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About Commissioner Levine Cava
Daniella Levine Cava was elected in 2014 to serve as the Miami-Dade County Commissioner representing District 8, which includes Palmetto Bay, Cutler Bay, Homestead, and unincorporated areas of South Dade including Redland, Falls, Princeton, Naranja, Leisure City and parts of West Kendall.
The Commissioner currently sits on the following Committees: Housing and Social Services, Parks and Cultural Affairs, and Public Safety and Health. She also serves on the Transportation Planning Organization and on the Executive Board of the South Florida Regional Planning Council.
Since her election, Commissioner Daniella has focused on delivering for District 8 on a variety of issues: Fighting for a fair share of resources for South Dade, expanding economic opportunity, championing parks and the environment, advocating for transit improvements and better planning and hosting the annual South Dade Solutions Summit (SDSS).
One of the needs revealed by the first SDSS resulted in the creation of a comprehensive marketing brand for our unique area: South Dade: More to Explore. The effort, which brings together local businesses and Chambers of Commerce, civic leaders and the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau is currently in consideration for a federal grant that would fund the planning of a comprehensive economic development strategy for South Dade to bring sustainable, permanent, well-paying jobs to our community.
During her tenure, Commissioner Daniella has fought to increase the County police force by 80 officers, with more than half of that number being placed in districts serving South Dade. She also broke ground on a new Fire Rescue Station and opened another. To date, she has secured over $30 million in funds for infrastructure projects in Homestead, Palmetto Bay and Cutler Bay.
The Commissioner has also convened a tri-city Traffic Solution Summit to develop and implement a realistic, coordinated local plan, including reducing bus travel times by synchronizing traffic lights on US 1, allowing city trolleys to use the South Dade Transit Way and advocating for the extension of Metrorail to Florida City. Her “Dead Serious bicycle and pedestrian safety initiative aims to reduce accidents and injuries.
Her office continues to advocate for the protection of our parks, animals and the environment and strives daily to increase accountability and reduce waste in government while growing economic opportunity for South Dade.
Commissioner Daniella came to elected office after having served as an advocate for South Florida families for over 30 years. She served special needs children and immigrants at Legal Services of Greater Miami, and then represented children in the child welfare system as Associate and Legal Director for the Guardian Ad Litem Program.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew, Commissioner Daniella was recruited to create a new intake system for child abuse cases with the Department for Children and Families (DCF). Her efforts were concentrated on the neighborhoods of District 8 where she helped restore the lives and homes of those devastated by the storm.
In 1996 Commissioner Daniella founded Catalyst Miami (formerly called Human Services Coalition of Dade County), to help low- and middle-income families through education and advocacy. Catalyst is an innovator in health and human services and an incubator for new approaches to community and economic development. At Catalyst Miami, she launched the Prosperity Campaign in alliance with the business community, Chambers of Commerce, United Way, and local banks. The Prosperity Campaign helps people increase their income and savings, and has brought in hundreds of millions in income tax credits and other programs, money reinvested in the local economy. Catalyst helps approximately 5,000 people each year to become more self-sufficient.
She has served on the Florida Bar Committee on Legal Needs of Children; the boards of League of Women Voters, Orange Bowl Foundation, North Dade Medical Foundation and the South Florida Health Information Initiative, and several national boards. She’s won awards from the Commission on Ethics, Red Cross, American Society for Public Administration, ACLU, FIU, National Council of Jewish Women, League of Women Voters, People for the American Way and American Association of University Women, among others. She graduated from Leadership Florida and was selected as one of 11 “leadership fellows” by the International Women’s Forum in 1999.
Born in New York and raised partly in Latin America, Commissioner Daniella received her bachelor’s degree in psychology with honors from Yale University and graduate degrees in law and social work from Columbia University. She came to South Florida in 1980 to join her husband, Dr. Robert Cava, a Miami native, who returned home to join his father in medical practice.
Daniella and Robert raised two children, Eliza and Edward Cava, in Miami-Dade, supported by strong networks of friends, families and co-workers.Back to Top Page Last Edited: Fri Aug 31, 2018 4:02:14 PM
Daniella Levine Cava
Awards & Recognitions
- Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, Government Leader Award
- American Society for Public Administration
10th Annual Gloria Hobson Nordin Social Equity Award
- National Alliance to Nurture the Aged and Youth
Most Distinguished Pioneer Award
- League of Women Voters of Miami-Dade County
Joanne Hayes Democracy and Mentoring Award
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