Lisa C. Davis never dreamt of becoming a politician. Yet her passion for Miami Gardens, a place she has called home for 33 years, and its residents, inspired her to seek change.
“I became involved because of the people, mainly the seniors and youth,” Davis said, adding that she wants to “make a difference, be a voice for them.”
But, Davis said, “when my mother, Inez Davis, said ‘you need to run, you can make such a difference,’ that was my confirmation. I had her blessing.”
As a result of the Aug. 24 election, Davis, 50, now serves as Councilwoman, Area Seat 2. The seat was previously held by Barbara Watson, who left office due to term limits.
Area 2’s northern boundary is NW 215th Street; on the east, NE 2nd Avenue, south to 199th Street, west to North Miami Avenue, south to NW 183rd Street.
The area’s southern boundary is NW 183rd Street; its western boundary is the Florida Turnpike, north to NW 199th Street, west to NW 27th Avenue and north to NW 215th Street.
With the campaign slogan, “The Candidate that Never Sleeps,” Davis’ fouryear agenda for the city is impressive. At the top of her to-do list is to seek assistance for seniors who cannot afford their medications, a concern sparked by her own mother’s difficulties.
“My mom has a doughnut hole and has to pay for her own prescriptions,” Davis explained. “The insurance companies do not cover certain medications.”
Many seniors, Davis added, experience the same. “They will skip doses to save money because they can’t afford their medicine. No one should have to experience that.”
A donut hole, or, coverage gap, is one of the most controversial parts of the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit. Although all prescription drug plans must explain the coverage gap in their literature and advertising, the donut hole comes as a shock to many enrollees when they go abruptly from making copayments for their drugs to paying 100 percent of the cost.
Miami Gardens’ youth, particularly its young men, are also on Davis’ agenda.
Citing that more than 50 percent of young black males never graduate from high school, Davis said, “it’s an issue that we all know well, but what are we going to do about it?”
Davis is committed to working with the city’s schools to initiate a pilot program that will focus on increasing interest in college and other avenues of higher education.
“They love music,” Davis said of the youth, “but everyone is not going to become a rapper or producer. Energies need to be focused in other places, other areas.”
Davis also said that she will focus on empowering single mothers. “I want to help them be equipped; help them enroll in school, start a business, purchase a home and build their credit.”
Unemployment is another issue faced by Miami Gardens’ residents, Davis said, adding that one of her plans is to partner with South Florida Workforce to host a job fair. And to support the growth and sustainability of local businesses, Davis said, “I want to work with them; help them ready themselves to bid on the many contracts the city offers.”
Davis added that there needs to be “more of our children enrolling in colleges. With [President Barack] Obama’s plan, money is there now. We need to take advantage of it. We don’t know what will happen further down the line, but no one can take your education away from you.”
A self-proclaimed “social services junkie,” Davis has a history of working with the homeless, low income families and those who suffer from HIV/AIDS. She has worked for Movers, Inc., Beckman Hall Homeless Shelter and South Florida Workforce.
“I love helping people,” she said.
Davis is currently a business administration management student at Miami Dade College. An entrepreneur, she is the owner of Anointed Hand Cloths, which sells customized handkerchiefs to local pastors.