Mayor Claudia V. Cubillos

Mayor Claudia Cubillos

Mayor Claudia V. Cubillos is the first Hispanic Mayor of the Village of El Portal, Florida in its 80-year history. She was first elected to the El Portal Village Council Seat 2 in a contested election in 2008, receiving more votes than any candidate in El Portal’s history. She was then re-elected without opposition to the Village Council in 2010 and 2012. In 2014, she decisively defeated the long-serving incumbent mayor with 55% of the vote, and was then re-elected without opposition in 2016. In addition, Mayor Cubillos has served on the Miami-Dade County League of Cities as a Board Member since 2012, and Executive Board Member since 2014 – next in line to be the President on May 4th, 2019. In August 2015, Mayor Cubillos was elected to the Florida League of Cities Board of Directors, and in September 2017 she was appointed to its Executive Committee. In June 2018, Mayor Cubillos was appointed to the Compensation and Succession Planning Committee, and in October 2018 appointed to the 2018 Legislative Committee of the Florida League of Cities.

Mayor Cubillos is the recipient of the 2016 – 2017 Miami Dade County League of Cities (MDCLC) Board Member of the Year, awarded by MDCLC President Mayor Francis Suarez. She also received the 1st Trailblazer Award during Women’s History Month in March 2017 by County Commissioner Audrey Edmonson.

Mayor Cubillos was born in the State of New Jersey and is the youngest of her late parent’s nine children, who legally-immigrated from Colombia and were small business owners in Miami, Florida. She went on to be a National Honor Society member at Coral Gables High School and the student body president at Miami Dade College – Wolfson Campus, then went on to Florida International University Biscayne Bay Campus. Fluent in English and Spanish, Mayor Cubillos served as an international sales education executive specializing in duty-free trade for Estee Lauder Companies, Inc., and after her mother succumbed to pancreatic cancer, she followed in her parent’s entrepreneurial footsteps founding Ms. Claudia’s Village Academy in 2007. Ms. Claudia’s Village Academy is an infant-VPK day school with afterschool programs through 8th grade and tutoring services through 12th grade, which provide a solid educational foundation for our youngest citizens to succeed while creating jobs within the local community. Mayor Cubillos holds the State of Florida Advanced Childcare Director’s Credential and earned her National Administrator’s Credential from the National Institute of Child Care Management.

For almost a decade, Mayor Cubillos has been the driving force behind increased civic engagement and community partnerships in order to improve the quality of life in El Portal and for its residents. Her vision of “working together to make El Portal a beautiful place to live where everyone matters” can now be seen throughout the village and at numerous community events, and where property values in El Portal have led Miami-Dade County in increasing by double-digits each year, for the last three years.

Mayor Cubillos’ Mayor’s Task Force is responsible for creating and distributing her quarterly community newsletter: The Peacock Express, which features the “Citizen’s Spotlight” and hosts events such as the Annual El Portal Art Fair, Farmer’s Market, and Family Food Truck Night. As the Founder of the new El Portal Women’s Club, in a commitment to the late El Portal community leader Libby Bowen, Mayor Cubillos has succeeded in enabling and encouraging a new generation of women to be involved in the El Portal community. As a conservationist, in the theme of “Teddy Roosevelt,” she formed the El Portal Tree Board, which led to El Portal being designated as an official Tree City USA, and the planting of over 50 trees throughout the community in conjunction with the annual Arbor Day Celebration. She led the charge to secure open space for the Nature Trail expansion, the installation of village-wide trash cans and doggie-do stations, and the installation of the Village Hall bike rack and Tot-Lot water fountain. She also led the adoption of an environmentally-friendly form-based code based on the community’s input to the 2013 Charrette Design-Plan, the adoption of the YGreen solar-friendly ordinance, and the “Think Globally/Act Locally” village-wide clean-up in honor of Earth Day.

Mayor Cubillos’ experience as an entrepreneurial educator and concern for the community’s youth inspired her to install one of the first “Little Libraries” in Miami-Dade County. She also hosts the annual back-to-school backpack giveaway, and presents end-of-the-year citizenship awards to Horace Mann and Phyllis Ruth Miller community schools students, where she is also working to establish Educational Compacts. In addition, she is starting a Mayor’s Youth Task Force, in theme with her widely-successful El Portal Mayor’s Task Force, to inspire citizenship and prepare the next generation of community leaders.

As the Chairwoman of the Public Safety Committee, Mayor Cubillos reinvigorated the Crime Watch Program, swore-in El Portal’s first community policing K-9 officer: Arctic, obtained five new state-of-the-art police cars, hosted the Senior Citizens “First Response” workshop, hosted the Emergency Preparedness and Age-Friendly Community Panels at the Miami-Dade County League of Cities “Best Practices” conferences, initiated an emergency humanitarian ordinance to assist the elderly and families with special needs during the Little Farm relocation process, and directed El Portal’s response to Hurricane Irma, closely working with FEMA and FPL to ensure El Portal was one of the first municipalities in Miami-Dade County to return to normal after the devastating storm.

As Chairwoman of the Public Affairs Committee, Mayor Cubillos started and has sustained the Annual El Portal Halloween Block Party, the annual Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway, and the county-wide new Village Seal Contest. She has also hosted Farm Share, she started the Tri-Village’s Bike Ride, Kickball Tournament, and Social Event, and ensures the village continues to hosts a wide variety of community events – some of which are completely sponsored.

As a military wife married to Colonel Noel C. Pace, U.S. Army Reserve and Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran, Mayor Cubillos has been committed to military/veteran’s causes and charities first as a Councilperson, and now as Mayor. In 2009, she established the Village of El Portal’s first Armed Forces Day 5K Fun Run/Walk to involve the community in honoring the military, and which has continued every year since.

Mayor Cubillos is a Board Member of the Horace Mann Middle School and the Phyllis Ruth Miller Elementary School Educational Excellence School Advisory Councils, is a Board Member of the Miami Shores Chamber of Commerce, is a Board Member of the Miami-Dade County Film and Entertainment Advisory Board, and is an advocate for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PANCAN).

Mayor Cubillos is deeply concerned with the well-being of the residents of the Village of El Portal and the greater Miami-Dade community, as evidenced through her community initiatives, her work in education, her supporting of veterans, and the creation of local jobs, and is committed to helping citizens create opportunities for tomorrow — today!

Mayor Cubillos’ future initiatives, as outlined in her Annual State of the Village Address, highlighted during her Mayor’s series of monthly town hall meetings being hosted one Saturday a month throughout 2018, and as posted in the Peacock Express, which are all featured on the updated El Portal website, include the better branding/identification of the Village of El Portal through improved signage, following through with the septic-to-sewer initiative and starting the master street plan, working to obtain a Play City USA designation, developing the Little River regional compact, maximizing the benefit of Bright Line Railway for our residents, and properly managing the development of the Sanctuary (Rader Church), the newly annexed area of El Portal near Biscayne Boulevard, and the Little Farm.

Mayor Cubillos and her husband have lived in El Portal for over 10 years, with Nemo, Nero, and Nina- their 3 rescue dogs! They are both Certified Open Water Divers, Miami Half Marathon runners, enjoy traveling and volunteer with a wide variety of organizations that benefit: veterans, seniors and/or the youth.

Mayor Cubillos can be reached through the El Portal Village Hall at (305) 778-4199 or at

2014-18 Reports

State of the Village Address 2018

State of the Village Address 2017

State of the Village Address 2016
August 23, 2016

Mayor Cubillos Report 11_12 2014