Miami-Dade County Mayor addresses upper school students

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava encouraged upper school students to get involved in the community, exercise their right to vote when eligible and take responsibility for bringing about positive change. A past parent at Ransom Everglades, the mayor answered questions from student-body president James Brown Urmeneta '24 and fellow students Tyira Jackson '24, Nina Gumbs '24, Lauren Page '24 and Mikey Zoi '24 during an assembly at the Lewis Family Auditorium on Jan. 9.
Levine Cava, who became the first female mayor of the county in 2020 after a 40-year career in social entrepreneurship and advocacy, discussed good citizenship, socioeconomic disparity, her path to public service and the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. Levine Cava's visit came just days before the national MLK Day of Service.

"So much has happened in a positive direction, but there's also been so much backsliding," she said. "We have to celebrate the progress we have made but we also have to push ourselves to really understand the legacy ... We don't have to feel personally responsible for what happened before we were born, but we can take responsibility for what we do in the future."

She also said: "You all can help to study the issues, learn, share that information and be the very engaged citizens we need now and for your future."

The mayor said she left the non-profit that she founded, Catalyst Miami, after becoming convinced she could effect more change as a public servant. "If you see something that needs to be done," she told students, "and you have the power, the capacity to make the change, you have the obligation to do it. And that is why I ran for office."

Levine Cava was welcomed by Head of School Rachel Rodriguez, COO and Interim Head of the Upper School David Clark '86 and Director of Inclusion and Community Engagement Wendell Graham '74. At the end of the assembly, the mayor connected with a number of teachers she knew when her daughter attended RE, including Associate Head of School John A. King Jr. and humanities faculty member Jenny Carson '03.

"We are absolutely honored to have you," Graham said. "Not only as mayor, but to welcome you back home."
Founded in 1903, Ransom Everglades School is a coeducational, college preparatory day school for grades 6 - 12 located on two campuses in Coconut Grove, Florida. Ransom Everglades School produces graduates who "believe that they are in the world not so much for what they can get out of it as for what they can put into it." The school provides rigorous college preparation that promotes the student's sense of identity, community, personal integrity and values for a productive and satisfying life, and prepares the student to lead and to contribute to society.