Katia Saint-Fleur highlighted her Haitian-American immigrant roots in a speech after she was sworn in as a council member in Miami Shores Tuesday.
“To be able to live in a country where you can be the daughter of immigrant parents who worked as hard as my parents have worked, to live in a community you dreamed of living in as a child and now to represent that community as a council member is something that I will never forget,” Saint-Fleur said during the ceremony at Miami Shores Village Community Center.
Saint-Fleur said she will also never forget how the Miami Shores residents rooted for her and trusted her.
Miami Shores has about 10,000 residents with 14 percent of them being Black and 70 percent white, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The village is about two miles from Little Haiti.
Four candidates ran to fill three seats on the Miami Shores’ five-member council. Saint-Fleur finished third in the voting, accumulating 1,037 votes, just 22 votes more than the fourth-place runner, Jonathan Meltz.
The top two vote-getters became mayor and vice-mayor. Sandra Harris, who received the most votes, became Mayor of Miami Shores. She is the second Black woman to be in that role. Daniel Marinberg finished second to be elected as vice-mayor.
Mayor Harris and Marinberg will serve a four-year term while Saint-Fleur will be in office for two years.
Before becoming a councilwoman, Saint-Fleur was the legislative aide of Oscar Braynon, a former member of the Florida senate. She was also the principal at KSF & Associates, a firm that specializes in helping non-profit enterprises with the state legislative process.
Saint-Fleur vowed to go above and beyond in her new role as councilwoman.
“I will wake up every day and give a thousand percent of myself to make every one of you proud,” Saint-Fleur said. “This village is beautiful. Our goal I believe―I’ve met and spoken to everyone [in the council]―is to sustain that beauty.”