Miami Springs is still a small town, but our political reach into state politics has grown dramatically.  With Miami Springs Senior High alum, Manny Diaz Jr. (former State Senator) now serving as the State of Florida Education Commissioner.  We have Miami Springs Resident and MSSH Alum, Bryan Avila, who served as Florida State Representative and will now serve as Florida State Senator.

Miami Springs resident Karla Hernandez-Mats was selected by Charlie Crist as his running mate (photo credit @karlaforflorida)
Miami Springs resident Karla Hernandez-Mats was selected by Charlie Crist as his running mate (photo credit @karlaforflorida)

Now we have Miami Springs resident and UTD President, Karla Hernandez-Mats, who was selected as the running mate by Charlie Crist.  Charlie Crist was voted by Democrats as their choice for Florida Governor during the recent primary elections and wants Karla Hernandez-Mats to serve as the future Lieutenant Governor of Florida.

Karla Hernandez-Mats

Karla Hernandez-Mats
Karla Hernandez-Mats (photo credit

What do we know about Karla Hernandez-Mats?

Well, Karla Hernandez-Mats is the Vice President of the American Federation of Teachers or AFT.  The AFT is an affiliate of the AFL-CIO Union.  Hernandez-Mats is also the president of the United Teachers of Dade (UTD) which is also headquartered here in Miami Springs.

Karla Hernandez-Mats (photo credit: @karlaforflorida)
Karla Hernandez-Mats (photo credit: @karlaforflorida)

According to the AFT, Hernandez-Mats was born and raised in Miami by Honduran parents.  She has a bachelor’s degree from FIU and a master’s degree in business management from St. Thomas University.

Prior to her involvement with the union, Hernandez-Mats was a teacher at Hialeah Middle School for over 10 years.

Hernandez-Mats is a married mother of two.

UTD Controversy

As you know, the UTD bullied its way with the City of Miami Springs when it painted a wall to wall mural without a permit.  We called it a beautiful, but illegal mural back in August of 2021. Then, the mural was vandalized by a vigilante in September.  Following that, the Miami Springs Code Compliance Board found the UTD building violated the City of Miami Springs Code in November.  The UTD used its power and might to bully the City of Miami Springs with high powered attorneys and an aggressive and heavy handed email campaign that targeted members of the Miami Springs City Council.  Ultimately, the City Council buckled to the pressure in a 3-2 vote.  However, the City updated its laws allowing the mural to stay for five years.  We’ll see what happens in 2027.


Why is this relevant?  Well all of this happened with Karla Hernandez-Mats serving as the President of the UTD.

And clearly the United Teachers of Dade (UTD) has been used to endorse Democrat candidates in the past including Charlie Crist and Barack Obama.

UTD Hosts “Teachers for Crist” Endorsement Event at Miami Springs Headquarters

Obama Visits Miami Springs

UTD Mural can Stay for Five Years


There were some in Miami’s anti-Castro Cuban community that weren’t too happy about Hernandez-Mats’ tweet from November, 2016 where she posted:

A political figure dies at 90. Most in Miami rejoice, many in Cuba mourn #FidelCastro

While the race for Governor of the State of Florida will be decided by voters based on their opinion of current Governor Ron DeSantis compared to former Governor Charlie Crist in November.  The choice for Lieutenant Governor, much like the choice for the Presidential running mate, rarely makes a significant impact on the final choice.

Nevertheless, we like seeing Miami Springs residents getting involved in powerful political positions.  And while we might not agree with the way the UTD handled their mural, we can at least agree that Miami Springs is a great place to live and raise a family.

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