From the Westside Gazette Editorial Board (WEB)
God gave us a voice. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 after much struggle and personal sacrifice by many gave all Americans the right to vote.
If you missed your piece of the pie then you still have the opportunity to take from the plate. It is very important for each of us to get involved in our community and educate ourselves about the different issues which will change our lives.
YOU chose not to exercise your voice, not to express your concerns to the candidates seeking office in your community, and not to listen to their ideas of how your government should operate.
It is imperative that each of us vote; if you vote you can complain. If you don’t, you don’t have the right to. If you want to participate, you must vote.
Worst case scenario would be that you choose not to exercise your voice / your vote at all in this year’s mid-term elections – but just as disappointing would be that you do vote with an uninformed voice.
Often times, we put people in office who do not fit. It’s a different kind of flavor that offsets the whole pie.
Those who make the laws that govern us have been given the right to control us. We are like puppets on a string pulled from side to side; this is reinforced and made a reality when we do not vote.
Your vote IS your voice in local, state and national government.
We need to empower and support those individuals who are willing to take a stand and make a change and a difference in our community. We need hands-on experienced people who know what it means to not have the ability to pay for medications and food for their children. We want people who know how we feel and are willing to do something about it.
The pie was sliced from the menu to the venue with the constituents in mind. Something about home court advantage, the running of the clock and officials that adhere to the rules of the game.
We don’t need an open door policy when it comes to election time and, when elected, the door is chained shut and welded closed. We need to know that the door is open at all times so that we can lay the hat on the table and tell our elected people who represent us on every level what’s really going on, we don’t need anyone in office who simply doesn’t know what holding on really means.
The Sweet Potato Pie, Politics and Ice Cream forum was a means for our local community and politicians to participate in a one on one discussion with those who have concerns with-in our community.
Due to lack of concern and support, we have sat back and let others make decisions for us that affect our daily lives and we wonder why change has not come. It is because we fail to do something about the change.
Now is the time for our legislatiors to hear what the people have to say because the people have the power and some of us don’t know how to use it. If we are to educate and empower our youth then we need to take a stand, let our voice be heard, put on our chef’s hats and let’s get to work making and serving our own pies for a better tomorrow.
For the voters who were not there, you missed a wonderful opportunity to get to know the priorities of the people who are asking for your vote. We need you…… So when your taxes in-crease, your child is treated unfairly in the judicial system, when you feel that the school system is failing your child, and you can’t find meaningful employment – don’t complain; you chose to be silent and uniformed in the process. Your silence spoke for you when your voice should have. Your non-participation communicated to those seeking office that once
elected they are free to set their own agenda.
For the people that were in attendance, ten minutes of face to face intervention from each participant was worth it.
Ten minutes, up front and close is lot of time to bare the naked truth about who you are and what you stand for. How-ever, it is not ideal for canned political speeches and jarring. Ten minutes of looking down the barrel of truth is both frightening and enlightening. Ten minutes of adding the ingredients of the voters. Ten minutes of following the recipe of the people and serving that tasty dish to the powers to be.
Their agenda will not be prioritized by your concerns but by their own. When concerned voting citizen and citizens who need to vote, miss opportunities to engage in situations and political discussion with a side dish of savory sweet potato pie, you might be putting yourself in a position to get a “pie in the face”.
We have to put ourselves in places to speak and to listen to those campaigning for our votes.
After the elections you can speak but many politicians won’t listen. Your voice and vote
won’t matter – it will be reduced to nothing more than angry chatter! We need you…
We had a good showing, but the substance of the pie was too nutritious for you to miss. The community had a chance to talk face-to-face with candidates who will make crucial decisions that will impact you, your family and the entire Black community.
How often can you sit at a table in your community in non-hostile environments and voice your opinions to judges, school board representatives, commissioners, and a powerful congressman?
The political frustration embedded in the Black community is too vast for us to ignore. The day when we decide to show up at the polls uninformed and bamboozled, will be the day we continue to be led around like lost sheep; we might as well lose by default.
The true ingredients in the political pie is really economics and influence. Have we survived from our past challenges for freedom that we in the Black community don’t need money or influence?
Let us not become the real butcher’s knife to events that offer food for thought that make us much more informed voters.
It would be rather strange to have a political soul train line dance and only a few Black politicians came down the line.
As the need for getting people out of office becomes as clear as air and if the question was asked, “Where was the Divine 9”? we hope that the answer is not, “I guess they were in heaven.”
Civic organizations, teachers, staff, administrators, us common folks and elected officials let’s not be too busy to engage in causes to move us forward.
If you were to look at the status of Black Broward, we should be getting our people involved in the entire scope of voting, like preparing for a tsunami.
Yes, if you were not there you missed an opportunity to witness dinner table politics, served by the people and for the people. Yes, you missed the energy, the disbelief, and even the political stumbling of those who questioned what came first- the pie, politics or the ice cream?
Sweet potato pie, politics and ice cream were served, and you missed it, but what we really missed was YOU!!
Thank you for the following who made this event a success: Mt. Hermon AME Church; Liz ‘Cakes For All Occasions; Jonathan Allen, Attorney Aaron Durall, Vitas, Innovative Hospice Care; Mary Dooling and Jackie Gadson and all of the following participants: U. S. Congressman Alcee L. Hastings proudly serving Florida’s 20th District; Mark William Rickard for County Judge, Group 18,; Ben Lap for Broward County Commissioner, District 4; Felicia Brunson for School Board of Broward County, District 1; Mark Bogen for Broward County Commissioner, District 2; Levoyd Williams for State Representative, District 94; Ann Murray for School Board of Broward County, District 1; Nora Rupert for School Board of Broward County, District 7; Lisa Kohner Aronson for Broward County Commissioner, District 2; Jonathan Kasen for County Judge, Group 27; Alexandra Davis for Broward County Com-missioner, District 8; Hayward J Benson, Jr., for SEAT 4 Lauderhill City Commission; William Cossio for SEAT 4 Lauderhill City Commission; Julie Shapiro Harris for Circuit Court Judge, Group 17; Dennis D. Bailey for Circuit Court Judge, Group 16—17th Judicial Circuit; Ian J Richards for County Judge, Group 27; Russell M. Thompson for Circuit Court Judge, Group 16 —17th Judicial Circuit; Representative Shevrin D. Jones for State Representative, District 101; Nick Sakhnovsky, School Board of Broward County, District 3; Andrea Ruth Gundersen, for Circuit Court Judge, Group 16—17th Judicial Circuit