Daisy J. Baez has a life worth sharing with the world. Her accomplishments range from being a caring, single mother, to achieving recognition and honor as a highly decorated U.S. Army Veteran, not to mention her success as an accomplished health care executive.
After 25 years serving various roles in the healthcare industry, Baez is running now for first time in her career as Florida State Representative for the District 114 against the incumbent Republican Erik Fresen, another Latino.
Making the decision to run for office is not an easy one, especially for individuals like me who work full time and must balance campaigning with providing for my family. It also means that your life becomes public, and everything you do is under scrutiny, Baez told VOXXI.
But the reality that our tax dollars are being used to benefit a few private companies and individuals was too much for me to sit on the sidelines. Many of our schools she continues- are closing programs, going into disrepair, and reducing staff because vital resources are being diverted for private profit. Its not right. I realized now, more than ever, we need our voices heard, and I needed to do what I could to give back.
An example of leadership
Daisy Baez was born in the Dominican Republic to poor parents who later divorced when she was still young. After the divorce, Baez and her sister were sent to live with her grandmother while their mother went to New York City to work long hours in a factory in order to send money home to provide for the family.
Baez stayed with her grandmother in the Dominican Republic until she graduated high school at age 17. She felt she could find better opportunities in the United States so she moved there, and after three years she joined the United States Army.
She went through basic and advanced training without a problem. She was then assigned to the First Cavalry Division Surgeons Office in Fort Hood, Texas, where she was highly decorated. She earned many medals and awards including an Army Commendation Medal, an Army Achievement Medal, and several Departments of the Army and First Cavalry Division Certificates of Achievement.
After she was honorably discharged in 1983 at the end of her service, Baez was eager to focus on her continuing education. She worked two to three jobs to put herself through night school, earning a Bachelor of Science in Social Work.
But she didnt stop there. Baez was always committed to helping those in need and she devoted her entire life to this noble cause. Healthcare was important to her, so with the help of federal student loans, she earned a Master’s Degree in Counseling Education. As a single mother and social worker, Daisy has both lived and witnessed the everyday struggles of working class Americans to provide food, education, and healthcare for their families.
Daisy Baez founded and serves as the Executive Director of the Dominican Health Care Association of Florida. She also serves as a member of the Board of Directors at the Merrick House Museum in Coral Gables, where she worked with the Board and city leaders to craft a long-term structural preservation plan to preserve the house for future generations. She was also appointed to the Barry University Advisory Committee for the Graduate Health Professions.
Baez has one daughter, who’s a graduate of Coral Gables High School and Florida International University who she raised as a single parent often working several jobs to provide for her wellbeing and education.
The good start of a political career
Talking about her experience during the campaign in South Florida, Baez said that so far has been an amazing experience.
I sincerely enjoy meeting people, hearing their concerns, and learning more about our small business and services. People have been very open and willing to share their point of views and concerns. It is really very energizing!
She added: This is an amazing district with great people, awesome natural beauty and resources, and with incredible business potential as the gateway to Latin America. We have an opportunity to maximize those resources in a planned and considerate way that ensures growth while protecting the same natural resources for future generations.