Voters must do their homework diligently

caines | 6/21/2012, 6 a.m.

Voters in Miami-Dade County must decide from among a group of highly experienced and well-known candidates this August. All the candidates have served the community in some capacity and some are even representing the same political party. Unlike President Obama and Mitt Romney representing different political parties, they will differ in their views, especially on social issues. However, this is not the case with the Miami-Dade County candidates. All of the incumbents are being challenged by individuals who share some of the same personal experiences, education, accomplishments and leadership qualities. Most of the candidates have name recognition some that date back a few generations. However, I would like to caution voters not to vote for a candidate based only on name recognition. Listen carefully to what the candidates are offering and determine if they can and will deliver what they say. If selecting a representative was based on name recognition only, our first Black presidents name name would have been King and Ted Kennedy would have been one of the Presidents of the United States. One question voters should ask themselves is what difference will voting for the challengers make? Why would Miami Garden Mayor Shirley Gibson and Wade Jones challenge incumbent Commissioner Barbara Jordan for the Miami-Dade County District 1 seat? The same question applies to the race for Miami-Dade County District 3. Miami-Dade County Commissioner Audrey Edmondson is being challenged by five well-known candidates. What will the voters in these Districts accomplish by exchanging one representative for new representative? How will the constituents in these districts benefit with a new person representing their concerns? As voters we need to know specifically what the challengers will do for our community that the incumbents have not done. Is the race about who is going to do a better job? We must not allow the August 14th election to be a popularity contest. All these candidates are talented candidates, but this is no American Idol contest. Voters must attend the debates and meet the candidates and ask the right questions. If you are unemployed then you must ask for the candidates plan for assisting the unemployed and dislocated workers. A homeowner facing foreclosure should be asking questions about housing programs and services for families so they can avoid foreclosure. Crime is another big concern in Miami-Dade County as well. Voters need doable answers to these tough issues. And if we cant get straight answers, then I suggest we leave well enough alone. Yet, regardless of who is our candidate, we must exercise our vote, so: Go vote people! Queen Brown is a freelance writer, a motivational speaker and a trained crime victims advocate.By Queen BrownCommunity ActivistQueenb2020@bellsouth.net