Local leaders make a final plea to Black voters

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BY ANDREAS BUTLER
DAYTONA TIMES

With early voting set to end on Nov. 1 and the general election on Tuesday, local Black leaders are making one last pitch to get the Black community to vote.

On Oct. 30, a press conference was held behind the Midtown Cultural & Educational Center in Daytona Beach where leaders stressing the matter. The center is an early voting site.

“Come on Daytona! Come out and Vote! Your vote is important we need your vote. We’re counting on you,” said Daytona Beach Commissioner Paula Reed.

Local NAACP President Cynthia Slater echoed, “Now is not the time for African Americans to be complacent or sit at home saying my vote doesn’t matter. Too many have fought and died for our right to vote.”

The event was hosted by the Volusia County Minority Elected Officials with the Daytona Beach/Volusia County NAACP, Daytona Beach Black Clergy Alliance and Midtown Community Development Corporation.

Local leaders also called for a record turnout.

The Rev. Dr. Victor Gooden, president of the Black Clergy Alliance said, “We want to increase the vote. We need everybody to vote. We want record numbers of voters, including new voters, returning citizens and those who haven’t voted in a while. It’s not who you vote for, just that you vote.”

It was also stressed how important voting was to bringing things to the community.

“Let’s vote on all issues, including the back of the ballots. ECHO is on the ballot. The building here, the Midtown center, was built with ECHO funds as well as the pool (Aquatic Center) right next to it,” expressed Percy Williamson, chairman of the Midtown Community Development Corporation.

A question on the Volusia County ballot asks if they support a continuation of the ECHO and Forever programs.

One of the last get-out-the- vote initiatives was on Oct. 31 at the Midtown center featuring a free drive-up concert, Halloween treats and free food.

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