The organization, which represents some 80,000 retired and active health care workers across the state, threw its enthusiastic support behind Levine Cava, Miami-Dade’s first woman Mayor and the first Jewish person to win the job.
“SEIU Florida and all our members are proud to endorse Mayor Levine Cava in her re-election campaign. Our Mayor has earned the support of our members by standing alongside us and delivering for workers and community members time and time again,” SEIU Florida President Martha Baker said in a statement Wednesday.
“We look forward to working hard over the next year to get Mayor Daniella re-elected so our workers, unions, and community members remain protected and supported in Miami-Dade County.”
Levine Cava attracted support from SEIU Florida and its sister organization, SEIU 32BJ, which has also endorsed and donated to her re-election bid, through her nonprofit, legislative and executive advocacy for labor rights.
During her time in elected office, she pushed for Miami-Dade’s first living wage ordinance and advocated for other worker benefits and protections, including a $15 minimum wage and access to health care, sick days, family medical leave and rights for low-wage workers.
This time last year, she unveiled the county’s first Extreme Heat Action Plan, which includes safeguards for outdoor workers. Last month, under pressure from industry interests and amid concerns of future state preemption, the Miami-Dade Commission deferred voting on an ordinance conferring additional heat-related worker protections to March.
Other labor groups standing behind Levine Cava this election cycle include UNITE HERE Local 355 and the South Florida AFL-CIO. EMILY’s List and 25 of Miami-Dade’s 34 municipal Mayors have also endorsed her.
“I am humbled and honored to receive the endorsement of SEIU Florida and the essential workers across our community who keep Miami-Dade strong and healthy,” she said in a statement. “I remain committed to defending and protecting our workers and their rights, and I am proud to stand with them in the fight for a safer, healthier, and more prosperous Miami-Dade for all residents and families.”
So far, Levine Cava faces three challengers. Two are Republicans: social media influencer Alex Otaola and Republican Miami Lakes Mayor Manny Cid. The other, a trapeze artist and self-described “First Amendment auditor” named Miguel “el Skipper” Quintero, is a fellow Democrat.
The race is technically nonpartisan. If any candidate secures more than 50% of the vote during the Aug. 20, 2024, Primary Election, they will win outright. If none do so, the two candidates with the most Primary votes will compete in a runoff culminating in the General Election on Nov. 5, 2024.