What’s up Tampa? There was an election on March 7th for the City Council. Were you aware? Did you vote?
Shamefully, in the March election only 13% voted. Of the more than 240,000 voters, only 31,000 voted. In comparison to the November 2022 General Election, 51% of the registered voters voted. 40,000 voted at the polls, 51,000 were absentees and 33,000 voted early. The November election had a historical voter turnout. Obviously everyone was involved and concerned about who would represent them. The real question is what happened with the election in March?
So it appears that either by design or a lack of concern, those living in the city were just too busy to focus on the city council races. As residents of any city in America, we must be involved in electing those that will represent us on things that affect our everyday life. We cannot take for granted that our next door neighbor or someone in our family is going to vote and that maybe this time we can skip voting. Nope! As you can see from the data, you and your next door neighbor decided not to vote and you failed to do your civic duty.
Your civic duty requires you to do three things. The first one is to vote in ALL elections. The second one is to pay your taxes and lastly, is to be involved in your community. The last two you do without even thinking about it because it’s practically inherent in our everyday life. Your taxes are automatic for the most part and you are always involved in some form of your community even if it’s a general conversation with your neighbor, church member or friend about what happened yesterday, last week or last month.
When it comes to exercising your right to vote we can sometimes get a little lazy. It’s kind of like starting a new exercise program. You start strong and then you start to lose consistency and fall off. You skip a day or two and then before you know it, you’re only exercising once a week. To stay strong with your voting pattern you must act like you would if you were serious about losing weight or building muscle, you must stay consistent.
For the first time in Tampa history, there can possibly be three African American females on the city council and in the words of Joe Biden, now that’s a big f@#*ing deal!” Gwen Henderson is already on. Robin Lockett and Sonja Brookins are in the runoff. The city of Tampa is on a historical course and YOU need to be a part of history again, like you were in the November presidential election. The City runoff election is April 25th 2023. Early voting is from April 17th through April 23rd. If you want to vote by mail, request your ballot now! If you have family and friends that are voting by absentee, let them know there is a runoff and their vote is needed once again. Go ahead and mark your calendars. Set two reminders on your phone, the day before election the 24th and then one on election day, the 25th. Also, get a sample ballot of the race and mark it up so you know who you should be voting for and where you should go. Keep it in your car so you can just grab it.
So, here is your game plan. It’s actually pretty easy. East Tampa, West Tampa, North Tampa, South Tampa, let’s make history again and go out to vote on or before April 25th. Let’s do better and get 60% of the voters to turnout! What happens to our city is in our hands. Do your civic duty!