By: Lonny Anger

When I lived in Manhattan, I had to pass an elementary school to get to my train every day. I had my commute timed out pretty well, so I hated it when I got bothered by someone asking for money or food.

The only person that didn’t bother me was this guy who would have a picture frame that he would put around his head and say to passerby’s, “I was framed”. 

That used to make me laugh.

However, I didn’t like to get stopped daily, so I would settle with him on an annual basis and made sure he knew we were good for the year.

The only other time I didn’t mind stopping was when I was passing by the school during election day, and a woman had a sign that read “I can’t vote, so can I have yours?”.

It struck me at that moment that the ability to vote was an extreme privilege, and not a right.

That brief interaction has always stuck with me, and why I have always voted in elections.

If you have followed my previous posts, you have read my love for the City of Parkland, my feverish desire to defend our city and its residents, and my calling out of politicians and corporations who I feel have been detrimental to the safety of our children.

Today however, I call out the City of Parkland and its residents in exemplifying the perception that we are entitled, self-centered, self-absorbed people who live in a bubble.

Why, you ask?

Because after the nation’s most horrific tragedy, an assault on teachers and students, we can’t get 75% of the residents to vote in an election.

All unconfirmed reports have shown that only 25 percent have voted.

In a city that has accepted the outpouring of support from around the world, who have blasted #parklandstrong or #MSDstrong on cars and social media, and who have worn purchased charitable merchandise with the name of our city on the fronts  – it is completely unacceptable, embarrassing, and worse….

A big “F You” to the 17 people who were murdered.

So if you are a resident and you are reading this and you have to ask yourself “Is he talking about me?”

If you didn’t vote – well then yes, I am talking about you.

I don’t care if I coached your kid, you picked my kid up from school, or we had a beer – if you didn’t vote, you are the problem.

Here is my opinion of the Parkland non-voter – you likely don’t have a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, you post great pictures on social media about your trips you take around the world but pay off the minimum on your credit card when you get back. You have also promoted on social media your charitable ways, and the fact that you live in Parkland. You drive a Lexus, BMW, or a Porsche, but struggle to pay for gas. You don’t put your blinker on. You stop in front of the school at drop-off line, rather than pull all the way forward. You have nothing saved, and you live paycheck to paycheck – yet you portray yourself as this alter ego of success, trying to keep up with the Joneses.

Perhaps I am wrong about my assessment of the non-voter, however I don’t think I am. The people who I described fit the profile perfectly, because it demonstrates the “all about me” mentality that has plagued our society in recent years.

I can’t think of one good reason why you wouldn’t vote. The only justification I can see is if you had a severe medical issue, family illness, death, or some catastrophic thing happen in your life where that took precedence.

And it really doesn’t matter who you would have voted for, we just want you to vote. Why? Because not voting causes other issues. 

Most notably divisiveness, in a city where we need to come together not apart. 

My suspicion is that as we “peel back the onion”, the vast majority of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School parents/siblings/family members voted in this election. I can’t imagine they didn’t.

This goes back to my previous articles where I have stated that unless it directly impacts you, your desire to do something about it is somewhat limited.

I have made many mistakes. I regret many things I have done and said in the past. I have many faults.

My one great strength is my ability to compartmentalize. 

So despite my frustration with 75 percent of the City of Parkland, I still love living here. I am proud to raise my children here, even though they lack the “NY street smarts” that many of us transplants learned while growing up.

If this post gets one more person to vote in the next election, than it was worth the time writing.

If the article gets backlash because I exposed some major flaws in our city, then so be it.

I’ll simply respond the way I know best..

“I was framed”.

Lonny Anger is a “proud” Parkland resident and father of three children including his daughter who attends Marjory Stoneman Douglas. He is a licensed general contractor and owner of Merrick Industrial Management Corp, a commercial construction firm specializing in hospital and healthcare facilities interior renovation.  Anger serves as vice president/media relations for Shine MSD, which was formed by Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Students after the shooting to support victims’ families and healing the Parkland community through the arts. He also enjoys volunteering in the city as a baseball and flag football coach. 

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