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Tribute To Commissioner Dr. Barbara Carey-Shuler: A True Public Servant

Rep. Kendrick B. Meek

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Mr. Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to one of the most dedicated public servants I have had the pleasure of working with, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Dr. Barbara Carey-Shuler.

Dr. Carey-Shuler has served in many capacities--as a teacher, counselor, administrator, university professor, assistant superintendent for Dade County Public Schools, and most importantly, ``a leader of community leaders.'' In October 2002, Dr. Carey-Shuler made history when she was selected by her peers as the first African-American woman to serve as Chairperson of Miami-Dade County Board of Commissioners--a position in which she served with distinction.

Throughout her elected service, which dates back to her appointment to the County Commission in 1979, Dr. Carey-Shuler has truly been a groundbreaking elected official. She introduced and led the effort to pass the set-aside law and affirmative action policy in Miami-Dade County, the latter of which was argued all the way to the Supreme Court. Both policies were enormously successful in producing more jobs and more business opportunities for minorities and women.

Among her many triumphs, Commissioner Carey-Shuler created the infill housing ordinance to provide clean-title lots to non-profits for the construction of low-income housing; initiated the ``No More Stray Bullets'' campaign to educate New Year's Eve revelers of the dangers of shooting weapons as part of the celebration; and established the Youth Crime Task Force which provides funding for new prevention and intervention programs to benefit at-risk youth.

During her 30-year career of service to this community, Dr. Barbara Carey-Shuler has been recognized for her outstanding service. She has received major appointments to boards, committees and task forces by U.S. presidents and state governors. She has also received hundreds of honors and recognition for her service and contributions.

Most recently she has been honored by the International Committee of Artists for Peace, a coalition supporting the United Nations International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World, and by the Dean of the Martin Luther King, Jr. International Chapel at Morehouse College in Atlanta for her work in promoting peace and non-violence. Her district includes much of the City of Miami, including the communities of Liberty City, Little Haiti, Overtown, the Upper East Side, Allapattah and Wynwood, as well as Miami Shores.

Dr. Carey-Shuler has made and continues to make significant contributions to the growth and dynamism of South Florida, and I take great pride in acknowledging and thanking her for all that she has meant to our community.