Why I Won’t Be Voting for Phil Diamond for Mayor of Orlando

See this man featured here?  That’s Phil Diamond.  He’s running for Mayor of Orlando.

And he’s my next door neighbor.  Literally.  His house is right next to mine; less than 25 feet separate our houses.  He has spoken less than 25 words to me in the two years I have been living next door to him.  The only time he ever spoke to me was when I was walking by and he offered me some oranges from the tree in his front yard.  Probably because any orange I took away was one he did not have to clean up.

That’s it.  We’re neighbors.  I see him in his yard.  I sometimes see him in the morning.  Occasionally on the weekends.  I don’t even get good-natured waves and “hi neighbor” anymore when I walk by with the dogs, or when I see him in the mornings when they load the kids into the car to head to school.  I don’t get much of a glance at all when I ride by on my motorcycle.

I suspect I know why; we’re “the renters” next door.  We’re not permanent residents.  We’re transient.  On top of it all – I have the worst landlord in Orlando who does absolutely no maintenance on the house in which I live.  My house looks much less “downtown Orlando” than his does.

I suspect I’ve been judged, and found wanting, because of the misfortune that led me to a house that I don’t really approve of.  I am the eyesore next door and it’s better to ignore me than to be seen interacting with me or acknowledging me.  I am the second class citizen on the street because I rent; not worthy of his attention.

Of course, if he got to know me, he would know that I am a recent cancer survivor and medical bills these past few years have made money tight – so I am paying a relatively cheap rent right now to alleviate onerous bills while I rebuild.

If he had bothered to have an exchange of words with me he would know that I make sure I always live in the school district where my sons and daughter can go to the best public schools in Orlando.

If he had smiled and chatted with me he would have known that we are only in this less-than-ideal house because our previous landlord, owner of a much, much nicer house on Gore street, was forced to short sell the house and we had to find a new place, in the middle of the school year, quickly.

He doesn’t know my oldest son was accepted to three Florida colleges and is an amazing guitarist.  He doesn’t know my daughter broke her foot 5 weeks ago.  He doesn’t know my youngest son is also an amazing digital musician.

He doesn’t know that I am a published author, who recently got an essay from this blog included in a high-school and college textbook on patriotism.  He doesn’t know that for the past three years I have been the Chief Technical Officer of a local company that does millions of dollars of business every year with the Army National Guard.  He certainly doesn’t know that I am now a Program Manager at another local internet company that is building one of the most amazing Facebook apps ever.

You won't see this sign in my yard

You won't see this sign in my yard

He doesn’t know any of that.  He’s never been a friendly neighbor – with me at least.  I look up and down my street and I see house after house with the “Diamond for Mayor” signs in their front yard.  I suppose he’s talked to all of them – but he’s intentionally avoided knowing me or my house.

For whatever reason, Phil Diamond has not taken the time to know who is next door neighbor is.  I agree with many of his political statements, but I can’t reconcile the Mayor of Orlando with a man who will snub his neighbors.

Perhaps I am wrong about the entire ordeal.  Maybe we’ve just been two ships passing in the night and have never had an honest opportunity to say hello.  I hope this is so, but my perceptions leads me to fear otherwise.

I wish him luck in the election, because I wish no man ill, but I will not be voting for Phil Diamond at this time – even though I think he has a strong platform.  If I had never had the opportunity to be his neighbor I would have no qualms voting for him – I just don’t like my perception of being the “ignored” or “passed over” neighbor for no reason I can discern other than a bias based on the house I rent.

11 Responses to “Why I Won’t Be Voting for Phil Diamond for Mayor of Orlando”

  1. I ageee that offering you those oranges was insulting and was initiated with ill intentions. He might as well have picked them up and started throwing them at you.

  2. In my experiences, Phil Diamond is a really nice guy. His wife has even gave Ashlee and John Clark a ride home from school one day. Maybe your cool Halloween decorations were just too awesome to contend with. 🙂

  3. WOW – well said. That definitely got my attention – Would you like a Mulvaney for mayor sign? I would be proud to have your support.

  4. Thank you so much – Please call our campaign office if you’d like any more information or have comments/suggestions – 407-730-9962. I look forward to speaking with you, if you wish.

  5. I think this is very well thought out – but I want to know the other side of the story. What do you know about him, as your neighbor? Or his kids? Has the world and the time just flown by in a way that both of you were so busy that maybe perhaps you just didn’t get the proper chance to speak?
    Cookies always help. 😉
    I wonder what would happen if you saw him out picking oranges and asked about the tree, or if he does anything special with them, or how his day is simply going. I wonder what might happen if you asked what his thoughts on the city were, picked his brain about what he really thought. Maybe invited him over for some burgers on the grill and beers.
    I could be completely going the wrong direction, and could quite possibly have absolutely the wrong feelings about it, but in the post you never really mentioned making “the first move” to have a real conversation with him as you passed by walking the dogs.
    If perhaps this idea was tried, would it bring a different change to your neighborhood or your feelings about the way you think people perceive you on your street?

  6. The Phil Diamond I know is a very kind, caring, reserved, highly intelligent, thoughtful, responsible, loving dad and husband. Someone you can trust the city and county’s welfare to and I have some different political beliefs to him. You don’t know this guy at all.

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