Saturday, January 17, 2009

Pondering Politics In the Drizzle...

North Miami has an election coming up in May for two of the four members of the city council and the mayor. Twenty years ago Councilman Scott Galvin and I both ran for council seats and we both lost. The city had at large elections rather than district elections. Scott and I had both gotten asolid majority of votes in our parts of town but not elsewhere. He and I worked our butts off with a petition drive to amend the city charter. We wanted elections for council people to represent a district. We had to fight the sitting council to even get it put on the ballot. It got on the ballot and it passed!
Scott finished college, got a job, and bought a townhouse. In MY district. He ran for council again and got elected. But that's cool. He's good at what he does and I had run more to get somebody out of office (he dropped out of the race) than any great desire to be on the council myself. We ghave districts but between my having covered North Miami politics for the newspaper, serving on several city advisory boards, and working on several political campaigns over the years it's difficult to have such a narrow view that I'm not interested in who gets elected in other districts. It all affects the city and what affects the city affects me.
I've been giving a lot of thought lately about the mayoral race. There are a bunch of people planning on running. One, a former mayor, a disater, I couldn't support if he paid me. As for the others, there's one that I think I'll be backing but I'm still not 100% sure.
That leaves the two council races, neither of which is in my district. Tonight at the Central North Miami Homeowners Association meeting I got to listen to and talk with a candidate running for the District 3 seat, Michelle Garcia. I was impressed, very impressed. I shot a roll of B&W of her working the room, talking with various small groups of people. The major concern of many residents is fear of losing their homes. They owe more than the house is worth these days and many have lost their jobs. It's a national problem, of course, but she was willing to listen. She listened to complaints about the Florida Dept. of Transportation (FDOT) and how they've screwed up the traffic patterns with no left turn, no U-turn, and no right turn signs where they're not needed. It creates a lot of you can't get there from here situations. She listened, took notes, promised to look into these problems. I took a yard sign. I'm on an avenue with a lot of through traffic. Maybe I can't vote for Michelle Garcia but I sure plan on doing what I can to help her get elected.

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