By Rev. William Gillison Pastor, Mt. Olive Baptist Church
If we are going to be effective in improving the quality of life in our State and Local communities we must work smarter, and focus on the issues that affect our communities and our quality of life.
During the primary race for governor, every day I received literature from the Governor or his opponent. When I started reading the advertisement I noticed something, in order to convince me to vote for them I was being told that they needed my vote so they could stop “TRUMP”.
They said nothing about issues that affect us. “TRUMP” did not create the conditions we have to put up with and suffer through on a daily basis, he has only been in office for two years. The intent of the ads, were to appeal to my hatred or dislike, if I had any, for the President of the United States.
This is an old trick that we keep falling for, over and over again. This gets our mind off of the local issues that affect us, issues that they have done nothing about even though they are the ones in office, some for many years.
We need to start demanding from those who are in office or seeking an office to deal with the issues that affect the people who elected them. If we ask for nothing, don’t be surprised if you get nothing, after all they have already figured that they are going to get our vote anyway.
When persons come before us in our Town Hall Meetings, Community Events, Conventions, Associations and Churches, let’s start asking them a very simple question, how will our communities benefit if we vote for them or the person they are representing. Let’s get smart and listen to more than one side of a political story.
A politician once told me that all politics are local, with that in mind let’s compel them to talk about the issues that affect us on a local and state level. I am not saying not to be concerned about the national level, we should be, but that vote does not take place until 2020.
Let’s start asking why: Why my child, who just graduated from high school, cannot read or write well enough to fill out a job application, or pass a tenth grade math test.
Why does the State want to legalize marijuana, to devastate even more of our families and communities? Marijuana is a gateway drug, it affects the mind. What employer wants to hire someone high on drugs, even if it’s legal? This is not a law yet, so get in touch with your Senators and Assembly representatives, and let them know you don’t want this.
By the way, why is the local corner store in our community allowed to openly sell drug paraphernalia? Why is no one talking about gentrification, the process of renovating deteriorated urban neighborhoods by means of the influx of more affluent residents?
Why across this State is there a disproportionate number of minorities on our State, Sheriff and local Police Departments.
Why is no one asking why there are not more appointments by the Governor of minority Judges, to the State Supreme or Appellate Court when there is an opportunity?
Why is the party that most of us belong to not nominating minority Judges to the Appellate Court justice system? At the trial level in the 8th Judicial District, only 1 out of 30 Judges is minority.
Where are the minority workers on the bridges and highway including the thruway?
This list could get much longer, but I pray we get the idea.
The Idea is, let us get smarter in the areas where our people are affected by political decisions, which are made by others, who apparently are not really concerned about us, or the communities in which we live.
If we are going to be effective, we must stick to issues and demand solutions!