Vice Mayor Tina Paul is an accomplished professional photographer and proud Surfside resident. A Miami Beach native, she was first elected to the commission in 2016 and has served for over five years.
As Vice Mayor, she represents the Town of Surfside on the Miami-Dade County League of Cities and serves as a liaison to the Tourism Board. Previously, she was a liaison to the Parks and Recreation Board. One of her main goals is to be a strong voice for the community, environment and residents’ quality of life.
Even before running for office, Vice Mayor Paul was a regular attendee at commission meetings, speaking up on topics that impacted residents and beachgoers. She believes that the best way to create change is to have a seat at the table and be part of the solution.
Vice Mayor Paul was raised in Surfside, surrounded by the ocean breeze and pastel-colored skies. She learned to swim at the Surfside community center and describes her experience growing up as a “happy life.”
She graduated from Miami Beach Senior High, where she first picked up a camera, and Miami Dade College before attending the School of Visual Arts in New York City at age 19. There, she found a home among New York’s Avant Garde creative innovators and made a name for herself documenting the city’s nightlife and famous celebrities, such as model Grace Jones and fashion icon Patricia Field, as well as Miami in the 80s to today.
Over the years, she has developed strong working relationships with prominent artists, authors, DJs, fashionistas, publishers, and paparazzi, and has had the opportunity to observe politicians and world leaders up-close. Her photos have been featured in several documentary films and books.
Vice Mayor Paul was first drawn to public office through her interest in historic preservation, especially in support of Surfside’s historic buildings. She believes in development within boundaries while preserving Surfside’s small beach town charm. She is focused on addressing issues of importance to all citizens and maintaining a calm, harmonious and clean environment. Additionally, Vice Mayor Paul advocates for events that bring the community together, such as the First Friday beach gatherings, and was instrumental in the creation of Surfy the Turtle coloring book, as well as spearheading commission support of Pelican Harbor, bringing bird releases to Surfside.
In her personal life, she supports social justice and equality initiatives. In 2011, Vice Mayor Paul and her longtime partner, Arhlene, moved back to Surfside to be close to her parents. It is through honor and respect for the values instilled by her parents, Anne and Leo Paul, that she is inspired to serve and build upon their legacy.