Campaign website: www.maureenporras.vote
Current Employment: Director of Immigration Legal Services at Church World Service.
I had the opportunity to serve Doral residents as a member of the following Advisory Boards:
– Miami-Dade County School Board, District 5
– Miami Dade County Hispanic Affairs, District 12
– Miami Dade League of Women Voters
and Community Advocate: I Serve as a political analyst and immigration expert on television, newspaper, and radio.
What is the most pressing issue facing the city and how would you propose handling it?
Traffic congestion created by overdevelopment. This burdens Doral residents and impacts our quality of life. We need to decelerate the approval of new projects, to immediately mitigate the influx of “new” traffic. This will allow us to explore mitigation solutions, including identifying and adopting transportation alternatives (i.e., expanding trolley service, bike lanes, and carpooling/ridesharing incentives); reducing commuter traffic by prioritizing business development focused on employers seeking to employ Doral residents, and focusing on local workforce housing; and continuing to oppose to the Covanta incinerator, which affects our well-being and causes a large number of waste trucks to congest our streets.
How will you handle population growth in our city, especially with the recent arrival of illegal immigrants?
The City has been prepared to receive the nearly 70% population growth it has experienced in the last decade, which includes new immigrants with different statuses. We need to build from this framework to ensure that we have sufficient services and amenities for Doral residents, including public works; first responders; healthcare and educational facilities; and zoning and planning. We must focus on initiatives that provide community “orientations” to new residents to educate them on our laws, practices, and procedures. My organization provides similar orientations to newcomers, which has resulted in better communication and collaboration between our residents, police, and organizations.
Do you think the city should increase its police force?
Yes. Public safety is a crucial and important function of government. While speaking with Doral residents, public safety and maintaining our police force has been identified as a top priority. The recently approved annexation for Doral in the NW corner of the City will require more officers to patrol the area. My participation in Doral’s 8-week Citizens Police Academy provided me with a greater perspective on the operations of our department and its community relationship. By increasing and prioritizing officer recruitment and retention, our officers will integrate into our community, build strong community relationships, and know the community deeply.
A personal message to voters:
The decisions made by our city council have the greatest impact in our community and our everyday lives. Now more than ever, we need leaders that will have the energy, commitment, and dedication necessary to focus on our residents and issues; carry out initiatives; and prioritize the needs of our community. As a public interest lawyer, I have dedicated my career to serving others and public service. Doral is the city where I grew as a professional and where my husband and I decided to make our home, and it would be an honor to represent you as your next councilwoman.