Plus a community events update, including the Sophisticated Ladies' Halloween costume party pics.
ATLANTIC CITY — The elections may be over, but there is still a bad taste left in the mouths of many local voters.
I’ve attended a number of social events over the past week and one thing is for sure when it comes to this year’s political elections, which were held Tuesday, Nov. 8: People are disgusted by the mudslinging!
As far as their choices are concerned, it seems many people voted along party lines, Democratic or Republican, but a few people told me prior to the election that they might be splitting their votes for the first time. The Independents I spoke to at a community meeting said they would mainly be voting for Democratic candidates.
More than once, people echoed, “It doesn’t really matter anyway. They’re all about the money. Nobody really cares about the people anymore.”
How sad that it has come to this.
People are so fed up with their elected officials, but few have the energy to fight what they feel are uphill battles against those who are financially well-off.
Whomever has the most money can run the best campaign. Whomever has the most money can pay officials to vote for policies in his/her favor. Whomever has the most money can pay lobbyists to persuade officials to move in a certain direction.
I asked women at a skin-care party if they felt like they really had anybody to vote for this year. Most responded that they were voting against the Republicans more than they were voting for the Democrats.
Local teachers told me they were not voting for Vince Polistina, the Republican Senate candidate, because he’s been endorsed by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who has had been at odds with the NJEA.
One teacher said, “I used to vote Democrat, Democrat, Democrat, but now I don’t know. Whelan is a teacher and he voted against teachers and Polistina’s been endorsed by Christie, who has been pushing me and my colleagues around like we’re nothing.”
Her friend, another teacher, said, “I would go with Polistina, but I don’t really know him. It’s so hard this year.”
“I haven’t been impressed by Mayor Langford or Senator Whelan, but the other choices are not looking too good either,” said an Atlantic City homeowner at the recent Sophisticated Ladies’ party held in Atlantic City prior to Election Day.
“They still haven’t gotten us a [bleep, bleep] supermarket and my property taxes went up again. I’m so dismayed by what’s happening in Atlantic City right now. I don’t feel comfortable as a taxpayer and I pay big, big taxes. The whole casino thing was supposed to help us and it really hasn’t."
A group of long-time residents and property owners in Venice Park said things such as: “Who’s really sticking to the issues?" "I wish they’d just talk about what they [Democrats] have done, their own records, and what they plan to do. The whole campaign has been so muddy this year, calling you on the phone, the TV ads, newspaper, it’s been ridiculous, just so muddy.”
When I asked people if they thought that Democrats take the African-American vote for granted, the response was usually the same: “Yes, they do, but what are the alternatives? What are our options? The Republicans are blocking everything good President Obama is trying to do, so we sure don’t want to send another one of them to Trenton or Washington.”
One Atlantic City city employee told me: “We have to exercise our right to vote. Too many people died for us to have this right. This time it’s like choosing the lesser of the evils, though, and hoping some good will come out of it."
A number of Atlantic City residents said they’ve always been independent thinkers and want to do some more research on the candidates before going to the polls.
An elderly man said he tries to weigh whatever the present officials have done for local residents against what others claim they will do. He said, “I think there is some talent and expertise in each column. I go from side to side. Right now, the community needs jobs. Not having a job for people who want to work is a disgrace, so that’s how I’m thinking.”
People have a lot on their minds, but they are definitely disappointed by all the negativity of this year’s campaigns. Imagine what it must feel like on Capitol Hill.
I had no idea 10 years ago that today I’d be part of an interfaith group, Bridge of Faith, which is at the helm of southern New Jersey’s biggest Sept. 11 commemoration event.
How could I have missed so many great cook-outs, parties and dances?
It’s been very weird. When I decided to self-publish my book in Dec. 2009, I did it because an agent in New York told me — and this is pre-Obama — that nobody’s interested in black history now. I said, ‘What?’ And she said, ‘Nobody is interested. That’s just the truth.’ Then, I think it was in April, HBO calls me.
Plus this week's new Drew Toonz cartoon, and the MLK Awards with Nelson Johnson speaking set for Jan. 14.
With the new TV series based on early Atlantic City, Boardwalk Empire, coming this fall to HBO, I was glad when I received Turiya Raheem’s book Growing Up In the Other Atlantic City: Wash’s and the Northside. Finally there is a book that researches and documents the sights and sounds of A.C. from the African-American/Kentucky Avenue perspective. In other books and TV specials, places like Chicken Bone Beach, Club Harlem and the Wonder Gardens are footnotes to stories about places like the 500 Club and/or the Steele Pier. In Raheem’s book these places are more than just background. The long-gone...
Men on the Move in A.C.
Amiri Baraka Remembered
My Response to '12 Years a Slave'