A Political Journey
Barbara Sharief’s career has taken an upward and notable progression, from wife and mom to entrepreneur and Broward County Mayor.
Barbara Sharief is the current District 8 Commissioner of Broward County. Ms. Sharief got her start in politics in 2009 when she was elected to the Miramar City Commission.
In November of 2010, she was elected to the Broward County Commission District 8 seat where she currently serves the diverse population of the cities of Hallandale Beach, Miramar, Pembroke Park, Pembroke Pines and West Park. In 2012-2013 she was selected by her colleagues to serve as Vice-Mayor of Broward County and as Mayor of Broward county for the 2013-2014 term.
Sworn in for a second term as Mayor in November 2016, Ms. Sharief has been hailed for her honesty, integrity, respect, and a professional commitment to strengthening the communities of Broward with her cohesive plans to reach out and engage the culturally diverse population of District 8.
Small Business Initiatives
Ms. Sharief is also hailed as a strong advocate for addressing the homelessness crisis and preventing foreclosures throughout Broward. A native of South Florida, Ms. Sharief has born witness to the many demographic and economic changes that have taken place in the communities she represents. These changes have prompted her to create many innovative approaches to supporting local businesses and non-profits. Her frequent forays in the community and her Broward Means Business initiative have helped provide valuable publicity to a variety of family businesses in Fort Lauderdale and beyond.
The Importance of Family
Hailing from a family of ten with eight siblings, Ms. Sharief is the definition of a self-made woman. Her father, a self-employed clothes salesman, her mother assisted with the financial workings of the family clothing company. Ms. Sharief inherited strong values, morals and ethical beliefs from both her parents as a result.
Barbara Sharief offers insight regarding the importance of her upbringing:
“My parents also instilled within me a strong value for education and hard work. Growing up with a big family, I learned the importance of commitment and taking care of the people you love. Being a part of a big family has helped me view my constituents as an extended family.”
As a product of the public school system, she graduated from North Miami Senior High School and immediately started Miami Dade Community College. She later graduated from Jackson Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in 1992. She went on to obtain an Associate of Science Degree in Nursing from Miami Dade Community College in 1994. Continuing her educational pursuit she obtained a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1996 from Florida International University. In 2000 she obtained a Master’s of Science in Nursing and an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner Degree from Florida International University.
Recent public appearances by Barbara Sharief include her travels to Washington D.C. On March 6, 2018, Sharief spoke to the National Association of Hispanic County Elected Officials. She spent her final day in Washington D.C. campaigning for the NACO Second Vice President position. The upcoming election may be the next step along the path for Ms. Sharief in her political travels.
Throughout the course of the Washington trip Ms. Sharief spoke in fifteen meetings and Caucasus, attended two receptions and dedicating a portion of her time campaigning.
According to Ms. Sharief, Chairing the Health Steering Committee offered great conversation on healthy counties, poverty, childhood development and the opioid epidemic.
As listed online, Ms. Sharief’s policy positions include the support of:
· Smart Medicaid reformation that allows for anti-fraud measures without affecting benefits for medically needy children and adults.
· Legislation that supports initiatives and programs to recruit, train, license and retain health professionals, allied health professionals and paraprofessionals, on an expedited basis, due to lack of accessibility to health care and provided shortage.
· Legislation that would request Congress to support bills that would allow individuals in custody to continue receiving Medicaid and other federal benefits until they are convicted.
· Legislation to request mental health and substance abuse issues be funded in the federal budget.
· Legislation to address the opioid crisis and provide funding for national education and awareness.
Since her election as a Commissioner, Ms. Sharief remains actively involved with the Florida Association of Counties. By serving on the Health and Human Services Policy Committee, FAC Board of Directors, and most recently as FAC’s President and Past-President, Ms. Sharief has utilized her experience in the healthcare industry to advocate for a variety of initiatives.
What the future holds for one of South Florida’s most prominent and productive political figures is anyone’s guess. Speculation by political insiders include possible runs for higher office.