My journey to Pahokee: Glades lives do matter
Last Friday night I drove out to Pahokee to go to a meeting.
I used to drive out there all the time. As a nurse and just as a person for many of the 25 years I lived in PBC. I always felt that these were the forgotten people. What’s interesting is as a nurse when I got there there was no interest. Most of the time I was sent on my way. Which is fine. To this day I do not take it personally. I got it. This is their place. They have a way of life. It’s important to respect that.
Just recently I attempted to reach out. I asked people out there to write something about themselves so the people that live on the coast could get to know them. In an attempt to start a conversation I was banned from the Glades Lives Matter Page. I doubt that these people have any patience for the likes of me: a Jewish nurse from Boston who always tries to do the right thing. All you can do is move forward.
We’re all adults
I deal daily with people who do not want to listen so I’m no stranger to this. I put it out there. It’s heard or not heard. We’re all adults.
So my only expectation was that I needed to go and listen.
I met a lot of perfectly wonderful hard-working people who do not want anything bad to happen to them. Nobody wants anything bad to happen to them. What they do not realize is that we the people that live on the East Coast in Martin County would do anything for them. We don’t think badly of them. We want to help them. We’ve tried to reach out to them but they won’t have us.
I went and I listened. This is what I heard:
Most people the people live in Glades do not want anything to happen to the place they live. So just like here the people of Glades have a lot in common with the River Warriors.
They want jobs. We hear ya. We want you to have jobs. Everyone needs jobs. We need our lagoon to be clean.
We’re all suspicious of Politicians
They are suspicious of Senator Joe Negron. We have been and we have learned better but that doesn’t say we are not suspicious of other politicians. Some who were in that very room.
The people in Glades have their narrative about their life just like we have our narrative. In fact, the Glades life matter movement is the mirror image of the River Warriors.
When I say River Warriors I want to be clear. Us. Not any other group that may be part of the water. I’m talking about The River Warriors of the Indian River Lagoon.
These people below. My friends. Some of the most caring people I have met.
I don’t think the problem is us or them. The problem is people who use scare tactics. The problem is politicians who pander. Pandering is not reality. In fact, from what I can see is the life for the people out there has not gotten better. It has gotten worse. The jobless rate is out of control. What holds this community is the basic goodness of the people that live there and not the politicians.
These folks need jobs. Good manufacturing jobs would be awesome for those great machinists.
Maybe some health care where some of the younger folks could volunteer and then find their way into the health care field where good people are always needed.
No matter what.
The people of the Glades are getting bad intel. I’m glad they showed up to listen to Senator Joe. I hope they will listen.
They also have environmental issues. I heard about horse manure being brought out there from Wellington and it smells really bad. Now in this case its good to have a River Warrior or two around to help.
When US sugar sells all that land to build houses you can call on us and we will come out and stand beside you.
Change the narrative
I can’t change the narrative in anyone’s brain but what I can say WE are all in this together. If the people of the Glades want to be isolated then they should stay that way but if they want effective change then they need to accept the help of the people reaching out.
None of us need pandering. We need truth because that is the only way to go forward.
I heartily suggest more meetings in Pahokee with more of that yummy fried chicken, cole slaw and corn! Like I told ya. What good respectable tree hugger doesn’t love a farmer of good vegetables. Don’t let any one twist that around and tell you any different.
Lastly You have room for lots of manufacturing of cool things! Imagine besides being the farmers for the world that you were making something that helped all around the world! Diversify!
The Locks are closed and the water is fine
Right now the locks are closed and the Indian River Lagoon and the St Lucie River are recovering.
Here is a photo to what the water testing shows.
It shows that its all good as far as Ecoli.
The locks are closed and its all good. This is science don’t let anyone tell you anything different.
It’s time to put the animosity aside and work together. If politicians can’t do that its time to replace them. If your community leader can’t do that replace them.
I always says friends are forever. Politicians are for 4-6 years. Where have they been for the last 30 years?
We want nothing for the best but the best for the people that live in the Glades. Whether you want us there or not we are there for you!
There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light get in.
Senator Negron explained to all of us that if the ACOE would have left one more foot of water in the lake we would not have had discharges. We hated them but we took it for the team. Contrary to what many people believe no one wants anything bad to happen to the people in Glades. Believe me. Don’t believe me. Keep that narrative in your brain that we are elitist rich people who want to flood you out or some other fairy tale some pandering political has told you. I can’t change the way you or anyone thinks. But whenever someone says that me it just makes me cry. It hurts me to my core because its so far from the truth.
When you think that Senator Negron does not represent you think again. He was born in PBC and has been a great friend to the Ag community. Of all of us I have no representation what so ever being a Jewish nurse from Boston and all that. I have not one soul who represents my best interests
All I can hope is this: I hope your leaders will stop their pandering and allow the light to seep in the cracks.
Your economic situation is nothing new but that does not mean it can’t be changed and for the better. It must change no matter what! Take that marvelous energy and put that force to work for you! We’ll be here if you need us with the light on.