Colyer hopes third time will be the charm

Ex-DCF director says “District 5 needs a leader people can trust”

D. Kevin McNeir | 9/5/2013, 9 a.m.

Jacquetta “Jacqui” Colyer, the former regional director for the Department of Children and Family [DCF] for Miami-Dade and Monroe counties who began her career in the area of social work many years ago, has joined a growing list of candidates seeking to replace City Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones for District 5. Colyer becomes the first female candidate in a group of political hopefuls that include: the Rev. Marvin Dunn II, Keon Hardemon and Dr. Robert Malone, Jr. And while she has run for office twice but come short of victory, she says that she believes that this time she can win.

“It’s all about winning and then having the opportunity to do the things that I do well in and for a community that I love so well,” she said. “Job development, assisting people in need, building businesses that can sustain themselves and making this a safer and cleaner community are my goals.”

Colyer, who once worked with HUD in Miami-Dade County as well as the non-profit Our Kids, Inc., ran for office in 2000 for state representative, losing to Dr. Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall. She ran again in 2008 for state representative, District 108 — a race in which Yolly Roberson emerged victorious. Since then she has turned her attention in other directions. So, why now?

“I think this is a good time for the district to begin to build upon a strong foundation and it needs someone with experience and who is trustworthy,” she said. “The quote I often use in my life is ‘changing a life is life-changing.’ That’s what I hope to accomplish.”

She adds that when she first entered the field of social work decades ago, she soon understood that real power comes when one is able to change and improve another person’s life by helping them realize their full potential.

“No matter what color they may be, people just want to have a nice place to live, the ability to walk the streets in peace and to be in a community where their children can play without fear of being harmed,” she said. “It’s important to help small businesses get on their feet and there should be accountability in any elected office, but what comes first is the safety and well-being of families.”

More information about Colyer can be found on her website, www.bettertogethermiami.org.