By Beverly Gadson-Birch
This is not one of those git down, sit down quizzical kind of articles you have grown accustomed to over the years. It’s voting time! You have the opportunity to elect responsible mayoral candidates for Charleston and North Charleston, also councilmembers. Sometimes we just need to talk about issues as they impact US. Yes, US means you and me, African Americans, not the United States; but, I am sure when I am through, you will see how what we do or do not do impacts US as well as the US as in North Charleston, the City of Charleston and these United States of America.
Election Day is November 5, but you can vote early. If you are not registered to vote by the time you read this article, it may be too late. There is too much riding on this election to sit home Tuesday. Time is out for making excuses. The most important thing you can do for yourself and your family is VOTE! Our ancestors fought and died for the right to VOTE. They were subjected to beatings, death, and humiliations, i.e., paying poll taxes, determining how many bubbles were in a bar of soap and many other asinine questions and acts of stupidity and indignity. Many lost their lives fighting for the right to vote. Their right to vote did not happen overnight. Changes do not occur overnight; change is crucial to opportunities.
The upcoming mayoral elections are too important not to VOTE. If you are in doubt, just glance back over the past four years. It’s going to take more than marching and protesting to make a difference, it’s going to take the power of voting for qualified candidates.
So, here are a few reasons why this election is so important!! During the past four years, we have seen the degradation of a great nation. In North Charleston, we have gone from bad to worse, if that’s even possible. Whatever happened to integrity and parity in politics? And, in the City of Charleston, we have gone from deception to allegations of cooking the books. Tecklenburg ad says John Tecklenburg has made us proud; he has also brought shame to us when he misused an elderly impaired resident’s fund. In high offices, we have moved from sensibility to nonsense, from laws to lawlessness.
Gentrification is still alive and well in the City of Charleston and North Charleston; affordable housing is not affordable, disparity in education and educational facilities; high crime rate, joblessness and the list goes on. In North Charleston, millions of taxpayers’ dollars have been squandered on the old Naval Base sale and renovation. And, talk is the building may be torn down. Think about possible use of the building to house the homeless, provide jobs and job training, health care, small businesses, small business incubators, shops, etc. Mayor Summey could have turned the Naval Hospital into a model facility for reducing the homeless population, training and providing jobs at the facility for the homeless to get back on their feet. However, greed and cronyism set in! We need a mayor for all people and not just a select few.
I am a proud Democrat, but I am not proud of every Democrat. On the flip side of that coin, I am not always anti-Republican. Sometimes we need to choose the lesser of two evils. That’s what momma would say. What if there are two evils running? Well, y’all have to figure that one out!! Momma gone now but she would also say, “use your common sense”. Y’all do know what common sense is, right? You can have 50 degrees but if you don’t have common sense, they are not worth the parchment written on. In North Charleston mayoral race, we have a candidate with a few degrees and common sense, enough common sense to elevate the people and move North Charleston to another level. I can’t tell you who to vote for but if you want “Unity in your community”, then the answer is simple.
Whether you are Democrat or Republican, the race is for those that put the work in. Don’t sit back waiting for change. You are the change!! You can’t expect changes when you still have antiquated laws on the books. Young people, it is your time to shine. Get involved in this election! Y’all can’t shine if you don’t vote. And, you can’t make changes sitting on the sidelines quarterbacking. You have to take the ball all the wait to the finish line.