This is a Moms Clean Air Force exclusive interview with Daniella Levine Cava, Miami’s Dade County Commissioner:
What is unique about protecting Miami-Dade’s resources and environment?
Miami-Dade is uniquely located between two national parks – Everglades National Park and Biscayne National Park. Our ecosystem is beautiful, but also life-sustaining. The Everglades recharges our aquifer, providing us with fresh water, and Biscayne National Park is an important part of our economy, for example supporting fishing and tourism. To protect ourselves we must protect our environment.
As a parent are you worried about the effects of climate change on your children and the children of Miami-Dade County?
Yes, I am definitely concerned about the effects of climate change on future generations. (Tweet this) This is why I am a “Water Warrior” and I fight so hard from my position on the County Commission to address sea level rise, saltwater intrusion, protection of our drinking water, Everglades Restoration and recharging of our aquifer.
Why is a bipartisan effort so important and how can these efforts be achieved in our politically polarizing culture?
All of us are affected by the quality of our air and water and by the effects of climate change. We should therefore be united in protecting our natural resources. In local government here in Miami-Dade we have nonpartisan seats, so this should give us an opportunity to focus on policy and not politics.
Is there anything you’d like to share that is important for Moms Clean Air Force members to know?
I would like them to know that the only way change happens is when the community is engaged in a partnership with government. We need active constituents to propose solutions and to educate others about issues that affect them.
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. Commissioner Levine Cava comes to elected office after having served as an advocate for South Florida residents and communities 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 1996 Levine Cava founded Catalyst Miami (formerly called Human Services Coalition of Dade County) to help low- and middle-income families through education and advocacy. Daniella and Robert raised two children, Eliza and Edward Cava.