Thought Provoker: Jim Cason, Mayor of Coral Gables, Florida

It is a pleasure to have Mayor Jim Cason as a “Thought Provoker” on Political Pasión.  These “Thought Provokers” are individuals (or a group) that make a difference in our community and challenge us to do the same.

Script translated into English:

Evelyn Perez-Verdia: “This is Evelyn Perez-Verdia with Political Pasion and here we are with Mayor Jim Cason of Coral Gables.  First of all,  congratulations on your most recent win as mayor of Coral Gables.”

Mayor Cason:  “Thank  you.  Three elections in four years.”

Evelyn Perez-Verdia: “Wow, incredible.  We are here Mayor Cason to talk about something that is important to us.  Could you share with us why it is important for Hispanics to go out and vote?”

Mayor Cason: “I would say that in many places in Latin America–I have lived in 15 countries and the opportunity to vote is not presented for various reasons.  In Cuba you can not vote because their is no voting.  Other countries can not vote due to poverty or  due to their system in which the people can not vote freely or their vote is stolen.  That is why it is important for people who have the opportunity to vote, to do so.   Political power comes from voting and politicians are going to hear those who vote.  So, if people do not vote, they are not going to influence the decisions of the government.”

Evelyn Perez-Verdia:  “What do you think the Hispanic lacks so that he or she goes out to vote?”

Mayor Cason: “Here in the United States?”

Evelyn Perez-Verdia: “Yes.”

Mayor Cason: “I believe that here the elderly vote more than the youth.  In the case of Coral Gables, a great part of the residents are Cuban-Americans who left their country in ’61 and they recognize the importance of the vote, they have passion and want to express their points of view.  The youth, not only Hispanics but all of those of the same nature do not vote.  They come out in presidential elections and come out in November.  Yet in local elections for an example, very few vote.   They do not see how it influences their life and what happens in a city, yet they are incorrect.  Everyone should vote, especially the youth. Sometimes things go well and they don’t feel it is necessary to vote.  It is always necessary to vote. Here in Coral Gables, twenty-five percent vote in the elections, on a good day. Twenty-five percent of the voters that are registered.”

Evelyn Perez-Verdia:  “Wow.  Well to finalize, could you give a message to the youth about the importance of going out to vote and why it is important.”

Mayor Cason:  “If the youth have a vision of how their country and their community should be, it is not going to happen by them waiting on a miracle.  It will need to happen through a political process.  If they do not vote we are not going to know what they want, we are just going to assume–and what they want is not going to happen.”

Evelyn Perez-Verdia: “Exactly. Thank you very much, Mayor.”

Mayor Cason: “You are welcome.”

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