By: Former U.S. Congressman Kendrick Meek
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
I believe that this Dr. Martin Luther King quote is particularly germane to Miami-Dade County and the challenges we face in 2020. Times of prosperity give our leaders the opportunity to talk about their convictions, values, and principles; times of crisis give our leaders the opportunity to demonstrate them.
Miami-Dade County is in the midst of a confluence of unprecedented challenges: A deadly epidemic, a painful economic downturn, a crumbling infrastructure, racial inequality, and a rise in sea levels surpassed in speed only by the meteoric rise of housing costs.
Miami-Dade County needs a leader we can rely upon, a leader who has had their principles tested by difficult circumstances. For Miami-Dade County, that leader is Alex Penelas.
When Miami-Dade County struggled with gun violence, Alex took on the NRA, closed the gun show loophole, and got thousands of guns off the streets of Miami-Dade County. He will make our communities safer and prioritize justice for the families of the victims.
When Alex was confronted with 22 hurricanes, he was the voice of comfort and guidance for our communities- something that we are sorely missing today.
When Alex saw that there weren’t enough black and brown people on the County Commission, he helped lead the fight with my mother, Congresswoman Carrie Meek, for single-member districting, which has allowed our communities to be represented by leaders who come from our neighborhoods and look like us.
I worked alongside Alex on education issues, like class-size and early education. When Alex saw that a lack of access to early education was hampering the development of our children, he traversed the state of Florida with me to collect 750,000 signatures for the cause and led a successful statewide referendum campaign that made Universal Pre-K a constitutionally-protected right for all of Florida’s children. Alex Penelas knows what it takes to fight for something and deliver results.
The next Mayor of Miami-Dade County will inherit a list of crises, and there will be no time for learning on the job. Alex Penelas is the only candidate for Mayor of Miami-Dade County who has met challenges with the scope and complexity of the ones we face today. Alex has laid a Bold Agenda for Success that will help us recover from COVID-19 and level the playing field for Black businesses, stop the misspending of the half penny sales tax and build the North and South corridors, and invest in the health and wellbeing of Black communities.
Alex understands that these issues require a whole-of-community response, and he will use his tested leadership to bring our local businesses, non-profits, religious institutions, universities, and cities to the table in order to leverage the full resources of our County to meet these challenges ahead..
Alex Penelas is the person for the job.