WNYC partner Pop + Politics just got back from a road trip to Florida, where host Farai Chideya met up with Rep. Kendrick Meek. He's gunning for the open Senate seat in Florida, in the three-way race with Republican Marco Rubio and Florida Governor Charlie Crist, who's running as an Independent. Meek currently represents Florida's 17th District, which includes North Miami and Miami Beach. When P+P caught up with him, he'd just returned from a fundraising event with former President Bill Clinton, one of his long-time supporters.
Meek's congressional and campaign offices are located inside the same nondescript building in Miami Gardens, a working-class, heavily African-American area where there are large numbers of foreclosures. Meek's currently in third place in the three-man race, according to polls, but as he points out, it’s not time to count him out yet.
Meek is the child of former Rep. Carrie Meek, who, like congresswoman and eventual presidential candidate Shirley Chisholm, went from teaching to Congress. Carrie Meek is now in the private sector, and her son holds her seat.
Rep. Meek took us on a drive through Miami Gardens and talks about what it was like to be the child of a political figure and neighborhood leader.
Pop and Politics with Farai Chideya is a series of three radio specials looking at issues of race, rage, and reconciliation in the 2010 midterm elections. The programs, created by Pop and Politics, co-produced by WNYC, and distributed by American Public Media, will air on public radio stations around the country in late October and early November 2010.