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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Why don't people vote? It's time to Emerge, Miami!

I don't think I have ever missed voting since I first started at age 18. And I have never voted by absentee ballot. I actually show up at the polls and cast my vote.

I am against absentee ballots. I feel that most people are too lazy to get out and vote and I don't trust absentee ballots. I do think that while it is legal to vote that way, that that will be the deciding factor in the District 2 commission race. Only because people don't get out and vote. If people would physically get out and vote, things can be different.

I never understand the reasoning behind not voting. We have two weeks to vote, it's usually 75 and sunny with a beautiful breeze, if you vote early, there is no wait, they are usually falling all over themselves at the polls in order to assist you. Why don't people vote?

I wonder what it will take to get people out to cast their ballots. Last time, some of the commission candidates were so hurt by the fact that people didn't get out and vote that the candidates are still reeling from it today,  almost four years later. It's quite insulting that the candidates go door to door, they hold debates, they work non-stop for months and then when it's time to vote, the people they met and partied with and went to church with and the people they thought they persuaded to vote for them, don't even vote for an opponent. They just don't vote at all. They don't want to be bothered.

In the District 2 commission race, a few votes can sway the election, so your vote does count. Instead of being an armchair activist, you can make a difference by actually casting a vote.

In the last District 2 race, only 5,450 of 41,000 registered voters cast a ballot. 

Emerge Miami wants to change that, they want to get more people out to vote. That is now their main goal. Emerge Miami all started with a small group of UM students and local organizers. Since then, they have been open to anyone who wants to make Miami a better place. Emerge Miami has met weekly for 10 years at round table discussions. They started the monthly Critical Mass bike ride and also helped community groups organize marches, parades and parties. If they could get the same amount of new voters as they have that are part of Critical Mass, that is really doing something. Thousands of new voters, who actually will vote, is  needed.

Talking about the District 2 commission race, Justin Wales, an Emerge Miami member says, "This fight is for Miami's soul." He believes that developers are taking over the city at a rapid rate, too rapid and that a handful of politicians are calling the shots, these politicians controlled by the developers. They are in their pockets. And just a handful of people are voting, allowing this to happen.

Emerge Miami will be out in the streets signing up new voters from now until election day in November. The first event will be this Friday, May 1 from 6 to 8 pm at the Arts + Entertainment District’s Performance Pavilion (90 NE 17 Street), preceding a circus performance, which is free, but you have to be on the wait list here for the circus. Voter registration will be available at the event.

Emerge Miami meets every Tuesday from 7 to 8 pm at Sweat Records (5505 NE 2nd Avenue). You're invited to attend.

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Anonymous Gabriel Mendoza said...

Thank you for sharing this great piece of information Tom. You're right on point in regards to having ample time to vote. The quote by Justin Wales, "This fight is for Miami's soul" speaks volumes and we need to collectively push forward to reform our broken system.

A system which allows for a business that is proposing a measure to the city, to hire the same lobbyist that is hired by the Commisioner that is voting on approving that same measure.

It's ludicrous and fosters corruption. It takes courage and conviction by an elected official to recognize that the rules of engagement must be reformed in order to take back the "soul" of our city.

These type of movements further inspire reform minded public servants to stand up and fight for what is right. I look forward to canvassing with Enage Miami, it's time to reform Miami.


Gabriel Mendoza

April 29, 2015 7:12 AM  
Anonymous Ken Russell said...

Justin and the guys from Emerge thought for a long time about what they could do that would have the absolute biggest impact on the community. They could've gone in any direction (they started as a group dedicated to cyclist issues). They realized that so much of what this community needs could be solved by MORE PEOPLE VOTING.

Dedicated voters like Tom can't understand why more than 90% of the community doesn't find it important. I've been meeting dozens of residents and I hear a similar theme amongst the non-voters. We are trained to care about who the president is, but not about who our Commissioner is. Emotional wedge issues that seem to guide the country outweigh the practical issues that are in our best interest.
Justin's on the right track. The key is education and inspiration. If you talk to a local resident for just a few minutes, you'll see a lightbulb go on. Don't make them feel guilty for their prior apathy. Show them why local elections are just as important as federal and show them how influential every single vote can be. If everyone who reads your blog would talk to five of their non-voting friends and convert them into local voters, that alone could impact the election.

April 29, 2015 8:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There should be a clear, concise list of Top Ten issues. We all know what these are.

Each candidate should answer it, in writing, also precisely and to the point, as to where they stand and what concrete promises they will be accountable for.

If by the second year the elected candidate starts to divert from his/her specific written promises, it could be grounds for impeachment.

April 29, 2015 9:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

About voting: there's an international initiative to support Manual Voting in Venezuela on Sunday, May 3rd, at City Halls everywhere.

As some of you may know, elections in
countries like Brasil, Ecuador or Venezuela are being stolen by fraudulent "Smartmatic" machines, created by the Chavez regime (that were fortunately kicked out of the USA)

Please join this effort:

Main Event:

April 29, 2015 9:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problems with voting here are many, but the biggest issues include:

A) apathy - because no matter what the same things keep happening in miami for 30 + years - $ talks, developers due as they please, variances on everything are granted to the guy with pile a cash.

B) Voter fraud - absentee ballots are used to commit 100% of the voting fraud in Miami, and even when caught, the people perpetrating these crimes get a slap on the wrist, and the politicians who obviously hired them are not punished at all.

C) poor organization of polling places.

April 29, 2015 12:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Miami Herald has a story about possible on-line voting. If we can buy stocks, bank and pay bills online, we should be able to figure a way to make voting secure as well.
Some countries like Austrailia have mandatory voting. Everyone has to fiel taxes, so why not everyone vote!

April 29, 2015 2:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cast my ballot, typically, through absentee. Not because I'm lazy but because I'm busy. I think it's very simple for someone who doesn't work a normal office job to cast shadows, but when you have to wake up, walk to dog, get the kids to school, get to work and get home to make dinner, etc it can be hard to fit in the time.

April 29, 2015 3:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know people think "the issues" are important....but "the issues" mean nothing to the sort of person who would run as a champion of the neighborhoods and sign any pledge put in front of them to get votes....and then sell out to every fast talking con man who hits town with a flashy "plan" and a big checkbook. Didn't we just go through this? TWICE!?!? Have we learned NOTHING?

April 29, 2015 5:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You all can write on blogs. Sarnoff is out buying absentee ballots and handing out cakes to senior centers and old folks homes.

April 29, 2015 7:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How much is Sarnoff paying for absentee ballots these days?

April 30, 2015 8:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fool me once, shame on you.
Fool me twice, shame on me.
Fool me AGAIN and I’m the biggest idiot on the planet and deserve the crappy dishonest government I’m going to get.

April 30, 2015 11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, 7:05 and 8:37, the senior centers in District 2 are STRONG Sarnoff supporters. Oh wait. There are none.

May 04, 2015 6:20 PM  

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