Small yet powerful, the people of Wilton Manors have spoken clearly about who they will be voting into Congress next term…not Rep. Allen West. At 6pm on Monday, residents including veterans and members of the Wilton Manors Business Association stood in the parking lot of the City hall holding signs with West’s most notorious quotations.
Numerous political figures attended the rally on behalf of the newly formed Coalition for Fairness and Equality. The Chairman of the Broward Democratic party Mitch Caesar, President of the Miami Log Cabin Republicans Eddie Sierra, the famed Harvey Milk’s nephew Stuart Milk, The Mayor of Wilton Manors Gary Resnick, and founder of the National Voice for Equality, Education and Enlightenment Jowharha Sanders all shared their insight at the event. Congressional opponent Patrick Erin Murphy also made an appearance.
Resnick assured everyone that the city had nothing to do with the invitation of West, claiming that it was a decision made unilaterally by the Wilton Manors Business Association President and it disappointed the other members. Resnick went on to declare August 8th, Equality day, a tribute to the COFE.
Eddie Sierra, the sole Republican speaker did not hold back. “Allen West represents bigotry, we do not sponsor him, the Broward Tea party does” Sierra said in defense of his chapter. “We represent diversity and Equality, let’s come together as a community and bring Equality to the White House.”
Another noteworthy quote was made by Sanders: “As an African American, lesbian, Jewish woman, Allen West, you do not speak for me.”
Many at the rally had a different explanation as to why Rep. West’s event was cancelled. Resident of Wilton Manors, Marc Hansen explained that West cancelled the affair himself because he was unable to receive a closed meeting and would not have it any other way. “We wanted a voice and he refused to let that happen.”
The owner of Precision Printwear, James Basmjian, a veteran and member of the Prime Timers said the whole situation was blown out of proportion and the boycotts would have never happened. Informed and insightful, Basmijian explained that West needs to focus on the important issues that are plaguing the Florida, such as the deficit and high unemployment. “No one wants to hear about social issues right now, the country has bigger problems to focus on, but I pay taxes, I served my country and have the same concerns as any other American. We deserve the right to marry and serve in the military openly”.