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Why Florida Rep. Eunic Ortiz Won’t Let Her State Be a “Testing Ground”

Change, rather than culture conflicts, has always been something that Eunice Ortiz has been more concerned about. As a teacher, labour organiser, and election outreach expert, the native Floridian has made it her mission to empower people. Now, as a Democratic candidate for Florida State Senate, the native of St. Petersburg is fighting to protect the interests of Pinellas County rather than the interests of political donors.

According to Eunice, “What’s occurring in Florida is almost like it’s a testing ground for Republicans to see how far they can take things to see how far they can take their outrageous legislation.”

In recent years, even though politics in the Sunshine State are diverse, the Florida State Legislature has become a breeding ground for legislation that is conservative in nature. Because Republicans hold a majority in both chambers, several conservative policies, such as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill and a restriction on abortions after 15 weeks, have been sent unimpeded to Governor Ron DeSantis’ office.

Eunice is aware that Floridians are facing actual hardships such as rising rents and economic inequality, topics which, in her opinion, the Republicans are merely giving lip service to, even though those laws undoubtedly fire up the base of the Republican Party.

Eric stated, “I’ve seen leadership that says one thing in their communities and then goes to Tallahassee and does the title opposite thinking no one is going to notice.” “I’ve seen leadership that says one thing in their communities and then travels to Tallahassee and does the title opposite.”

With her grass-roots approach to politics, Eunice has already separated herself from her opponent, the Republican Nick DiCeglie. She was taught the importance of giving back from a young age thanks to her parents, who both served in the Puerto Rican Air Force and went on to become teachers.

She was a lesbian and of Latino descent, and she saw how members of her own communities were being treated unfairly as a result of bigotry. As a result, she made a commitment to fight for what is right.

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She received her degree from the University of Florida during the Great Recession in 2008, and then she moved her abilities to New York, where she started a career in government and in organising.

Her time spent working at City Hall allowed her to hone her communication skills, after which she went on to work for the Service Employees International Union for eight years. After that, she relocated back to Florida in the aftermath of the 2016 election.

She provided an explanation along the lines of, “I wanted to bring my job home and work and organise in my hometown, in my community.” From that point on, Eunice devoted the majority of her time to the movement to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

By engaging communities that spoke Spanish, Cambodian, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Haitian, Creole, and Somali, she was able to organise some of the state’s most difficult-to-reach voters and get them to the polls. This was her accomplishment as an organiser.

In November of 2020, the state amendment that would guarantee Florida will have a minimum wage of $15 by the year 2026 received more than 60 per cent of the public vote.

When we spoke to Eunice in the morning, he had just returned from a sleepout protest where he had been serving breakfast.

The protest was held to get rent control, another pressing priority for real Floridians, on the ballot. She is also the only candidate who is discussing the implications of climate change on District 18, which is home to 11 different beaches, most of which are located in St. Petersburg and Clearwater.

Emily’s List, Democracy For America, The Sierra Club, Florida Planned Parenthood, Equality Florida, and The Florida AFL-CIO, just to mention a few, are among the organisations who have lent their support to Eunice’s candidacy, giving her campaign an additional boost.

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Eunice is eager to convey the voice of her town to Tallahassee, and she is more than just a Democrat; she understands how her community wants to be heard and is prepared to do so.

If we are successful in November, this will not simply be a vote for Democrats; it will also be a vote for LGBTQ rights, affordable housing, public education, and the protection of our natural resources.

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