Voting for the mayor of Florence

As an American citizen even though I'm a legal resident in Florence, I do not have the right to vote for sindaco (mayor). I wish I was able to vote because I definitely have an opinion about who should be the sindaco of my beloved city. After living here in 1997 for a couple of years and then moving back five years ago, I have seen some changes that I haven't been happy with. Over just these last few years, the city has has unfortunately become dirtier and less safe. I get the feeling that many people have given up doing anything about it, and have let their city decline. However, with the upcoming elezioni (elections), the mood of the people has shifted. And for once I feel that hope has returned because many believe that change is once again possible.

I went to fare qualche commissioni (run some errands) and bumped into some friends of mine. Each person talked to me about the elezioni next month, handed me a depliant (leaflet), and wanted me to read up on their candidato (candidate).

I had to tell each of them that I'm unable to vote in these elezioni because my Italian citizenship is still in progress. Each of my friends was disappointed, but I felt a hint of relief because I didn't want to tell them that if I had the right to vote, I wouldn't vote for their candidato.

Politics isn't something I talk to often with my friends. Before the upcoming elezioni everyone just complained about the problems we have in Florence, but no one ever told me what party they belonged to. They were all so happy that Obama was voted in, with the exception of one person that I know. I just today realized how adamant they are about their candidato and how they think all the other candidati would be terrible choices for sindaco.

But the problem is that there are so many candidati that I think one of the two main candidati will end up winning anyway.

I didn't know that my group of friends were so different: from far left to far right. From communists to fascists. It's quite surprising for me who was brought up in the US because our two main parties may disagree on many issues, but are relatively close in ideologies.

I was happy to participate in the elezioni primarie (primary elections) to voice my opinion, but it was a far cry from voting for the sindaco of Florence. If by chance my Italian citizenship comes in before June, I might just vote. But for now, I'm listening to all my friends tell me about their candidati and what they feel they will do to help remedy the unfortunate situation our city is now in. I just pray that whoever becomes the sindaco of Florence, they are able to make the city cleaner and safer so that it can become a thriving city once again.

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