

Great strides were also made in the agricultural region. She added a position to the Office of the Agricultural Manager, passed legislation that required the county to purchase locally for produce (a move which is now being applied to Metro Zoo and corrections), voted against proposals that would move the urban development boundaries into agricultural areas and held a meeting of stakeholders, the Agricultural Innovation Zone, to develop competitive grant funding for improvements in agriculture.

“Focusing on lifting up small businesses in the agricultural area is critical, but we’re also trying to bring new revenue and investors into the area,” she said. “We’re just developing the Agricultural Innovation Zone now, but that would be one way we would bring new investors to the area, new excitement and new momentum. There’s a lot of interest among the stakeholders that include Miami-Dade College, Florida International University, Farm Hero, local farmers and the like.”

Last month, the inaugural Small Business Academy concluded its first implementation with a panel discussion and expo that saw more than 30 local entrepreneurs meet with financial institutions to explore growth and partnership options. The brainchild of Commissioner Levine Cava and several economic development agencies, the program was designed to provide free workshops, training and tools to help local businesses overcome challenges. She also worked to expand access to libraries by soliciting additional funding and hours for several branches throughout District 8 and launched a program to bring technical assistance and training to nonprofits, as well as additional funding through impact grants.

“I come from a nonprofit background and feel that nonprofits are the backbones of our communities,” she said. “As a former nonprofit exec, I know how hard it is to gain funds that you can use to advocate for public policy and not just for the purpose of providing direct service. All of our grants were to nonprofits that had plans to lift up the voices of the people they were serving by becoming involved in advocacy and civil engagement.”

In commemoration of her first year in office, Commissioner Levine Cava revisited places and participated in activities she knew would attract diverse crowds of people from her district. She attended a rousing church service in Homestead, spoke at the Small Business Academy graduation and expo in Cutler Bay, recognized nonprofit grantees at a Miami-Dade County Commission meeting, spent her inaugural “Small Business Friday” at various small business including Motes Orchids and the Circle D Ranch in Homestead, watched NASCAR at the Homestead-Miami Speedway, spent time with seniors at East Ridge in Cutler Bay, went to a parade at The Falls, went on a Sunday bike ride with Palmetto Bay mayor Eugene Flinn, visited a fire station to meet firefighters and kicked off the 100th anniversary of national parks on Monday.

“That week was like a panoramic view of all the wonders of District 8 and really how joyful it is to be able to serve,” she said. “This was a way not only of celebrating, but reporting back to the community and hearing suggestions for year two. It was the voters of District 8 that had the confidence and hope that I could be a good steward for their wants, needs and public investments. I want to underscore that it goes back to them.”

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Miami’s Community Newspapers: District 8 Small Business Academy concludes with expo

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Miami-Dade Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava concluded the inaugural District 8 Small Business Academy with an access to capital forum and expo on Nov. 16 at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center in Cutler Bay.

More than 30 entrepreneurs attended the free, eight-week program — the first of its kind by a county commissioner — which culminated with a panel discussion and expo, where participants could meet with financial institutions to explore growth and partnership options. Graduates received certificates signed by Miami- Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, commission chair Jean Monestime and Commissioner Levine Cava.

“The District 8 Small Business Academy was created to support our small businesses in South Dade, who are the backbone of our economy and help our community thrive,” Commissioner Levine Cava said. “We created the program with input from the priorities expressed at the South Dade Solutions Summit earlier this summer and it culminates tonight, in our capstone event, with our small business owners making pitches to possible investors, bankers and other groups that can help finance their operation.”

Held in June, the South Dade Solutions Summit identified investment in small businesses and encouraging entrepreneurialism as key factors in local prosperity. Participants pointed to training, technical assistance, joint marketing and access to capital as important issues in need of addressing. The District 8 Small Business Academy was one of the results of the summit.

“Small businesses are vital community partners and I am committed to delivering the resources they need to prosper,” she said. “Empowering our local entrepreneurs is a win-win for our economy and our quality of life; when we empower our small businesses, our entire community thrives.”

The expo marked the first anniversary of Commissioner Levine Cava’s election to office. In commemoration, the District 8 office launched 8 Days of Engagement, a celebration of South Dade’s unique community.

“I am enjoying this anniversary even more than my 60th birthday, which was earlier this fall,” she said. “South Dade is a very unique and special place. We have tremendous assets — our people. It was my greatest wish that I’d be able to contribute in some way to growing our local economy. Because of the work of everyone putting this program together and because of you all showing up, my wish has come true.”

Sponsors for the District 8 Small Business Academy include Partners for Self- Employment, Hispanic Business Initiative Fund, Economic Development Council of South Dade, Miami-Dade County Small Business Development Division, The Beacon Council, CareerSource of South Florida and the Florida International University Small Business Development Clinic.

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South Dade News Leader: Small Business Academy Helps Fledgling Enterprises Hit Next Level

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This week the ever-changing colorful facade of the South Dade Cultural Arts Center radiated over the next generation of small businesses in the county.

Over 30 entrepreneurs concluded their seven week course in the SmallBusinessAcademy with the graduation gift of an “Access to Capital Expo” where they informally picked the brains of lenders and financiers.

The program is the proud brainchild of District 8 Miami-Dade Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava, who says she took the initiative after feedback from the South Dade Solutions Summit some months earlier. The summit brought together stakeholders in the southernmost part of the county to discuss how to break out from the area’s status quo and progress forward.

“When small business thrives our economy thrives,” Levine Cava told the News Leader.

“This is the first time that it has ever been offered for free to businesses at the south end of the county,” said the commissioner. “The participants are so eager so excited to learn – they have supported each other – and many of them received the mom and pop small business grants.”

For seven weeks participants met to learn a different aspect of business that would help make them successful.

The cap off event was a panel on finding capital to reach particular goals and grow.

Cava said the entire program couldn’t have gotten off the ground were it not for volunteer partnerships, some of which were part of the panel.

Sheri Colas-Gervais from the Beacon Council moderated the talk that included Daivd Deza, a Vice President at TD Bank; Fabiana Estrada from micro lenders Accion East;Jose D. Alvarez of Hispanic Business Initiative Fund; and a small business success story in Patricia Bonilla, principal at Lunacon Construction Group.

Deza said three things that a bank looks at for a loan is credit, cash flow, and collateral.

“We look globally at your ability to pay back the loan,” said Deza.

Estrada agreed saying that “credit is key,” but she also mentioned that a big part of success begins with building relationships.

Alvarez added that your numbers are essential to securing loans, and that banks look for red flags in those reports.

“Banks look at overdrafts, that’s a bad sign,” said Alvarez.

Bonilla encouraged business owners to look for every opportunity.

“Try for everything,” she said from experience. She started her construction business in the height of the crash when “construction” was a bad word. But she was able to make it work by knowing what she wanted out of her endeavor.

“You need to have some kind of business plan,” she said. “Know what you want and modify it.”

She also said you have to highlight your competitive edge, what you bring that nobody else has which requires studying the field.

“You have to become an expert in your field,” she advised. “They aren’t going to give their money to someone who doesn’t give off confidence.”

The participants all received certificates for completing the program, but they also created a small network for themselves. Many went around the small expo of tables set up inside the SDCAC and met with the organizations.

Levine Cava was quick to add that the interactions were informal and noncompetitive.

“This is not Shark Tank,” she said to the owners. “Explore how to make your case.”

And so a new batch of more learned small business goes forth to their fates.

Miami Herald: Miami-Dade Commission backs gay marriage in a close vote

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Gay marriage divided Miami-Dade commissioners on Tuesday as they narrowly approved joining the court fight for same-sex unions.

In a 7-5 vote, commissioners passed a resolution instructing county lawyers to file a court brief supporting same-sex couples who are so far winning in their effort to be married in Florida. The issue brought out organized opposition from Miami’s Christian Family Coalition and a string of speakers citing both scripture and Miami-Dade’s support of a 2008 Florida ballot measure banning gay marriage.

“This resolution is disrespecting my vote,” Kendall resident Joe Davila told commissioners. James Pacley, pastor of the New Born Faith Deliverance in Miami, added: “We got here not by two men getting married. We got here thanks to a man and a woman.”

Nobody in the audience spoke in favor of the measure. Largely symbolic, the vote proved more divisive than when, in December, the commission approved new protections for transgender people. That ordinance passed 8-3, with commissioners Esteban “Steve” Bovo, Jose “Pepe” Diaz and Juan C. Zapata voting against. The same three voted against the gay-marriage measure Tuesday, and were joined by Rebeca Sosa and Commission Chairman Jean Monestime.

“I do support visitation rights, inheritance rights, property rights, and, in some cases, even adoption I would support,” Monestime said of same-sex couples. “But when it comes to marriage … according to my belief, that has a lot to do with procreation. … I think, truly, this is a matter of conscience.”

Audrey Edmonson, the sponsor, argued that Miami-Dade needed to take a stand on the issue. “This is what’s right. And I’m a Christian,” she said to snickers from the audience. “I don’t think this has anything to do with whether you’re a good Christian or a bad Christian.”

Joining Edmonson in voting yes for the measure were commissioners Bruno Barreiro, Daniella Levine Cava, Sally Heyman, Barbara Jordan, Dennis Moss and Xavier Suarez. Commissioner Javier Souto was not present for the vote.

Florida’s first same-sex wedding occurred Jan. 5 in Miami on the heels of a federal judge overturning state laws limiting marriage to straight couples. The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on same-sex marriage last week in cases out of Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee and Kentucky that could ultimately resolve the issue nationwide.

Sosa said she was voting against the resolution because of her opposition to one government trying to tell the other what to do. The resolution calls for Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi to withdraw her appeals of rulings that are allowing gay marriages in the state. “I don’t believe the state should mingle in county issues,” Sosa said, citing a recent push in Tallahassee to rewrite the rules for a Miami-Dade transportation board. “I cannot support what is in front of us today.”

Tuesday’s debate captured the hard lines that exist locally in the gay-marriage debate, even as polls show a majority of Americans now endorse same-sex unions. In 2008, the state constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman won a 57 percent majority on Election Day in Miami-Dade.

“We voted. Now I know that fads change. I know it’s hip and cool now to embrace certain issues,” Bovo said. “The reality is no matter what man says, no matter what a court says, marriage is between a man and a woman. That’s the way it was designed.”

A federal judge last summer ruled that the 2008 amendment violated the rights of same-sex couples. That decision was suspended to allow for appeals. But when the U.S. Supreme Court opted not to intervene, a Miami-Dade judge was the first to declare gay marriages legal on Jan. 5 (they were allowed statewide the next day).

“Making sure someone has the right to follow their heart is something we should not take away,” Jordan said Tuesday before voting for the gay-marriage measure. “It’s more than about religion. It’s more about how I feel personally. It’s a right.”

Miami New Times: Miami-Dade Commissioner Drafting Legislation to Ensure Equal Pay for Women

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Daniella Levine Cava, Miami-Dade County Commissioner representing District 8, is on a mission to ensure that Miami’s women receive equal pay for equal work. Levine Cava is currently drafting legislation that would ban pay discrimination across the county. The legislation would essentially enact the United Nations’ Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in Miami-Dade County. While the UN passed the resolution in 1979, the United States remains one of the few countries that never adopted the convention.

But regardless of the federal government’s foot-dragging on the issue, counties and municipalities across the country have taken it on themselves to enact CEDAW. And Levine Cava has decided that a variation of the UN resolution is right for Miami-Dade county. “We’re looking at legislation that would allow them to have an annual reporting function on how well we’re doing within the county itself on pay equity for women,” Cava told WLRN.

Though women in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale metro area fair slightly better than women nationally, earning a median $34,644 to a man’s $40,079, the pay gap in South Florida is still very real, as is its economic impact. It’s currently estimated that nationally women lose $434,000 over a lifetime due to the career pay gap. And while Florida, again, is slightly better at pay equity than the rest of America, closing the pay gap still sometimes seems like science fiction: the state’s pay gap isn’t estimated to close organically until the year 2038. Legislation like Levine Cava’s would help it close a little more quickly.

Levine Cava says that she hopes to have legislation written by June or July for the County Commission to vote on.

WLRN: Legislation To Ensure Pay Equity For Miami-Dade Women In The Works

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Miami-Dade County Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava is currently drafting legislation to ensure pay equity for women in the county. It’s a CEDAW ordinance — Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

CEDAW was adopted by the United Nations in 1979. The United States is one of the few countries in the world that hasn’t ratified the convention.

Cities and counties within the U.S. have taken it upon themselves to incorporate the principles of the international treaty for women and bring it down to a local level. Levine Cava says the county’s Commission For Women would lead the Miami-Dade CEDAW.

“We’re looking at legislation that would allow them to have an annual reporting function on how well we’re doing within the county itself on pay equity for women,” Levine Cava said.

Laura Morilla is the executive director for the county’s Commission for Women. She says it’s not just a fight for Miami-Dade women — men should support the legislation too.

“It means you can maybe buy that house, you can get that car, you can go on that vacation. I mean, it really is a family issue,” says Morilla.

Levine Cava expects to have the legislation completed by June or July to then have the County Commission vote on it.

But Florida is actually not doing so bad in terms of gender wage equality. Just this month, Institute For Women’s Policy Research released a new report putting Florida in the spotlight.

“Among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, Florida is projected to be the first state in the nation where women’s median annual earnings will reach parity with men’s, but not until the year 2038,” according to the report.