Over the past week, I have had a feeling of great disappointment and discomfort over the radio interviews, social network and news paper articles that I have heard about and read concerning the issue of me, Sammie Starr Poitier, no longer being the candidate for South Beach for the Democratic National Alliance.
It started with my statement, announcing that I am no longer a candidate for the DNA on facebook. In an effort to remain diplomatic and refrain from any type of possible negativity, the statement was intentionally void of such content, like information as to whether I left the party or was asked to leave and why. It simply stated that I was no longer a candidate and that I am going to continue the work my team and I have begun in South Beach. However, as a result of the public learning of this, and the media fire storm that surrounded it, the DNA saw it necessary to justify my being released as a candidate by constantly stating that the South Beach team and I did not perform to party standards, represent the constituency well, and did not possess the skills necessary to fulfill the duties of an MP as outlined by the party.
In short I was “Thrown Under the Bus and Rolled Over… Twice”, with no regard for how this would affect my credibility, my reputation, and of course my family. I was one of the first named candidates for the party and was 100% loyal to the success of the party and endured an enormous amount of scrutiny for doing so. So as one would expect, this was indeed very disappointing, disheartening and of course NOT TRUE.
In the Democratic National Alliance’s official statement in regards to my candidacy, they inferred that I was not prepared to participate in electoral process at this time, and that it was a joint decision. This is fictitious; and it is blatantly false. I do not believe in discrediting people just to cause friction, but I am a believer in truth. I am a proponent of renouncing wrong, believing truth, and doing right. I am a servant leader and believe in building up rather than tearing down.
With that said, I will make this clear. I did not resign from the party, but was asked to leave. My team and I have been communicating with the party over the last few weeks, requesting more involvement in National DNA events, National Party support in our team efforts and of course financial support. We were denied. It then became clear to our team and supporters that the party lacked confidence in me as a candidate. As a result, the relationship between the South Beach Team and National Party became very strained. Hence, when I was asked to leave the party my entire team decided that they would leave with me. I am NOT a supporter of The Democratic National Alliance.
Over the last 72 hours I have been inundated with calls, e-mails, and tweets from people who supported me. I want to let them know, particularly the young people that it does not matter what people have to say about you, but it is about knowing who you are. Before the DNA I was Sammie “Starr” Poitier and after the DNA I am still me. I am a family man, solution finder and community activist. I am not just an entertainer.
There were a number of DNA representatives that stated on many occasions that my team and I did not perform well, and that I, in particular, was inefficient as a candidate. They also said that I did not deliver reports required by the party, started no community programs, did little to no work on the ground and that for these reasons among others, that I was not fit to be a candidate and therefore released. Contrary to those assertions, ALL of the aforesaid requirements were met. Let it be known that the decision to release me was made, without consulting ME the candidate, and of course the PEOPLE of South Beach. How is it possible to make such a decision, without consulting the people that will decide whether or not you – the candidate and the party you represent – actually win the seat and election?
The following were IGNORED:
1) With the ideas and input of constituents, we devised a 20 year developmental plan for the South Beach Constituency
2) Two Constituency Meetings July & September (3 scheduled for December, January and February)
3) Four Volunteer Meetings July, August and September
4) Established committee (Chairman, Vice Chairman, Treasurer, Secretary, Chaplain, PR Officer)
5) Two Branch Meetings (August and September)
6) Created Monthly Constituency Reports (July, August, September, October)
7) Established South Beach Association (September 2011)
8) Distributed Father’s Day Flyer (printed and email blasts)
9) Established Crime Watch Committee (October 2011)
10) Held Hurricane Irene Community Clean-up Aug 25th 2011
11) Guest at Father’s Day Service – Bahamas Harvest Church
12) Guest Speaker Youth Anti- Crime Rally at Her Majesty’s Prison
13) Guest Appearance at BFM Youth Talent Jam 2011
14) Guest Appearance at D. W. Davis School.
15) Two Radio appearances on Ortland Bodie’s Real Talk Live
16) Speaking engagement at Anatol Rodgers October 23
17) Two Speaking Engagements at COB in October on Youth and Culture
18) Church Service – Zion South Beach Church Service Nov 13
19) THIRTY-FIVE (35) Walkabouts in South Beach Constituency since nomination; gathered written information [contact, employment, support, concerns, ideas]
20) Nine (9) Meetings with financial supporters of our campaign (resulting in financial donations to the campaign)
21) Secured building for South Beach Community Centre (Opening would have been on the 10th of December, 2011)
Considering the above, we have CLEARLY been working hard at our campaign. Over the last few months my team and I worked hard, and our work was not in vain. We are moving forward with our plans for this community under the banner of The South Beach Association formed and established by my working team and me September 2011. We encourage all who are passionate about our community – young and old – to join us!
By: Sammie “Starr” Poitier