Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava
Daniella Levine Cava was elected in 2014 to serve as the Miami-Dade County Commissioner representing District 8, which includes Palmetto Bay, Cutler Bay, Homestead, and unincorporated areas of South Dade including Redland, Falls, Princeton, Naranja, Leisure City and parts of West Kendall.
The Commissioner currently sits on the following Committees: Housing and Social Services, Parks and Cultural Affairs, and Public Safety and Health. She also serves on the Transportation Planning Organization and on the Executive Board of the South Florida Regional Planning Council.
During her tenure, Commissioner Daniella has fought to increase the County police force by 80 officers, with more than half of that number being placed in districts serving South Dade. She also broke ground on a new Fire Rescue Station and opened another. To date, she has secured over $30 million in funds for infrastructure projects in Homestead, Palmetto Bay and Cutler Bay.
The Commissioner has also convened a tri-city Traffic Solution Summit to develop and implement a realistic, coordinated local plan, including reducing bus travel times by synchronizing traffic lights on US 1, allowing city trolleys to use the South Dade Transit Way and advocating for the extension of Metrorail to Florida City. Her “Dead Serious bicycle and pedestrian safety initiative aims to reduce accidents and injuries.
Commissioner Daniella came to elected office after having served as an advocate for South Florida families for over 30 years. She served special needs children and immigrants at Legal Services of Greater Miami, and then represented children in the child welfare system as Associate and Legal Director for the Guardian Ad Litem Program.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew, Commissioner Daniella was recruited to create a new intake system for child abuse cases with the Department for Children and Families (DCF). Her efforts were concentrated on the neighborhoods of District 8 where she helped restore the lives and homes of those devastated by the storm.
In 1996 Commissioner Daniella founded Catalyst Miami (formerly called Human Services Coalition of Dade County), to help low- and middle-income families through education and advocacy. Catalyst is an innovator in health and human services and an incubator for new approaches to community and economic development. At Catalyst Miami, she launched the Prosperity Campaign in alliance with the business community, Chambers of Commerce, United Way, and local banks. The Prosperity Campaign helps people increase their income and savings, and has brought in hundreds of millions in income tax credits and other programs, money reinvested in the local economy. Catalyst helps approximately 5,000 people each year to become more self-sufficient.
Born in New York and raised partly in Latin America, Commissioner Daniella received her bachelor’s degree in psychology with honors from Yale University and graduate degrees in law and social work from Columbia University. She came to South Florida in 1980 to join her husband, Dr. Robert Cava, a Miami native, who returned home to join his father in medical practice.
Daniella and Robert raised two children, Eliza and Edward Cava, in Miami-Dade, supported by strong networks of friends, families and co-workers.