Miami Beach will elect a new mayor this November, and there is a familiar face campaigning for the office.
Attorney Michael Gongora is one of four candidates seeking to lead the coastal resort city, a popular destination for LGBT travelers. Gongora, 53, served three terms on the Miami Beach City Commission.
“I have sponsored more LGBTQ ordinances and resolutions than anybody in the history of our city,” Gongora told voters during a Sept. 5 mayoral forum sponsored by SAVE.
Crime and safety, Gongora said, is why he is running for office.
“I have the best plan and best relationships to make us safer,” Gongora said. “I am proud to announce I have been endorsed by the Miami Beach Fraternal Order of the Police because they trust me to make our city safer, and we will.”
Gongora also touts his efforts to create an anti-bullying task force that has produced manuals and training that are sensitive to the needs of minorities. He expressed disbelief in the Miami-Dade County School Board’s opposition to recognizing LGBTQ History Month.
“All of a sudden because of the attacks we’re seeing in Tallahassee, school board members are afraid to even recognize our history,” Gongora said. “It makes me feel angry. It makes me feel ready to fight.”
In Out South Florida’s inaugural Your Choice Awards, Gongora is nominated for best activist and best politician in Miami-Dade County. In the activist category, he is competing with Athena Dion, the “Greek Goddess” of R House, Herb Sosa, Director and CEO of Unity Coalition, fashion model Regina Cocoa and dancer Sin Silva.
In the best politician category, Gongora joins Miami Beach Commissioner David Richardson, North Miami Councilman Scott Galvin, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, Miami-Dade Commissioner Eileen Higgins and North Miami City Clerk Vanessa Joseph.
Readers can vote once a day until Sept. 28. To vote, visit https://outsfl.com/yca.