City of Miami Chairwoman and District 5 Commissioner Christine King is passionate about serving the public and has been since an early age. She was the first Guyanese American to be elected in the City of Miami and the first woman to be named Chairwoman of the Commission. Her mission for District 5 is for the community to be known for its culture, vibrancy and diversity – not for poverty or crime. With this mission in mind, she is working to make a lasting impression for future District 5 Commissioners to continue her legacy.

Get to know the Commissioner and one of her most beloved initiatives, the Reclaim the Dream Candlelight Memorial and Gospel Concert.

What inspired your interest in politics?

My love of community inspired me to run for office, particularly to become the Miami Commissioner of District Five. I am passionate about serving the public and have been since an early age. I moved to Miami from Guyana when I was only five years old. As an adult, my desire to serve the community led me to become Chief of Constituent Services for a Miami-Dade County Commissioner and later an executive with the Community Action Agency.

Before becoming Commissioner, I served as President and CEO of the Martin Luther King Economic Development Corporation, where I managed meaningful community programs like ‘Wheels to Work’ which addresses transportation hardships for families in need of vehicles to function within their daily lives.

This Guyanese-American Commissioner Is Making Miami’s Diversity Her Mission

What do you consider one of your greatest accomplishments as leader of District Five?

With my District Five team, in a short amount of time, we have been able to accomplish and meet many goals. However, our greatest accomplishments have been through affordable housing initiatives in our District.

While we can’t avoid gentrification in Miami, we can certainly mitigate it. To accomplish this goal, we’re providing homeownership opportunities for first-time homebuyers. It creates generational wealth for families and addresses the issue head-on. Families can realize the American dream now in a housing market that doesn’t contemplate the salary of an average worker in Miami – specifically in District Five.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you’ve received, that you would pass on to the next generation?

You don’t have to accept every invitation to a party – meaning you don’t have to attend every fight you’re invited to.

Who is one of your biggest inspirations?

Aside from my mother, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. inspires me every day! His dream that all men are created equal and should be treated equal is the essence of my public service. “Every (wo)man can be great because every (wo)man can serve” is a cornerstone of what I live by.

How does your personal life affect your work?

Family means everything to me. We have a philosophy in my District team – family first. Everything I do as a public servant is because of family. My parents are 82 years old; therefore, the seniors in my community are a priority. I’m a mother and therefore programming and services for children is a priority. Everything I do is because of the strong family that I come from. Family first.

What is your favorite traditional childhood meal from your home country?

Curry chicken. My mother makes it the best! It has just the right amount of spice mixed with rice and a side of cucumber. She also makes it with potatoes, which is not typical. As an adult though, since I don’t eat meat anymore, I enjoy a vegetable curry.

Are there any important upcoming projects or developments you’re looking forward to executing in the near future?

Recently, we joined the Liberty City Revitalization Trust and the Department of Housing and Community Development to break ground on a new twin home. This groundbreaking represents the beginning of construction on the first two of ten affordable homes to be built throughout District Five in the coming months. Two local Miami contractors will build the ten homes on City-owned sites that were vacant and expressly selected for affordable homeownership development. Some of the sites will feature twin homes (semi-detached) while others will feature single-family homes.

An application and lottery process was held in late 2023 to establish a pool of potential income-eligible, first-time homebuyers to purchase each of the homes upon completion of construction. This is one of many affordable housing opportunities to come in our District.

The Underdeck is another important legacy project, especially for our District Five. The public space project uses the shade of I-395 highway to create a connective outdoor space. The stretch includes a big portion of the historic Overtown neighborhood. It will evolve into a heritage trail. It was born out of the expressway being built through this community, which almost destroyed it.

We need that space to be beautified as it symbolizes so much. I sit on the Southeast Overtown/Park West CRA board and it’s my job to revitalize the community. Overtown should be known for its culture, vibrancy and diversity!

Commissioner Christine King recently co-hosted the 19th annual Reclaim the Dream Candlelight Memorial and Gospel Concert on April 5, 2024 at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida. The event was organized to honor the 56th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. Approximately 2,000 people attended the event, including notable figures such as Miami-Dade County Mayor Danielle Levine Cava, City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez and Florida State Senator Shevrin Jones.

The Martin Luther King Economic Development Corporation (MLKEDC) hosted the event with the City of Miami Chairwoman, District Five Commissioner Christine King and Miami-Dade County Commissioner Keon Hardemon-District 3. The event had an atmosphere similar to a church service, with speeches and gospel performances that inspired hope and recommitment to continuing the work and highlighted Dr. King’s legacy.

The Florida Memorial University Ambassador Chorale performed first, followed by Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, and producer Hezekiah Walker and the Love Fellowship Choir, who sang some of his signature songs, including “Grateful.” Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, and producer Tamela Mann also had the crowd on their feet with an uplifting melody of her signature songs, including “Take Me To The King.”

The event culminated with a candlelight prayer led by Pastor Gaston Smith. Attendees raised flameless candles overhead, symbolizing the power of small acts to spark change. Martha Whisby-Wells and Martin Luther Wardlaw, backed by the Reclaim the Dream Community Choir, which was composed of representatives from various churches, led the crowd in singing a medley written and arranged by award-winning singer, songwriter and producer Martin Luther Wardlaw and directed by Dr. Argarita Johnson-Palavicini, which included “This Little Light of Mine,” Walk In The Light,” We Are The World,” and “Hold Up The Light,” which was a poignant moment during the event.

The event aimed to celebrate Dr. King’s life and legacy by encapsulating his enduring message of faith, fairness, and justice. Five hundred seniors were bused in to enjoy the event.

Chairwoman Christine King emphasized the event’s role in fostering unity and resilience in facing challenges. She viewed it as an opportunity for individuals to reinvigorate their dedication to the ongoing pursuit of civil rights and a more just society.

Commissioner Keon Hardemon praised the Reclaim The Dream event as a source of unity and inspiration within the community, highlighting its significance in honoring Dr. King’s lasting influence and mobilizing efforts toward justice and equality.

Amina McNeil, the President & CEO of MLKEDC, underscored the ongoing work needed to realize Dr. King’s vision, stressing the importance of proactive initiatives to cultivate a fair and equitable society for all.

For more information about the MLKEDC, please visit their website at

Save the Date for the Reclaim the Dream 20th Anniversary on April 4, 2025. And follow Christine King on @iamchristineking to stay connected.


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