Shenanigans in the District 2 race
And then people ask why the younger generation does not vote. This is one example of why they are so disillusioned.
Here is the letter from Engage Miami:
Hey, Engage Miami here. Forum is still on for tonight [meaning last night] and should be a lot of fun. We have a lot of surprises in store and an important discussion of the issues that are important to Miami's millennial voters.
Here is a history for any who are interested.
Engage Miami started from conversation between a number of Emerge Miami members thinking of ways to get young people interested in Miami politics. We were shocked that in 2011 only 4000 people (out of 41,000 eligible) voted in the District 2 election...less than 700 under the age of 40. We were initially going to just run this "get out the vote" project under the unincorporated Emerge Miami name, but realized that we would be more effective if we incorporated as a non profit so we could apply for grants and other funds.
In June we sent out questionnaires to all of the candidates, including Rosy, informing the candidate that upon return we would invite them to a candidate forum we had planned for August. We gave each candidate a full month to respond to the relatively short survey. Candidates Sarnoff, Solares, Gonzalez, Woods, and Russell all responded promptly. After the deadline we reached out to Hector Roos asking him to assist in having Rosy fill out our questionnaire. He told us that he would, but never got back to us. Months and months have gone by and we never received the questionnaire. Accordingly, we planned the event without Rosy, assuming she didn't want to participate.
Subsequent to our sending everyone the questionnaires the Emerge project incorporated as "Engage", and, working with all of the candidates that completed our questionnaire decided to move the forum from August to October.
Two days ago we received an email from Hector asking if Rosy could participate. We informed him that we would have loved to have her participate, but we had already planned the questions and format and we had assumed Rosy had no interest because she had not got back to us. He then informed us that "someone" was going to complain that one of our board members works for the SEIU, an organization that endorsed Grace Solares.
This morning we received word that Hector had been contacting a number of people, including the Sarnoff campaign and our moderator, Billy Corben, spinning a tale that we are a shell organization for the Solares campaign. A complete fabrication. Other fabrications are that our Chalktacular event was a Solares event. In fact, Sarnoff, Solares, Russell, Woods, Sklarley, and Gonzalez all came to that event -- along with around 800 people, to help turn the long languished park into a work of art.
As for the claim that Emerge/Engage "burned" Rosy on the Chaltacular idea. Rosy came to an emerge meeting and said "It would be a great idea to turn Parcel B into a giant chalk drawing", and we agreed. She never helped, or even offered to help, with it. Now, she is claiming she is responsible for Chaltacular. To that, I say I am not concerned with credit, I am concerned with results. A trait I would hope my elected officials would ideally have. I would also add, if you created facebook, you would have created facebook.
I think this whole controversy is really very sad. Engage Miami is only trying to get young people interested in local politics by creating interesting and fun events to connect people to their community and their leaders. I think what Hector did is sad, and I think that Sarnoff falling for it is unfortunate.
UPDATE: Al Crespo has the video of last night's forum here.
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