Miami Gardens residents voted Tuesday to keep Councilman Erhabor Ighodaro in office after a strong challenge from a former council member.
Ighodaro, 41, was re-elected to City Council Seat 6 after defeating former council member Andre Williams in a runoff election Tuesday.
The Norland Middle School history teacher said he was “humbled” by the support and encouraged by seeing former students and their families at the polls.
“Some of the students I’ve taught over two decades are voters now,” Ighodaro said. “And the parents of those students came to the polls and remembered that I was their child’s teacher, their grandchild’s teacher.”
Education remains a major part of how Ighodaro believes the city can move beyond its crime issues. Additionally, he plans to place a greater emphasis on community involvement through a program called “One Miami Gardens.”
“We’re a young city but I think the honeymoon is over as far as going to the next level,” Ighodaro said.
At council meetings, residents have asked for better communication from city leaders and for City Council meetings to be televised online. Ighodaro said he supports that idea.
“There needs to be a better effort in engaging our community,” Ighodaro said. “I think the idea of a broadcast meeting is long overdue and we need to find the funds to make that happen.”
Ighodaro will remain on the council as the city reveals more projects being funded by its $60 million general-obligation bond, completes construction of the municipal complex and continues discussions with Miami-Dade County about the city’s permitting rights at Sun Life Stadium and the surrounding area.
As development continues citywide, Ighodaro hopes they will emphasize areas of the city like the Bunche Park neighborhood near the city’s southern boundary.
“We have to make sure everybody gets a benefit from the trajectory the city’s taking,” Ighodaro said. “There are some pockets of the city that almost feel like they’re a stepchild.”