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Community Advocate William Clark Runs For Office

Aug 10, 2021

William “DC” Clark kicked off his first campaign fundraising event over the weekend, as he seeks the District 2 seat on the county commission. Surrounded by family and friends, he pleaded his case to replace Commissioner Jean Monestime.

“I know the unspoken elephant in the room is [whether] this is an African American or Haitian American seat,” Clark said. “I’ve worked in both communities, I’ve protested and walked in both communities. There’s never been a separation with me. I have the receipts.”

The receipts show a track record for serving the community.

William Clark speaks at an alumni event at Miami Central Senior High School, where he also hosts his DCS Mentoring Program.

(Courtesy of William Clark)

The Miami native grew up in the now-demolished Scott Carver Housing Project, where he was encircled by a community of positive influences that included people like his father, who taught and coached many students, in addition to Sidney Wynn, Rudy Barber and Eugene Clapp.

From an early age, those role models gave Clark a sense of community and a longing to become that same support system for other young men like himself.

He worked for Miami-Dade County Public Schools as an educator and coach before landing at Miami-Dade Fire Rescue for 28 years before retiring in 2011. As the only Black paramedic at the engine company, he shunned discrimination by denouncing the culture of racism and protesting with Black firefighters to fire a racist captain.

“We were determined not to allow them to treat the people in our community any differently than those in their communities,” explained Clark.

He rallied for racial justice and immigration reform alongside activists Rev. Gérard Jean-Juste and Lavarice Gaudin.

Beyond MDFR, Clark brought educational opportunities to youth in the Black community through the Inner City Alumni for Responsible Education (ICARE) group as its president, and currently runs a leadership program at Miami Central Senior High School that trains 100 youth each year between the ages of 7-17. The commission hopeful also bought the iconic Afro-In Books & Things from its founder, Earl Wells, and operated the beloved community bookstore for many years before its closure.

“He is all about uplifting the community and making sure that the youth is taken care of,” said District 107 Rep. Christopher Benjamin. “When you’re looking for a candidate for public service, always ask what have they done so far. There’s no questioning what DC has done, and this is probably long overdue. You can be sure that his ear will always be turned to the community.”

Elizabeth Judd, committeewoman for the Democratic Party Executive Committee, is sure Clark will win.

“DC will be my commissioner. I know that he’s going to be a public servant. He will not be a politician,” she said. “He’s someone who will be there for the people and always try his best, that’s all you can ask of anyone.”

Clark is up against immigration activist Marleine Bastien, former North Miami Mayor Joe Celestin, former Miami Northwestern Senior High School principal Wallace Aristide and Monique Nicole Barley-Mayo, a former Miami-Dade County mayoral candidate who joined the race three weeks ago.

“I love Marleine Bastien, but I haven’t seen her that much in the African American community. Her and Wallace are not enemies of mine. If they win, I will support them, one thousand percent,” said Clark. “Wallace has done a great job because that was his job, that’s his vocation. He’s supposed to make Northwestern great. That’s not his avocation. [Service] is my avocation, I do this for free.”

The Miami Times is the largest Black-owned newspaper in the south serving Miami’s Black community since 1923. The award-winning weekly is frequently recognized as the best Black newspaper in the country by the National Newspaper Publishers Association.


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