In most cases, political differences and view points is a healthy thing. The dialogue and debate process allows society to weigh the pros and cons of each argument and eventually vote on where it wants to go and at what pace.
However in our community the political differences of opinion have led us to the foot of destruction, literally!
In the past few elections every political activist, big or small has had an opinion of who to vote for. One activist wanted Hamilton another Durancy, Raitport or Patterson. All had a small following and political base in Crown Heights.
This has two immediate and devastating effects.
1. People don’t vote. When there are multiple opinions and lack of clarity within the leadership people simply turn off. No matter how hard the political activist tries to explain how important it is to vote for X, another activist is saying the same thing about Y. So why should we go to the polls after a long day of work?
2. Politicians don’t care about us. Every politician does this simple equation before helping a community. Will this bring me needed votes? If the answer is yes, he will help out, but if the answer is no he will turn his attention and resources elsewhere.
So when our community needs something, our representatives look at the numbers. Not many voters, plus the few that do are split between many factions, leads them to think ‘Not worth my time.’ It really is as simple as that. The results are in… those same activists have almost nothing to show for their work.
Recently, a grassroots campaign demanding that Yvette Clark’s vote against the Iran deal did not have the wanted effect. She felt safe enough with the false pretense of taking our argument into account when in truth she couldn’t care less what we think.
So ironically, by trying to sway public opinion to help the community, our many activists are actually hurting our community.
How do we get out of this mess?
My suggestion is to create a centralized political action committee that will serve as a singular voice for the entire community. All political activists and community representatives or members will be able to debate the merits of their opinions and then vote.
Once a vote is cast, all members on the forum have to actively campaign and support the chosen candidate, political move or new policy. There are two simple rules to this political forum.
Firstly, any activist that can get 150 signatures from community members who respect their opinion can join and will get a vote. It is fair, equal to all and will truly represent the diversity in our community.
Secondly and most importantly, all members of this forum will have to sign a declaration that they will respect the outcome and decisions of the forum and that they will use their influence to achieve that decision.
This forum might not always make a correct decision and chances are, they will back a losing candidate once in a while. But this will give us a unified voice, higher our voter turnout and force politicians to pay attention to our needs and demands. No one will be able to dispute our numbers. Because in politics, numbers always count.