What's going on in our District 8 section of Miami-Dade County? Look no further, as our Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava gives us an update and an opportunity for discussion.
Daniella Levine Cava was elected in late 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. Commissioner Levine Cava came 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 the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew, Commissioner Cava 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 County Commission District 8 where she helped restore the lives and homes of those devastated by the storm. She served first as consultant then as Manager of the Departments. She subsequently moved to Barry University School of Social Work where she taught public policy and co-founded the Academy for Better Communities.
In 1996, through her work with the League of Women Voters, Commissioner Levine Cava founded Catalyst Miami (formerly called Human Services Coalition), 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, which 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. Catalyst is a leader in civic engagement, training and supporting thousands of local residents to play a more active role in local government and community life
Commissioner Levine Cava 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, The CLEO Institute, Alliance for Aging, Dream in Green, the Urban Environment League, the Miami-Dade Democratic Party 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.
She currently serves on the executive board of the South Florida Regional Planning Council as a representative of the Board of County Commissioners. At the county level, Commissioner Levine Cava serves on the following committees: Housing & Social Services, Parks and Cultural Affairs (as Vice-Chair), Public Safety and Health, and the Chairman’s Policy Council. Commissioner Levine Cava is also a member of the Miami-Dade Transportation Planning Organization (TPO).
Since joining the Miami-Dade County Commission, she has championed a fair share for South Dade; worked to promote economic opportunity, defend our parks, environment and agricultural lands; and advanced transparency and accountability in government.
Commissioner Levine Cava 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.