Last night Eileen Higgins, aka “La Gringa,” won the runoff for the county District 5 seat in a big upset.
She beat Zoraida Barreiro, the wife of former county commissioner Bruno Barreiro. He left the seat to run for Congress earlier this year. That means a relative political newcomer – and a Democrat, to boot – just beat a member of the Republican-leaning Cuban political establishment in a heavily Hispanic district. You can see how different neighborhoods voted here.
Higgins took 53 percent of the preliminary vote. This tweet from POLITICO Florida reporter Marc Caputo sums up what a lot of people are feeling and thinking this morning: “Oh My God. This is huge. A family dynasty falls and the era of Cuban-American GOP dominance in Florida’s most-populous county is officially in its twilight.”
Although commission seats are technically nonpartisan, all of the commissioners, other than Xavier Suarez, have a party affiliation – and Higgins’ win means that Democrats now have a majority in the county commission, or 7 of the 13 seats. That means that we could see some big shifts in county commission decisions pretty soon.
The past few weeks our wellness challengers have been keeping it real and admitting that it can be tough to stay on track when you’re trying to hit a fitness goal.
That’s definitely been the case for Chris Scott, who has been working with Michael Vouvounas, a trainer and co-founder of the Barbell Society gym, to lose weight and get in shape. Chris is hoping to one day run a marathon (or at least a half).
He said that training and keeping up his exercise routine almost became too much:
“I began to wonder why do I even bother? Why am I continuing?”
But he thought about his regimen and what he’s accomplished so far:
“I’ve already cleared the hard part of getting started thanks to this [challenge], I get up and go to every session with Mike at Barbell twice a week and at my local gym.”
And Chris tells us it’s helped his mental health, too:
“Developing habits, especially healthy ones around exercise, is crucial to managing my depression. To go backward would be a failure I couldn’t stand at the moment.”
We’re really grateful to Chris, and all our wellness challengers, for opening up to us and sharing their tips and advice. Stay tuned as wrap up our wellness challenge with thoughts from the participants on hitting their goals, what they learned and what they’re hoping to accomplish in the future.
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Tragedy unfolds. Yesterday U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz tried to visit and inspect the Homestead shelter holding unaccompanied immigrant minors from the U.S.-Mexico border, but guards wouldn’t let them in. Health and Human Services is still refusing to say much of anything about what’s happening there, but Wasserman-Schultz says about 1,000 children are being held there and several hundred younger children are being held at shelters in Miami Gardens and Cutler Bay. Later that day, Senate Republicans – including Sen. Marco Rubio – drafted a bill to end the family separation policy. President Trump’s not about it. TBD if Democrats will join them in passing it, but Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said that President Trump, not the Senate, should be the one to make the change. (Miami Herald, New York Times)
But not everyone thinks it’s a tragedy. There’s been a huge national outcry over the Trump administration’s policy of separating children from their parents, but turns out that 27 percent of Miami residents in Rep. Carlos Curbelo’s southwest Miami-Dade district are actually OK with it. (For those who aren’t OK with it, you can march to the detention center on Saturday in protest.) (Miami New Times)
Get out your galoshes. According to a new study from the Union of Concerned Scientists, 64,000 Florida homes will be dealing with flooding at least every other day as early as 2045. And half of those home are in South Florida. By the end of the century, that number will be more like 1 million. Whoa. (Miami Herald)
Too hot to handle. Argentine favorite Manolo’s is bumping so hard during the World Cup that the low-key North Beach restaurant is putting in place some pretty high-maintenance attendance rules. They’re capping attendance at 150 people and asking visitors to drop at least $20 on Argentine eats when they come to watch a game. (WLRN)
When absence doesn’t make the heart grow fonder. When former FIU President Modesto Maidique left the university in 2009, he got a pretty impressive goodbye present: an entire campus named after him. But FIU trustees are looking to shake things up, both because Maidique’s not been so nice when talking about FIU in the media lately, and because FIU could probably get a donation to the tune of $100 million if the naming rights were up for grabs. The board is scoping out their options. (Miami Herald)
Shady Sunny Isles. Folks connected to Russia and former Soviet republics made a whopping $109 million in property sales at 10 Trump properties in SoFlo and New York – many of them through shell companies that obscured their identities, according to an analysis by McClatchy. That’s not actually illegal, but it is a bit shady and it’s the kind of thing folks do when they’re trying to launder money. SoFlo’s been on the federal government’s radar for shady real estate deals since 2016, so this is definitely raising eyebrows. (Miami Herald)
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Don’t miss tomorrow’s Inspire305 grand finale Enjoy music, food and drinks as we announce the winners of the Inspire305 Grand Innovator and Trailblazer Awards at CANVAS Miami. Rsvp now!
⚽ Multiple dates through 7/15: World Cup Viewing at Charcoal beer garden + tapas pop-up (Wynwood)
🎶 Thursday: Jam all over the 305 on Make Music Day (South Beach)
🕉 Thursday: Get zen at New World on International Yoga Day (South Beach)
🖼 Tuesday, June 26: Enjoy some food, drink and music while bidding on art (Miami Beach)
📽Friday, June 29: Check out a vintage Japanese gangster film at O Cinema (Wynwood)
🔬Saturday, June 30: Have some summer fun with the kiddos at the Yard (Wynwood)
🗣Saturday, June 30: Hear from legendary poets at the Maroon Poetry Festival (Liberty City)
🍷 Celebrate eight years of Words and Wine (Allapattah)
📗 Hear Ben Rhodes’s take on working in the Obama White House (Coral Gables)
👠 Turn up for a viewing of RuPaul’s Drag Race, hosted by Queef Latina (Wynwood)
🙏 Celebrate International Yoga Day on Palm Court (Design District)
🎤 Jahzel Dotel takes over PAMM Third Thursdays (Downtown)
🎭 America’s Short Play Festival comes to town – through Sunday (Downtown)
🏢Test your Dunder Mifflin knowledge at an “Office” trivia night (Brickell)
🍻Celebrate the life of bartender John Lermayer (Miami Beach)
👀 Check out a psychedelic audio/visual indoor festival – through Saturday (Downtown)
🎷 Catch some jazz at Ball and Chain (Little Havana)
👞 “Won’t you be my Neighbor?” premieres (Coral Gables)
📽 Watch “Black Panther” under the stars at the Barnacle (Coconut Grove)
✊ Fight for black women’s rights at “Here Comes the Boom” – through Saturday (Downtown)
👨🍳 Celebrate the launch of “Cuba: The Cookbook” (Coral Gables)
😅 Get your rear in gear at PAMM (Downtown)
🍍 Eat all the tropical fruit at this festival – through Sunday (Redland)
🎸 Flor de Toloache takes over the 1 Hotel penthouse (South Beach)
🎲 Drink, dance, and play dominoes – 50 percent off with code “domino50” (Downtown)
🍛 Nom on all the Thai food (Homestead)
🛍 Shop, nom, and jam at the Miami Flea (Downtown)
🎞 Catch a free screening of Moonlight (Coral Gables)
🎶 Listen to two hip-hop classics at Classic Album Sundays (Little Haiti)
Going to one of these? Take us with you! Email a pic to [email protected] or tag #thenewtropic on Instagram. See more upcoming events on our events page, and add your own events with New Tropic membership.