She will lead a mostly female council that Digna Cabral and Maureen Porras will also be a part of
By: Diana Bello Aristizabal
On December 13th, Doral residents voted Christi Fraga as their Mayor during a runoff election over Claudia Mariaca, while Maureen Porras was elected for Seat 2 on the City of Doral Council alongside Digna Cabral, who won Seat 4 a month ago in the first round of these elections.
With these results, a new period begins in the city government that, for the first time in history, will be led by a woman, who will have to team up with a predominantly female council except for Rafael Pineyro, elected in the runoff election to take Seat 1, and Oscar Puig-Corve who retains his place in Seat 3.
This is an important moment for the City of Doral that little by little, has been opening a space for women in the political sphere since the days of Sandra Ruiz, Bettina Rodriguez Aguilera, and Ana Maria Rodriguez, current state senator, women who were members of the City of Doral Council in previous years.
With their work and dedication, they set a precedent that served as fertilizer for the results seen in these last elections, which in turn will inspire future generations of women.
“I’ve had many women as an example, and that I serve as an example for others is enough legacy to me. I feel very honored to know that the community trusts enough in me to elect me as their first-ever female mayor,” Christi Fraga said of her new role.
For her part, Maureen Porras expressed her feelings about taking a seat on the council at the moment the first female Mayor was elected. “I am very excited to be a part of history and to be able to work with other women for the benefit of this city.”
Along the same line, the reelected Councilwoman, Digna Cabral, said she also feels honored by the opportunity to continue serving the community. “In this city we have always supported women, even in other instances when the council was mostly made up by men. So much so that Doral is one of the few cities that has a women committee.”
But, what does it mean for Doral to have a council mostly integrated by females? According to the new Mayor, this will bring a different perspective when making decisions.
“I think our empathy and ability to listen is going to be very helpful. This doesn’t mean a man cannot have these qualities, but they are more present in us, and this allows us to approach situations in a different way, involving residents more in decision-making.”
Maureen Porras, on the other hand, finds that women work more inclusively and as team members, which she hopes will be useful to other women, especially small business entrepreneurs.
“We will always take into account all the people in our community. However, women entrepreneurs need more space and support from the council, and I want to inspire them to find the resources they need in this council.”
Meanwhile, Digna Cabral states that the multifaceted nature of women will be positive in this new period. “We are mothers, wives, friends and community leaders, we have many sides and I believe this will help us create an impact in our community. However, this is not about gender but about having a call for serving others.”
Perspectives of the new Mayor
Taking the above into account, how will the new Mayor put her qualities as a woman and a human being at the service of this community? In her first 100 days in office, she will focus on security, creating an information and resources center, as well as improving infrastructure and communication with residents.
Regarding security, Fraga will increase police presence across malls in order to reduce theft. “I want to raise more awareness about the importance of reporting cases and respecting the community in which we live in.”
As far as the information and resources center goes, her purpose is to set up a place within the city hall, with a highly trained staff, where residents can find what they need in terms of their business procedures or of any other kind. “A well-informed community is a prosperous one, and many times people are unaware of their rights and obligations because they lack knowledge.”
She will also focus on beautifying and improving the city’s infrastructure, especially to minimize the damage caused by extreme rain events. “Every year, we see that the weather worsens more and more, and this produces floods, an economic impact, and increases traffic. We are going to come up with technological solutions that help the flow of traffic at those times”.
Finally, she will bet on improving communication with residents under an open-door policy so that people can understand what is happening at City Hall. For that, the plan is to develop an app through which people can communicate directly with her or with her office to send complaints or proposals.
For now, and while these projects take shape, Christi feels gratitude towards her voters that according to her, will be represented with the same honesty, transparency, and respect she has shown since her beginnings in politics at the age of 24 when elected as the youngest councilwoman in the history of Doral.
“I am the woman that I am in part because of the privilege this community has given me to serve it. I am the same as always but with more experience to achieve the things we want for this city”, said Christi Fraga.