Spotlight: Ron Book in Miami, Florida

Spotlight: Ron Book in Miami, Florida

Ron Book is a renowned attorney and advocate in Florida. Through his law firm, Ronald L. Book, P.A., he works with a variety of clients in business, local government, health care, and nonprofits. Book also actively provides pro bono services on issues related to children, particularly protecting them from childhood sexual abuse. “I have been heavily involved in the foster care space,” he says. He is also highly recognized for his work in the homeless arena for over 31 years.

His decades-long career has seen Book literally and figuratively flying high. “​​Flying on Air Force One in 1980 with my boss Governor Bob Graham was a pretty high moment,” he says. “Flying out to land on the deck of an aircraft carrier in the middle of the ocean and spending three days and four nights on an aircraft carrier with my friend, former NBA All-Star James Jones, was a pretty big high as well.”

Book was born in Pleasanton, California. When he was six months old, his parents were discharged from the Air Force. They then drove across the country to settle in North Miami. His mother, in particular, was instrumental in pushing him to use his voice to organize others. She encouraged him to advocate for change in his community. 

The Start of a Lifetime of Advocacy

Today, Ron Book is known across the state as one of Florida’s most influential lobbyists. But Book got his start in advocacy at the early age of 13. “I decided kids needed lights in our neighborhood parks,” he explains. Following encouragement from his mother, Book drafted a petition to the city council in North Miami. “With the mayor of North Miami living around the corner from me, I organized my friends to picket his house,” he says. “When I got my night in front of the city council, I became victorious in my first effort at advocacy and bringing about change by getting approval to put lights up in all city parks.”

His success with North Miami’s city council encouraged Book. He continued organizing his friends as they became the first group of 18-year-olds to enjoy majority rights. “Nobody knew if 18-year-olds would even vote in that first election where majority rights were recognized,” he says. “But that didn’t stop elected officials and candidates from seeking the endorsement from a bunch of 18-year-old kids, including me, which provided me with access to the political process.” 

An Award Winning Career

Book initially hoped to have a career in elected politics. But he eventually realized he’d be more effective as a lobbyist. He got a B.A. in Political Science from Florida International University. Then, he went on to earn his J.D. from Tulane University. “Law school helped build my advocacy skills and taught me how to put cases of advocacy together in a coordinated and focused form,” he says. 

“I knew from the beginning that it was important to leave this place better than the way I found it,” he adds. “And the only way to do that is through true, pure, pro bono services, and giving back and making a difference.” Ron Book was one of 21 lawyers to receive the Florida Bar President’s Pro Bono Service Awards in 2023. The award recognized his work in fighting child abuse and homelessness. He was also inducted into the 2023 Tulane Law School Hall of Fame. 

Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust

His work in advocating for the end of homelessness originated about 30 years ago. As Book explains, a number of prominent Miami-Dade players—including Alvah Chapman (former chairman of the Knight Ridder Corporation and the editor and publisher of the Miami Herald), Archbishop McCarthy, Monsignor Walsh, Sister Jean O’Laughlin, former Governor Jeb Bush, former Miami-Dade Mayor Alex Penelas, and Rabbi Solomon Shiff—came to Tallahassee to meet with local lawmakers on passing a food and beverage tax to help fund the end of homelessness. “I got asked if I would take the issue on as a pro bono lobbying effort, and I agreed,” says Book. “Never thinking that it would lead to 30-plus years of involvement.” 

With the successful passage of the tax, Book thought he would spend a year or two helping to implement the campaign. “The old cliché, ‘I got bit by the bug,’ certainly is the case here,” he says. “My parents taught me at an early age that to those much is given, much is expected. They also taught me, never quit before a job is done. Thirty years later, we have reduced unsheltered homelessness in Miami-Dade County by over 90 percent. The effort started with a little over 8,000 unsheltered individuals to the current number of just under 980. We will end unsheltered homelessness in my community in the near future.”   

Ron Book’s Wishes for the Future

“What I hope in the next decade is that my community will not only reach the end of homelessness,” he says, “but be able to sustain it.” 

As he continues in his lifetime of advocacy, Ron Book also gives advice to the next generation: “Nothing is impossible.” Believe in yourself, take risks, look in the mirror, and say anything is possible.  

Dreams Abroad’s Spotlight series shines a light on heroes who are using their passions and fields of expertise to make a difference in their communities. Be on the lookout for additional Spotlights throughout the yearwe can’t wait to introduce you to even more individuals creating positive change in the lives around them.

20 thoughts on “Spotlight: Ron Book in Miami, Florida

  1. We need more people like Ron Book in the world! I love the work he’s doing to make the world a better place. I always use your talents to make things better!

  2. I love that he has such a spirit of service. He’s really using his talents to make such a difference in the world.

  3. sounds lie a very strong story with strong people and area that can help and come together as well. thanks for sharing come see us at http://shopannies.blogspot.com

  4. The spotlight on Ron Book in Miami, Florida, on Dreams Abroad offers readers an insightful glimpse into the life and achievements of this influential figure. Your interview-style format provides a personal and engaging perspective, allowing readers to learn more about Ron Book’s background, accomplishments, and contributions to the Miami community. Thanks for sharing this enlightening spotlight – it’s a great way to showcase local leaders and their impact. Keep up the fantastic work in sharing inspiring stories!

  5. I’ve never heard of Ron Book but what an amazing career, this is fascinating…We need more of Ron, a lot more…

  6. I had no idea who Ron Book was before coming across your website. He is definitely a doer who has done so much for society, especially for the homeless.

  7. What an amazing read, whilst reading this I thought, you know when you meet someone or read about someone. You instantly think you could spend an evening just listening to their stories. This is what I felt reading this

  8. Very cool and haven’t read the book but seems interesting to read. Helping others is an amazing trait someone could have.

  9. His dedication to serving a diverse range of clients, including businesses, local governments, healthcare organizations, and nonprofits, underscores his commitment to making a positive impact in various sectors of society. Moreover, his proactive involvement in providing pro bono services to protect children from childhood sexual abuse and his longstanding advocacy for the homeless community demonstrate his profound compassion and unwavering commitment to social justice. Ron Book’s exemplary efforts serve as an inspiration to us all, reminding us of the power of compassion and advocacy in creating positive change in our communities.

  10. What an inspiring story! Thank you for sharing Ron’s story and advocacy. With the homeless crisis at an all-time high right now in our country, it’s a very important issue to shed light on.

  11. Not a person I’ve come across before. It was lovely to hear that he helped support the homeless trust for 30 years.

  12. I love to read about great people who live among us. Ron Book seems like a talented man who is trying to help his country. Thank you for sharing this story.

  13. It really sounds like Ron Book has achieved so much in his work and in the local community. This was a great read and also very inspiring too!

  14. I am finding this guy to be super interesting and appreciate you sharing all that he does for his community and peers. Very cool and we need more lies him!

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