Best Local Politician - 2000
Readers' Choice: Alex Penelas
After leading the fight to have the Miami-Dade County Commission pass a gay-rights ordinance, Jorge Mursuli easily could have retreated from the political stage, content with a single momentous victory. Instead Mursuli, chairman of SAVE Dade, has capitalized on that triumph, slowly building one of the more influential political organizations to arise in South Florida in years. He has apportioned his group's limited resources wisely, backing Johnny Winton in last year's Miami City Commission race, helping him defeat stone-age incumbent J.L Plummer. SAVE Dade also was key in Matti Bower's victory for a seat on the Miami Beach City Commission last fall. Through fundraising and grassroots organizing, Mursuli -- along with a lot of others at SAVE Dade -- also was preparing to fight an effort to repeal the gay-rights ordinance. As it turned out, Christian conservatives failed to get the necessary signatures to place the matter on the ballot. Obviously they didn't have anyone on their side as organized and dedicated as Mursuli. Next question: When will Jorge Mursuli run for elected office?