Miami-Dade Mayor Levine Cava Celebrated International Women's Day With Her First Town Hall
On International Women’s Day, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava discussed her trailblazing role as the county’s first female mayor.
“I just love the fact that little girls everywhere are going to think this is very normal,” she said. “And that I may be the first, but I will not be the last madame mayor, and all the other glass ceilings that will be shattered.”
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The town hall also marked her first 100 days in office. It was held in front of a small audience at Miami Dade College’s Wolfson Campus, and was also streamed online. Audience members and social media users asked Levine Cava a variety of questions, from her plans in office to key women’s issues.
Olivia Martin-Johnson, a student at Gulliver Prep, asked how the community could combat the wage gap between women and men.
“First we have to expose it,” Levine Cava said. “If you don't see it, if you don't know it, then you can't do anything about it. Another thing is we have to work with young women like you and help you know your worth!”
Levine Cava encouraged young women to break glass ceilings and go after roles in male-dominated industries.
“This is the time when we are breaking all barriers,” she said.
When asked what it is like to work with 34 municipalities, most of which have male mayors, Levine Cava said she was not intimidated by it. She said she feels confident in her abilities — having the “knowledge and tools to get the job done.”
One of the main topics the mayor discussed was the county’s progress in handling the pandemic. The increased production of vaccines and the opening of federal vaccination sites has given her hope towards getting back to normal.
“I truly feel that we have turned the corner, it is a new day,” Levine Cava said. “More and more people are able to get the shot. It’s truly exciting because people feel like they are getting their lives back.”
Levine Cava mentioned the creation of a new team within her administration, VACS Now, to persuade skeptic residents to get the vaccine.
“People are slowly coming onboard,” she said. “We’re going to be helping people understand how safe it is. We also need trusted intermediaries to help people overcome their fears.”
In terms of the economy during and after the pandemic, Levine Cava sees it as a “reset”. One audience member, a student at Miami Dade College, asked the mayor for advice for graduates entering the workforce during this time.
Levine Cava said the pandemic has caused all aspects of the economy to be adaptable, a skill that recent graduates can bring to new jobs. She added that this “new economy” is looking for “young, bright, determined people who’ve weathered this storm and come out stronger.”
The mayor also addressed how the pandemic has disproportionately affected women through job losses and increased responsibilities of caregiving. She referred to this as a “she-cession,” and stressed that it is up to the community, notably employers, to make sure women are supported and brought back to their place in the workforce.
“We need to really make sure that as we build back, that we reach out and pull people back in,” Levine Cava said. “It’s going to be incumbent upon all of us to make sure that we catch back up.”