Commissioner Rebeca Sosa installed as first Hispanic Chairwoman of the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners
Today, Commissioner Rebeca Sosa was installed as the first Hispanic Chairwoman of the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners by U.S. Senator Marco Rubio. The historic ceremony, attended by more than 300 residents, elected officials and community leaders, took place in the Commission Chamber of the Stephen P. Clark Center. Florida Governor Rick Scott and Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez delivered welcoming remarks and commended Chairwoman Sosa’s leadership and dedication to the residents of Miami-Dade County.
Chairwoman Sosa delivered the following speech:
“Senator Rubio, Governor Scott, Mayor Gimenez, Vice Chair Bell, Members of the Board of County Commissioners, State and local elected officials, members of the clergy, family and friends…thank you for being here today. I’m extremely honored by your presence.
Let us begin by thanking our Creator for the many blessings that he has given us.
I count my family as God’s greatest blessing and I am very happy that they are here today. My husband Armando, my children Veronica, Maikel, Mandy and Janice, my mother Bellita, my sister Lupe, Manolo, Chachi, Nene, Teresa, and my special gift, my grandson Alexander, and each member of my staff Hiram, Betty, Lourdes, Vivian, Gloria, Jose, Rosa, Vanessa, Natasha and Manny.
I want to offer the greatest and a heartfelt thanks to my colleagues on the County Commission. I am humbled by the trust and confidence that you have placed in me.
I am ready and proud to lead our board and also to be the very first Hispanic American female to do so. I will work very hard hoping to live up to your expectations.
Having Senator Rubio and his wife Janette with us today is indeed an honor for me. I am very proud of you, your accomplishments and your friendship.
My appreciation to the Governor for his presence. And, to our Mayor, thank you for your leadership and for your kind words. As elected officials, we are entrusted with improving the lives of those who have elected us to office. And, if we want to succeed in that vital mission, we must commit to working together for the greater good. In that spirit, I pledge to you today that I will work with all of our government partners to move our community forward. I will work with:
My Commission colleagues;
Our municipal partners throughout Miami-Dade County;
Our State government, led by Governor Scott;
And our friends at the Federal level, including our own Senator Rubio.
I understand that we won’t always see eye-to-eye in our shared efforts, especially on this dais here, but that is actually one of the great legacies of our democracy: when we can debate the issues in a good-natured way and when we can respectfully disagree, that is when we can bring different perspectives to the table that will improve the final product and deliver the best services to serve our employer, our master, the residents of Miami-Dade County.
I believe with all my heart that our diversity is our greatest asset – as a community, and as a board. Each one of us brings different points of view to the table. This diversity is our strength, and it’s what makes us who we are: Miami-Dade!
And speaking of the many corners of our community that we represent, I believe that we must bring government closer to the people we serve.
My plan is to hold at least two of our board meetings outside of County Hall, and I’m grateful for the positive feedback that Mayor Gimenez and my Commission colleagues have already provided. The idea is to bring government closer to our residents in the south, ease and western areas of our county so that they can participate in their County government from the convenience of their own neighborhoods.
And whether our meetings are in these chambers or out in the community, I will make a concerted effort to conduct our meetings in a timely manner, with respect for each and every one of my Commission colleagues. My goal is to create an atmosphere where you feel free to voice your opinions; where your legislative items and priorities are moved expeditiously; and where business is conducted transparently and ethically.
My vision for this Board is one where the needs of one district do not outweigh those of another, and where all districts are treated fairly. I commit to listening to the unique needs of your districts and bringing economic development efforts to those places where it’s needed the most. After all, who knows the needs of each district better than each of you?
I will also work to ensure timely communication between the members of this Board and the Administration so that the actions of the Administration that impact our districts are communicated and discussed prior to moving forward. Mayor Gimenez, I look forward to working with you and your Administration over the next two years, as well as with our County employees and bargaining units. And let me say this: we are only as good as the dedicated public servants who represent our government every day, and ours are the best. We salute you!
At the end of the day, we all strive to make Miami-Dade County a world-class community. A big part of that our economic bread and butter – tourism and international trade – continue to thrive. That includes building a world-class convention center to go along with our world-class seaport and airport, and I pledge to work closely with our mayor and board members to make sure that our convention center is second-to-none.
Before I close, I’d like to once again thank my fellow Commissioners for entrusting me to serve as your Chairwoman. I am committed to working with each of you and will humbly follow in the footsteps of those who have served before me.
To Vice-Chair Lynda Bell – I wish you the best in the years ahead and I look forward to working hand-in-hand with you.
At this time, I’d like to invite our Mayor and Commissioners to join me down here in front…come on down!
Let’s all join hands together here before the people that we serve. Let us thank them for entrusting us to represent them, and let us never forget that they are the reason we are here.
Thank you for sharing this special day with me, my fellow residents.
May God bless all of you, and may God bless the United States of America and Miami-Dade County. Thank you!”