Under dark, cloudy skies, large crowds of Joe Biden supporters set up shop Sunday afternoon hoping their message echoed across Miami-Dade County.
As a campaign banner dangled from the top of a crane that towered over a parking lot near Tropical Park in Southwest Miami-Dade, hundreds of people cheered as a 2,000-vehicle caravan arrived.
The decorated procession snaked its way from all corners of the county, including Miami Springs, Cutler Bay, Doral, West Kendall and downtown Miami.
U.S. Rep. Donna Shalala – a Democrat running for reelection in Florida’s 27th Congressional District – was one of thousands to participate in what grassroots organizers called one of the region’s largest pro-Biden events.
Shalala’s rescue dog, Fauci, whom she recently adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic and named after Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984, also tagged along.
Also present was Daniella Levine Cava, a Miami-Dade County commissioner running for county mayor, and Jose Javier Rodriguez, who is running for Florida Senate District 37.
“Obviously with the pandemic, everybody is having to be creative and this is just a way for people to be socially distant and express their support,” Rodriguez said. “Gathered today is a very, very diverse group here in Miami-Dade showing their support and frankly trying to push back against the narratives and highlight what we are fighting for: healthcare, public health and economics.”
As salsa songs with pro-Biden lyrics blasted in the background, some parents danced with their kids.
“You have to teach them what’s important,” said Seline Olivares, who brought along her 7-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son. “We need them to see that we need a change, and more importantly, that we are doing something about it.”
Honey Rossi, who wrote and produced the song “Todos con Biden” (“Everyone with Biden”), said the song wasn’t just for the construction workers, teachers, public-sector workers and hotel workers who participated in the caravan, but for the “widows, single parents and those who have suffered in life.”
“Biden has suffered heartbreak his whole life. He’s a widower, he’s been a single dad. He knows what it’s like to get giant medical bills,” Rossi said. “Joe Biden, with the story that he has, understands the life of many of us Latinos and what many of us go through.”
Manny Sanchez, a 45-year-old Cuban-American Trump supporter, said he “showed up to see the opposition.”
“This is embarrassing, this whole thing is embarrassing,” Sanchez, one of a handful of Trump supporters who attended the pro-Biden rally, said. “Biden is a communist and these people are making a mistake.”
Luisana Pérez, a spokesperson for the Biden Victory, one of the groups that participated in the caravan, said the organization launched Todos con Biden “because we knew that our outreach must be rooted in the fundamental understanding that our community is not monolithic.
“The enthusiasm we continue to see from across Florida’s diverse Hispanic community, from our WhatsApp text banking to weekly caravans, speaks to our early investment and outreach efforts for the Biden-Harris ticket who will deliver for Hispanic families on the issues they care most about.”