Miramar’s exciting new vice mayor
Reginald J. Clyne | 1/9/2014, 9 a.m.
I am somewhat depressed due to the exit of Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones because the Black community was losing an exciting, hardworking public servant who had a heart for service. Michelle Spence-Jones will be missed in Miami-Dade County.
Recently, I traveled north, all the way to Miramar and encountered a young, dynamic woman who happens to be the Vice Mayor of Miramar. Alexandra Davis is a breath of fresh air. She has an enormous reserve of energy and was emailing me at midnight regarding her latest project, Breast Cancer Awareness. Apparently like Commissioner Spence-Jones, she does not sleep and works on public business late into the night. What I like about Vice Mayor Davis is her down-to-earth style. She is still “one of the people.” Do you know how some politicians become Kings or Queens and forget that they are people just like you and me? Vice Mayor Davis is still one of the people and she has a lot of fresh ideas that seem to come bubbling out of her. The City of Miramar, like the rest of South Florida, suffered during the most recent recession. Many people were out of a job. The Commissioner decided to host a small job fair to help connect employers with her constituents who needed a job. Approximately 2,500 unemployed people showed up for the job fair and several ended up with jobs. It was this pragmatic approach to a problem that I found refreshing. It is good when our public leaders pontificate on the dais, but it is even better when they take actions to solve a problem.
Some of her more innovative initiatives include creating an Apprenticeship Program for troubled and at risk youth between the ages of 18 and 24 years old. This is an age group that is generally ignored because somehow a person over 18 is already set in life. As the father of 19-year-old son, who is still figuring out his way in the world and desperately looking for a job, I know that this age group needs help. The Vice Mayor developed a program where Miramar businesses or the City of Miramar itself would hire at risk youth as apprentices and give them the valuable job skills they needed. I hear the complaints from my children — employers want someone with experience. But how do you obtain experience if no one will hire you because you lack experience? Not only did the young adults get part-time work, they were also sent to an appropriate trade school where they could enhance their practical skills. I think this is an excellent idea and wish someone would do something similar in Miami-Dade County.Vice Mayor Davis is clearly a woman on the move, and I think that Broward County is lucky to have someone who is so dynamic, full of new ideas and so willing to serve her constituency. This is one of the new, young bright stars to keep an eye on in the future — she will be going places.
Reginald J. Clyne, a veteran South Florida attorney, and his firm, was recently acquired by the Florida law firm of Lydecker Diaz in Miami.