The political currents of Miami Dade County are more turbulent than usual these days. With a double digit unemployment rate among the highest in the country and a 14 percent tax increase, many citizens (including myself) find themselves frustrated, confused, and infuriated.
So what are red blooded American citizens supposed to do in a pickle like this? Simple. Try to kick out the man who proposed a preposterous budget in the first place. Thanks to democracy and a certain car mogul by the name of Norman Braman, efforts to recall Miami-Dade mayor Carlos Alvarez are in full swing.
Being fresh out of college and unable to find stable work in this city, I am one of the many twenty-something year olds who may be running back to school in order to avoid the bleak job market in Miami-Dade. I, at least, have a temporary solution to avoiding the ridiculous tax increases. Others like the many retirees living on a fixed income or those who have been unable to find work for over a year, are not as lucky.
What about the rampant foreclosures in this city? My family has had a house on the market for nearly a year while the taxes burn a hole in our wallet. Now the county wants us to pay even more? Quite frankly at this rate if the house doesn’t get sold soon the bank may be getting it. Unfortunately, this is not uncommon in Miami Dade as thousands of people have already lost their homes.
Naturally citizens are angry; however, I didn’t realize just how angry people were until I went to go sign the petition to recall the mayor yesterday afternoon.
Let me start off by saying you should never doubt the power of democracy. When I pulled up to the office located on 27th Ave there wasn’t a long line of angry constituents like I had seen on the news. “I hope this cause isn’t losing momentum,” I thought to myself. I was dead wrong.
I walked inside the office (which is hard to miss with a giant banner that says “Recall the Mayor” hanging outside) to find several volunteers helping voters as young as myself to others who must remember what Cuba was like before Castro. All the volunteers had t-shirts on that said “Recall Mayor Alvarez” and were working as diligently as a well organized ant colony. Meanwhile, they were being led by a passionate voter in his 70s who was clearly set on getting as many signatures as possible before the December 5 deadline.
The process of signing the petition took about five minutes. A nice volunteer by the name of Armando took down my information while I handed him photo ID and my voter’s registration. While I was talking with Armando about the petition people just kept coming in to have their voices heard, “Wow, you guys must be busy,” I told Armando. “You have no idea. People haven’t stopped coming in all week,” he replied.
My father, who is always up for some political action, was also engaged in conversation with the lovely volunteer who was taking down his information. “You guys need about 52,000 signatures by December 5th. Do you think we’ll make it?” my dad asked. The volunteer smiled and said “We already have about 35,000.” For the record, it’s only been about a week since the petition was given the green light by the Clerk of Courts.
For more information about the petition and where you can sign it go to RecallMayorAlvarez.org.
Recall Mayor Alvarez