First Jamaican-American Miami-Dade Commissioner

The first Jamaican-American elected to Miami-Dade’s Board of County Commission, Danielle Cohen Higgins, who won an uncontested seat for District 8 in December 2020, is seeking a full term in the 2022 contest. In the meantime, Cohen Higgins is working hard to create balance and equity for her constituents.

Danielle Cohen With her familiar slogan, “I am with you every step of the way”, the Commissioner announced county initiatives she supported or originated that promises to change the lives of residents in District 8. One such issue is gun violence.

She noted: it is “a critical issue facing our community… we have a Peace and Prosperity plan that’s authored by our Mayor, governed by experts in data, which we are looking forward to passing very  soon. It is going to go to committee and get amended so that we are putting forth our best effort to address this critical issue plaguing our communities.”

Humble Beginnings

An attorney with her own practice, Cohen Law, Cohen Higgins comes from humble beginnings with a determination to add value to society. Her parents migrated from Jamaica and settled in Miami-Dade where she was born. Losing her father at age 8, the youngster grew up with in a single-family household with a fierce determination to succeed. The first in her family to attend university, the attorney who lived in what is now Section 8 housing early in life, is now working on a project to bring affordable housing to her district.

“I sponsored an item regarding a pilot programme on affordable housing that is going to start in district 8, and I’m very excited about it. Thank you to the many cosponsors on this item.As we know, affordable housing is a critical issue in our county and I’m thrilled that we are starting a $9 million surtax affordable housing programme, right here in district 8,” she outlined.

The first-time Commissioner is motivated to making sure District 8 is fully represented to get its fair share of economic and political resources. A controversial issue she has put her weight behind is Community Identification Cards. She noted that this is an issue dating back to 2015 which has come up again in recent times.

“Listen, they say the devil lives in the details and it absolutely does. What this item does today is tells our administration to come up with a plan on how we can protect our most vulnerable in our community that simply need a card that says their names and where they live, so that they can get, for example, vaccinated.”

“This is an important issue to our community,” Cohen Higgins added,“and I'm proud to support it and I look forward to what the mayor will bring back to us with the details… It’s important to note that our Director of Police and Law Enforcement fully support this along with our Chief of Fire and many other community leaders.”

Bringing the number of Black commissioners on Miami-Dade Commission to 5, Danielle Cohen Higgins continues to fight for a well represented District 8.