Miami-Dade County Commission – District 5

November 1, 2020

Eileen Higgins (DEM)


A former engineer, Higgins has served abroad as a Peace Corps country director in Belize, and has also served the U.S. State Department in Mexico and Southern Africa. She is a member of Miami Climate Alliance and Miami Downtown Neighbors.

Priorities and Points of View 

  • Environment
    • Higgins is working to collect data to help understand the problem of climate change.
    • Higgins hopes to regulate pollutants such as fertilizers and create a Biscayne Bay Authority to oversee environmental efforts.
  • Affordable Housing and Education 
    • Higgins supports using county land to create projects with both affordable housing and classrooms. 
  • Transportation 
    • Higgins supports using funding to build affordable transportation, such as the Metrorail, saying that she knows best on this matter, as she’s the only county commissioner to ride all forms of public transportation.
  • COVID-19 
    • Higgins advocated for the use of $35 million in emergency relief funding.
    • Higgins believes that the lockdowns were effective and save lives.

Renier Diaz de la Portilla (REP)


A civil and criminal lawyer by trade, de la Portilla has served on the Miami School Board and the Florida Legislature.

Priorities and Points of View

  • Environment
    • De la Portilla will request to be placed on environmental committees.
  • Education
    • De la Portilla supports and encourages the construction of charter schools, saying, “They’re more efficient, and you don’t spend as much money.”
  • Transportation
    • Diaz de la Portilla wants to expand bus routes, but views expanding other forms of public transportation as a waste of public funds.
  • COVID-19 
    • Diaz de la Portilla has argued that parts of the COVID-19 precautions in Miami have been unnecessary, saying that the City of Miami was using emergency funding as a “slush fund.” “There was no science behind many of the restrictions,” he argued.
About the Writer
Ian Fox '24, Executive News Editor

Ian Fox '24, a senior at Ransom Everglades School, is the executive news editor for the Catalyst. He's involved in Speech and Debate, Model UN, and TEDx...

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