| The Daytona Beach News-Journal
PALM COAST — The African American Cultural Society invites the community to a victory celebration and rally in honor of President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris with the hope of reenergizing the community.
“A lot of people were getting in the doldrums,” said Blanche Valentine, administrator, African American Cultural Society. “There was a high after the election, then with all these recounts and everything, people were starting to lose focus.”
She said she wants to continue the momentum brought on by the election.
“Every presidential election, various groups come out to register people to vote,” said Valentine. “They drag people to the polls. After the election, they pack up all their gear and leave. And we aren’t having it this time.”
A number of community groups are participating, including Black Lives Matter; SURJ, which stands for Showing Up For Racial Justice; and the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, to name a few.
“We’re really not expecting a big crowd,” said Valentine. “A lot of this is to get the organizers of the different groups, the precinct captains and the various voting districts in the city. We just want to keep folks on their toes and let them know we have a mission to do.”
Valentine said the focus should not be on the rhetoric and the counting of the ballots. It needs to be on getting more citizens out to vote.
“Our groups now are focusing on making sure that we always have numbers in attendance at various city council meetings and in the county commission meetings,” said Valentine. “We will start posting a report card. This is the year to become informed.”
Valentine said community members enjoyed the motorized parade in honor of the Voters Rights Amendment on Aug. 6. A second motorized march, to commemorate the historic March on Washington, was widely attended on Aug. 28.
“We were gonna do some things in September, but we got so caught up with making sure that people registered to vote we didn’t,” said Valentine. “So now we want to pull everybody together to do a pep talk and remind everybody we want Flagler County to keep hope alive.”
Masks and social distancing will be required; masks will be provided to those without. The event will feature music, guest speakers and networking.
Valentine said she’s very excited about President-Elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris taking over in January.
“I want people to focus on the transition and on who the new players are,” said Valentine. “We know we’re coming in with a fairly clean slate. A lot of the members have focused on the exit of Betsy DeVos and who her replacement is. We really just want to focus on the nation moving forward. We want to see it move in a positive direction.”
The rally will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the African American Cultural Society, 4422 N. U.S. 1, Palm Coast. Valentine said attendees can sit in their cars and roll their windows down. Speakers will speak over a PA system.