Jean Monestime

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Jean Monestime
Jean Monestime.jpg
Chairman of the Miami-Dade County Commission
Assumed office
January 1, 2015
Preceded by Rebeca Sosa
Miami-Dade County Commissioner from the 2nd District
Assumed office
2010
Preceded by Dorrin Rolle
Personal details
Born Haiti
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Kettia Monestime
Children Darnell
Clarence
Alma mater Nova Southeastern University (M.B.A.)
Florida International University
Profession Real estate businessman
Politician

Jean Monestime is an American politician, real estate businessman and a member of the Miami-Dade County Commission since 2010. He is the first Haitian-American to serve as a Miami-Dade County commissioner, as well as the first to chair the commission.[1][2] Monestime represents District 2 in northeast Miami-Dade County, which incorporates portions of North Miami, North Miami Beach and Biscayne Gardens, as well as the Miami neighborhoods of Little Haiti and Liberty City.[1][2]

On November 24, 2014, Monestime's colleagues on the Miami-Dade County Commission unanimously elected him as the body's chairman for a two-year term.[1] Monestime, who began his term as commission chairman on January 1, 2015, became the first Haitian American to chair to the County Commission.[1] He succeeded outgoing Chairwoman Rebeca Sosa, who remained a member of the County Commission.[1] The commissioners are officially nonpartisan, although Monestime is a member of the Democratic Party.[1]

Monestime emigrated from Haiti to the United States by himself when he was just 17-years old.[1][1] He didn't speak English until he arrived in Florida.[2] In 1981, he was hired for his first job washing floors in a doughnut shop for just $3.50 an hour.[2]

Monestime received a bachelor's degree in finance from Florida International University and a Master's of Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University.[2] A licensed real estate broker, Monestime owns and operates his own real estate firm, Jemo Enterprises.[2]

On November 2, 2010, Monestime defeated incumbent County Commissioner Dorrin Rolle in an upset in the runoff.[2] Monestime won with 53 percent of the vote, while Rolle placed second with 47 percent.[2] Rolle had faced several ethics investigations at the time.[2] During the 2010 campaign, Monestime accused Rolle of emphasizing divisions and disputes between the African American and Haitian American communities.[2]

Montestime, who campaigned on a promise to revitalize District 2's economy, secured $126 million in county funds to provide new sewage hook-ups throughout Miami-Dade County, including a commercial district near Northwest Seventh Avenue, which had previously utilized septic tanks.[2] The Miami Herald called the funds the "biggest achievement" of Monestime's first term as a commissioner.[2] He won re-election for a second term in 2014 in a rematch with Dorrin Rolle.

In January 2016, Montestime announced that he would not run for Mayor of Miami-Dade County in the forthcoming, county-wide mayoral election.[3]

Jean Monestime is not related to Carmelau Monestime, a pioneer of Haitian radio broadcasting in South Florida.[4]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Mazzei, Patricia (2016-11-24). "County commission elects first Haitian American chairman". Miami Herald. Retrieved 2016-02-20.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Hanks, Douglas (2014-08-04). "In a rematch Miami-Dade commission race, Jean Monestime faces Dorrin Rolle". Miami Herald. Retrieved 2016-02-20.
  3. ^ Hanks, Douglas (2016-01-07). "It's official: Miami-Dade commission chair Jean Monestime won't run for mayor in 2016". Miami Herald. Retrieved 2016-02-20.
  4. ^ Cohen, Howard (2016-01-28). "Carmelau Monestime, Haitian civic leader, Creole radio station founder, dies at 84". Miami Herald. Retrieved 2016-02-16.
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