Minorities Break Voter Turn-out Record at Pompano Beach’s Souls to the Polls Event, Giving Leverage to Democratic Canidates
By Kristen Hernandez
Although Florida is still a red state, Faith in Florda’s Souls to the Polls event at E. Pat Larkin Community Center located at 520 NW 3rd Street in Pompano Beach proved that minority voters provide a clear advantage to the Democratic party, if they can figure out how to leverage it. The 2022 midterms demonstrated Republicans have a fight on their hands, as the predicted “Red Wave” was stopped by a big blue seawall.
On November 6, Faith in Florida encouraged the souls of Pompano Beach to bring the soles of their feet to E. Pat Larkin Center after Sunday service to perform their citizen duty and vote. Afterwards, Souls to the Polls provided entertainment with guest speakers, music, prayer, local food, cotton candy and some hope.
Souls to the Polls is a massive, nationwide initiative organized by ministers, preachers and reverends from non-denominational houses of worship across the United States and takes place one week prior to election day. It’s an opportunity to speak to faithful residents and their families about the importance of casting their votes, which can offer significant advantages to either political party.
It’s been 10 years since Precinct 14, which encompasses Northwest Pompano, drew in over seven hundred votes in one day. The Souls to the Polls call to action drew worshipers from all around the city as one united front. At 7 p.m. when early voting closed, over 707 people cast their ballots in the heated midterm Florida election.
One of Faith in Florida’s organizers, Reverend Timothy Griffith of Hopewell Baptist Church, also known as the One Minute Preacher, spoke candidly to the Villij News about reaching voters in under-recognized and under-served communities. “It’s our American right to let our voices be heard. There’s no better way than at the ballot box,” said Reverend Griffith. “African American and brown people have done so much for so long with so little, but no matter what is said to us or done to us, we will vote. We will have our voices heard.”
Reverend Griffith wanted to stress to our young black and brown community members who’ve recently hit voting age the struggle and fight it took to win the right to cast a vote. “Every millennial, every Gen X needs to know…we bled, we were beaten, we were bothered, we were burnt to have our right to be heard. Let America know. Enough is enough with suppression tactics. We are going to vote today, tomorrow and in 2024.”
Faith in Florida will continue to guide residents of Pompano Beach in faith and in politics. The organization’s mission is to build a powerful, multicultural, nonpartisan network of congregation community organizations in Florida that will address systematic racial and economic issues that cause poverty for our families.
“We are gonna stay on the ground. We are gonna keep fighting. I approve this message, I stand by this message, it’s a God ordained message,” said Reverend Griffith. “Some folks say Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream has become a nightmare. I believe we will keep that torch burning and keep Martin Luther King’s dream alive. Can I get an Amen?”
Visit Faith in Florida’s Souls to the Polls information page to stay up to date on upcoming events. www.faithinflorida.org/soulstothepolls