Personnel note: Miles Davis to leave Shevrin Jones’ office for key America Votes post
Miles Davis. Image via Image via Miles Davis.

Miles Davis
‘Democracy is fragile, and it’s imperative that we safeguard it from those who aim to destroy it.’

Miles Davis may be departing from his post as Chief of Staff to Miami Gardens state Sen. Shevrin Jones next month, but he isn’t leaving Sunshine State politics any time soon.

On June 1, Davis is taking a job as Florida director of voting rights at America Votes, a nonprofit focused on advancing progressive policies, increasing voter participation and winning elections across more than two dozen states.

For Jones, the change is bittersweet. He’s losing a stalwart deputy who for the last two and a half years has provided invaluable assistance on myriad issues. But as an active leader in his party and outspoken advocate for voter outreach, Jones also recognizes the move as a net positive.

“Miles has served as my right hand and brought smart, steady strategic leadership to our team. His drive for excellence, calm-under-pressure demeanor, and focus on the bigger picture are unmatched,” he said.

“Democracy is fragile, and it’s imperative that we safeguard it from those who aim to destroy it. America Votes is exceptionally lucky to have Miles for this important work — we will miss him.”

Davis entered politics in May 2016 as a field organizer for the Florida Democratic Party, the first of three roles of increasing import he held with the group over four-plus years. He ran the election campaigns of Gainesville state Rep. Yvonne Hinson, Iowa state Sen. Nate Boulton, former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman and former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine.

After working one year as Tampa state Rep. Dianne Hart’s first legislative aide and serving as a director for the Florida Democrats, he accepted a job offer in December 2020 to be Jones’ second-in-command.

In a state with a growing voter imbalance favoring the GOP, which controls 70% of the Legislature, it’s been nothing but uphill battles for Davis and the Democratic politicians for whom he’s worked. That won’t change with the new job. But if the odds not being in his favor bothers Davis, a self-professed “advocate for the underdog,” he’s not letting on.

“Throughout the Legislative Session, I have been incredibly fortunate to have a team of passionate individuals who stood by my side, sharing a common goal to defend and uphold democracy. The unwavering support from constituents, colleagues, and advocacy groups has been nothing short of inspiring,” he said.

“Their dedication to our shared vision has empowered me to face every challenge head-on and advocate for the principles that bind us together as a nation. As I transition into my new role as the Florida director of voting rights with America Votes, I am filled with excitement and anticipation for the crucial work ahead.”

The America Votes job comes with many responsibilities. Davis will be tasked with, among other things, legislative work around voting rights and elections administration, engaging with Supervisors of Election to remain abreast of preparatory issues and policy changes, and working with state and local stakeholders on efforts to protect and expand voter access.

He’ll also be guiding the group, its partners and the voters they seek to help through new election laws, including one restricting the use of mail ballots. Another measure (SB 7050) pending Gov. Ron DeSantis’ signature would hike fines for third-party voter registration groups, shorten the window to return mail ballots and enable DeSantis to run for President without having to resign from office.

“Miles’ experience in the state Legislature advocating for working people and on campaigns will help further our work with trusted partners to ensure that every Floridian has the information they need to make their voices heard in every election,” said Jennifer Rubiello, Florida state director for America Votes. “We’re excited to have him onboard and thankful for his service in Tallahassee.”

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.


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