Candidates for Doral Council Seat # 4 Present Their Qualifications and Projects

Por: María Alejandra Pulgar

@marialepulgar – NAHJ #37172

Para leer en Español

The following candidates registered and qualified: Alexis Acosta, Digna Cabral, and Belinda González-León. They are running for the seat currently occupied by Ana Maria Rodriguez who finishes her last term allowed in office according to City Charter.

 

Alexis Acosta

Alexis Acosta

Alexis Acosta was born in the Dominican Republic and has been a resident of Doral since 1994. He lives in the city with his wife and three young children and has worked as a banker for the past ten years.

Very interested in the operation of the city Acosta has attended the evening sessions for every Council meeting, as well as participated in “every event the city offers, from the Arts festivals to the Military Parades during the holidays.”

For a few months, he was part of the Doral Rotary Club and also has volunteered in different programs. The one that most impacted him was “working with Children with Autism in New York.”

Having worked in the private sector all his life, Acosta wants to apply his values of discipline and effective policies to public service “I want to share those values in the public sector.”

Priorities and Projects

“I believe in education for all children. Doral has over 900 families with children with special needs and Autism. We need to take a proactive approach to help those parents when it comes with the education of their kids. We need to lower the cost of the park activities and the summer camps. We need to renegotiate contracts made with the County which will help us lower the fees we charge to our residents. We need to implement a budget that partly finances after-school programs such as music, art, and language.”

In his opinion, the most important issues in Doral are “traffic, education and the building and permit department. We need to implement low-cost solutions to the traffic issues. For Example, I believe we should manpower in every intersection of the city during rush hour to ease and ensure traffic is fluent.”

Children with special needs are a cause near and dear for him, therefore Acosta considers that “education for all is very important. One in every 59 children born today in America is Autistic, according to Autism-Society.org. In Doral, we have over 900 families with Children with Autism and of special needs. I believe we need to have a voice in the City Council that will ask the County to distribute the money necessary to create programs for our city that will help our children and their parents.”

He also wants to foster job creation within the building & code departments because he considers “it is taking too long for our business to get a permit. I have met a few of the staff from this department and they are professional and courteous. However, we need to give them the proper tools and policy to help them expedite permits faster and in a safe manner.”

 

Digna Cabral

Digna Cabral
Digna Cabral

Digna Cabral became a household name in Doral since her participation in 2016 elections.

She has resided in Doral with her family since 2007. A Senior Research Associate at University of Miami, she is a wife and mother of three children, and still finds time to serve in multiple community organizations such as Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, Rotary Club, Parks and Police 4 Kids, Home Owners Master Association and Community Development District of Coronado at Doral. She is also the PTA President at Dr. Toni Bilbao Preparatory Academy, member of the Family/Community Engagement Committee for the Florida PTA and in the past was a member of the EESAC and PTA for Dr. Rolando Espinosa K-8 Center and PTO of Doral Academy.

Her involvement as  concerned citizen, who frequently attends Council meetings, prompted her to register in the City of Doral Mayor’s Government Academy and she graduated from the program in 2017, where she was able to learn about the operation of the City. She considers that it is convenient for residents that the agenda for meetings is made public in advance because it “gives an opportunity to review the documentation, research and compile an educated opinion,” and also participating on the many family oriented activities “gives us the opportunity to engage with our elected officials, staff and the community. I fully support open access and dialogue among us.”

Cabral and her family selected to move to Doral for its family environment and school ratings. “We realized it was a great place to live, work, learn and play. These unique characteristics were the reason why I decided to run [for office]. We need to make sure the city keeps moving on the right track“.

Priorities and Projects

She wants to work hard to increase civic participation, “bring effective and efficient solutions to our traffic”, helping keep responsible growth in the city, “supporting the addition of more police officers to protect our residents” and work “closely work with our School Board and County Government, on behalf of our students and schools, to support exceptional education and special needs education.”

What would you like to be your legacy?

“I want to spread around our young residents that to become a public service official you should start participating and being an active member in our community. As challenging as it is to run an election, I would like our youth to look what I have done. […] It will be an honor that our Doral residents see me as the person that would represent them and the person through whom their voice will be heard, and actions will be taken.”

 

Belinda González-Leon

Belinda Leon
Belinda Leon

Belinda Leon was born in New York. She moved to Doral in 1995 when she got married, moved to Texas and came back to stay in 2003. A widow with two young daughters, Leon is a Psychologist and holds an MBA and an Ed.D in Organizational Leadership. She runs an education consulting company.

An alumna of the City of Doral Government Academy and the Doral Police Citizens’ Academy, Leon regularly attends or watches the council meetings and attends zoning or any other public workshops offered at the city to be educated on any upcoming changes that might be considered and discussed in the City.

In 2016 she participated on most meetings of the Commission for the Status of Women in Doral, as member of the Miami-Dade County Commission for Women. She also served on the City of Doral Audit Advisory Board. She is member of the EESAC at Downtown Doral Charter Elementary School and participated in the Miami-Dade County Public Schools Attendance Boundary Committee that discussed solutions for the overcrowding of schools in Doral.

She decided to run for office when she “realized that this was the opportunity to bring about change that would help enhance the lives of my children, their friends, and their families. It would help me teach my daughters how truly important it is to be civically engaged.”

She believes that the best quality of Doral residents is the ability to have created a “small town feel; […] we acknowledge that we know each other from somewhere and that we are neighbors. That is very much like the town I grew up in and it’s the main reason I love Doral”.

Priorities and Projects

Leon identifies the immediate issues for Doral residents are “traffic, overdevelopment, safety/security, and the bad smell” and supports clear ideas and projects to alleviate them, including increasing the use of smart traffic lights and the amount of police officers; exploring ways to obtain of funds to help adoption of odor controlling techniques and working closely with developers to create the needed infrastructure.

She also wants to improve the relationship with businesses in the city. “We need to invest in our businesses so that we can carefully mold our future and if we do so correctly, we can alleviate traffic; award our children more employment opportunities; create the salaries needed to buy homes in the area; and become a self-sustainable city.”

What would you like to be your legacy?

“I would want to have as my legacy the establishment of Doral as an Early Learning City […] by establishing a learning foundation [in partnership with businesses and schools] that will help young residents be successful students and good citizens”

 

 

 

One thought on “Candidates for Doral Council Seat # 4 Present Their Qualifications and Projects

  • October 1, 2018 at 11:37 pm
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    Truth is that after researching the candidates , I’m undecided and I mean this in a good way .

    Nice to see that this group isn’t the typical Miami , vote for ”lesser of the evils” .

    Thank God that Doral politicians aren’t like Hialeah y lo digo como un cubano que nació en habana .

    I do hope that more and more in Doral who can vote do just that . MOST do not vote .

    Either way a good selection of candidates .

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