Since qualifying has ended and the voter registration deadline loops, candidates for political office are engaging in debates and forums and opening local campaign offices. It is definitely not a sleepy midterm election coming up Nov. 6, neither should it be consideredunimportant. But first we must get through the primary election, the weeding out of candidates on Aug. 28.
During campaign season, politicians invade our churches, our community centers, our streets and our parks. They come with entourages and rarely do we see them when the cameras aren’t rolling.
In the Trump era, when seemingly every week some protected civil right is under fire, the election process will further dictate where the country heads. So, as politicians stump through our neighborhoods, let us remind them that we are not just poll numbers, a campaign stop, a fundraising venue or a place to make an obligatory sound bite.
Problems in our neighborhoods persist, and we have new ones, too.
One main issue that we saw unfold last hurricane season was the lack of means to prepare for a major storm. The aftermath of storms seemed challenging, too. People did not have means to eat and some of the old and infirmed were stuck in buildings on high floors without electricity. While community activists have taken it upon themselves to try to stave off problems this year, the onus cannot be upon them. Politicians should have some answers as to how they plan to tackle the problems created by super storms. According to scientists, the super storms will become more frequent as the earth and its surrounding waters get warmer. The problem is real; solutions, not so much.
Another problem for our community is the susceptibility to mosquito-carrying diseases. We have had outbreaks of chikungunya and Zika viruses, but there isn’t any serious plan of action to protect the citizens of Miami-Dade County at any level of government. Or, if there is, no one is talking about it. These diseases are painful and Zika causes deformities in babies when the mosquito bites pregnant women. What is the plan now that we are in rainy season?
While the opioid crisis is tragic, the HIV/AIDS epidemic continues to advance in the Black community. Infections are the highest and mum’s the word on this frightening trend.
Yes, gun violence is a killer of young Black men. But it is not the only problem that can upend life as we know it.
Can we get past the soundbites and the stereotyping and get some issues resolved? The voters demand it.