2023 Home Rule Hero Award: Commissioner Jeniffer Viscarra & Commissioner Fabiola Stuyvesant Recognized For Advocacy Efforts
May 24, 2023
The Florida League of Cities (FLC), the united voice for Florida’s municipal governments, recently recognized City of Sunny Isles Beach Commissioners Jeniffer Viscarra & Commissioner Fabiola Stuyvesant with a 2023 Home Rule Hero Award for their hard work and advocacy efforts during the 2023 Legislative Session. Viscarra & Stuyvesant worked tirelessly throughout the session to promote local voices making local choices, protect the Home Rule powers of Florida’s municipalities and advance the League’s Legislative Agenda.
“The League and its Legislative Team appreciate the individual advocacy efforts undertaken by municipal officials throughout the state,” said FLC Chief of Legislative Affairs Casey Cook. “Home Rule Heroes are some of our biggest advocates for protecting local decision-making. They are League Members who stand out for their high level of participation, knowledge, and effectiveness. This year’s Home Rule Heroes continuously advocated for their communities throughout the 2023 Legislative Session.”
Home Rule is the ability for a city to address local problems with local solutions with minimal state interference. Home Rule Hero Award Recipients are local Government Officials, both elected and non-elected, who consistently responded to the League’s request to reach out to members of the Legislature and help give a local perspective on an issue.
Viscarra says “I am so grateful for this unexpected recognition, and I hope that through education and guidance, our local and state residents become more civically engaged (dare I say empowered) and thoughtful voters.”
In addition to serving on the Florida League of Cities Advocacy Committee, Viscarra has been an advocate for engaging and educating Sunny Isles Beach residents throughout her tenure. Through her Residents’ Academy Program Initiative, she has worked to educate the electorate on the workings of Municipal Government, encouraging students to get involved in the State Legislature as it relates to Home Rule Issues and how those decisions impact our Local Government.
Stuyvesant says, “It is a great honor to be recognized by the League, and I look forward to furthering our legislative priorities. When it comes to municipal home rule there is no substitute for victory.”
Stuyvesant traveled to Washington DC as part of the FLC Federal Action Strike Team (FAST) and for the Congressional City Conference, ensuring local voices are heard on Capitol Hill. Throughout her tenure as a City of Sunny Isles Beach Commissioner, Stuyvesant has continued to advocate for our residents of all ages, addressing overcrowding at our local K-8 school and appealing to the State of Florida to include Sunny Isles Beach as part of the State Attorney’s Human Trafficking Task Force.
Viscarra’s advocacy of Home Rule Issues does not stop at the Commission Dais or in her Resident’s Academy Classroom. She has designed and developed her own community newsletter entitled “SIB AJENDA,” a purposeful misspelling of agenda as a nod to the author. In this publication, she shares objective insight on both Local and Statewide Issues that are important to our constituents. When action needs to be taken, she encourages readers to write to their State Legislators and provides contacts and sample letters.
As a Liaison for the Charter Review Commission, she guided Committee Members through the process of updating the City’s Constitution. This integral role educated residents on the authority within the purview of the city and how it properly functions as a governmental body.
Throughout Viscarra’s tenure as a City of Sunny Isles Beach Commissioner, and as a resident and voter in the State of Florida, she has truly earned her Home Rule Hero Award for 2023, dedicating professional and personal time to not only advocate but also educate our public on the importance of Home Rule Issues. As she has said in her “SIB AJENDA,” she hopes her education translates into action. She is definitely doing her part, and then some.