My daughter has started her ascension into politics. She’s her class president at Sanders Park Elementary. And while I’m super proud of her, and will always be, I am concerned how politics will affect her mind, body, and soul. In Pompano, I have seen friends become foes over politics. I’ve seen formidable teams disintegrate due to ego and pride. While I pray my baby never changes, I know she will. Politics isn’t a pretty game, but in essence a politician is a leader. My daughter is a leader, and after she won, I talked to her about her new role. I told her:

Remember that the grace of leadership is granted to you by God. And that anything God gives is meant to bless people. So baby, use your leadership as a blessing, don’t use your power to divide people, single people out, and oppress people. Don’t be selfish in your leadership, sweetheart. It’s not about picking on people, but it’s about working with people to achieve the greater good.

As I told my baby this, I thought about my experiences with politicians — nice to you when you have something to offer them or they can see the benefit of your partnership, but rude and crass when you show your human side, make a mistake, or change your mind. I don’t want my daughter to ever act like this. I want her support for people to be genuine, I want her love to be true, and her word to be her bond. As I thought about this and Pompano Beach’s recent election, I have a message for my readers. I hope you will peel the skin off these politicians (figuratively, not literally), and see them for who they really are. Can you trust them? Are they genuine? Are their motives selfish? Do they care about you? Will they listen to the needs of your community to make a better Pompano? These are very important questions to consider, and also ask these questions of yourself. Are you willing to go the extra mile for your community? What can you do to make Pompano a better place? One decision could change your life or someone else’s. And as Pompano Beach levels up with development, let’s make sure that it’s still a fun and safe sanctuary for our friends and family.

Yours in Democracy,

Attiyya Atkins