On Monday, March 15th, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine-Cava committed to new steps to advance a Community ID program, a local form of identification that would help vulnerable residents access COVID-19 testing, vaccination, and other county services.
She passed the legislative baton to Commissioner Eileen Higgins, who vowed to bring the item to the Board of County Commission within the next 90 days. Commitments were made in front of 1,200+ community members.
Community IDs are needed for demonstrating identity for municipal services, banks, schools and other services.
Commitments from Mayor Levine Cava and Commissioner Higgins came after Sofia Morales of Temple Beth Sholom gave emotional testimony describing how her daughter was refused mental health care when Morales lost her passport and could not prove her identity.
“I didn’t matter and by extension, my daughter’s life didn’t matter,” Morales said, “what mattered was proving my identity to the system.”
Over 130 Miami PACT members from diverse faith communities – Christian, Muslim, and Jewish – gathered with the public officials at a drive-in movie theater in North Miami while another 1,100 joined online.
Mayor Daniella Levine-Cava, County Commissioner Eileen Higgins, and City of Miami Commissioner Ken Russell were notable attendees, along with leaders from three major police departments in Miami-Dade County.
The interfaith coalition PACT (People Acting for Community Together) organized the event, their annual Nehemiah Action Assembly — an event in which they publicly seek commitments on areas of community concern.
The event also highlighted the worsening affordable housing crisis, with rental prices soaring in the City of Miami during the coronavirus pandemic. City of Miami Commissioner Ken Russell committed to pushing his colleagues for follow-through on the City’s plan to build or preserve 32,000 units by 2030.