As I sit here drinking a celebratory glass of Moscato (that I pilfered from Ms. Poitier’s re-election party), all I can think of is all the hard work that went into the campaigns of Mr. Ben Preston, Ms. Gloria Battle, and the lovely Ms. Annette Scott-Woods. So I propose a toast to you and your teams. Your hard work was not in vain and I am hoping that all the camps involved will unite and work together to make District 2 a better place. You campaigned for change, so let's unite and work together to get it.
Deerfield Beach District 2 spoke out yesterday and let city hall know that we want change and we have the right person for the job. That person has been and will always be Sylvia Poitier. She won by a landslide (earning 61.94% of the votes or 472 votes), beating newcomer Ben Preston (23.36%/178 votes), Gloria Battle (9.32%/71 votes), and Annette Scott-Woods (5.38%/41 votes). Overall it was not an impressive showing, with only 762 ballots being cast and overall in the county only 20,698 ballots were cast. This is a depressing number considering that Broward County has 197,872 registered voters. If you are like me then you are wondering where the other 177,174 registered voters were. I guess they were to busy to come to the polls and performed their Civic Duties, which is a shame. Especially since, our municipalities, counties, states, and federal governments have come under attack by reports of corruption, over spending, and enacting laws that only benefit a small percentage of the population. So it is amazing to me that we do not come out and vote.
I posed a question recently to my Facebook friends, asking them how we could get African-Americans come out and vote. Jokingly, I stated that we could offer chicken and watermelon because that is the stereotypical food of choice for African-Americans. I got response saying that we could target them by offering free food and free booze. Now this got me to thinking that if that is what it took, why not make that a consideration. Is it to taboo to consider, even if it would get the black community more engaged and ready to perform their civic duties? I think not! If I had to decide rather to offend a few people by offering a menu of chicken, Grape Kool-Aid, 40 ounces, and Crown royal shoots to get us out to vote, then I would do it. Whatever it took to get my people to take an interest and get involved civically, instead of only judicially.
Now, the main group that I would focus on is young black people from 18-40. This group is the next generation and it is time that they stand up and act out because the Sylvia Poitier’s of the world will not be here forever to fight our battles. We need to start grooming ourselves to take over the mantle(s) of civic leadership, so we can continue and hopefully finish the fight started so long ago, by individuals like Martin Luther King and Malcolm X (who both died trying to make this a better country for us.) In the race to make this a more equal and just society we have to be willing to run and sweat when that baton is passed on to us. At the present time, we are not ready and I fear that we will drop the baton and therefore be left behind, losing the race. I, personally, am not prepared to lose that race, so I am being more vocal and trying to call others like me to the cause.
I am hoping that more leaders like Sylvia Poitier will take the time to groom young individuals to take over the mantle of leadership of our community. I am hoping that more individuals 18-40 would step up, so they can be groomed. You have to remember that the current community leaders will not be around forever and when they are gone who will fight for us, if we have no one able-bodied and able minded to take over then we are doomed and might as well put the chains back on.
So, let this serve as an employment notice for young able-bodied and able minded individuals between 18-40 to step up in their communities and volunteer, attend City Commission meetings, contact their local representatives and stay involved. It doesn’t pay anything, but the experience will pay off 10 fold in preparing them for their future roles as leader, activist, lobbyist, politician, president.
Act Up, Speak Out, and VOTE!