As a community leader, she is most known for her strong advocacy for disabled children and adults, housing, seniors, fixing school facilities and transportation.
Ms. Regalado is admitted to practice law in Florida state courts and in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. As a litigator, she has focused on corporate litigation, real estate, asset valuation and intellectual property.
Since 2008, Ms. Regalado has hosted several radio and television programs in Spanish that focus on informing listeners about local politics, public housing, immigration and social services. These include a daily program on La Poderosa 670 AM, from 2008 to 2018, and Esta Semana con Raquel, a weekly television show that aired throughout Florida from 2008 to 2017. Currently, Ms. Regalado co-hosts Hoy por Hoy on Radio Caracol 1260 AM and contributes editorials for Community Newspapers and El Diario de la Américas.
Ms. Regalado’s first foray into elected office was inspired by her two children, both on the autism spectrum. In 2010, dissatisfied with public education options for children with disabilities, she ran for and was elected to the Miami-Dade County Public School Board (M-DCPS) representing District 6. In her 6 years on the 9-member School Board, she championed programs and services for special needs children and adults, as well as the district’s technology needs and became the face of a successful bond initiative to invest in updating and building public schools throughout Miami-Dade County.
Among her accomplishments:
- Championed a successful billion-dollar bond for school facilities repair and then chaired the MDCPS Facilities and Construction Committee to oversee repairs at 500 facilities and school site security
- Restructured the MDCPS transportation system, including the sale of older school buses, purchase of new safer buses and utilization of public transit which saved taxpayers millions of dollars that were being spent on repairs and inefficient routes
- Championed neighborhood access to district wide magnet programs and secured municipal funding for the expansion of MAST academy with neighborhood seats
- Created public/private partnerships to procure equipment and supplies for schools throughout her districtLed an initiative with private partners to teach coding to all M-DCPS students, working with Code Fever, Girls who Code and CodELLA who provide computer science training to Hispanic and African-American girls
- Secured private funding for Sensory Rooms for special needs children at three Miami‐Dade County elementary schools
- Led the creation and opening of the Autism Intensive Communication Academy at one of the district’s neediest schools
- Successfully advocated for the M-DCPS’s first ever social media policy, now a model for school districts around the nation, and a platform for educational resources such as Ted Talks and the Khan Institute
- Developed advocacy and district-wide policy on the important topic of cyberbullying and “think before you post” use of social media aimed at middle and high school students and advocated for school site safety, hiring of retired police officers
Ms. Regalado helped devise the Seven50 plan to secure the economic future of seven counties as a member of the Southeast Florida Regional Partnership Executive Committee. She also served as an executive board member of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) from 2010 to 2016, tackling issues from juvenile justice reform, civil citation alternatives to deportation protection for Dreamers, and bilingual education.
Raquel Regalado is the proud mother of two teenagers, Isabela and Sebastian. She is the daughter of former City of Miami Mayor and former Director of the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, Tomas P. Regalado. She earned a Juris Doctorate degree from St. Thomas University School of Law, a B.A. from Florida International University, and attended Miami‐Dade Community College Honors and Coral Gables Senior High.