Francis X. Suarez

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Francis Suarez
Francis Suarez.png
43rd Mayor of Miami
Assumed office
November 15, 2017
Preceded byTomás Regalado
Member of the Miami City Commission
from the 4th district
In office
November 2009 – November 2017
Preceded byTomás Regalado
Succeeded byManolo Reyes
Personal details
Born
Francis Xavier Suarez

(1977-10-06) October 6, 1977 (age 42)
Miami, Florida, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
FatherXavier Suarez
EducationFlorida International University (BS)
University of Florida (JD)

Francis Xavier Suarez (/swɑːˈrɛz/; born October 6, 1977) is an American attorney and politician serving as the 43rd mayor of Miami. He was elected on November 7, 2017 with 86 percent of the vote.[1] Suarez is the first Miami-born mayor. He is a registered Republican, but the office of the City of Miami Mayor is nonpartisan. He previously served as City of Miami Commissioner for District 4, a position he held since he was elected in a runoff election on November 17, 2009. Suarez is the son of former Miami Mayor and current Miami-Dade County Commissioner Xavier Suarez.

Suarez also serves as Vice-Chair of the Miami-Dade Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) and is the former President of the Miami-Dade County League of Cities. In his role at the TPO, Suarez championed the Strategic Miami Area Rapid Transit (SMART) Plan, which was unanimously approved.[2] The SMART Plan expands mass transit options in Miami-Dade County through six main corridors and new bus routes.

Family and background[edit]

The oldest of four siblings, Mayor Suarez was born into a family where, as he describes, “being socially conscious was a kind of requirement.” As the son of former City of Miami Mayor, Xavier Suarez, he was also exposed to public service since he was a child, growing up around his father’s office at City Hall, the same one he works out of today.

Between 6th-8th grade, Mayor Suarez attended the Jesuit, all-boys, preparatory school, Belen Jesuit. For high school, the Mayor transferred to Immaculata-LaSalle High School, another prominent Miami school that traces its roots back to Cuba. He graduated in 1996 and went on to graduate in the top 10% of his class from Florida International University with a Bachelor’s degree in Finance. Following college, Francis Suarez chose to pursue a law degree and attended the University of Florida Fredric G. Levin College of Law. After graduating Cum Laude in 2004, Mayor Suarez earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from Florida International University, graduating in the top ten percent of his class. He went on to receive his law degree from the University of Florida Frederic G. Levin College of Law, where he graduated cum laude.He is currently an attorney with the law firm Greenspoon Marder, specializing in corporate and real-estate transactions.

Political career[edit]

Miami Commission (2009–2017)[edit]

Suarez was first elected as City of Miami Commissioner for District 4 in 2009. The general election to replace Tomás Regalado was on November 3, 2009. Suarez made it to the runoff election against Manolo Reyes after he received 44.74% of the vote, while Reyes received 40.50%. The other candidates in the general election were Denis Rod who had 5.15% and Oscar Rodriguez-Fonts with 9.61%.[3]

The runoff election was on November 17, 2009. Suarez won with 51.41% of the vote. He was reelected unopposed in 2011 and 2015.[4]

Mayor of Miami[edit]

Response to COVID-19 pandemic[edit]

On March 2, 2020, Suarez responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by announcing preparations for a potential outbreak in Miami.[5] Though no cases had yet to reported in Miami, two cases were confirmed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in other areas of the state of Florida.[5] On March 4, 2020. Suarez announced plans to cancel the upcoming Ultra Music Festival, stating that the tourists attending would greatly enhance the likelihood of Miami having cases of COVID-19.[6] On March 6, 2020, Suarez and the Miami municipal government responded to the outbreak, which by then had resulted in even more confirmed coronavirus cases in the state of Florida,[7] by cancelling the local Calle Ocho Festival as well.[8][9] Suarez and two other city officials confirmed this during a press conference.[8][9]

Suarez himself was infected with the virus, which he confirmed during an interview with Miami Herald on March 13.[10] He is the second person confirmed to be infected in Miami-Dade County.[11]

Accolades[edit]

Time '100 Next' List[edit]

The Time 100 Next list spotlights 100 risings stars who are shaping the future of business, entertainment, sports, politics, science, health and more.

For his entry on the Time ‘100 Next’ list, Sen. Marco Rubio (R) said of the Mayor: Public service isn’t about grabbing headlines, but about solving real problems facing those who live and work in our communities. While federal policymakers play an important role, local government leaders are often on the front lines of these issues. Francis Suarez understands and relishes this civic duty.

A Miami native, Francis is a passionate advocate for the community he represents. While his efforts to solve the big problems—everything from sea-level resilience to solutions to gun violence—are clear, I personally witnessed his commitment to solving problems that fly under the radar when we visited public-housing complexes together in Miami’s Liberty City neighborhood.

Miami has a unique set of advantages and challenges. But Francis’ desire to serve his community has consistently guided the city toward a promising future.

Aspen Institute Rodel Fellow Class of 2019[edit]

The Aspen Institute-Rodel Fellowships in Public Leadership is a nongovernmental, nonpartisan educational program for men and women, ideally under age 50, holding elective office at the state or local level. The Rodel Fellowship program provides an opportunity for our country’s young leaders to analyze and discuss historical texts and contemporary commentaries on topics such as democracy and leadership. Political neutrality is essential to the educational mission of the program and there is no identification with any political or party viewpoint and no endorsement of legislation. No lobbyists, staff members, or outside observers are permitted to attend fellowship programs. Fellows must be nominated to be considered for participation.

In 2019, Mayor Francis Suarez, alongside 23 other distinguished individuals including San Francisco Mayor London Breed and fellow Floridian, Florida Lieutenant Governor, Jeanette Nuñez, accepted their places as a part of the 2019 Fellowship Class.

US Conference of Mayors[edit]

Appointed Chair of the US Conference of Mayors Environmental Committee[edit]

"I am honored to have been named Chair of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Environment Committee by President and Columbia, South Carolina Mayor Steve Benjamin," said Mayor Suarez. "I look forward to using this incredible opportunity to lead on an issue that profoundly impacts our future. We will collaborate to harness our resources and find innovative methods to safeguard our precious environment."

In announcing the appointment, the organization expressed its appreciation for Mayor Suarez's early and active engagement with the United States Conference of Mayors. Mayor Suarez has been a zealous advocate on issues relating to the environment and has participated in numerous panels focused on protecting our natural assets and achieving resiliency.

The City of Miami's geographic location and environmental issues make it a model city for others across the country who may one day face similar predicaments. Mayor Suarez's vision is to make Miami the most resilient city in America. This appointment allows him to share the steps the City of Miami is taking to turn his vision into reality, while providing access to resources and an exchange of ideas to help make that happen.

Trustee US Conference of Mayors[edit]

On July 1st, 2019 Mayor Francis Suarez was inducted as a new US Conference of Mayors Trustee.

Small Business Advocate Award[edit]

On September 16, 2019, the United States Conference of Mayors and the Partner America Program presented Mayor Francis Suarez with the Small Business Advocate Award for his dedication to the small business community of his city.

Latin Builders Association[edit]

On October 6th, 2017 Mayor Francis Suarez was presented the “Elected Official of the Year” award by the Latin Builders Association. The Latin Builders Association is by far the largest Hispanic construction association in the United States. It is a nonprofit organization, which includes a vast array of individuals and companies related to the South Florida construction industry.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Miami's new, homegrown mayor has a 'mandate' and a big agenda". David Smiley and Douglas Hanks. Miami Herald. November 7, 2017. Retrieved November 9, 2017.
  2. ^ "SMART Plan Matrix and Resolution" (PDF).
  3. ^ "November 3, 2009 Municipal Elections". Miami-Dade County Elections.
  4. ^ "Miami Commissioner Suarez reelected by default; Gort faces challenger". DAVID SMILEY. Miami Herald. September 19, 2015. Retrieved November 9, 2017.
  5. ^ a b "No Coronavirus Cases in Miami But Preparations Continue: Mayor". NBC Miami. March 2, 2020. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
  6. ^ Flechas, Joey (March 4, 2020). "Ultra's March festival canceled over coronavirus fears in Miami, sources say". Miami Herald. Retrieved March 6, 2020.
  7. ^ Patrick, Steve (March 5, 2020). "CDC confirms 4th coronavirus case in Florida". WJXT.
  8. ^ a b "Calle Ocho Festival Cancelled, Carnaval on the Mile to Continue Amid Coronavirus Concerns". NBC 6 South Florida. March 6, 2020. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
  9. ^ a b "Calle Ocho, Ultra Music Festival cancelled amid coronavirus concerns".
  10. ^ Flechas, Joey; Leibowitz, Aaron (March 13, 2020). "Miami mayor tests positive for coronavirus after event with Bolsonaro and staffers". Miami Herald. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
  11. ^ "Mayor of Miami tests positive for COVID-19 after event with Brazil president". WPTV. March 13, 2020. Retrieved March 13, 2020.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Tomás Regalado
Mayor of Miami
2017–present
Incumbent