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By NAN Staff Writer

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Tues. Dec. 8, 2020: A Jamaican-American lawyer has become the first African American appointed to represent District 8 in Miami-Dade County.

The Miami-Dade County Board of Commissioners appointed Danielle Cohen Higgins, a civil law attorney, to fill the commissioner seat vacated by new mayor Daniella Levine Cava.

She was selected by a 10-1 vote in a special meeting on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. The process took only about 10 minutes as commissioners decided to make the appointment rather than hold a special election for district residents.

Cohen Higgins was considered a frontrunner from the get-go among a list of seven contenders.

“I was optimistic, but very cautious, understanding that in the world of politics, anything can happen at any moment,” she said afterward, adding, “There was no other candidate in District 8 that was more prepared to run an election than I was.”

Cohen Higgins had filed to run for the seat a year and a half ago, anticipating the turnover and a special election. But commissioners decided to make an appointment rather than hold a special election.

TWU Local 291 President Jeffery Mitchell congratulated Higgins, noting she “…has gone above and beyond to engage her community and learn about their issues and concerns.”

“Our leadership and our members at TWU Local 291 have been impressed with her tenacity and commitment to the job and we have no doubt she is the right choice for District 8,” he added. “We look forward to working with her to advance the mobility challenges we are facing in Miami-Dade County today.”

Cohen Higgins was born at Jackson Memorial Hospital after her family immigrated to Miami Dade from Jamaica. She grew up in South Dade, living in what is now Section 8 Housing and lost her father at the age of 8.

She was raised by a single mother and went on to graduate Sunset Senior High School and later the University of Florida, becoming the first person in her family to attend and graduate from college.

In 2006, she earned her Juris Doctorate from Florida State University School of Law and was admitted to the practice of law at the age of 24. In 2009, she opened her own civil litigation law firm, Cohen Law, with the mission of providing excellent yet cost efficient legal services to small business and individuals.

She is a former board member for the South Florida American Heart Association and also served as a Young Ambassador to the Miami Children’s Health Foundation.

Higgins is married and is the mother of two children.

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