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Blacks may not think about politics, but politics think about us

Roger Caldwell1 Blacks may not think about politics, but politics think about us

Roger Caldwell

Blacks may not think about politics, but politics think about us

By Roger Caldwell

Last week was a vigorous weekend for the Florida Democratic Party, because they held their yearly conference at the Walt Disney World resort, and there were other networking events around Orlando. The weekend was jam-packed with political strategy meetings and speeches. Based on my allotted time schedule, I decided to attend the Orange County Democrats special reception for Florida Democratic Party Chair Allison Tant, and the Democratic Black Caucus of Florida Town Hall meeting.

At the Florida Democratic Party conference there were 1,200 delegates from around the state, and the two leading candidates Ex-Governor Charlie Crist, and former state Sen. Nan Rich worked the crowds. As the leaders in the party made their speeches, many of the delegates insisted they were undecided which candidate to support. Speaker after speaker beat up Governor Scott as an unpopular leader who is out of touch with the common person.

The two events that I went to were poorly attended by African Americans. At the reception for Florida Democratic Party Chair Allison Tant, there were only 5 Blacks and the first question I would raise, “Was the price of tickets too high?” The price online was $30.00, and the charge at the door was $50.00. The event was poorly promoted in the Black churches, Black media, and Black organizations, and the result was there were very few grassroots folks there.

Nevertheless, I had a great time at the event, and I met and talked to Orange Property Appraiser Rick Singh, Rep. Linda Steward, Rep. Bruce Antone, and many more. Democrat Orange Property Appraiser Rick Singh was recently elected to his position, and was born in Guyana. He came to America at the age of 10, and his story is one of inclusion and success. He is a proud Democrat whose goal is to make his office more customer and user friendly.

I also learned from Rep. Linda Stewart that the Democrats need 30 more seats to become the majority party in the Florida Legislature. There are 5 million Democrats in the state and 1.7 million are Black and we make up 30 percent of the party. We can point our finger at each other but there is a need for Florida African Americans to be more engaged in the party.

Finally, I attended the Democratic Black Caucus of Florida’s Town Hall Meeting entitled Florida Speaks Tour, and the attendance was extremely light. The event was promoted on Star 94.5, the internet, and the African American office holders in central Florida. It was held at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, but there were only 50 people there. For some reason, Blacks have stopped thinking about politics, or they are too busy, or too lazy to get involved.

The purpose of the tour is to allow residents of the State of Florida to publicly address violations of their civil rights. These testimonies will be documented and presented to the members of the Florida legislature and Governor Rick Scott, and his cabinet. Blacks are always complaining that no one listens to them, but when they get an opportunity, “Where are they?”

The residents that spoke demonstrated that civil rights are being violated at their workplace, and by the police to our youth. Based on the testimonies the violations are systemic, and government agencies are not impartial and fair. African Americans may not be thinking about politics, but the political system is not working in our best interest.

African Americans can only make changes when they are engaged and involved as a collective cohesive caucus. Politics is always thinking about how to control our community, and keep us disenfranchised. If we make up 30 percent of the Democratic Party in Florida, we must become a major voice, and we should receive 30 percent of their financial resources.

 

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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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