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Paella Festival Kicks Off Miami-Dade Lobbying Days At Capitol

Lawmakers help to serve the Paella
Donald DeBevoise

Diego Feliciano says the importance of Paella Fest.

Miami-Dade County officials kicked off their annual lobbying effort at the Capitol Wednesday in the traditional way: sharing a giant pot of paella. It’s a traditionally Latin-American rice dish mixed with an assortment of spices, chicken and seafood, and it drew a large crowd to the Capitol courtyard.

Joe Corradino, a Miami resident who came to Tallahassee for the day, compared the dish to the city itself.

“I mean to say you see the paella, you throw a bunch of things in the pot and you cook all that’s in there, just like Miami,” Corradino said.

Miami-Dade elects more lawmakers than any other area in the state. County lobbyist Diego Feliciano says the quarter-century-old lobbying effort helps show North Florida more about South Florida’s Latino roots.

“Many years ago people didn’t know the county as well as they do now,” Feliciano says. “It was important for us to show Tallahassee who we were and the color of the Latin flavor of Miami-Dade County.”

Miami-Dade’s Capitol days continue through Thursday.

Donald DeBevoise is originally from Winter Park, Florida and now studies English and economics at Florida State University. He is a member of the Society for Collegiate Journalists at FSU. Donald also writes for a student-based magazine called The Last Word. He aspires to enter the journalism field upon graduating. In his spare time he enjoys reading, writing, hiking and jogging.