Nonprofit founder and executive Marleine Bastien’s bid for the Miami-Dade Commission just got a nod from the county’s largest union of transportation workers.
The announcement comes exactly one week after Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava endorsed Bastien for District 2, which covers portions of Miami, North Miami Beach, Opa-locka, Hialeah and the unincorporated neighborhoods of Liberty City, North Dade Central and Biscayne Gardens.
“Over the past 40 years, Marleine has shown an unparalleled commitment to the Miami-Dade community and we are confident she will serve the residents of District 2 well in her role as commissioner,” TWU Local 291 President Jeffrey Mitchell said in a Thursday statement.
A licensed clinical social worker by training, Bastien runs Family Action Network Movement, a Miami-based nonprofit that helps low- to moderate-income families. She founded the organization in 1991 as Haitian Women of Miami. Today, it operates with a more than $2 million budget.
Last month, Bastien placed a close second in a six-way Primary race for the District 2 seat behind North Miami Mayor Philippe Bien-Aime. Neither secured enough votes — more than 50% of the total — to win the technically nonpartisan contest outright. In accordance with Miami-Dade law, they are now competing in a Nov. 8 runoff.
Shortly after the Primary, three of Bastien’s opponents — former North Miami Mayor Joe Celestin, retired paramedic William “D.C.” Clark and business consultant Monique Barley-Mayo — endorsed Bastien over Bien-Aime.
“Like me, she cares deeply and continuously places people over politics,” said Clark, who placed third in the Primary.
Groups backing her campaign include FLIC Votes, Florida College Democrats, Florida for All, Florida Rising, Ruth’s List Florida, SAVE Action PAC and SEIU Florida.
For Bastien, her current campaign marks the first time she’s run for public office. So far, she’s taken a mostly grassroots approach to fundraising.
Through the end of August, she raised nearly $246,000. Bien-Aime, meanwhile, raised more than $922,000 with ample help from real estate businesses.
Bastien said in a statement that she is proud to win the faith of TWU Local 291.
“Our transit workers are the backbone of the working-class community and their voice is invaluable to selecting the next Miami-Dade County Commissioner for District 2.”