~~March 1, 2014~~
Apopka is a city in Orange County and Seminole County, Florida.
The city’s population was 41,542 at the 2010 United States Census, up from 26,969 at the 2000 U.S. Census. It is part of the Orlando–Kissimmee–Sanford Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Apopka is a Native American word for “Potato eating place”. This city is often referred to as the “Indoor Foliage Capital of the World”.
I recently found out that Apopka is the second largest city in Orange County.
~~Candidates emerging for spring elections in Central Florida cities~~
January 7, 2014|By Stephen Hudak, Orlando Sentinel
Apopka is among Central Florida cities with key races in upcoming spring elections.
Ballots were set this week for the March 11th elections in Apopka, where longtime Mayor John Land is seeking a 20th term, and in Winter Park, where voters will decide City Commission Seat 2.
The City Commission Seat 2 is what has prompted this post.
My partner reads the newspaper avidly and she pointed me in this direction.
~~Apopka commissioner’s Facebook: ‘My opponent is not a Christian’~~
~~Marilyn Ustler McQueen~~
~~Here is her tirade on Facebook, using capital letters~~
Though she has removed the post from her public Facebook page, McQueen, a member of Apopka City Council since 1996, reaffirmed in an interview with the Orlando Sentinel the accusations that she leveled at Velazquez on the social-media site, where she said Velazquez needs someone to “bring her to Christ.”
On March 11 the city will hold elections in which Diane Velázquez, 56, is seeking to be the first Hispanic on the Apopka City Council.
“I’m running because Apopka has gotten a little stale,” Velázquez said. “It’s lagging behind in moving forward.”
The 10-year Apopka resident, a retired New York City police detective, has spent years attending City Council meetings to learn what’s going on. She says she has seen very few residents in attendance but lots of developers.
McQueen’s opponent in the upcoming race for Apopka City Council Seat 2, Diane Velazquez, a first-time candidate for elected office, said she was surprised and sickened by the social-media blast, which she assailed as an inaccurate summary of her personal religious views.
“I have a lots of faith. That’s what got me through my husband’s lymphoma; my son’s two deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan and my dad’s death,” Velazquez said. “But everyone has different views in how they believe in God or don’t. For me, it’s OK to wonder and question.”
Though she has removed the post from her public Facebook page, McQueen, reaffirmed in an interview with the Orlando Sentinel the accusations that she leveled at Velazquez on the social-media site, where she said Velazquez needs someone to “bring her to Christ.”
“As a Christian and knowing that our community is a faith-based community, it’s a concern to me,” McQueen said of Velazquez’s views on God, the Bible and life after death. “I personally would have a difficult time supporting someone who does not have a strong foundation in God’s word.”
The exchange of religious views between McQueen, who describes herself as a contemporary Baptist, and Velazquez, who identifies herself as a Catholic, occurred Monday, February 24, while they were sequestered in an office at Victory Church in Apopka, host of a candidates’ forum.
McQueen called the pre-forum chat “very bizarre.” Velazquez called it “a mistake.”
Religious faith is not formally or legally a prerequisite for public office in the United States, but culturally it is, said Paul Croce, a professor of American studies at Stetson University and an expert on the history of American politics and the role of science and religion in politics.
“Pity the candidate who comes out and says, ‘I’m not religious’ or even, ‘I don’t go to church,'” he said. He noted that presidential candidates are quizzed about their faith, photographed attending services or quoted invoking God’s name on the campaign trail.
The late John F. Kennedy, the nation’s first Roman Catholic president, rebuked suggestions that he would answer ultimately to the Vatican, not the American people. He once said, “I do not speak for my church on public matters — and the church does not speak for me.”
On Facebook, McQueen’s post mostly won praise from followers — including a woman who wrote, “I love our faith-based community, especially that we are led by Godly men and women.”
Other supporters promised to keep praying for McQueen — and to pray for Velazquez, too.
Velazquez, who is not Facebook friends with McQueen, said she learned of her opponent’s opinion from a campaign backer.
“Religion doesn’t belong in here,” said Velazquez, a retired New York police detective. “I couldn’t believe that what I thought was a private, personal conversation has been turned into political grandstanding.”
She did not deny having doubts about her faith and life after death.
“Yes, sometimes I look up in the sky and the stars and wonder, ‘Is there something there, something after this?'” Velazquez said. But she also said she prayed every day when her son, Daniel, was in Iraq and Afghanistan with the U.S. Army.
“Some days, after watching the news, I would pray harder,” she said. “I realized young military men like my son were dying. I was always afraid of getting that phone call.”
McQueen, 60, said she had no political motive.
“As a Christian, I wanted my Christian brothers and sisters to be aware,” she said. “It just upset me so much.”
McQueen said she does not know whether the Facebook post will help or hurt her candidacy, and she doesn’t care. “I leave that in God’s hands,” she said. “If I’m supposed to be there on Apopka City Council, I’ll be there. If not, he has something else for me, bigger and better.”
In a nonpartisan local race such as Apopka’s, where voters don’t have marked party lines to help them choose between candidates, McQueen’s Facebook post could sway the undecided voters, said Kenneth D. Wald, a political-science professor at the University of Florida.
It is my strong, personal belief that there should be no place for religion in politics. What happened to “separation of church and state”? The Facebook tirade was out of order. There are “adults” in the house. No need to act that juveline.
I have decided. I will be voting.
Maybe you already know who I will be voting for!!
“Sounds Of War”
~~Petteri Sainio – Epic Instrumental~~
We ALL are ONE!!