For Alex Fernandez, the American Dream began on the 4th of July. His dad came to South Florida from Cuba in 1961. His grandfather followed shortly after, but his grandmother didn’t reunite with their family until two years later—on the 4th of July.
Alex’s family taught him to treasure his rights as an American and always be proud of his heritage. But more than that, they taught him that service to others would always be more important than service to self. That lesson has guided him throughout his life.
As a kid, Alex grew up collecting food for food insecure people every Sunday. At 15, he started a charity to help people who struggle with addiction and homelessness get back on their feet. Those experiences also inspired his public service.
He has been working for our community for nearly two decades, including for former Miami Beach Mayor Matti Herrera Bower, former Miami Beach Commissioner Deede Weithorn, and now for one of our Miami-Dade County Commissioners. He also served as chair of the Miami Beach Police Citizens Relations Committee, on the Charter Review Committee and is currently a member of the Planning Board. Alex has learned firsthand how to get things done in Miami Beach, whether it’s tackling crime or preserving our historic character.
Now, he’s running for Miami Beach City Commissioner to put that experience to use, because there’s a lot we can get done. Given our challenges with crime and public safety, Alex’s experience working directly with local law enforcement will be a tremendous asset. His top priority will always be keeping our community safe. Alex will also invest in new infrastructure to mitigate flooding and combat climate change, tackle the out-of-control traffic plaguing our island and make our government more responsive and accessible to constituents.
Miami Beach residents have the right to feel and be safe in their community. Alex is the only candidate in the race with the experience to make an immediate impact on crime. His time as Chair of the Miami Beach Police Citizens Relations Committee has equipped him with the know-how, on-the-ground community experience and vision to keep us secure. As Chair, he had a proven record of supporting: the zero tolerance enforcement of all laws; more resources for our Police Department including an enhanced staffing plan and increased field supervision; greater visibility of law enforcement officers through park-and-walk protocols; accelerated installation of security cameras; and additional funds for technology and initiatives we know work such as the real-time crime center. He has additionally advocated for the creation of a community court system to ensure proper justice for the community.
Our city is ground zero in the fight against climate change and sea-level rise. On the City Commission, Alex will act decisively to confront these issues with solutions geared toward mitigation as well as adaptability. Delaying projects aiming to keep us dry is not an option – it is an existential threat to our way of life. Response plans should always be made and executed in close consultation with experts including environmental scientists and civil engineers. Alex recognizes that there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution to our problems with flooding, which is why he intends to engage with residents on neighborhood-specific plans to protect both private and public property and their character. His experience on different levels of government will help ensure Miami Beach advances toward a more resilient future.
As our next commissioner, Alex will push for sensible solutions to ease traffic congestion such as completion of the plan to add eight miles of bicycle lanes to our pre-existing eleven miles; installing protected bicycle lanes on more dangerous thoroughfares; increasing walkability in residential neighborhoods; unclogging major roadways like Collins Avenue and Indian Creek Drive by holding contractors accountable for finishing jobs on time; and funding the citywide free trolley on which many residents rely as a primary means of transportation.
Alex also believes the city should explore ideas such as dedicated bus lanes to service the Convention Center, Lincoln Road and our cultural institutions; cleaning, lighting and activating public alleys to make them safer; installing interceptor garages at the entrances to our city in order to transfer passengers from cars to public transportation; advocating for the shared use paths for pedestrians and cyclists included in the GO bonds; and providing public subsidies for rideshare and carpool services for the elderly.
Miami Beach is a unique and beautiful community. Alex knows that our proud history and architectural character are integral to our status as a global, cosmopolitan destination. They must be respected as we carefully balance our approach to smart growth and responsible development. That is exactly what Alex has sought to do on the Planning Board and what he will continue to do on the City Commission. For example, Alex has voted for measures to expand Class A office space with the goal of diversifying our economy and allowing residents to live and work in the same community. He has voted against proposed height increases in order to protect the character of historic neighborhoods in which some new developments have been proposed.
Public officials have a responsibility to be as responsive as possible to the many needs of constituents. They must maintain open lines of communication with those they represent and always seek to provide exemplary levels of service. In City Hall, Alex will do just that. He will remain accessible to residents and draw upon his extensive experience in government to make sure they receive prompt attention and assistance.
On the Planning Board, Alex has led efforts to reduce the transient use of residential properties in Miami Beach. He has advocated for stricter occupancy limits in hotel rooms and short-term rentals; supported legislation to prohibit bed-and-breakfasts in the West Avenue neighborhood; opposed the proposed hotel development in Sunset Harbor; and voted to prohibit apartment hotels in the South of Fifth neighborhood. On the City Commission, Alex will continue advocating for sensible zoning laws with the goal of keeping transient uses out of residential neighborhoods. He will lead the fight to protect and restore our residential quality of life from the impacts of short-term rentals and transient uses.