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Travel Guides – After Surfside collapse, some said, ‘Not now.’ But Levine Cava knows she must be a leader


On Day 1, when requested about accountability for the catastrophic Surfside apartment collapse, too many elected officers at briefings — together with Florida’s governor — initially responded with some model of the patronizing, “Now is not the time.”

When requested what would be carried out to make sure that another collapse of 40-year-old buildings much like the Champlain Towers South wasn’t on the horizon, the solutions equally have been void of any clear plan of motion.


Condo collapse is an urgent alert that old Florida structures need auditing | Opinion


Let’s focus the eye on victims, their households and search-and-rescue efforts, a parade of Florida elected officers urged in entrance of the cameras, wriggling out of answering key, related questions.

But not Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, the county’s high govt.

Accountability for what occurred and stopping one other horrific tragedy already have been on Levine Cava’s thoughts, and she had no problem acknowledging this early on. She confirmed, equally, real concern for victims and their households and engaged state and federal businesses to help within the seek for survivors and past.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and County Commissioner Oliver G. Gilbert console folks ready for updates from the Champlain Towers collapse web site at a reunification middle at 9301 Collins Ave. in Surfside on Thursday, June 24, 2021.

At day by day briefings, she has answered media questions with respect, all whereas forging plans to place preventive measures in place instantly.

She hit the appropriate notes, saying she would order an audit of previous buildings and demand repairs and push for a grand-jury investigation into the Champlain Towers collapse.

It isn’t simply discuss. All of these issues are within the works.

By Saturday, two days after the collapse, the county’s first feminine mayor had introduced that a 30-day constructing audit would start instantly for all residential properties taller than 5 tales that had not accomplished the 40-12 months structural-certification course of.

Required by Florida regulation, the method of figuring out and making expensive repairs to repair structural points usually drags on, as was the case with Champlain, which began the method early, however nonetheless wanted to provide you with tens of millions to repair a myriad of issues.

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And Levine Cava went additional.

She known as on all Miami-Dade municipalities to “swiftly conduct similar audits in their cities.”

“We stand ready to offer any and all assistance necessary to complete this process,” she tweeted.

After Surfside collapse, Miami-Dade governments check on older buildings, discuss reform

As a end result, two Miami-Dade housing complexes have already been flagged in an audit of unsafe structures.

Two Miami-Dade housing complexes flagged in audit of unsafe structures after condo collapse

A disaster of this magnitude — 12 confirmed lifeless, 149 nonetheless lacking — isn’t the form of check leaders need to must face, however Levine Cava, 65, is within the thick of it.

Although she doesn’t need to discuss herself, it’s vital to notice that, regardless of being newly elected to the put up in November, she’s exhibiting outstanding management, to not point out aplomb — and in two languages.

Her Spanish-language ability isn’t native. She discovered it whereas residing together with her mother and father in Latin America and put it to work whereas a social employee in Miami. It served her properly on the marketing campaign path, first as commissioner, then throughout the bitter and partisan race for mayor by which her Republican opponent used crimson-baiting techniques to painting her as a leftist.

At the day’s first briefing, Levine Cava marks the timeline.

“Here we are, Day 6,” she mentioned Tuesday.

Poignant for all that this represents by way of discovering survivors, in reuniting households, in giving closure to days and days of uncooked grief and the mammoth efforts.

She rapidly will get to the details, then steps away from the limelight to permit consultants to elaborate.

Sometimes, it’s not solely what she does, however what she doesn’t do.

When a journalist questioned if Gov. DeSantis had taken too lengthy to signal an emergency catastrophe declaration in order that appreciable state and federal emergency sources may be made accessible, she didn’t throw the governor below the bus.

Levine Cava had requested the order.

President Biden mentioned that the federal authorities was prepared to assist Florida as quickly because the governor declared a state of emergency, however he was ready on DeSantis to behave.

“I say to the people of Florida, whatever help you want that the federal government can provide, we are waiting, just ask us, we’ll be there,” Biden mentioned.

DeSantis’ order didn’t come till the late afternoon, however Levine Cava wasn’t going to play politics.

Although she has taken on DeSantis earlier than for lifting COVID-19 restrictions too early, this time she praised the governor and the state’s assist and presence in South Florida, saying she was grateful.


People have observed her management.

“You show strength, compassion and calm to address this situation,” Aventura Realtor Adriana Faerman tweeted to the mayor.

Levine Cava is also modest.

She politely declined to speak to me about her position managing the catastrophe.

“She’s not engaging on the topic of herself right now, because this is not about her,” Rachel Johnson, the mayor’s spokeswoman, defined. “She’s not the story.”

On this, too, Levine Cava is on level.

What issues are the victims, their households and the security of her constituents, whose buildings, because of her management, are being audited at once.


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