Haitian American Haitian Leaders In The News

Jean Monestime Elected 1st Haitian American Chairman For Miami-Dade County Commission

Miami-Dade Commissioner Jean Monestime leads the singing of the national anthem at Monday’s installation ceremony. New Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava stands in the background.
Courtesy of Miami Herald:

This has been an amazing year for Haitians all around the globe. I am so proud of my people and our hard work. Congratulations to Mr. Monestime who went from washing floors at a doughnut shop to  chairman of the Miami-Dade County Commission

According to Miami Herald

Jean Monestime, who left Haiti alone at age 17 to move to the United States and went from washing floors at a doughnut shop to running his own real-estate business, was elected Monday as the first Haitian American chairman of the Miami-Dade County Commission.

His colleagues chose him by acclamation, voting unanimously in what they said was a show of unity for a board sometimes pulled apart by ethnicity and race. Monestime represents one of the poorest commission districts, a Northeast Dade corridor that includes portions of Little Haiti, Liberty City, North Miami, North Miami Beach and Biscayne Gardens.

“What an honor this is,” the 51-year-old Monestime said, his voice breaking. During his two-year term as chairman, which will begin Jan. 1, he promised to “allow our diversity to strengthen our community instead of divide us.”

Jean Monestime bows to Audrey Edmonson after she withdrew her nomination for Miami-Dade County commission chairperson. Monestime was elected to the leadership post unanimously.
Courtesy of Miami Herald: Jean Monestime bows to Audrey Edmonson after she withdrew her nomination for Miami-Dade County commission chairperson. Monestime was elected to the leadership post unanimously.

Esteban “Steve” Bovo, 52, was elected, also unanimously, as the commission’s vice chairman. He represents areas of Hialeah, Miami Lakes and Palm Springs North.

“Our actions today show that the American Dream … continues to live on,” said Bovo, who is Cuban American. “Many have come from abroad to establish themselves in this community.”

The two men are part of the commission’s newer wing. Monestime became Miami-Dade’s first Haitian American commissioner in 2010. Bovo took office after a 2011 special election. Some of their fellow board members have been around since the 1990s.

Monestime and Bovo will replace outgoing Chairwoman Rebeca Sosa, who will remain on the board as a commissioner, and former Vice Chairwoman Lynda Bell, who lost reelection in August. 

Though commission positions are nonpartisan, both Bell and Sosa are Republicans. So is Bovo, but Monestime is a Democrat. The last Democrat to lead the commission, Dennis Moss, ended his chairmanship four years ago. Six commissioners are Democrats, six are Republicans, and one is independent. Continue Reading Full Story Here 

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