Take a bow: Show biz union backs Daniella Levine Cava for re-election as Miami-Dade Mayor
Daniella Levine Cava proclaimed ‘Formula 1 Day.’ Image via Miami-Dade County.

Daniella Levine Cava
‘Having a Mayor who stands with us in our fight for fair pay and increased opportunity is critical for local entertainment workers.’

A union representing behind-the-scenes workers in theater, film and TV productions is throwing its support behind Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava’s re-election effort.

Levine Cava’s campaign announced the backing of International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 500, the South Florida-focused branch of a national organization boasting 170,000-plus members.

Michael “Mick” McCarthy, a business representative of the group, said in a statement that it is proud to endorse Levine Cava “because she has always shown up for workers and families across Miami-Dade.”

“Having a Mayor who stands with us in our fight for fair pay and increased opportunity is critical for local entertainment workers, and we will do everything we can to ensure she continues to lead our county into the future,” he said.

During her time in elected office, Levine Cava led pushes 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.

Earlier this month, she and Miami-Dade Commissioner Eileen Higgins were presented with the 2024 “Serving the Arts Award” by the Arts and Business Council of Miami in recognition of their support of local artists and cultural institutions during the pandemic.

The Thursday nod from IATSE Local 500 joins others from labor groups including the South Florida AFL-CIO, United Teachers of Dade, South Florida PBA, SEIU Florida, 32BJ SEIU, United Here Local 355, Miami-Dade Firefighters Local 1403 and Teamsters Local 769, among others.

Levine Cava said in a statement that she is “deeply honored” to be endorsed by IATSE as entertainment workers nationwide “are fighting for their dignity and rights on the job.”

“These workers enrich our local culture, enhance our residents’ lives, and help our economy thrive,” she said. “Their hard-fought victories and sacrifices amid negotiations and strikes have been great, and I am honored to stand with them in solidarity for the fair pay and protections they deserve.”

Levine Cava, a Democrat, won office in 2020 after serving for several years on the Miami-Dade County Commission. She is the county’s first woman Mayor and the first Jewish person to hold the job.

Her opponents include three Republicans: Miami Lakes Mayor Manny Cid, social media influencer Alex Otaola and actor Carlos Garín, who previously mounted unsuccessful bids for Congress and the Miami-Dade Commission.

Levine Cava and Miguel “el Skipper” Quintero, a trapeze artist suing the county over code violation fines at his home-based business, are Democrats.

Eddy Rojas, a cargo and transportation executive, has no party affiliation.

The race for Miami-Dade Mayor is technically nonpartisan, meaning all six candidates will be on the Aug. 23 Primary Election ballot.

If no candidate secures more than 50% of the vote, the two with the largest vote shares will square off in the Nov. 5. General Election.

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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