This is the year voters are supposed to take their government back. In the state of Florida, it can be done with a Yes vote on Amendments 5 and 6.
The two amendments are supposed to put some sanity back in the process of drawing Congressional and legislative districts. It would end the gerrymandering, or drawing of crazy districts to favor a particular incumbent or political party, while also protecting minority voters.
Elected representatives should be community based - and only the community in which the representative lives. That's not the case now. U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, who lives in Miami, represents District 25, which stretches all the way to Naples. District 23, where U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings of Fort Lauderdale serves, covers about half a trip to Disney World - ranging from Miami Lakes to Fort Pierce.
Various power brokers, including Diaz-Balart, who is now running for brother Lincoln's congressional seat in District 21, are trying to put up every roadblock possible for these amendments; he and U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown of Jacksonville have sued to prevent these measures from taking place if voters approve them - with the argument that minorities will be hurt. Yeah, sure. Florida has gotten so diverse in so many communities that any community district drawn will protect minorities.
For sure, Amendments 5 and 6 will protect Floridians from the power grabs of politicians. Voters should say a resounding Yes to both.