Jamaican Dale Holness Takes Office as Broward County Commissioner
Holness Promotes Job Creation, International Trade, Tourism
The Miami Herald described Jamaican born realtor and mortgage broker Dale Holness as a man who “personifies the classic successful immigrant story.” That story begins a new chapter as Holness was officially sworn in to office Tuesday to serve as Broward County Commissioner representing District 9, the central part of Florida’s second largest county. Art Kennedy, Chief of Staff for United States Congressman Alcee Hastings conducted the swearing-in ceremony.
“The major thing that I believe we have to work on in Broward County is to revive this economy. We are the gateway to the Americas, Latin America, the Caribbean and to most of the rest of the world,” said Commissioner Holness. “We have Port Everglades and the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International airport and we need to use these tools for economic development. If we are able to expand trade we will be able to maintain the lifestyle we have. If we don't open up markets and expand our exports in the next five years we are going to be in serious trouble more so than we are now.”
Holness is not new to public service. He spent six years representing the city of Lauderhill, Florida as both a Commissioner and Vice-Mayor. Lauderhill has one of the largest Caribbean populations in South Florida and is home to the Broward County Central Regional Park, the first facility in the United States able to host world class international Cricket tournaments.
“In Broward County you can find someone who speaks any language and understands all cultures from around the world and we need to tap into that and utilize the diversity to build a stronger community,” said Commissioner Holness.
His priorities over the next four years include job creation, enhanced economic development, increasing home ownership and reducing unemployment.
Broward County is located in the center of South Florida and is a diverse, multi-ethnic urban county and one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the state, home to 1.8 million people. Since 1990, Broward County has risen from the 16th to the third most racially diverse county in Florida. Approximately 21 percent of the population is African American, including a large number of individuals who immigrated from Haiti, Jamaica, and other parts of the Caribbean, as well as Central and South America. More than 25 percent of residents are now foreign-born.