Here’s some really boring information that would only interest folks who’re in love with politics and live in Florida’s Davenport area. Why would I publish self-proclaimed, boring information?
Because coming up is the singular American activity that invokes the most vicious fights among family members, provides the most savory fodder for journalists and blog writers (at least since 2016), and simultaneously divides and joins friends and enemies, apart and together, like no other activity in the world. That activity is our upcoming election.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Polk County is 2,011 square miles of which 1,798 square miles is land and 213 square miles (10.6%) is water. Polk is the fourth-largest county in Florida by land area and fifth-largest by total area. Economically, Polk is among the poorest counties.
Polk is made up of 167 precincts, which are defined as the smallest political subdivisions in Florida. Precinct 404, which is the City of Davenport, has 1,255 Republicans, 1,961 Democrats, and 1,988 with no party affiliation.
The Democratic turnout in precinct 404 in the last national midterm election was just below 50% (2014); and the turnout for the last city-wide election, which was in April, just a few months ago, was only 10% of all registered voters. The City of Davenport holds the distinction of lowest voter turnout in Polk County.
/According to The Florida Squeeze, Polk County makes up about 36% of District 9 and has about 70,000 Democratic voters. Black voters in Polk account for around 28% of the Democratic primary vote, while Hispanic voters account for around 24%. Most interesting, though, is that many who identify as Hispanics in Polk County are most likely to come from a Mexican or Central American background. (Where are my Puerto Rican compadres!? Kissimmee?)
The Value of Your Vote
Quality of leadership has been a problem for Davenport for decades in no small portion due to the lack of voter participation. Voting matters because the condition of our city is greatly affected by the character and quality of those in leadership. Only voting will improve that leadership.
Obama finally said it in his acceptance of an ethics award in government. He said the name he’s been avoiding for two years, Trump. He sounded the alarm, the Democrats’ version of our call to action: to make, we the people, powerful again; and to show that the majority rules. According to ABC, he said “the threat to democracy ultimately isn’t from Trump … but from indifference or cynicism that voting doesn’t make a difference.”
Just look around. Unoccupied homes are mushrooming yet homelessness remains a mainstay on our city streets. Food insecurity has been defined as our modern phenomenon. City councils behave as if they are hamstrung from controlling their own city boundaries, from giving the people what they’ve asked for.
Right here in Davenport — with the increasing traffic, lack of adequate road improvements, no controls over business facades, business dumping, a community center that went from an estimated cost of $245-thousand in 2017 to $6-million in 2018, and still no pool — the city manager’s vision “to build the public’s trust” is in a faraway land.
- Deadline to Register to Vote: October 9
- Early Voting: October 27 – November 3
- Election Day: November 6