Miami-Dade mayor opens new office to address equity and inclusion

The goal is to increase opportunities for everyone in the community, with a focus on data to make sure that's happening. Mayor Daniella Levine Cava announced the new office Wednesday.

MIAMI – Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava kicked off her administration’s new Office of Equity and Inclusion Wednesday, an effort to expand access and level the playing field for everyone doing business in the county.

“Today’s announcement puts into sharp focus the fact that we need an office of equity and inclusion because we have not been equitable and we have not been inclusive,” Levine Cava said.

She chose the historic Hampton House in Miami to make the announcement.

“This is where people came to stay, black Americans, during a time when they were not welcomed at other venues in Miami,” the mayor said.

The goal, officials say, is to build back a more inclusive community and address systemic discrimination against all groups who have struggled to get a fair shot.

“At times overt and at times subtle, a harder path to homeownership, additional hurdles to get public sector jobs,” said Jason Smith, director of the Office of Equity and Inclusion.

It comes at a time when many in the county, particularly minority-owned businesses, have been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Particularly in these communities which we are targeting, they have borne the brunt,” Levine Cava said.

The office won’t just focus on racial equity but on access for all groups that need a leveled playing field, which includes women, the LGBTQ community and those who are disabled.

About the Author:

Amy Viteri is an Emmy Award-winning journalist who joined Local 10 News in September 2015. She's currently an investigative reporter and enjoys uncovering issues facing South Florida communities. A native of the Washington, D.C., area, she's happy to be back in South Florida, where she earned a masters degree at the University of Miami.