Michael Góngora cares passionately about making a difference. He has been elected to his third non-consecutive term as Miami Beach Commissioner having previously served 2006 – 2007 with Former Mayor David Dermer and 2009 – 2013 with Former Mayor Matti Herrera Bower. Shortly after being elected in 2007, Commissioner Góngora pushed for the first citywide recycling program, founded the City's Sustainability Committee and helped create a long-term plan designed to encourage developers to erect greener buildings. To alleviate flooding, Góngora was instrumental in enacting the stormwater master plan which first included the pump stations to keep Miami Beach dry.
In 2000, Commissioner Góngora began his public service as President of the Miami Beach Latin Chamber of Commerce, where he served three terms. Góngora also chaired various boards and committees including serving as President of the Environmental Coalition of Miami and the Beaches (ECOMB). A practicing community association attorney, he served two non-consecutive terms as President of the Miami Beach Bar Association.
While president of the Miami Beach Bar Association, Góngora re-established the North Beach Pro Bono Law Clinic to provide free legal consultations to low-income residents. In 2010, Góngora became the first Miami Beach Commissioner to serve on the Board of Directors for Council Towers — providing affordable housing for our elderly residents and expanding senior low-income food programs.
During his tenure as Commissioner, Góngora served on all sub-committees including Finance, Neighborhoods, Land Use and Sustainability and was Miami Beach's liaison to the Miami-Dade County League of Cities as well as the Miami-Dade County Film & Entertainment Advisory Board. Before being first elected Commissioner, he served on several Miami Beach Boards including the Zoning Board of Adjustment, Design Review Board and as Special Master over Code Compliance.
Góngora has particularly emphasized municipal support of education as healthy communities result from a first-class educational system. Success begins with supporting teachers and students with additional City resources. He regularly visits classrooms to educate students about real-world issues. Góngora says that serving as Principal for a Day at South Pointe Elementary was an eye-opener to the challenges educators face daily. His collaboration with South Pointe Elementary PTA resulted in improved parent/teacher communication and a privately funded foundation to assist the school. Góngora actively supported and will continue to support the City’s participation in the International Baccalaureate Program. As Commissioner, Góngora sponsored the City of Miami Beach partnership with the Anti-Defamation League's “No Place for Hate” program in public schools.
As a citizen activist and elected official, Góngora knows that meeting with residents, business people and neighborhood organizations to listen and understand their needs is the most valuable skill a Commissioner can have. He knows that everyone’s input is integral to our shared future. Recently as a newly-again elected commissioner, Gongora established the first City of Miami Beach’s Anti-Bullying Taskforce in order to ensure that all youth—including at-risk LGBTQ youth—are protected from bullying in all City services, City-supported services, and City facilities. Also, Gongora established the first City of Miami Beach Senior Affairs Committee. The purpose of the Senior Affairs Committee is to provide senior citizen residents of the City with the opportunity to represent and articulate the needs of persons 55 years of age and older, to foster increased involvement in the affairs of City government by senior citizen residents, and to provide recommendations to the Mayor and City Commissioners on issues and programs affecting the City’s senior citizen population. He currently serves as Vice Chair of both the Finance and Citywide Projects Committee and Neighborhoods & Community Affairs Committee for the City of Miami Beach Commission.