- Faith & Family
After a successful Democratic convention last week and with the latest polls showing that President Barack Obama has increased his lead from three to six points over his rival for the White House — Republican candidate Mitt Romney — local Democrats here in Miami-Dade County say they are energized and
ready to go. With just 56 days remaining until Election Day, they met on Monday night at the American Legion Hall on NE 7th Avenue for a rally with one goal, they say: to stress the urgency of making sure all eligible voters are registered and aware of what’s at stake in the upcoming election.
“I’ve lived here since 1969 and have never witnessed an election as important as this one,” said Louella L. Grayson, 89. “We have to fight hard and make sure that President Obama is reelected. Miami-Dade’s Democrats have led the way in many of the previous elections. We cannot afford to sit on our hands.”
Richard Lydecker, Esq., chairman of the Miami-Dade Democratic Party said their monthly meeting was turned into a “pep rally” after members became fed up with local and national efforts to suppress the vote.
“What the Tea Party is doing is in direct contrast to what protesters did before the American Revolution,” he said. “They refused to be taxed without proper political representation. Now we have forces that want to do just that to us. If they have their way, they’ll turn back the clock so that the only people eligible to vote will be white males that own property. Statistics show that would effectively eliminate a large percentage of Blacks, women, students, senior citizens and immigrants who have made the U.S. their new home. Many of these groups vote Democrat. Add to that Governor Rick Scott’s efforts to purge voting rolls and you see that there is a concerted effort to pick the voters he and his cronies want instead of the voters picking who they want.”
Get mad, get even, get registered
Other speakers at the rally included: former State Senator Dan Gelber, ACLU Executive Director Howard Simon and newly-elected president of the M-D Young Democrats, Kyle Stevens. But it was the words of State Senate candidate Dwight Bullard, the former state representative, that drove the concerns of Black voters home.
“We must turn out at the polls in record numbers and not allow opposing forces to intimidate us,” he said. “Malcolm, Martin and Medgar all died so that Blacks could vote. Sadly, we know people in our own families and neighborhoods that don’t bother to vote. There’s a lot at stake in this election but the main thing we stand to lose is our freedom.”
M-DC School Board Member Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall agreed, adding that the Democratic Party must ensure more equity and parity for Blacks.
“We’re [Blacks] going to vote Democrat but when the election is over we want to make sure we begin to get some of what we truly deserve,” she said.
“It’s all about power and people — the Republicans have the power but we have the people — and we’re going to get our people to the polls,” said Elizabeth Judd. “If not, they’ll take back everything for which we’ve fought and died to gain.”
By D. Kevin McNeir