With Election Day only three weeks away, the presidential election has turned into a contentious showdown. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and New York businessman Donald Trump are the two leading candidates in this year's race for the White House.
In these final stages of campaigning, the race grows more bizarre daily. In the past few days, Trump and Clinton took jabs at each other at both the last presidential debate in Las Vegas and the annual Al Smith dinner in New York.
Though Election Day is officially Tuesday, November 8, early voting begins in Florida Monday, October 24, and runs through November 6. And with most people wanting this election to be over with already, it stands to reason that we get out the vote as early as possible. So why not exercise your voting right with a delicious taco?
Monday from noon to 1:30 p.m., Zoo Miami's Ron Magill and various health-care workers' unions will host an early-voting celebration at Jackson Memorial Hospital's Alamo Park (1611 NW 12th Ave., Miami) in the center of campus.
Jackson employees and community members who come ready to vote will be treated to a free taco from El Orgullo Latino Kitchen and Que Pinchos Tacos y Mas food trucks, as well as music. Magill, along with a wide variety of voters, will take to the stage to talk about the major issues that are important to them this election year.
Voters will then board the Love Bus and taken to the early-voting site at the Stephen P. Clark Government Center to vote. They will be given a lift back in the bus.
The Love Bus, by the way, is a school bus that has been touring South Florida. The bus, painted by a group of nine Miami-based artists, is a project designed to spread a message of love and humanity and to fight racism and xenophobia.
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The purpose of the event is get people to vote — no matter who they're behind, according to Rebecca Wakefield of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) 1991. "This is truly nonpartisan. We're trying to focus on having people just go vote."
Wakefield says the event is at Jackson's campus to assist nurses, doctors, and workers who put in long hours and might not have the time to get out the vote. "They're working 12-hour shifts, and it's hard for them to get information. So we're bringing the information to them." The event is also open to anyone in the community who wants more information on early voting.
And the free tacos? Wakefield says there's usually food at the rallies, and this year it had to be tacos. Tacos have made the news ever since Trump surrogate Marco Gutierrez warned that without tougher immigration restrictions, "you're going to have taco trucks on every corner." During the last presidential debate, a half-dozen taco trucks formed a "wall" outside the Trump International Las Vegas Hotel as a delicious way to protest the candidate's view on Mexican immigration. Wakefield says tacos have been on the national brain since then. The tacos will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. And if you're trying to read too much into this, Wakefield reminds us: "We can all agree on tacos. Tacos are delicious."
The event will also collect care packages for Haiti in conjunction with the Haitian American Nurses Association of Florida. Especially needed are personal hygiene items such as toothpaste, soap, feminine products, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and diapers.