District 10: Alfred Santamaria

District 10



Former congressional community liaison, U.S. Congress

This post is part of our voter guide for the Aug. 28 local and primary elections. Head to the main landing page for a guide to the key races and decisions being made this election.

District 10 covers a portion of southwest Miami-Dade from the area just south of the 836 Expressway down to Southwest 88th Street and extends east from Southwest 147th Avenue to the Palmetto Expressway. It includes areas like Westchester, Fontainebleau and Kendall.

This interview has been lightly edited to meet word count requirements. Santamaria’s opponents are Jose Garrido, Julio Sanchez, Javier Souto and Robert Suarez.

What would your your top 3 priorities be as commissioner?

My top priorities are: Be accessible to the community, honesty and proficiency.

My top three concerns are: Mass transportation solutions, economy development and housing, also making sure our schools are safe with single entrances and metal detectors.

What does “good” public transit for Miami-Dade County look like to you?

We need the expansion of the Metromover to the west side to the county. We need to limit tolls to a monthly fee.

How will you support expanding affordable housing as commissioner?

I will work to create workforce rental appointment for millennials, families and seniors. The way we accomplish this is by using county lands and allowing developers build this affordable housing project.

What does a resilient and sustainable city look like to you?

We need to create more coworking incubators to provide a physical space to entrepreneurs, give them mentors and access to capital, and to accelerate the  dreams of entrepreneurs in business and arts and culture.

What lessons did you learn from Hurricane Irma that will influence how you govern if you win?

We have to be prepared. We must do a better job in educating and preparing our community. Every county official should educate the community and be more accessible to the community in person and through social media. County officials should meet with mayors and have television and radio programs to better inform the community.

If you had the chance, would you uphold or reverse the county’s decision to abandon its sanctuary city status and cooperate with federal immigration officials?

I will advocate for comprehensive immigration reform. I will advocate for drivers licenses for undocumented residents. A comprehensive immigration reform where undocumented people are given a second chance with legalization. Through a process where they pay taxes, fees, with no access to public aid programs, learn English, etc (the exception are those who have committed crimes in the U.S. or in their counties of origin).  

Do you believe in systemic racism, aka the idea that racism is baked into some of our existing policies and laws, and if yes, what ideas do you have for addressing that?

Racism is an excising problem in Miami, the U.S. and the world. The best way to fight it is through education.

Should the Urban Development Boundary remain fixed, or do you think there are certain economic and mobility needs that are more important?

I am 100 percent pro environment. The UDB should be respected and not expanded.