“Responsibility with a Mission”
By: Maria Alejandra Pulgar
He is a man of faith and family values. Businessman and Motivational Speaker, he currently serves as Councilman and is a Former Vice Mayor of the City of Doral. Respectful, serious, with a strong and keen personality, service to others is something that is very important to him and has always been the center of his life.
Talking to Pete Cabrera can be a very enjoyable but also intense experience. He is extremely vehement and straightforward on his ideas, expressions and comments, which can sometimes be “hard, but never harsh”. He also is very approachable, although he is always so busy that sometimes he can be totally immersed and focused on his thoughts and seems to disregard his surroundings. Nothing farther from the truth; he likes to be aware of the needs of those around him and is constantly interested on knowing how he can be of service. Honesty is a very important value to him, as are compassion and commitment to defending those who fall victim to abuses of power. That is his trigger; it is in his temper “to be a crusader”, to confront what he considers an injustice, to face difficult situations. He enjoys helping others realize their potential, he considers that ability a gift and his mission is to push this forward. For him serving is a serious business and there is no time to play games when there is a job to be done.
Pete Cabrera has very good memory. He remembers clearly passages of his early childhood in Pinar del Rio, Cuba, where he lived until he was 5 years old surrounded by beach houses and landscapes. He also remembers the plane that brought him to Miami with his parents, under diplomatic protection of the Uruguayan ambassador who was also leaving the island, along with a released political prisoner, that Pete was able to locate and see again in Miami many years later. Remembering Cuba brings sadness to his expression. Sometimes having good memory can hurt.
He remembers a good life, in a very religious, tight knit family composed by his 3 sisters, his parents and him. Nuns were very frequent visitors and they held bible studies at his home where “religion and service were a very big part” of their family lifestyle.
Growing up in Miami in the 60’s was not easy for a Cuban boy. There was certain racism that he had to confront at school, “being called bad names, being spit up, because of my foreign origin”. But that did not last long; his strong personality, his survivor temperament did not let Pete stay down for long. That powerful ability of bouncing back from difficult situations is what he teaches those who attend his seminar “Solving the enigma of personalities”.
He graduated from Coral Park Senior High School, began studying in Miami-Dade College, and started working with his father in his business. In 1984 he started working in insurance and has been living in Doral with his family for 24 years. “Life has been good, I feel blessed”.
A Responsibility and a Gift and the future of Doral
“My parents left Cuba so I would live in the land of the free and I am not going to let anybody take it away from me or anyone around me. I am not going to stand quietly before it. To me Public Office is a gift. I don’t serve because I need it. I serve because it is a responsibility and a gift. The more you are given, the more is expected from you”.
Pete Cabrera has been able to do a lot as a councilmember and wants to continue serving the community as the Mayor of Doral “to make sure we don’t lose what we have achieved. You need to have knowledge and experience and the integrity, principles and values; a motivation that is not power or ego or money. It is only about service and transparency in government and representing people. It is a matter of continuing helping people with the experience I have. If someone new comes they do not know and they will spend a lot of time learning how to do the job.”
His entire adult life has been about helping others; serving and giving makes him feel happy, it is what he enjoys the most as it is “engrained in the principles” taught to him by his parents. The perspective of one day having more time to devote himself to train people on how to live more empowered and successful lives makes him smile broadly, something that does not always come that easy to him. “It is crazy how an hour and a half on a conference can change someone’s paradigm in life so dramatically. It is so special a gift that I want to share.”
Service in the Catholic Church, where he has been very committed all his life, even as a founding member of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, is very important for Cabrera, as well as his commitment to Public Service, which he considers a gift from the citizens that have entrusted him with the responsibility of defending their interests and what is best for the city. “I am capable of standing up to anybody for the rights of the people of Doral. I defend their interests above my own”.
The vision Cabrera has for the future of Doral is brilliant: “Doral is going to be at the epicenter of the economic growth of Miami-Dade, and there is no need to stop it; with it comes prosperity. Economic development is important, it helps create jobs. I believe we will need more cultural and more residential development. The residents of Doral are a cultured, educated, international population that will need more spaces in the future. The cultural development and the commercial development are going to come together. Commercial development comes from the private sector and we need to facilitate it, to open doors”. In his opinion, economic growth will benefit the people that live and work in Doral and it means prosperity for the entire city.
Pete Cabrera wants to facilitate the creation of that vision within the laws and regulations that norm that process in the state and the city, within the master plan that is already in place. “We want to make it the best that Doral can be. But control it to maintain the quality of life we have come to love. This is going to be an exciting and vibrant community. There are exciting times coming for Doral”.
“The world is lost by the apathy of the Good not by the deeds of those with bad intentions”
That is the most important motto in the life of Pete Cabrera. It is one of the quotes his 81 year old mother repeats frequently. It has inspired him on his tirelessly work of community activism and later political involvement. Remembering that phrase made him feel the strong commitment and nowadays keeps him up to the challenge of continuing on Public Service, to make sure that the deeds of those with bad intentions do not destroy what has taken a whole community so much time and hard work to achieve.
His main legacy for Doral will be taking it to the next level of growth and prosperity. “I live my life to serve and that is all that matters. My purpose is serving and my goal is becoming a Mayor to continue serving in the Council. I believe I have a responsibility”.
If elected Mayor, Pete Cabrera wants to have in his team people that have good communication skills, are business savvy and care for the community, and puts emphasis on saying that having run for office on an election does not qualify someone above any other citizen that may be suitable for positions on any committee. Pete Cabrera wants along him in the Council “People responsible and dedicated, with vision; team players; open minded; People that are able to express their views and listen to others. To me honesty comes for granted. Dishonest people I don’t want anywhere. I believe in integrity. That is when you reflect on the outside the same thing you are on the inside. And with integrity comes congruency, which is the ability to be consistent in your acts and your words. Your actions represent what you believe and what you are”.
Pete Cabrera does not take lightly having received the trust of the citizens to represent them in the Council these past years and hopes to continue serving “I will do it with pride and they will be proud for what we are going to achieve”.