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Blacks in Florida must present an agenda to the legislature now

Roger Caldwell

Roger Caldwell

Blacks in Florida must present an agenda to the legislature now

By Roger Caldwell

      The Florida Legislature has returned in September to Tallahassee, to begin preparation for the 2016 legislative session. They are setting up agendas, organizing committees, and starting to work on bills for the January session. The Republicans control both the Houses in the legislature, but in 2015, they fought like cats and dogs.

As Floridians we forget very quickly, about the spring session in 2015, where the House adjourned three day early, and the work had to be completed in a special session. Many of the bills were not considered or worked on, and many thought the state would shut down, before a budget was approved by both Houses.

The 2015 Florida Legislative session was one major mess with infighting everywhere you turned, and a special session on congressional redistricting has also failed. Floridians are extremely embarrassed with the political conflicts in Tallahassee, and the Democrats appear to stand on the sidelines without any power to help resolve the infighting.

Since Democrats have no major power in Florida politics, Blacks must organize as a political block, and reach out beyond the Florida Democratic Party. Many Blacks in Florida argue that the Florida Democratic Party has been exclusive, and refused to allow Blacks and minorities leadership positions in the party. Some have charged the Democratic leadership with overt racism and being a closed party.

As a result of these conditions, Blacks in Florida believe they must mobilize and organize the different Black organizations around a Black Agenda. In 2014, and 2015, unarmed Black young men were killed around the country by police, security guards and licensed gun holders without punishment. Many Blacks argue that the criminal justice system is corrupt and broken, and both parties in Florida re-fuse to discuss this crisis.

In order to draw attention to Black problems in Florida, Black Florida politicians must build a coalition, where they can present a Black Agenda to the Florida legislature. Contemporary Black organization such as Black Lives Matter and traditional Black political organizations must form a united front and agree on a political strategic program. This Black political plan must address justice, morality, education, mass incarceration, poverty, and jobs.

If Black Lives Matter in Florida, Blacks must utilize the Black media and press to distribute information to the political leaders in both parties, and start a statewide conversation. There are 2.5 million Black Floridians registered to vote in the state, and we must operate as a political block. At this point in the state, Black organizations and Black politicians must sit down and develop a plan, which they can use to improve our community.

Black Florida politicians must cross the aisle and discuss our Black Agenda with Republicans who are in a position to deliver our demands for votes. Black organizations and Black voters must get serious with their demands, and we can’t wait on Democrats. Now is the time for a Black Agenda, and it starts with Blacks getting organized and mobilized with a plan.

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    Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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