Tuesday, January 07, 2014

DANIELLA LEVINE CAVA, Running Against Lynda Bell in District 8. By Geniusofdespair

If you want to meet her come today at 2pm • the South Dade Government Center
(on the steps of the courthouse)
GET IN TOUCH WITH CAMPAIGN

Miracle of miracles, we don't just have a good candidate running against County Commissioner Lynda Bell (Who won by about 300+ votes): We have a fantastic candidate! I couldn't have hoped for anyone better. It is as if the stars were aligned and Daniella fell like Manna from heaven to save us from 4 more excruciating years of Lynda Bell!! Both Gimleteye (Alan Farago) and I enthusiastically endorse Daniella Levine Cava.  I have known Daniella for at least 8 years and she has always been someone I admired greatly.

Daniella founded and was the head of the Human Services Coalition of Dade County. She has a bachelor's degree in psychology with honors from Yale University and graduate degrees in law and social work from Columbia University. For a full-bio press "read more" Lynda.

I asked Daniella a few questions, and here are her answers.



Why are you running for County Commissioner?

When I came to South Florida 30 years ago, I fell in love with the people and the place. This warm, diverse, community took me in, and ever since it’s been my privilege to serve the people of Miami-Dade in a variety of ways. The job of a County Commissioner is a lot like the work I’ve been doing for years: building bridges between people and business and government to strengthen communities. I think my experience, and the lessons I’ve learned from South Floridians of all backgrounds, can improve county policies. And I believe that the strongest democracies are made up of people ready to solve problems, not build their own power. The best way I can honor that ideal is to step up and offer my service to my community in elected office.

How has your background prepared you for elected office?


I’ve worked almost my entire adult life for the well-being of the people in South Florida. I worked for the state as a lawyer and social worker on behalf of abused children and impoverished families. In 1996 I founded Catalyst Miami, a non-profit organization that connects community, business and government to improve healthcare access and economic opportunity in South Florida. By the time I resigned as President and CEO last week to launch this campaign, the organization had grown from my living room to a thriving force for good, with a staff of 30 and a budget of over $2.5 million. I think my long experience as a manager, collaborator and communicator will serve the district well.

Where will you locate your office?

In the civic heart of the district at the South Dade Government Center. (Genius: What? Instead of the office Lynda is using in Palmetto Bay that she lavishly decorated, that costs the taxpayers a couple of hundred thousand).

I always thought that a commissioner in this district should speak Spanish, do you speak Spanish?

Yes, I speak Spanish in my professional and private life, as does my family. Not only did I spend part of my childhood in Chile, my husband Rob's family is rooted in Argentina and Uruguay and here in Miami we are surrounded by bilingual cousins, nieces, nephews and friends. I served as Spanish translator while in graduate school and used my Spanish representing clients when I worked at Legal Services of Greater Miami and the Guardian Ad Litem program.

What will be your biggest challenge in this campaign?


This is my first campaign, and as a political outsider I won’t have access to some of the big-ticket donors who underwrite a lot of the campaigns especially for incumbents. I’m going to run a grassroots campaign, and I’m going to need a lot of help from the people of district 8 who are ready for a change at county hall and eager to have a government that serves the many and not the few.

For more of Daniella's background hit read more to donate :
Daniella Levine founded the Human Services Coalition of Dade County (HSC), now renamed Catalyst Miami, in 1996 to meet the needs of families and communities through public education, advocacy and dialogue on critical social and economic issues. In 16 years the organizational has evolved to serve as a hub for innovation in health and human services and an incubator for new approaches to community and economic development. The nonprofit's major initiatives include the Prosperity Campaign and Imagine Miami which have received national recognition from groups including the U.S. Treasury, Government Accountability Office (GAO) and Ford Foundation. New programs include the Nonprofit Leadership and Training Institute and ReServe. The organization employs 30 with a budget over $2.5 million from a mix of public and private sources.

Daniella Levine Cava

Ms. Levine was previously employed as director of the Educational Advocacy Project for Legal Services of Greater Miami, legal director for the Guardian Ad Litem Program, and manager for foster care, adoptions and child welfare legal services at the Department of Children and Families. She played lead roles in founding Voices for Children, Florida CHAIN and the Florida Prosperity Partnership.

Board service includes: North Dade Medical Foundation, Florida Bar committees, League of Women Voters, Orange Bowl Foundation, South Florida Health Information Initiative and several advisory boards of Florida International University and University of Miami. Awards include: Florida International University, Red Cross, ACLU, League of Women Voters, American Association of University Women and National Council of Jewish Women. She was featured in America’s Table, a publication of the American Jewish Committee, that was included as a Sunday New York Times supplement. She was selected as one of 11 “leadership fellows” by the International Women’s Forum in 1999.

Ms. Levine taught “Social Change in a Global Era” at American University of Paris and social policy courses at University of Miami, Nova Southeastern and Barry University. She is a frequent speaker for groups including U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Grantmakers in Health, and the Federal Reserve. She has published dozens of articles in newspapers and magazines, including Johnson Foundation’s Wingspread Journal and Federal Reserve Southeast Region magazine. Ms. Levine received a bachelor's degree in psychology with honors from Yale University and graduate degrees in law and social work from Columbia University. She is married to Robert Cava MD, and they have two adult children, Eliza and Edward Cava.

60 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great news!!!

Anonymous said...

Finally! Someone we can count on.

Anonymous said...

Lynda Bell comes from a background of cleaning houses....now who would be better?

Anonymous said...

Lynda will have that Republican Machine working overtime to hold on to her seat. The Genting money will be flowing fast after she gave their Bahamas operation "preferential treatment" at the Port of Miami.

Before it gets too ugly, Daniella may want to have a protective fence put around her house...maybe one of those really nice chain link jobs that Lynda's daughter installs.

Anonymous said...

This is great news. Daniela is far more qualified than at least 11-13 of the sitting commissioners.
She will need money.

Cecelia said...

OMG the best news I have heard in a long time. Daniella has a very good chance.

Anonymous said...

Can't wait for the debates.

Anonymous said...

excellent, how do we help her/make sure she beats Bell?

cheap crap from china said...

I met Daniella when I worked for the Guardian Ad Litem program and she is amazing. She is very committed to the welfare of people in this community.

Geniusofdespair said...

She needs money. She has a website to donate
Daniellalevinecava.com

That is what she needs now.

Anonymous said...

Why is Daniella Levine using the name Cava for this race?

Geniusofdespair said...

I asked Daniella that same question. Her LEGAL name (30 years of marriage) is Daniella Levine Cava. So she is using her legal name. Makes sense in a political arena. She shortened it for business purposes but it is her legal name.

Anonymous said...

Wow an bilingual intellectual heavyweight against a double talking flatbilly from Homestead. Lynda is going to need Carlos and his money bigtime.

Cutler Bay Woman said...

It is really hard to be a professional woman and not have use one or two last names in your lifetime.

My latest name change came compliments of the Social Security office in Cutler Bay.

They decided that my Middle name (the only name I have used my entire life), Maiden name and my Married name were not my legal names.

Even though I have had a social security number in my name since I was a child and have paid taxes 50 years using my middle, maiden. And the last 35 years of the tax-paying years has been done using middle, maiden and married names -- The IRS certainly didn't mind taking taxes from me with that name!

Anyhow, they changed my name to first, maiden and last names. And told me if I didn't like it, go to court and remove my first name.

Soooo, my DL now has my first, middle, maiden and married names on it and I get the questioned why I have 4 names ---

At this point, since she is running for office, I would think that people who have known her family and Daniella before she got married and have not seen her in ages, might be excited and pleased to realize that it is their friend Daniella who took such a brave step. (Assuming she hasn't been married from birth).


Anonymous said...

You go, Girl!

I am sure a rose by any other name would smell as sweet!

Rich C.

Anonymous said...

The name problem is one inflicted on women by society. Lots of women have name issues.

Anonymous said...

Let's be honest. She is using Cava because she wants to appear to be Hispanic to Hispanic voters.

Geniusofdespair said...

Not true. I spoke to her about this.

Anonymous said...

Any way to donate anonymously? I don't want to start receiving "mail".

Geniusofdespair said...

Give her the check with your wants explained. She is a reasonable woman.

Anonymous said...

Does she have support within District 8? Why does she have the Democratic party working for her? I'm worried the GOP will load up their money train onto Bell. The Tea Party group here won't want to lose their #1 puppet, which Bell is.

Grass Roots is a good start. I'm confident she can raise plenty of money through her donor base already in place.

The Democratic Party shouldn't be involved though because then it's going to polarize a race WE need to make sure Daniella wins. Bell needs to go, she's not going without a fight and the GOP has more local money then the Dem's, which is why this is worrisome.

With that being said though - this truly is the best news I've had all year!!!!! Daniella is going to make a great commissioner!!!

Anonymous said...

Did you know that in order to get your FL drivers license renewed that a woman not only has to present her birth certificate from the state she was born in, but also her marriage license/ certificate issued in the state where she was married no matter if that was 40 or 50 years ago?Otherwise no drivers license in your correct name, and no correct ID for banking and other purposes? There is a big need to equalize the number of women in the FL state legislature.

Anonymous said...

Genius , I love your site and welcome anyone who runs against Bell...however.... Her husband Dr Robert Cava treats people with much disrespect. Anyone who can be married to that tool has to have some issues. Hopefully he will be kept away from her campaign. Just warning people before they all get on the bandwagon.

Geniusofdespair said...

Don't care about names, that is now moot, don't care about husbands. Let's concentrate on the important issue: Winning. By the way, my spouse is a pain in the ass and that is the name I use on my cellphone. Let's stay focused.

Anonymous said...

Its my understanding that she lives in Coral Gables and purposely bought a house in Palmetto Bay in order to run.

That's curious cause many folks, myself included, are not happy with constantly absent Commissioner Suarez, his staff is not that great either. She would sure make a much better Commissioner than him.

Why not wait till he goes after Gimenez' job rather than actually moving to run against Bell?

I'm sure she's a very nice woman but to purchase a home in a district where you don't reside in or live screams of political opportunism. Just saying, it doesn't all smell like roses to me.

Hindy said...

Interesting.

Have you noticed how condenscending and rude Ms. Bell is to people? She isn't the spouse, she's the commissioner, for gosh sake!

I don't know her spouse and I don't care who he is, as long as he is not a corrupt sob.

I want a smart individual in the seat who gives a damn about the community. A commissioner doesn't rule from home, they sit on a dais with 12 other "work" mates.

Anonymous said...

Daniella and her family have moved into Palmetto Bay. It's a fabulous house by the way, so they are happily settled in. All of her work and community outreach for the past 18 years with Catalyst has impacted every community in the county. Her grassroots approach to advocacy has often engaged many communities in District 8, so she already knows and is respected by most community leaders in District 8. So moving in was just the final detail to complete her already long term community activism.

Anonymous said...

Daniella knows more about Miami Dade county (and it's needs) than the current sitting person could ever learn in her term just because of Daniella's south Florida business experience.

Bell so far doesn't look like she knows how to find her way out of her own backyard.

Anonymous said...

I understand what the next to last commenter posted. Mrs. Levine is a Social Worker who lives/d in Coral Gables.

However, I have been hearing rumors for months that she was going to move specifically to run against Bell. So the argument about her 18 years of service with Catalyst and her years of connections to District 8 is a bit of a stretch.

I mean, Catalyst is an established institution, she could have moved 4 years ago and run after Commissioner Sorenson retired and won handedly.

Why the urgency to move from one district to another now?

Like I said before, it all smells like pure ambition. Doesn't matter where you run, as long as you run...

Anonymous said...

"Doesn't matter where you run, as long as you run..."

...or it DOES matter where you run, as long as you unseat someone who is bad for the county.

Anonymous said...

So she denied that she is using Cava because she wants to appear to be Hispanic to Hispanic voters?

Then that settles it ... because a politician would never lie. If she was trying to manipulate the Hispanic community, surely she would come right out and admit it.

Please! I will support her regardless, but I didn't just fall off the cabbage truck.

Geniusofdespair said...

Well it looks like Lynda's people are out in force. The problem is they are grasping at straws. Daniellia has always been a pillar of the community. Try as you might little Bells you can't take this candidate down to the level of Lynda.

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Levine is a breath of fresh air for District 8. I would vote for anyone even BOZO the clown to get Bellbilly out. Mrs. Levine will make an outstanding District 8 commissioner.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Levine Cava is not an opportunist, she is a winner. And she will win.

Anonymous said...

Cava is her legal name. If it sounds Hispanic too bad for Lynda, less votes for her. It isn't a Hispanic name.

Anonymous said...

Daniella is a great candidate on her own and can easily win this District with a good ground game and reaching out to the District 8 voters.

I just read the Herald article and looked at her website. I'd strongly suggest she doesn't continue to use that glamor shot with Judy Waldman & Jeff Porter on her home page. Those two are not going to help her with District 8 especially since Steve Shiver is now crawling through City hall in Homestead. The voters in Homestead, unless there's voter fraud, will not vote for Bell and that affiliation is going to alienate her with other voters who have nothing nice to say about Homestead ground zero of sprawl which Judy Waldman continued to approve as a council member along with Porter when he was on the council.


Anonymous said...

Bell Klan: Don't ferget to take the 'Murrican flag when y'all leave

Anonymous said...

Cant wait to hit the delete key on "Bell" when this is over.

Anonymous said...

Redland Motel will soon have a front desk clerk to go with it's Bellboy.

Anonymous said...

What is the Murrican flag? LOL

Go Daniella!

But, Genius, let's be honest here - she's not "grass roots"! She has plenty of resources to raise more then Bell on any given day. She runs/ran a charity. I'm pretty sure her donor list has plenty of deep pockets. This is one candidate who can and will out resource Bell with her connections throughout the County. I'm pretty sure the Chamber of Commerce people have their checkbooks open to her too!

I will be surprised if Bell raises much more then she already has. Lobbyists are probably seeing "blood" in the water and I see her demise very clearly. I'm just wondering how much of our tax dollars are going to be spent from the Dist. 8 allocation so she can campaign for free all over the District. Or, will she pull as Seijas and try to distribute all her funds toward the end of the race just before the voters hit the polls!

Good bye Bell & clan. This County has had enough of you and your herd.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully Daniela Cava will defeat Bell. What about that old war horse Darren Rolle. Last we heard he was running a charity into bankruptcy while paying paying himself $200,000+ per year. Oh, and Rolle was driving a $120,000 Mercedes. Now the dude wants to be commissioner again?

Anonymous said...

Porter's out. Sounds like Cava is just more of the same self-absorbed Miami-Dade Dem garbage.

Anonymous said...

"Self absorbed Dem garbage?"

Surely you jest. T-Bagger, intellectually challenged, Radical Right Religious fanatic Bell is the most narcissistic living/breathing organism to ever walk the face of the Earth.

Anonymous said...

The Levine Cava kick off was a great event. Lynda 'honey boo boo' Bell has a very capable, tough opponent. It's time to bring a blast of fresh air into the county commission!

Anonymous said...

Yep, it looks like Bell's Posse is out in force here, casting aspersions on a worthy candidate. Bye bye Lynda. Your political career was short lived for a reason. You have no substance.

Anonymous said...

hallelujah! Lynda Bell has pissed off all groups: library folks, animal rights folks, gay and lesbian community, farmers, county employees, citizens who have been publically scolded by her and honest businesses trying to conduct their business in Miami-Dade county.

Anonymous said...

recently a co-worker for a telecom company was called to do work on Lynda Bell's restaurant within her Hotel in Homestead. He was asked to do some work that he was not authorized to perform. Lynda Bell became enraged and called the company to file a vindictive complaint in attempts to get the worker in trouble. Bell is plainly a mean spirited, wicked woman. time for her to go out to pasture!!!! Thank you Mrs Levine-Cava for stepping forward

Anonymous said...

what a great opportunity to rid one small piece of corruption within Miami-Dade County

Anonymous said...

Daniella is a breath of fresh air
in Commission politics. Bless her
for having the guts and energy to make this generous public gesture.

If you live in District 8 please
contact the campaign and complete
a Candidate Petition. She needs 1100 of them and will get them but if we can make it easier for her staff, let's do. They have enough to
do.

Let others know about Daniella, what a special person she is and about this fine opportunity to change the culture of the County Commission. Pass out literature, put signs on your lawn and ask the campaign whatelse you can do. Don't just sit back and think this will happen just because it should. It will take work.

Anonymous said...

I got why they did it at the SDGC, they were there while Lynda's not…...

But bringing the sister-in-law, Dr. Anita Cava, Director UM Ethics programs, was subtle but great messaging.

Anonymous said...

"'Murrican": the Redneck pronunciation of "American".

Anonymous said...

Intelligent, thoughtful, easy to speak with, and you sense that with her, people's concerns matter. Miami-Dade has been beaten up by so many self serving political schemers. There is so much to uncover and clean up. Ms. Levine Cava is strong enough to begin this recovery.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that she took down the photos of herself with Homestead's Porter and Waldman that had been on her website. Maybe both sides of that equation had second thoughts. I hope she did it on her own and not at the request of the ever vindictive Waldman and mumbling/bumbling Porter.

Anonymous said...

"'Murrican": the Redneck pronunciation of "American".

OMG, that's very, very good!

Now I know why I haven't been able to understand Bell when she speaks. I don't have the right ear for "Redneck" language! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

blacks, gays, libraians, enviromentalists, animal rights activits, labor forces, military personnel and just plain citizens have been negatively impacted by Lynda Bell and her nasty corrupt ways. get her out! and by doing so, you'll severely damage the heart of Gimenez' ally core group.

Anonymous said...

"Whuppin": What Missy Lynda gon' get come Election Day.

Anonymous said...

To the poster with the Redneck Dictionary - Priceless!

Thank you for the one liners!

It looks like there's light at the end of the tunnel! Thank goodness and the election cannot come soon enough.

Anonymous said...

This is the time to "clean house", at all levels and locations of our government. We need those brave altruists who will lead us to a secure and democratic future for all. A clean sweep will bring the fresh, clean air and confidence that we need in order to support our government representatives. Daniella Cava is the right woman at the right time. Her husband, the esteemed Dr. Robert Cava, whom we have known for the past 24 years, is devoted to his family, his patients and his country. He has confidence and courage and is not afraid to use his brilliance in the service of humanity! BrooklynLZ

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