A matriarch’s last minute decision


Maria MartinezPhoto by Alejandra Acuna

We need to prioritize On the big issues

Maria Martinez, 72, walked out of the luxurious Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables with her head held high, followed by her daughter and granddaughter. No, they were not there for vacation, they were there to vote for President Barack Obama.  Martinez was much shorter than her companions, but the silver strands in her hair suggested a commanding matriarchal wisdom.

Martinez  was born in Cuba, but she has lived in Miami for years. She represents an important fraction of elderly Cuban-Catholic women in South Florida.  Martinez  “hadn’t planned on voting,” she said in Spanish, “but then changed my mind.”

She and her daughter had picked up her granddaughter from school and were driving home past the Biltmore when they decided to stop.

The Biltmore is a national historic landmark, with an architecture and beauty that is internationally renowned.  It is a place Martinez and her family know well.

“We came here last election,” she said.

Immigration and the economy were the main issues for Martinez. “The economy needs to get better,” she said.

Martinez said she had been a United States citizen for decades and had voted in many elections. At first, Martinez said, she had planned not to vote in 2012. She said she thought neither candidate was “strong enough as a person” and was even less impressive “on the main issues.”

She had been hesitant to vote for President Obama  she said because she did not want to back “someone who accepts abortion; I am a Catholic.” But, she said, she thought President Obama would be better on the economy and on immigration. “We need to prioritize on the big issues,” she said.

More like this: Coral Gables | Election - Miami

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4 responses to “A matriarch’s last minute decision”

  1. Joana Hecker says:

    I really like your story and how you made an abstract picture of how that day felt like through the description you provided. I think it is very interesting that she and her daughter were not planning to vote but something bigger told them that it was their duty to do so. However, it would have been interesting to know a little bit more about why she actually stopped and, more important, for President Obama. Besides that, I think it is a really good article, congratulations!

  2. Joana Hecker says:

    I really like your story and how you made an abstract picture of how that day felt like through the description you provided. I think it is very interesting that she and her daughter were not planning to vote but something bigger told them that it was their duty to do so. However, it would have been interesting to know a little bit more about why she actually stopped to vote and, more important, for President Obama. Besides that, I think it is a really good article, congratulations!

  3. H Murray1 says:

    I think this is a nicely written article, I went to the biltmore as well. It’s interesting that you waited til the end to reveal who Martinez voted for, especially because after everything she said I guessed that she would have voted for Romney. I think the description is nice but could have used one more sentence or two to help visualize how regal the biltmore is, especially since you use matriarch in the title. Overall I enjoyed reading it and it kept me interested.

  4. Ilap91 says:

    This is a very well written article. I like the way I could get a sense of who this woman was. I found it very interesting that she wasnt going to vote but something caused them to head over that day.

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