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Monday, March 04, 2024
Opinions generic
Opinions generic

The Alligator devotes itself to serving the UF and greater Gainesville communities. For that reason, we are releasing endorsements for candidates and amendments that will appear on the local ballot as well as our recommendation for the top of the ticket in an immensely consequential presidential election.

All we ask is that you vote.

President: Joe Biden/Donald Trump

This election is about the present and the future of America. Joe Biden is not the future of our country. But another four years of Donald Trump will make our future more bleak than the past four years have been. We are not great again. That commercialized slogan was the first of many lies that emboldened racists, left hundreds of thousands of Americans dead and made us the laughing stock of the world. Four more years will not make us great again, either. It will undoubtedly make us worse.

It will take more than another presidential term to undo the damage that Trump has done. Biden’s presidency will be a step in the right direction as opposed to continued steps back.

Biden is an imperfect candidate and we have plenty of differing views with him on many issues. However, no perfect candidates ever exist in politics.  

We have the choice between a typical politician or a misogynistic racist facing more than 25 sexual assault accusations who can’t stop attacking the military, initially refused to condemn white supremacy and decimated the credibility of the office he holds with his countless lies.

Four years ago, we certainly didn’t have two perfect candidates to pick between. People went to the polls and voted for the reality show candidate and we got a reality show president and, in turn, a reality show country.

The term “presidential” used to have a positive connotation. It implied dignity, grace and confidence. We can certainly say Trump isn’t lacking in ego, but we also wouldn’t describe someone who regularly hate-tweets other politicians, celebrities and civilians at 2 a.m. as graceful or dignified.

Public health and access to healthcare are of the utmost importance to millions of Americans, especially right now. Biden will keep and reinforce the Affordable Care Act, which he fought for with former President Barack Obama, and better yet, he will listen to experts and science as we adjust to the COVID-19 pandemic and barrel toward a vaccine and, hopefully, a semblance of normalcy.

This isn’t a glowing endorsement of Biden, but it’s our strongest indictment of Trump the person and Trump the president. Let’s demote 45 back to Trump the person, where he’s capable of inflicting far less damage on our democracy.

Florida’s Third Congressional District: Adam Christensen/Kat Cammack

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Voting for Christensen, a fresh new face, is the way to go if you are the type of person who doesn’t like career politicians and wants to “drain the swamp.” Cammack seems to be your typical candidate from the other side of the aisle, though the lack of endorsement from her former boss Ted Yoho and mysteries surrounding her demotion as Yoho’s chief of staff don’t quite pass the sniff test.

Florida House of Representatives District 21: Kayser Enneking/Chuck Clemons

If you care about public health and science, Enneking is the candidate to vote for given the moment and for the long term.

Clemons’ antiquated stance on issues such as marijuana legalization and gun safety make us wish for someone with the guts to challenge the status quo. The lawsuit against him for blocking people on social media doesn’t make him any more fit to serve in our eyes.

Alachua County Commission District 1: Mary Alford/RaemiEagle-Glenn

With a responsible stance on COVID-19 policies and noble ideas such as moving toward a bail-free system, Alford has earned our vote.

Eagle-Glenn’s recent unsuccessful anti-mask lawsuit against the county and reluctance for future pandemic mitigation measures make her unideal for leadership as we approach a “third wave” of COVID-19 cases. Alford has the experience and right priorities we need now and beyond the pandemic.

Alachua County Commission District 3: Joy Glanzer/Anna Prizzia

We have warm opinions of both candidates, who share several similar beliefs. However, Glanzer has more experience in government and thus has a longer track record of getting things done. We appreciate her support for a living wage and her idea to connect those addicted to drugs to treatment instead of jail time.

Amendment 1: No

This amendment doesn’t do anything. The millions of dollars spent pumping up this useless amendment would have been better spent actually improving our elections process.

Amendment 2: Yes

Championed by a UF alumnus, this amendment is a step toward helping everyone earn a living wage. People working more than 40 hours a week shouldn’t struggle to make ends meet. Any business model that doesn’t decently pay workers deserves to be discarded.

Amendment 3: No

Democrats and Republicans actually agree for once: This amendment is a terrible idea. These are not the true open primaries we are looking for — rather, a messier version called “jungle primaries” that could result in general elections being decided between two people from the same party. That’s not good for democracy.

Amendment 4: No

Sure, there’s some odd stuff in our constitution, but this amendment only makes it a more expensive and lengthier process to amend our constitution in the future. If you don’t want something in our constitution, just don’t vote for it the first time around. We recommend you do so for this amendment.

Amendment 5: Yes

We support this tax amendment because it allows for greater access to the homestead tax exemption. We think the overall costs diffused throughout the state will ultimately be negligible in the long term or would otherwise be at a level that could be offset by cutting down on government waste.

Amendment 6: Yes

Like the above amendment, this one expands access to the homestead tax exemption, though to a more specific group of people, spouses of deceased veterans. It is a little difficult to vote against anything benefiting spouses of deceased veterans, so we recommend you vote for this small benefit for them. Just don’t forget to write to your legislators and hold them accountable in making sure our veterans get the proper treatment before they pass away.

One Mill: Yes

We support this amendment because it supports the quality of our local education system. Providing continued funding to public educational institutions is of paramount importance, especially with the added hurdles brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The amendment has been approved every year since 2008. Let’s fund our future.

County charter amendments concerning growth management, natural resources, racial and gender bias, an affordable housing trust fund, treasurer reports and unconstitutional provisions: Yes

City charter amendments concerning the city clerk, paved surfaces, utility systems and a charter preamble: Yes

A hodgepodge of tweaks of various sizes to your local government, these amendments all deserve a “yes” vote. Two amendments worth highlighting include the amendment that aims to crack down on racial and gender biases within county policies and the amendment that establishes an affordable housing trust fund, which would help balance out the bland, overpriced, low quality, luxury apartment complexes flooding our area.

The Editorial Board is made up of the Editor-in-Chief, Digital Managing Editor, Engagement Managing Editor, News Managing Editor and Opinions Editor.

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