Gambling in Miami - Sleazing the Black Vote

This morning on Northwest Seventh Avenue, Main Street Black Miami, guys with Vote Yes on Amendment 26 signs and T-shirts lined the road. One whom I questioned, 18-year old Mark James, said he was being paid $80 for the day to stand under a palm tree and wave the placards -- colored green and orange. (UM colors?) He was unfortunately in a position where no one could see him.

Cars were tricked out to urge a yes vote too. But the electioneering only occurred in the black part of town as far as I could tell. That's sleazy. The gambling boys must think blacks are more prone to vote for the accursed amendment, which would allow slot machines at Calder Race Track, Flagler Dog Track and Miami Jai Alai.

Here's the good news, though. Barbara Lazanne, an African American home health nurse whom I questioned outside the Dunbkin' Donut at NW 7th and 103rd Street, saw all the signs. But she still voted against the proposal. "It's only going to bail out the racetracks," she said. "And the tax proceeds will be spent all over the state, not just here." Hallelujah.

Even James, who's aiming to earn his GED, didn't wave the sign with much energy. When I asked him whether he planned to vote for the amendment, he answered: "I don't know."

Chuck Strouse

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