Out with the Old and in with the New

September 13, 2010

Oh so important!

Voting in the primary election is as important as the general election, if not more. When I was growing up, my parents told me the opposite. They never went out to a primary election before 2008. I don’t blame them because that’s what the incumbents would have you believe. It’s not even a day off for people. As I became of voting age, I was more aware of the importance of primary elections. In most places, the primary election is the ONLY election for candidates because the general election goes unopposed. One of those places is the 10th Congressional district in Brooklyn, NY.

Since I’ve been out of school, I got to see politics first hand. I worked on the Bloomberg campaign. And with this recent job, I got to see how various politicians act and conduct their operations. I really disliked what I seen. Many of these people are just in it for themselves. They don’t do anything for the people. To me, being a politician is about being for the people, not throwing block parties and showing your face when you’re up for reelection. When people question what these people did for them, no one can give solid answers. They barely bring money to the poor neighborhoods they represent. They are never to be found when the people need them.

The 10th Congressional district in Brooklyn, NY consists of East New York, Canarsie, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Cypress Hills, Clinton Hill, Ocean Hill, Bergen Beach, Midwood, Flatlands, Downtown Brooklyn, Boerum Hill, Starrett City and Fort Greene, as well as parts of East Flatbush, Williamsburg and Brownsville. I was raised in East New York. In the 17 years I spend there, I never seen Congressman Ed Towns. I never even heard of events he put on, let alone helpful events. Nor he or his people approached me or the other young people I know and said, “how can we help you?” I did hear of him until 2008. The young kids really someone who cares. Very few make it out of these poor neighborhoods. I was one of the lucky ones. But how many young people must die before Mr. Towns steps in?

I’m sure you’re asking, “how come people no one reached out to him?” Most people doesn’t even know who he is, let alone know how to reach him. He probably wouldn’t care anyway considering his history. So what is to be done about? A brave and honorable person steps up to be about the people and not himself. Kevin Powell is that person. I met Mr. Powell two years ago when he gave an empowering lecture about called Sexism from a Male Perspective. His lecture and book Who’s Gonna Take the Weight: Manhood, Race, and Power in America made me think a lot about myself. At that time, he was going to run for congress against Mr. Towns. It didn’t end well for him.

Now, he’s back with a clearer and stronger message. He wants to be the voice of the people, not himself. When I hear him talk, I know he really is looking out for my fellow brothers and sisters. He doesn’t even intend on being in office for ages. When was the last time something like that was heard of? President Washington would be the most popular answer. I believe in Mr. Powell. I believe in him so much that I gave up some time to help him get the word out. I even forwarded him the services of my organization so he can get it out to the people who really could use the services. I see a lot of myself in him. He’s one of the very few people to make me feel proud to be a progressive.

Since I don’t live in East New York anymore to be able to vote for Mr. Powell, I wasn’t going to vote until today, to be honest. I was inspired to vote where I currently live by a group of young adults, New Kings Democrats, trying to make a difference. I urge all of you go out and vote in the primary election especially if you live in poor neighborhoods. We can’t elect the same people who don’t do anything for us and refuse to. If you live in the 10th Congressional district in Brooklyn, NY, please help elect someone who will care for the people; vote for Kevin Powell. Powell for the people!


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