As someone who has made public service an integral part of my life, it was an incredible honor to have been appointed to the Sunny Isles Beach City Commission earlier this month. The fact that my selection by the City Commission was unanimous made this milestone even more special.
A proud Miami-Dade native, I was born and raised in Miami Beach. My family owned the world-famous Pumpernik’s Restaurants chain. The time I spent at Pumpernik’s with my family and our customers evoke some of my life’s fondest memories.
After graduating with a B.A. in History from Brandeis University, I moved to Washington, D.C. to attend and graduate law school at George Washington University. It was in D.C. that I caught the public service bug by working for some of our nation’s most revered elected officials. I was a research assistant at the Helsinki Commission, chaired at the time by the Hon. Dante Fascell, the Miami congressman. During and after law school, I served as legal intern to then U.S. Sen. Bob Graham of Florida, and as a legislative assistant to Albert Gore, Jr., the Tennessee senator and future vice president.
After returning to our community in the 1990s, I served as Deputy Director of the First Summit of the Americas in Miami. The event, hosted by President Bill Clinton, brought together leaders from throughout the hemisphere.
I moved to the south end of Sunny Isles Beach in 2001 with my husband, Michael Gates. Together we have a school-age daughter, Julia Alexi Gates. I am a practicing attorney, focusing on matters related to real estate and planned development communities.
Since making Sunny Isles Beach my permanent home, I have served on the city’s Citizen Advisory Committee. We serve as the liaison between residents and elected officials, and as an incubator for public policy ideas. Some of the initiatives I successfully championed while on the Citizen Advisory Committee include:
• Deploying social media so the city can communicate and interact with residents and businesses.
• Revising our sign ordinance to allow the use of electronic signs on city-owned property.
• Hosting the city’s popular “Condo Workshop Series” that helps condo residents and associations deal with regulatory and governance issues.
As your new City Commissioner, I will focus on quality of life issues that make our city such a great place. This includes:
• Continuing our city’s outreach efforts to help condo residents and associations with a new Office of Condo Advocacy.
• Ensuring sensible re-development of the west side of Collins Avenue.
• Building a community center for our seniors.
• Making our streets safer and easier to navigate for school children and other pedestrians.
• Reducing overcrowding at Norman S. Edelcup K-8 school.
I want to know what’s on your mind. So please, feel free to contact me at (954) 632-0231 or 305-347-7391 or dgoldman@ sibfl.net. I am here to help in any way I can.