March is Women’s History Month so Island Origins has decided to profile some truly remarkable women, like City of Miramar Commissioner, Alexandra P. Davis.
- City of Miramar Commissioner
“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Alexandra P. Davis was born in England and raised in Jamaica. She has spent most of her life in public service, including at the Ministry of Agriculture in Kingston, Jamaica, The Capital Taxes office in London, England and Miami- Dade County Government in Florida. In 2010, she became a Miramar city commissioner, then became the vice mayor in 2013.
She again won a Commission seat in 2019 and again became vice mayor for 2019-2020. Alexandra P. Davis was able to implement a body worn camera program for Miramar Police Department among other initiatives to enhance the city.
Her accolades and awards include recognition as one of ICABA’s South Florida’s 100 Most Accomplished Caribbean Americans; Legacy Magazine’s 50 most Powerful and Influential Business Leaders in South Florida and Jamaica Consul General, Jamaica 50 Luminous Award. Her community work includes hosting the annual Caribfest Cultural Festival, creating Miramar’s Youth Appreciation Program and founding the Caribbean Teachers Association of Florida.
Women’s History Month Words of Wisdom
Influence of upbringing:
Having grown up in Jamaica after age 11, I came to appreciate that, as a Black child, I could be anything. I saw folks that look like me become dentists, doctors, politicians — you didn’t see that growing up in England. Moving to Jamaica really provided me with a lot more self-esteem.
I was raised by a single parent who was in ministry where you had very few female pastors. That really helped me to know that I could go toe to toe in a male-dominated field. To navigate that, I accepted people saying, “you’re so aggressive.” I go after what I want. I support other women who are running for office and I try to mentor where I can.
In 2003, I created a nonprofit called CaribFest, which started the first Caribbean festival managed by the nonprofit and funded by the City of Miramar. However, in 2009 after six successful years, the event was canceled due to political reasons. It was at a commission meeting where residents gathered to protest the commission’s action that I decided I would run for office if they didn’t listen to the will of the people. As luck would have it, a position became available within a year. I ran for office for the first time in 2010 and won the Commission seat. The rest is history.
Overcoming barriers to female leadership:
If where you are is not conducive, go somewhere else. You should not stick it out in a situation where you’re not given the opportunity to succeed and excel.
One is preventing domestic violence against women. I talked to the school board about starting early, because there’s violence that starts within schools. We’ve got to start educating our boys about how to treat women and educating girls on how they should be treated. I really want to help women in that area.
I want to make sure that I would have lived a purposeful life. I hope to continue being an example to people of color, immigrants, single parents, children of single parents and others who are marginalized. As my mother used to say, “Hard work never killed nobody.”
Advice for younger women:
Never doubt yourself. Too many times when women go after what they need, they’re considered to be aggressive. But if you don’t go after it, then you’re going to be passed over. We have to be proactive, do our research, look at what others are making in the same positions, go to your bosses, sit down and have that conversation. Always be creative, always try to be a little bit edgier than your counterparts.