From Cuban American heritage to streamlining permits: Kevin Marino Cabrera's diverse journey to serve Miami-Dade County
Commissioner Kevin Marino Cabrera, a native of Miami and the child of Cuban exiles, brings a unique perspective to the issues facing District Six. With deep roots in the city and a diverse background, Cabrera's experiences have shaped his approach to governance and his commitment to serving the community.
In this exclusive interview, he talks about his vision, goals, and Cuban heritage in detail.
Kevin Marino Cabrera on his Cuban American heritage and Miami’s evolution
Commissioner Cabrera's heritage plays a significant role in his dedication to public service, according to him. He emphasized, "The cause of freedom for Cuba has always been very near and dear to me." As a first-generation Cuban American, he grew up in a household with a yearning hope that one day Cuba would be free. This connection to the Cuban struggle for freedom has fueled his passion for community and public service.
Growing up in Miami, Cabrera has witnessed the city's remarkable transformation over the past two decades. He recalls, "I remember when downtown Miami was just jewelry and luggage stores."Adding further, he said that Miami was a different place back then, but it has since evolved into a global city, maturing and diversifying its offerings. Cabrera recognizes the importance of ensuring that the city's growth doesn't leave behind the residents who have made it a great place to live.
Fighting for affordability and senior citizens
Commissioner Cabrera's commitment to his community is evident in his efforts to reduce taxes and improve the "Save Our Seniors" program. His district has the most significant number of people over 65 in Miami-Dade County, and many seniors are struggling to keep up with rising taxes and property insurance costs. Cabrera firmly believes those who contributed to building the community should not be pushed out due to financial constraints. He advocates for creating affordable workforce housing to accommodate a diverse range of residents, including nurses, firefighters, police officers, teachers, and county employees.
In addition to affordability issues, Commissioner Cabrera has been actively working to protect homeowners from exploitation by unscrupulous contractors and companies offering home improvement services. He expressed concern that some contractors have misled homeowners into believing these services are county programs. To address this, Cabrera pushed for greater transparency and consumer protection by requiring documents similar to mortgage loan disclosures for these assessments, ensuring that homeowners have all the necessary information before committing.
Challenges and opportunities for all communities
While Commissioner Cabrera's roots are in the Cuban-American community, he recognizes that the challenges and opportunities facing Miami-Dade County are relevant to all residents. The most pressing issue, according to Cabrera, is housing. Countless polls have affirmed this concern, and Cabrera understands that housing encompasses more than just mortgages and property taxes. It also involves property insurance, a matter he hopes the state legislature can address by investing in infrastructure and reducing risks associated with flooding and other issues.
The role of education in governance
Commissioner Cabrera's educational background, which includes studies at Miami Dade College and Florida International University, has influenced his approach to policymaking and governance. While acknowledging the importance of political science, he believes that life experiences, including working in various industries such as aviation, real estate, and the pharmaceutical sector, have provided him with a well-rounded perspective. His diverse professional journey has allowed him to see issues from multiple angles, which he finds invaluable in making informed decisions as a public servant.
Streamlining the permitting process
One of Commissioner Cabrera's key initiatives has been to streamline the permitting process, inspired by his personal experiences. He recounted a frustrating seven-and-a-half-month ordeal when attempting a septic-to-shore conversion. The process involved navigating multiple departments and municipalities. To enhance efficiency, Cabrera has spearheaded initiatives to foster more efficient permitting. A recent resolution ensures that when homeowners encounter permit issues, the county and city are present at the same meeting to resolve them promptly. Additionally, he aims to create a unified permitting portal to simplify the process for residents and business owners.
Commissioner Kevin Marino Cabrera dedication to his community, shaped by his Cuban-American heritage, Miami upbringing, and diverse background, exemplifies his commitment to addressing the challenges facing Miami-Dade County. His focus on affordability, consumer protection, and efficient governance ensures that the community's best interests remain at the forefront of his mission.
For more updates on Commissioner Kevin Marino Cabrera initiatives, visit the official Miami-Dade government website here.
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