BY BUDDY NEVINS
In the early 1970s as a newcomer to the Sun-Sentinel, I was given a lot of the scut work. One day I was sent to then-tiny Tamarac to cover a commission meeting.
Among the few items on the agenda was permission for some store to sell beer and wine. The lily-white commission, led by a particularly racist member, debated whether allowing beer and wine at that location would bring the “coloreds” to Tamarac’s lily-white community.
Fast forward to today. Tamarac is no longer lily white.
But the commission is!
And that’s wrong, just like it is at the Plantation commission (a particularly glaring example because of the lack of districting), Sunrise (ditto), Coconut Creek and several other West Broward cities.
The times they are a changing. Roughly 12 percent of Tamarac’s population is now black and 15 percent Hispanic.
The Tamarac commission this week has a chance to embrace the new demographics. Or they can try and hold back the flood of diversity like the Dutch boy with his finger in the dike.
Commissioners will appoint a resident to fill the unexpired seat of Patti Atkins-Grad who resigned rather than face a recall.
Five of eight of the applicants are black. Some are African-American U.S. natives and some Caribbean born.
No one should be appointed just because they are black.
They shouldn’t be rejected, either.
Felicia Meadows is just one of the applicants who has so much more to offer than her skin color. A lawyer and single Mom, Meadows is the 41-year-old daughter of former state Senate (1992-98) and House (2000-2008) member Matt Meadows.
“My hope is they will look beyond (my race). I want them to look at me and my abilities and not just at an African American female,” she says.
Just last week I was in Publix. While pushing my cart up an aisle, I came upon a group of high muck-a-mucks from the company talking about redesigning the shelves.
“We’re going to expand the Caribbean (food) by four feet,” one Publix suit told the store manager.
Publix understands Broward’s new demographics.
Does the Tamarac commission?