Ahead of Juneteenth, Daniella Levine Cava Campaign Releases EMPOWER Miami-Dade Plan

As Mayor, Daniella Levine Cava will lead boldly to lift up opportunities in underserved and left behind communities throughout Miami-Dade County. She will lead with her EMPOWER Miami-Dade agenda to ensure that new reforms and initiatives give Black residents a real voice in the Mayor’s office. EMPOWER Miami-Dade is a community agenda for lasting change and equal opportunity. A series of programs and priorities will address systematic underinvestment in Black communities and connect families to the tools they need to grow and thrive.

Expand entrepreneurship & Black-owned small businesses 

Major investments in underserved neighborhoods

Police accountability & reforms

Opportunities for collaboration with community organizations

Wage growth and renewed youth employment programs

Establish the Mayor’s Office of Equity & Inclusion 

Reinvest in Homeownership Programs 

Expand Entrepreneurship & Black-owned Small Businesses 

Empower entrepreneurs across our community by opening small business accelerators using available federal funds, matching private dollars and increasing direct access to capital through revolving loan programs, more robust small business grants and micro-loans, and more inclusive procurement policies. The program will be modeled after the successful program launched in District 8 under Daniella’s leadership where over 60% of program participants are Black and women owned businesses. Further, Daniella will leverage federal aid deployed to stabilize the current health and economic crises by maximizing funding that supports Black-owned small businesses. 

Major Investments in Underserved Neighborhoods

As the founder of Catalyst Miami, Daniella believes that the best tool we have to give residents a true path to opportunity is to invest in our neighborhoods. Too many opportunities bypass underserved neighborhoods. Daniella will make affordable and public housing programs a real priority, upgraded infrastructure investments and neighborhood beautification. She will build successful initiatives such as providing every kindergartener with a children’s savings account for college and post-secondary job training and building on the City of Miami’s innovative pilot program.

Police Accountability, Reforms & Public Safety

Daniella has supported important reforms and changes to police accountability, including the fully funded Independent Community Panel. Now more than ever we need to ensure we have independent oversight of our police to ensure we regain trust among the community and law enforcement. Further, Daniella believes that thorough reviews of police practices must be done, and excessive force tactics must end immediately. A return to true community policing will put Miami-Dade in line with best practices as it puts officers on our streets, walking neighborhoods, getting to know residents and the community. Daniella also is committed to taking on gun violence as a public health crisis,  allowing for a more comprehensive and innovative approach to violence reduction, stem retaliatory shootings, and establish effective reentry programming to ensure neighborhood safety and economic opportunity. By strengthening existing local gun laws, we can enforce laws already on the books that have long been ignored to ensure background checks and waiting period requirements are followed. 

Opportunities for Collaboration with Community Organizations 

As a community leader and founder of Catalyst Miami, Daniella has seen the value of partnering with community organizations and area nonprofits to address our many challenges. As Mayor, she will seek robust opportunities for collaboration with area organizations to deliver solutions to communities that are so often left behind. For example, Daniella will work to expand the free tax preparation and financial coaching provided by United Way, Branches and Catalyst Miami to include “Virtual Tax Prep.” This initiative will be a key program of the Mayor’s office to build family prosperity through the Earned Income Tax Credit programs and address the continued wealth gap that exists in Black communities. She will also take her successful Nonprofit Academy countywide to better partner and support key organizations that serve so many. 

Wage growth and Youth Employment Programs

Daniella knows we have a real affordability crisis in Miami-Dade and our Black communities are feeling the brunt of the crisis, which is why she believes we must see wage growth in our County across many sectors to meet the growing cost of living in Miami-Dade County. Daniella also saw early on in her career the importance of investing in youth and summer employment programs for underserved communities. As Mayor, she will make this a real priority once again for our County. 

Establish the Mayor’s Office of Equity & Inclusion

The new Office of Equity & Inclusion within the Mayor’s office will coordinate the County’s various economic development and public safety activities, and ensure equity is factored into County decision-making.  This office would also prepare the Social Equity Impact statements for all ordinances presented to the Board of County Commissioners to provide in-depth analysis on how policies will improve or exacerbate racial, gender and economic disparities. This will include strengthening the County’s Commission on Human Rights, insuring that the agency is fully-funded and can act independently to enforce the Human Rights Ordinance and all legal protections.

Reinvest in Homeownership Programs 

Daniella knows the best tool to close the wealth gap in Black communities is to reinvest in homeownership programs that give first-time homebuyers their chance to pursue the American Dream. As Mayor, Daniella will streamline Miami-Dade County’s many homeownership programs into a single program or application to improve the success rate for minority homebuyers.  In addition, she will increase the number of approved mortgage and title companies involved with the homebuying programs to speed up processing of applications and support expanded Community Land Trusts initiatives to ensure we make affordable homes available. Daniella will also protect and reform the Surtax program to increase the number of homeowners supported by the program.

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