For two accountants Main issue no surprise
The rich aroma of a hot cup of coffee filled the early morning air in South Miami. For Maria Garcia, 54, coffee would be at least some comfort as she waited to vote.
Garcia, who has been voting since 1979, is an accountant. And she had a lot on her mind. She saw the economy as the decisive issue. Garcia said she had seen firsthand the dip in peoples’ income and home values. “Unemployment hasn’t been this high since the great depression,” she said. “I believe this country needs someone to handle businesses the right way. People are spending less and less and their confidence in this country has gone down.”
Abortion was another thing on Garcia’s agenda. She said she is a Roman Catholic, regularly goes to church and describes herself as pro-life – against abortion. “I’ve been in-charge of many pro-life rallies for my parish,” she said. “It really puts political emphasis on what we are trying to achieve.”
The economy was also the most pressing issue for Rebecca Pouchet, 41 and a single mother from Venezuela who was voting for the first time in an American election. She had been job-hunting all day. Like Garcia, her field was accounting and she had just come from interviews at two accounting firms. She talked about leaving Venezuela for America. “I came here because the United States has been called the land of opportunity,” she said. “And now there are not many jobs out there to give me that opportunity to start a life for me and my son.”
She said she left Venezuela in 2001 because of government policies that she regarded as too far to the left. “I know that when you work for something you earn it rightfully and it shouldn’t be take away unless it’s to help those who can’t work,” Pouchet said. “The only people who should be receiving our tax dollars are veterans and those who are handicapped and unable to work.”
Pouchet’s first struggle in the United States was getting authorization, as an immigrant, to work. She said she had worked at many jobs in Miami. But she said that because of the slow economy she had lost her last one. She has put on hold her dream of owning a home. “I don’t like to depend on other people,” she said, “and one of my goals upon arriving here was to get something for myself, to have property and assets that I couldn’t have before.”
One of the things that Maria Garcia had been thinking about was her children. Concern for their welfare had helped her decide to vote. “I have three children and two of them are in college,” she said. “I want to know that the candidate I cast my vote for will give them a better opportunity to find a job to pay off student loans and provide them some kind of financial certainty.”