Student running for City Commissioner hopes to spark change

By: Gerard Albert III/Assistant News Director

 

Hallandale Beach is only four square miles but the politics mirror events from Washington nightmares: FBI investigations, illegal spying and sexual misconduct. Sabrina Javellana wants to change that.

Javellana is a 21 year old junior studying international relations and political science while working as Chief of Staff of Student Government Council at the Biscayne Bay campus. She is also running for Hallandale Beach City Commission Seat 2.

Javellana has lived in Hallandale Beach her whole life. She watched the city’s government go through scandal after scandal.

“Hallandale Beach is the most controversial city in Broward county,” she said, “I couldn’t wait for 2020 or 2022…who knows what could happen in two years.”

Javellana’s interest in politics started in high school after watching Senator Wendy Davis filibuster for 11 hours to block a bill that would have limited abortions in Texas. Her interest carried into college, where she interned for Senator Eleanor Sobel. It was campaigning with Sobel where Javellana said she learned about local politics and about the bitterness of defeat.

Now, two years later, it is her turn.

Javellana says her initial interest was in foreign affairs, but after working for Sabel it has shifted to local government.

“State and local politics affect our lives a lot more and a lot faster than federal policies and government do,” said Javellana.

Javellana attended the Women’s Campaign School at Yale in June, where she learned the ins and outs of running a campaign. The training left her more confident and ready to run for office.

She was hit with the infamous nastiness of Hallandale Beach politics the day she registered to run. Angry Facebook rants from opponents, opposition from city officials, including the mayor, and lack of support from political groups like the Broward Democratic Party, of which Javellana is a member, have been present throughout her campaign.

But for all the bad, there is just as much good, according to Javellana.

“I have thick skin; I can do it,” she said, “I got messages of support from members within the city and from all over the county.”

She has been endorsed by the LGBTA Democratic Caucus, Hispanic Vote- Broward County Chapter, Dolphin Democrats, Senator Eleanor Sobel and Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida.

But she does not let the endorsements stop her from the job of campaigning. Endorsements don’t guarantee votes and officials get lazy when they hear they’ve been endorsed, she said.

“Some days are great and some days are exhausting,” Javellana said. “But you wake up the next day and keep going. You can’t let one thing define your campaign.”

She allows the negative aspects of running for office fuel her drive to “knock on a few extra doors” and “talk to a few more people” while out campaigning.

Javellana is a young Filipino woman running against a man who is older and more experienced but she does not think experience equals success.

She says her inspiration comes from young people who see her as an example and want to get more involved because of her.

“There’s not one thing a candidate should look like,” she likes to tell other students. “Don’t get discouraged by the establishment, don’t get told to wait for your time…We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”

Feature Image courtesy of Sabrina Javellana’s website

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