Candidates Forum: “Lively, spirited, informative”

Brickell residents and Downtowners participated in a spirited 2016 Brickell-Downtown Candidates Forum presented by Marten Advisory Group with support from Becker & Poliakoff. Neighbors from the Brickell Homeowners Association and its association partner organizations heard from candidates in the community hall of our hosts, First Presbyterian Church. Michael Gongora served as moderator of the forum, keeping it lively and covering many of the key issues for Brickell and Downtown residents. (See photo gallery.)martengroup

candidates2016The Forum focused on three races in Tallahassee: Florida House of Representative for District 112 and Florida Senator for Districts 37 and 38. Only Daphne Campbell, candidate for Senate District 38, did not attend of the State races. Rachel Regalado, currently School Board Rep for District 6 and candidate for Miami-Dade County Mayor, participated in the Forum, however, Mayor Carlos Gimenez did not respond to our invitation, although his campaign did respond to BHA’s request for a statement on what Brickell could expect from him, if elected, published in the Special Election edition of BHA News and repeated in the Fall issue.

We were disappointed that neither of the runoff candidates for School Board District 6 were in attendance: Mr. Abety, who provided a statement about his supportive stands on Brickell education for the Special Election edition, responded with regret that he could not attend; candidate Maria Teresa Rojas has not responded to numerous attempts from BHA.

The Forum provided the candidates an opportunity to present their platforms, answer questions from the resident groups and from audience members about matters of particular concern in their neighborhoods and surrounding communities. A “lightning round” of yes-no-waffle responses asked candidates to respond to varied questions with one answer, held up on signs. The questions ran the gamut from the legalization of marijuana to charter schools versus public schools.

The Marten Advisory Group was our presenting sponsor for the evening, and Becker & Poliakoff provided underwriting support as well. The event was co-hosted by Brickell Area Association, Downtown Neighbors Alliance and the Biscayne Neighborhoods Association, along with BHA, and about 125 people were in attendance.

“This community forum gives voters a chance to hear directly from the candidates and address issues key to the Brickell and Downtown community, Astrid Marten said. “We’re pleased to support this event.”Beckerlogoblue

BHA extends it thanks to our brilliant Moderator Michael Gongora, and to First Presbyterian Church, Pastor Chris and Property Manager Martin Mola for their generous hospitality.


BHA produced a special electronic edition of BHA News prior to the August 30 primary focused on the candidates on the ballot this election season who would represent Brickell.

We asked each of the contenders to respond to a simple question in limited space: “What can the Brickell community expect from you if elected?” Most, but not all campaigns responded.

BHA recognizes how important elected officials are to safeguarding and improving Brickell’s continued quality of life. We urge all Brickell residents to take a look at the candidates here and in other media and gauge which candidates will best represent you.

Candidates Forum 2016 Photo Gallery

See BHA News Election 2016 Special Edition

(PDF Flyer-Invitation)