Michael C. Gongora was the first openly gay Hispanic commissioner in Florida to be elected to any public office. In addition, Gongora was the first openly gay person to win an election to public office in the City of Miami Beach, despite a negative campaign against him. Currently, he is an attorney with the Coral Gables law firm, Becker & Poliakoff. He’s a Miami native and graduated cum laude from the University of Miami School Law.
“I chose my career as a lawyer because I always wanted to be an effective communicator and be in a position to help people and remedy wrongs," he said.
He attributes running for public office and leadership to his upbringing. His Cuban grandfather was a commissioner, and the grandfather on his mother side was an Assembly of God Preacher.
He also cares deeply about green issues. Having created the City of Miami Beach Sustainability Committee, he effectuated change and got the city to do an audit on how it spends money on water, energy and waste. As a result, a sustainability plan for the city was adopted which was recognized by local media to Rolling Stone, NPR and President Obama.