Orange County commissioner reflects on efforts to help Hispanic community during pandemic

Mayra Uribe lead efforts to share critical COVID information in Spanish, get vaccines to minorities

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Orange County District 3 commissioner Mayra Uribe is reflecting on her time as a leader and her efforts to help the Hispanic community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Uribe said her passion for politics came from her mother.

“Unfortunately, my mom never got to see me be a commissioner,” Uribe said. “Everything I have I always dedicate to her.”

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The Orange County District 3 commissioner is now in her second term. She first took office after winning a special election in 2018. She was then re-elected in 2020 after the pandemic began.

“I knew we needed to take action,” she said.

Uribe helped lead the efforts early during the pandemic to make sure critical information coming from the county regarding the virus, testing, and vaccinations was shared in Spanish.

“And now you notice the practice of the county is to have Spanish-speaking representatives there to immediately get this information out, to offer access to Hispanic press and that is critical in everything we do,” Uribe said.

She also worked with the health department, churches, and local organizations to combat vaccine disparity among minorities. She helped take the shots into the community, especially areas that were hot spots and had low vaccination rates.

“I fought to get places that were closer, that were easy to get to, where you didn’t have to have a car to come and get vaccinated. Also, for seniors who didn’t have transportation, I fought for that too, especially when it came to vaccination time,” Uribe said. “We have to be in their community. We have to make it easy, and we have to let people know we’re here to help.”

Uribe was born and raised in Orange County. She has been married to her husband of 20 years and they have a 17-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son.

Uribe said her parents immigrated from Argentina and Colombia to live out the American dream.

“They made me to be loved, to be empathetic, to help, to give back. I tell people when you see me out doing things, it’s not a struggle. It’s what I’ve always known,” Uribe said.

She said those traits that she learned from her parents are what make her a good commissioner. She said her favorite part of the job is meeting people. She adds although she is Hispanic, she is there to help everyone.

“I don’t want people to think that I’m just a commissioner that serves one community. I serve everyone,” she said.

Uribe hopes to continue serving for years to come.

“I’m only going to be a commissioner for this period and let’s just hope that when I walk away, I improve what I brought,” Uribe said.

About the Author:

Amanda Castro, a proud UCF alum, joined the News 6 team in November 2015 and was promoted to weekend morning anchor in April 2016. Go Knights!