Eileen Higgins stays busy. The freshman Miami-Dade commissioner, now seven months into representing District 5, works long hours and makes it a point every week to visit all parts of her district, made up of portions of Miami, Miami Beach and unincorporated Fisher Island.
This year, in her first full legislative session, Ms. Higgins will serve on the Housing, Social Services and Economic Development; Transportation and Finance; and Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs committees, as well as the Community Disparities Subcommittee.
She is excited about all four assignments, she said, but is especially eager to work on two she asked for specifically, albeit for different reasons.
“Some of the strong leaders on the commission, who understand housing deeply and are the biggest advocates, will term out in 2020. I want to learn from them because I’ll be here in 2021, God willing,” she said. “On transportation, I provide a different perspective. I am a true transit rider in all its forms. I don’t just ride the train.”
Those issues and others she’ll address, she said, are intrinsic to improving the overall quality of life here, and she plans to use the diverse experience she gained prior to serving in elected public office in developing novel solutions to age-old quandaries.
“I tell people I have a split personality, but there’s only two,” she said. “I intend to approach things thinking about, ‘How do we make the economy grow?’ I have that business background. At the same time, [I ask], ‘How do we not leave people behind while we’re doing that?’ We can do both, and I have a career that’s proven that.”
Ms. Higgins sat down with Miami Today reporter Jesse Scheckner. The interview, recorded by Jahmoukie Dayle, can be found Friday at http://bit.ly/2uNHy0Q.