The governor race in Florida is heating up as the August Primary comes close. Most will rejoice once the number of political ads and annoying phone calls will decrease for a bit. However, I personally am paying close attention to a specific candidate.
He had my vote before I managed to get a job on his campaign. And now that I have spent almost every waking moment of this August campaigning for him, I can feel assured that I picked correctly. I speak of former Mayor Philip Levine who I had the pleasure to meet a few days prior to writing this.
I have met a few politicians and other important figures in my life. One can tell what sort of person they are almost immediately. In fact, it is something I do whenever I meet a prominent individual. How do I do this? I watch to see how said individual interacts with ordinary people.
Most individuals with influence tend to have security keep the masses away from them. But not Levine. In fact, when I met him in Orlando, his security maintained a healthy distance back so that he could interact with those who wanted to meet the man himself. To me, this was a fantastic display of character. Adding on to this image was the fact that he was dressed in such a way that he matched his supporters. Levine carried the "one of us" vibe enough that I did not feel intimidated at all when I finally got to have a conversation with him.
Back to the fact that Levine is running as a Democrat in a highly contested primary, I want to bring up one notable feature that separates him from the rest. All of the candidates running on the Democrat ticket have similar plans and ideas. However, one thing that Levine does that the others do not is what I chose to discuss with him.
I am mildly on the Autism Spectrum. What this translates to in the big world is that I can have issues finding a job. There are certain tasks that one such as myself finds incredibly difficult. Luckily, the issues I have are minor and I have few problems finding work and pathways to success. This is not true with many other people who have much more severe conditions. I told Philip Levine about the significance of my condition. I also told him how important this campaign is to me.
He thanked me for being a part of the campaign. I was in shock by him saying that. The reason that he gave me credit as well as being brave for admitting something to him like that is a result of a philanthropy that he helps run. This organization is called Best Buddies and it aids those with developmental and intellectual disabilities.
While there are other organizations that do similar tasks to make the world a better place, Best Buddies does something very special. This organization helps individuals at all stages of life. This ranges from young children and extends all the way until adulthood. This is a significant difference from other such organizations who tend to focus on only one age group.
There are many other reasons I can list for why I support Levine. I could mention his progressive values, especially in regards to the climate. Or I could bring up his heroic deeds in Puerto Rico. Philip Levine was one of the first to offer aid to the island after Hurricane Maria. I could mention the fact that he wants to undo the damage to Florida that Donald Trump and his cronies are causing. I can also mention his desire to fight the NRA on every possible front.
Every single one of the above things mentioned is incredibly important. These ideas shape and have an impact on a large number of Florida Citizens. But the thing that matters most to me is giving people with special needs a chance to reach their full potential. People with developmental disorders tend to be silenced frequently in the world.
Philip Levine wants to fix issues in Florida. I imagine that this part of the United States will be an overall safer place for people like me if he succeeds. Among the number of positive reasons he has my vote, the single greatest reason is that of his commitment to minorities. And not just the visible minorities either. But especially the invisible ones. Groups divided by differences in brain chemistry. The fact that I got a job on his campaign is the final icing on the cake.