Colyer, 63, has a long history working in social services.
Born in Overtown, Colyer was chief executive of the state’s Department of Children & Families until two years ago and now directs neighborhood and community services for the county’s Children’s Trust. She’s made three unsuccessful runs at a statehouse seat since 2000.
She retired in 2011 from DCF after a grand jury determined DCF caseworkers and investigators gave Jorge and Carmen Barahona a pass when concerns were raised about the couple abusing their twins. Nubia was found dead in the bed of her adoptive father’s pickup truck in Palm Beach County in February 2011. Her twin brother, Victor, was discovered doused with deadly chemicals and slouched in the cab. He survived.
“There was murder on my watch,” Colyer said. “[DCF Secretary David Wilkins] just felt he had to do something.”
Colyer said though she’s considered running for Miami office in the past, this time she was talked into doing so by friends and neighbors.
Colyer, president of the Oakland Grove Homeowners Association, believes local crime would drop dramatically if the city adopted a community policing model similar to the one Los Angeles has employed in the Watts neighborhood.
“We can’t keep using the same techniques. Violence on violence doesn’t stop violence,” Colyer said.
By the end of September, Colyer had raised $51,748 between her campaign account and an Electioneering Communications account called People for a Better Community.
Malone, 45 and single, lost a run for the District 5 commission seat during a 2011 special election. His support in the district’s new Upper Eastside was evident during a debate two weeks ago when the crowd cheered almost every time he spoke — especially when the substitute teacher at Jackson High said he would give up outside employment if he won the election. Miami commissioners earn just over $100,000 between salary, car, phone and some other stipends.
He’s a graduate of Florida A&M University with a master’s in criminology at Florida State University, and the president of the Hadley Park Homeowner’s Association. Malone said he wants to see better “short-, medium- and long-term planning” in Miami, and wants overspending on projects to stop.
Malone said public works’ woes like decrepit water and sewer lines need to be fixed before development comes to Overtown and Liberty City.
He suggested the city find some money to help with the billions of dollars in needs. The multi-billion dollar system is owned and run by the county, which now has a $12 billion plan to fix the pipes and flawed water treatment plants.
Malone also said he’s concerned with a plan being pushed by Spence-Jones to extend the name Little Haiti from 36th to 79th streets. He believes it could cause harm to entities like the Little River Business District.
“They have a brand. They’re trying to use the brand to expand and do more business. Respect all the areas for their uniqueness,” he said.
As of the end of September, city records show Malone had raised $8,975.