John G. Farias is running for Miami-Dade County Commission for District 9, as he has for most of 2019.
Incumbent Commissioner Dennis Moss held the seat since 1993. A term limit amendment adopted in 2012 restricts new officeholders to two four year terms. This makes the office an open seat in the August 18, 2020 primary.
Farias is one of at least five expected candidates in the Commissioner race. This doesn’t especially concern him. “I’m the only Miami-Dade elected official in the race,” he said in a recent interview.
Farias serves on the County Community Council for District 15 where he was elected vice chair by his peers. The Councils were created in 1996 to advise the County Commission on zoning and land use decisions and recommend operational priorities for most county services. District 15 15 incorporates the southern area of the county. The Redland Community Council (District 14) is the other geographically large area in the system.
“People told me my knowledge as a county contractor would make a good Commissioner, knowing the ins and outs of the county process,” said Farias. “As a working person, I know the plight of working people struggling every day.”
His parents brought Farias to Brooklyn, New York from Ecuador when he was five. He showed an early aptitude for education, testing out of one grade, working as an SAT tutor to students, and graduating early.
He enlisted in the Navy at age 17, serving six years in the electronics field as a sonar technician. The Navy brought him to Homestead in 1992 in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew.
Farias is a licensed electrician who operates his own company working on many projects in the County. His many pro bona contributions still leave him time for his five children and wife Bobbi of 29 years.
When asked his top priority for the office, Farias replied, “Transportation. Its reached gridlock even leaving at five in the morning and we must face this issue. One answer is to look to creating more local jobs.”
Farias was an early advocate of rail as a solution to the commuting problem. He also supports giving residents a break on tolls so they pay less than County visitors.
“Workforce housing and affordable housing are another priority,” Farias added. “There are county programs funded to help with this and they need pushed more aggressively.”
Farias’ campaign website quotes him as saying less density for housing is a goal. “We are allowing developers to buy out and build what is profitable to them and not what’s in the best interest of our community. We need to make sure that resources meant for affordable housing are just that and make the units affordable, not just say that they are.”
Farias’ website is www.voteforjohnny.com which can be translated into Creole or Spanish. “Everybody can follow me on the main social media websites out there,” Farias said. “I like to keep people informed.”
The campaign website includes this summary of a press release sent out in June 2019 by Farias. “People are looking for leaders who will bring new energy and ideas. … They want people in office who are going to delivery on what the community wants and needs. That includes well-paying jobs, affordable housing, quality public schools and improved roads and rapid public transportation – including rail.”