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Do you know who is your Commissioner or Florida representative?

Roger Caldwell

Roger Caldwell

Do you know who is your Commissioner or Florida representative?

By Roger Caldwell

As the legislature session starts this week most Floridians don’t know who are their representatives and probably don’t care. Most folks think politics is to confusing and most politicians are corrupt. So most people tune out politics, and they don’t even know who is their state representative or their local commissioner.

As an African American person in 2014, many Black men and women feel they are too busy, so they don’t register vote. After knowing that many of our forefathers died and were beaten for the right to vote, they are apathetic and disengaged. This does not just impact African Americans but it cuts across race, age and gender lines.

There is an election in the country in 2014, and many residents don’t know who is running in their district, because many think mid-term elections are not important. Many folks only think the presidential election is important, but most of the work and policies that affect you is done on a local and state level.

Every election is a big deal and every election makes a difference. As an American, civic engagement makes your representative accountable, credible and honest. In Florida it has kept our governor from keeping our prisons from being completely privatized, and saving our public schools budgets from being cut.

As the 2014 legislative session gets underway, it is very important that all Floridians open up their eye and ears, and pay attention on how a $74.2 billion budget is cut up and spent. Tallahassee has a $1 billion surplus and many are hoping that our representatives give a large portion to the public school system and poor folks. But when Floridians don’t know who their representatives are, our lawmakers can operate under the radar.

Many political experts think our public servants like keeping things secret, by using deceptive language and making laws to long to understand what our legislators are talking about. This allows organizations like Enterprise Florida to receive hundreds of millions from Florida taxpayers and spend it on lavish meals and parties. Big business is also spending millions of dollars in Tallahassee to make sure that no changes take place in the “Stand Your Ground Law,” and Floridians wonder why young Black males are dying.

Things are not going to change in Florida until Democrats start to vote based on their advantage in the voting polls numbers. The Republicans will continue to kill the ACA and Medicare expansion, until legislators start getting phone calls, emails, and watch their residents attend public rallies. When you don’t vote, you don’t have a voice.

Remember if you don’t know who your representative or local commissioner is, find out their name. If you have never been engaged in the political process, it’s never too late to get started. After you find out their name, find out what they stand for, and stay engaged.

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