WAKE UP, VOTERS!

By Beverly Gadson-Birch

Wake up, voters! “No more sleeping in bed, we have important elections ahead!” Will these elections improve your living conditions, or will it be more of the same? Only you can answer that question by voting for the best candidate.  As quiet as it is kept, there is a new voting machine. Don’t let that scare you away from the polls. It is very simple. Vote early! Absentee voting went into effect October 7. If you are voting in person, voting hours are 8:30 AM- 5:00 PM Monday through Friday. Last day to vote in person Absentee is Monday before the election. For additional information on voting and the new voting machine, check out Charleston County Election Commission site or drop by their headquarters, 4367 Headquarters Road, North Charleston. Do not wait until the last minute. Study the issues! Study the candidates

The recent North Charleston Mayoral Debate held at Mt. Moriah Baptist Church should have been a wake- up call for voters. Mayor Summey was a no-show.  Yes, the incumbent was a no-show. He was absent and unaccounted for. So, what kind of message Mayor Summey sent voters? Y’all better wake up and smell the coffee. The mayor’s absence speaks volume of his concern for the citizens he is sworn to protect and represent. The empty chair on the stage represented years of empty promises.

I can’t stress enough the importance of the upcoming elections. I will continue to shout from my soap box until your vote is cast in the upcoming November elections. If an incumbent mayor publicly disavows the citizens, then it’s up to the citizens to return the favor at the poll. And, that is not just for the mayor, it’s for any elected officials who does nothing to enrich the lives of the citizens he/she represents, or those that are seeking office. Half of those scoundrels you don’t even know what they look like until a month before the election when they pull out all stops for your vote. Signs dot the roadways along with repetitive ads on television with selective folks.

The days of electing folks to office without a challenge is over. If you look around your community and nothing has changed over the past ten or twenty years, something is wrong. Why vote the same persons back in office? Incumbents have become too comfortable. They are so sure they can count on your vote because you voted for them in previous elections.  It is time to send a loud and clear message no more taking minority voters for granted.

Stop allowing candidates to throw you a piece of fish or crab for your vote. And, they don’t need to show up at your church unless it’s for service and the offering. Our ancestors died for the right to vote. There are some good candidates in both North Charleston and City of Charleston races. Get to know who they are and what they vow to do if elected. Some of those rascals are running on the back of Uncle Toms. Beware! Things aren’t always what they seem. Every flower that blooms is not a rose. Make sure you know the difference. They may smell good, look good but maybe “no good”—no good for you, no good for your community and no good for the future of your children.

It is easy to get onboard the wrong wagon. Make sure you are aware of the destination before you climb on. If you are jobless and homeless, be sure you are on the right wagon. If you are jobless and homeless and have been jobless and homeless for more than five years, it doesn’t have to be that way. Look around you! Do you see major constructions in both downtown Charleston and North Charleston? Do you see builders stacking apartments on top of each other? There should not be anyone without a job who wants to work.

Let’s get busy and elect candidates with proven track records in our communities. No grocery store, no vote! No high-tech and well equipped community centers, no vote! No, senior centers, no vote! No paved streets and covered ditches, no vote! No sidewalks, no vote! Wake up, voters! No more sleeping in bed!!

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