Florida House District 114 is very diverse. It is the kind of district that someone like Daisy Baez would be proud of representing in Tallahassee and indeed, would make a positive difference by doing so. Representative Eric Fresen has held the seat for 8 years and is now termed out. The army veteran, single mom with a Master’s degree, fully understands and has in depth experience in diversity for she has had a lifetime of working with people from all backgrounds, cultures and walks of life. For the benefit of those of you who may not exactly know which areas are included in District 114, it includes parts of Coral Gables, South Miami, Pinecrest, Palmetto Bay, Cutler Bay, and West Miami. As a first time candidate in 2014 against then incumbent Eric Fresen, Baez won an impressive 44 percent of the vote. What makes it even more impressive is that the incumbent had approximately three times the amount of campaign funds at his disposal!
For those you who are tired of Governor Rick Scott’s, “tow the party line or else” mentality, Daisy Baez is an independent thinker. The days of empty suited, “yes men”, “good ole boy network,” “business as usual,” mentality will soon be over if voters of District 114 choose to elect her. One example is what many have seen as the “cannibalization” of our public schools. Baez, whose daughter is a product of public schools wants to put an end to the State’s misguided practice which allows non-audited funds to pour into Charter Schools. In addition, working as a healthcare professional for the past 25 years and witnessing firsthand the often tragic plight of many Floridians without access to healthcare, she believes in Medicaid expansion and supports acceptance of funds from the federal government. Baez explains her reasons for supporting Medicaid expansion as follows: “adding 800,00 Floridians to insurance makes economic sense for several reasons. First of all it is cheaper to pay for insurance premiums, primary care, and preventive care than to pay for expensive hospitalizations for complex medical problems. Additionally, with these increased levels of covered patients we will have a need for more doctors, nurses, lab technicians, x-ray technicians, accountants, administrators and other health care providers.
These are professional level jobs that require education, training, or certificates and therefore are better paid. These are the kinds of jobs that we want to have more of in Florida. These are jobs that allow individuals to buy houses, cars, clothes, go on vacations, remodel the kitchen. These are individuals who can better participate in our economy and therefore improve the economic outlook for all Floridians! I believe that Medicaid expansion can almost be considered as an economic stimulus program! Without a doubt, her position on this issue alone will not only help many Floridians have access to healthcare but at the same time, create many more jobs in the district. The funding cuts to the state’s Bright Futures scholarship program under the current administration while giving even more tax cuts to big corporations is another key issue she wants to work to correct.
This is another issue where Baez believes that there is an economic argument to support improved education funding. “Companies looking to stay or relocate to Florida look at the overall economic climate in the State, quality of life for their employees, and access to a well-trained and competent work force that is ready for the challenges of a changing economy and globalization. Therefore, good public K-12 education, affordable college, and options for trade training are crucial in expanding the economy of our State. “Daisy Baez takes issue with Governor Rick Scott prohibiting his administration from even using the term, “climate change” or “sea level rise,” let alone his lack of acknowledging the fact that it is a problem. Since district 114 covers low lying areas and coastal cities, it is not only natural but essential that a representative be aware of its effects which could negatively impact quality of life, as well as, increase the cost of flood insurance. Finding ways to mitigate or solve the problem requires much more than simply parading around pointing to the obvious and she is determined to work with the local governance to come up with viable and practical solutions before it is too late. She also states “again, there is an economic argument to be made on addressing climate change and sea level rise issues. Florida’s biggest asset is its tourism industry with its climate, outdoor lifestyle, beaches, fishing, and access to waterways. This is why people come to Florida. It can very well have an impact on tourism when the national headlines are showing guacamole looking rivers and devastated lakes and beaches.”
She further states “I have met with most of the mayors and council members in the cities in our district to discuss this issue. I have also met with many of our community groups and this is an issue of real concern to the citizens of our district.” Daisy Baez will be competing against first time candidate Alberto L. Santana in the primary.
Early voting on primary elections are currently being held through August 28th with final primary election on August 30th .