In 1949 I decided to go to the voting polls to get an understanding of how the political process worked. It proved to be a startling revelation. The system was flawed, corrupted and it was criminal, based on the illegal activities that occurred, like the blind with no assistance and dead people voting.
In 1954 after returning from the army I became a political activist who believed that sophisticated voting was the fastest way for Blacks to achieve equality. Over the last 58 years I was an active participant in the Republican and Democratic parties, however I never voted a straight ticket. I always supported those candidates that I believed represented the best hope for Black people.
This upcoming election for the governorship of Pennsylvania offers me an excellent opportunity to practice what I have always preached.
Dan Onorato is my choice because he is one of a handful of politicians who never lied to me. He is educated and bright with Pittsburgh City Council experience, was Allegheny County Controller, and Allegheny County Chief Executive for two terms, which has provided him with extensive experience in what is required to make government work in the behalf of the citizens.
The most important reason is that in our communities there exists some deplorable conditions that threaten our very existence as a people. Bill Robinson and others have voiced their concerns with me and the absolute need for Dan to articulate his solutions to these problems.
On Columbus Day Dan spoke at Pentecostal Temple Church, pastored by Rev. Loran Mann and I thought his remarks were right on target. In fact, I was disappointed there were no amens and hallelujahs.
I cannot quote verbatim but Dan stated that solutions to the problems can’t be rectified with just incarceration or rehabilitation. The focus must be on three key elements—prevention, opportunities and self-esteem.
He articulated the overwhelming need for concerned dedicated organizations to focus on our youth, at least at the third grade level, thereby putting an emphasis on prevention at the earliest possible time.
There was a question about Marcellus Shale and the potential for many jobs and he reminded us that as governor of Pennsylvania he would only issue work permits to those corporations that would offer Blacks an equal opportunity to the jobs.
A lack of self-esteem is the most destructive element in our lives just like an alcoholic is an addict who needs a substitute to feel good.
One major way to help those raise their sense of self-esteem—particularly Black men—is to enable them with a chance to work. If you provide a man with gainful employment it will help the family stay together, limit the number of single parent homes, strengthen the family structure, improve education skills and increase the entire family’s sense of self-esteem.
If you are concerned about a governor who will benefit you and yours, then follow suit and do what I am doing. Cast your vote for Dan Onorato.
Kingsley Association still needs your assistance.
(Louis “Hop” Kendrick is a weekly contributor to the Forum Page.)