Tag Archives: Kendrick Meek

Make Florida Politicians SWEAT IT!! Vote YES on Constitutional Amendments 5 and 6

18 Oct

Ever feel like there is no competition in local electoral politics? That every time you vote is useless, because the incumbent legislator has already won without any significant challenge? Do you live in a district in which the incumbent has always had it easy for 15-plus years??

Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Debbie Wasserman-Shultz, Kendrick Meek, Mario Diaz-Balart. Miami Herald Photograph

Have you ever wondered… Why Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen wins every time in a district that covers two counties and includes the cities of Miami Beach and Key West, which are demographically diverse and vote for Democrats in local elections? Or why the Republican Diaz-Balart brothers never seem to lose an election, and Mario Diaz-Balart easily moves from one district to another with ease? Or why Democrat Kendrick Meek, running for U.S. Senate, represented the same District 17 as his mother? Why the current forerunner in Districts 17 and 21, Frederica Wilson and Mario Diaz-Balart, have no competition? Or why, aside from the few Minority-majority districts in Florida cities, the rest of the political map in Florida is RED favoring mostly Republicans?

You are not wondering alone…

Lack of competition in Florida politics is not a figment of your imagination. Florida politicians have drawn political districts to their liking, thus creating politically biased electoral maps. Biased redistricting (the practice of drawing biased political maps a.k.a gerrymandering) lumps Hispanics and African-Americans into majority ethnic districts, and also favors one political party over another, thus reducing the number of moderate candidates and voters.

Biased redistricting reduces political competition

Politicians intentionally bias redistricting (every 10 years with census demographic changes), to REDUCE POLITICAL COMPETITION, and to obtain easy electoral wins for Republican or Democrat incumbents for an extended period of time, i.e. 20+ years. Gerrymandering is not unique to Florida, and happens in all other 49 states as well. Whereas redistricting favors Republicans in Florida, in the North East redistricting favors Democrats. Biased redistricting is the most un-democratic and un-competitive aspect of the American democratic system.

Biased redistricting increases POLITICAL POLARIZATION

Gerrymandering reduces competition and increases POLITICAL POLARIZATION, because moderates (candidates and voters) are muted from the electoral process—resulting in the election of very conservative candidates or very liberal candidates who represent their biased districts in the U.S. Congress and in state legislatures. Polarization is the reason why politicians bicker along party-lines, and do not find common ground for solving critical problems.

Voting YES on Florida Constitutional Amendments 5 and 6 is a start to greater political competition and less gridlock….

Florida Constitutional Amendments 5 and 6 ask voters to prevent party biases, while at the same time, respecting the right of ethnic and language minorities to participate in the political process. These amendments set standards for U.S. Congress and Florida House districts that could increase political competition and accountability.

Opposition to Amendments 5 and 6 by Minority Politicians is Unfounded

Minority leaders, whether Hispanic or African American, like Mario Diaz-Balart argue that this amendment reduces minority representation in politics. This is a misleading argument because if districts were drawn fairly, candidates (regardless of race) would have to cater to the needs of Hispanic and African-American communities. Instead, voters get little to no choice and districts favor one party over another, as it currently occurs in District 17.

Make politicians SWEAT IT!

Do not let politicians choose the voters, so they can secure easy political wins on Election Day.

Vote YES on Amendments 5 and 6

See the Demographics for Florida Districts below. Ros-Lehtinen’s district 18, Diaz-Balart 21, and Kendric Meek’s former district 17.

District Demographics for Ros Lehetinen’s District 18

Race and ethnicity District U.S.
White 27.7% 65.9%
Black 5.1% 12.1%
Hispanic 64.8% 15.1%
Asian 1.3% 4.3%
Native American 0.1% 0.7%

Source: New York Times 2010 Elections

District Demographics for Mario Diaz-Balart’s District 21

Race and ethnicity District U.S.
White 16.0% 65.9%
Black 7.4% 12.1%
Hispanic 73.5% 15.1%
Asian 2.2% 4.3%
Native American 0.1% 0.7%

Source: New York Times 2010 Elections

District Demographics for Kendrick Meek and now Frederica Wilson’s District 17

Source: New York Times 2010 Elections

Race and ethnicity District U.S.
White 15.6% 65.9%
Black 55.8% 12.1%
Hispanic 25.1% 15.1%
Asian 1.9% 4.3%
Native American 0.2% 0.7%