Miami-Dade County District 8 Commissioner Daniella Levine- Cava will make her first Kendall appearance in 2015 on Monday, Jan. 26, at 7 p.m., to review county issues and answer questions.
After defeating incumbent Lynda Bell in one of the hardest-fought campaigns of the 2014 election year, Levine-Cava will appear before the Kendall Federation of Homeowner Associations during a specially called meeting open to the public at the Civic Pavilion in Kendall Village Center, 8625 SW 124 Ave.
“It will be a great chance for the community to listen to and ask questions of our newest commissioner,” said Michael Rosenberg, KFHA president.
Levine-Cava is expected to address both county matters and Kendall traffic issues, including her views on increasing Miami-Dade expressway tolls, a hot topic among Kendall motorists.
Asked for a comment last year on continuing complaints, she told the Gazette: “I am glad that the MDX board recognized the importance of keeping freight traffic off of our surface streets and rolled back the toll rate for tractor trailers.
Levine-Cava said she believes that the MDX board needs to be much more sensitive to the impacts of toll increases on other commuters and that she expected that this substantial increase in revenue from the “capture” of entry and exit points along the MDX controlled causeways was sufficient to fund MDX and its capital construction needs.
“It isn’t clear how the increased toll rates will improve operational efficiency, and I am concerned that this will not translate into better traffic conditions for South-Dade commuters,” she said in her mid-December comment, adding, “We need to provide people with real commuting options, including rapid and reliable transit service. MDX must be a part of that transit solution too.”
Levine-Cava won the District 8 Seat in the Aug. 26 countywide primary, defeating the incumbent Bell by a 51.9 to 48.2 percent margin. District 8 covers a southeast area of Kendall between SW 104th and 152nd streets from US1 to SW 137th Avenue. Most of District 8 lies in Palmetto Bay, Cutler Bay, the Redland and Homestead.
A strong advocate of social causes, Levine-Cava is the founder and served as CEO of Catalyst Miami, an organization dedicated to helping Floridians achieve economic well-being and self-sufficiency.
Born in New York City and raised across North and South America, she 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.
She served special needs children and immigrants at Legal Services of Greater Miami, then represented children in the child welfare system as associate and legal director for the Guardian Ad Litem Program. She was recruited to create a new intake system for child abuse cases with the Department for Children and Families and later promoted to manager for Foster Care, Adoptions and Child Welfare Legal Services.
In 1996 she founded Catalyst Miami to help low- and middle-income families through education and advocacy, managing a staff of 30 and a budget of over $2.5 million from public and private sources.