Faith in Florida Candidate Forum
Faith in Florida Candidate Forum

By Attiyya Atkins

What about jobs? What direction is Pompano heading? How do we get kids to vote? Is there affordable housing available?
These questions and more were expressed by community members in Pompano’s historically Black district at the Your District, Your Community, Your Vote forum. Two of the three candidates running for the District 4 seat at the November 8 election were in attendance.
Vice Mayor Beverly Perkins and candidate Mary Scofield-Phillips answered questions from the community on how their presence on the dais would help the needs of District 4. Candidate Kevin Eason Sr. did not attend the forum. Topics of discussion included: workforce housing, education, and small business funding.
About 50 people showed up to the forum sponsored by the Faith in Florida network, hosted by Reverend Tim Griffith and moderated by pastors Pastor Nathan Austin of Zion Church and Pastor Norman Freeman of Greater Antioch Baptist Church.
The forum was set up in a Q&A style with questions from community members in the audience and other community members on pre-recorded videos. The answers have been paraphrased.
Some of the questions were:
Q: Division within the community?
A: Perkins: What we have to do to come together is come around and look around. Do you see trash? Do you see businesses? Do you see anything thriving? When you look at like that you can take yourself out of it and see what you can do about it. As an elected official, you can’t do it all. It takes a community. We have to stop the me, my and I and think about the future that’s coming up behind us. We have to take ourselves out of it and whose the biggest and baddest, when we work together we have a beautiful community.
A: Scofield-Phillips: I’m an optimist, I think we are going to work together in this community, if we want it to be better for everyone that’s what we have to do. We have to have the ability to come together and be accepting for the best option for the community.
Q: What can you do to better the community? Jobs?
A: Perkins: It takes a village, it starts with ourselves, rather than depend on elected officials to do everything. In District 4, we have about 19,000 people and only 9,000 registered voters.
A: Scofield-Phillips: To solve a lot of our problems, we have local non-profits that are not receiving funding. If the city provides funding to local community-based non-profits, they can get a lot done in this community and benefit a lot of people. A lot of us dig in our pockets to make difference in our community, and the city can do more to make our community a better place for everyone.
Q: What do you do when you have this amazing idea and the other board members vote it down?
A: Perkins: Whatever a commissioner says they want in their district, I usually vote for that. The commissioner is usually listening to their residents and knows what they want. I can’t control the other commissioners, but the community can. Send emails, call and talk to commissioners and let them know what you want. When I mention things on the dais, I look like a mad black woman, if the commission sees your involved and not just me things will change.
A: Scofield-Phillips: A lot of time its your approach and how you ask to get what you want. I would outline why they should support the project and it’s importance of the community. It’s a give and take, those other commissioners are going to need another commissioner’s vote. I will stand very firm to get what my district wants.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *