Uber is targeting the chairman of Miami-Dade's County Commission with a new radio ad accusing him of "taking us backwards" with proposed regulations of the ride-hailing company.
The ad is the latest swing Uber has taken at Chairman Jean Monestime, whose legislation is competing with a pro-Uber ordinance proposed by the commission's vice-chairman, Esteban "Steve" Bovo. Both ordinances face a preliminary vote Wednesday.
"We must band together to send a clear message to Chairman Monestime to drop his attack on our jobs and access to transportation," the narrator says in the ads, which an Uber representative said will air on WHQT Hot105 FM and WMBM 1490 AM.
The 60-second spot starts with a mispronunciation of Monestime's first name. The ad's narrator uses the English pronunciation of Jean (sounds like "Gene") though Monestime, the commission's first Haitian-American chairman, uses the French or Creole pronunciation (which uses a soft "J" and rhymes with "Sean").
County Hall watchers know that's a fairly common mistake when Monestime's name is invoked during commission meetings or at other functions. But he consistently uses the French pronunciation, including at a Friday press conference on his proposed Uber legislation.
Monestime's Haitian heritage could get added attention in the Uber debate, since a large portion of Miami-Dade's taxi drivers also are Haitian-Americans. The taxi industry is warning of financial ruin from Uber's popular ride-hailing service, which would not be subject to the same fare regulations or permitting limits that taxis face.
A Monestime spokeswoman was not immediately available for comment. A full transcript of the ad follows. To hear the ad, click below.
Listen Up Miami-Dade!
Jobs, transportation, and the future of our community are on the line in an important vote on Wednesday.
Miami-Dade County Commission Chairman Jean Monestime is taking us backwards with his legislative proposal against ride-sharing companies like Uber.
Commissioner Monestime is putting at risk flexible income opportunities that give so many of our friends, family, and neighbors the chance to earn extra income and support their loved ones by providing this valuable service.
If this bill passes, our community would no longer have access to safe, affordable, and reliable rides through the Uber app in Miami-Dade.
We must band together to send a clear message to Chairman Monestime to drop his attack on our jobs and access to transportation.