When Jean Monestime completes his tenure on the 13-member Miami-Dade Commission in November, another Haitian American is likely to step up to fill the District 2 seat. Of the six candidates in the non-partisan race for the seat, the only one held by a Haitian American historically, four are Haitian.
District 2 comprises portions of Miami, North Miami, North Miami Beach, Opa-locka, Hialeah and the unincorporated neighborhoods of Liberty City, North Dade Central and Biscayne Gardens. Nearly half of its 200,000 residents are Black, many of them Haitian.
The contenders — Wallace Aristide, a high school principal, Monique Barely-Mayo, a business consultant, Marleine Bastien, a prominent non-profit organizer, Philippe Bien-Aime, the mayor of North Miami, Joe Celestin, a former mayor of North Miami, and William Clark, a retired firefighter/paramedic — have drawn support from constituents and key stakeholders alike, such as influential real estate developers. Throughout the campaign, the candidates have drawn contrasts both professional and personal about who can best address such issues as affordable housing, higher wages, transit and public safety.
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