Voting GuideWhy did you decide to run for mayor?Educational and Vocational BackgroundIs this your first time running for office? Do you have any past political experience? What issues do you see that need to be addressed?What is one thing you would like people to know about you and your candidacy?Cities get large portions of funding from the federal government. What relationships do you have with federal officials to fight for federal dollars for our community? LOST is coming up next year. What are your feelings on the previous 35% of the revenue and letting the county handle animal control, city recreation, and traffic?ABG: IntroductionWhat makes you think you are the most qualified person running for mayor?What assurance can you give voters that you will work to unify our community, if elected?In what ways can you ensure you will be accessible and accountable as mayor?Can you tell us 3 clear goals you have for the next 4 years if elected to office?Our community has an average household income below the poverty line. How will you transition our economy into a healthier state for the citizens of Brunswick?What are your thoughts on last year's SPLOST vote?
Cosby JohnsonI decided to run for mayor because over the last few years I have seen our city government waste over half a million dollars on plans, 10s of thousands on splash pads. We could have spent that money on rebuilding, building transportation. That government waste has been paramount of mind for me. I see a city with such potential, that with the right plan, and working together, we can take all these plans and move it towards something positive that grows the entirety of our community. We say we are going to redo infrastruture but I look at Magnolia Park and College Park and L Street is still flooding. I see us say we will handle terrible properties, rebuild them, and it never gets done. You need someone who an take the littany of plans and put them to work for our community. I was born and raised in Brunswick and graduated from Brunswick High School in 2004. I went on to Valdosta State where I studied poltiical science. After graduating, I went to Cleveland, Ohio, to work inside of Bethany Christian Church and to work on several campaigns, fighting to protect good-paying jobs for our teachers, police officers, and fire fighters. After we won that campaign, I moved back down south to work for a US Senator, a Secretary of State, and am now the Vice President of Government Affairs for the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. I have worked on several economic development deals throughout the state, but the education, rendering, and growing that is most important to me is the education I got here in Brunswick; marching with my father and learning under people like E.C. Tillman, Mr. McNealy, these names undergirded and helped me grow. They prepared me to lead in this moment. When I talk about my education and vocation, the greatest work I was able to do was the work I was able to do here to bring money to our eduation system and to help grow a better Brunswick for everyone. We have a lot of people in this race that may act like they were ordained by a lot of people in the community or touched by a certain person in the community to run, and they say that they are absolutely not a politician. I have been working every day of my life to prepare for this moment, to navigate the world of politics. I have worked on state and local campaigns, helping my mother (Regina Johnson), Markisha Butler, Cedric King, but also working on behalf of people like leader Beverly, Calvin Smiley, to really bring connection to all of our community. That's not something bad, that is preparig for this monent, so when you get in front of your people you know you can build out a plan that you know you can get to and get done. Working inside poltiics is not a dirty word and Brunswick needs to get to they point where they want a leader to step into those roles and deliver something for our city. Is this my first time running? It absolutely is. I have been preparing to absolutely step into this moment and what I can say is that over the past 8-12 years, we have had several people come before you and ask for your vote over and over again and even when they get your vote, what results have you truly seen? We have seen wasteful government spending under this type of leadership. Roads not get done. We've seen our schools need and need with no answer from government. We need to be prepared to step in and fight for our people.A lot of people will talk about what needs to be done in this community. What you should be asking as a voter is WHO is telling you in a detailed why how we are going to get to do that. I agree with a lot of the candidates about what issues we have, but how do we do that? It's not just a SPLOST discussion, but it's a LOST discussion. We were the first to discuss the uneven 80/20 split. That split has to be changed. If we want real economic development and real infrastructure change you need a leader strong enough to have council with the county about a more equitable split. There is more than 20% of the economic drivers in the city. The city streets are used more than 20% by large trucks coming through the port. We know the city offers way more than 20% for an equitable split. No one else here has laid out a plan for education. What we know is the city has $9 million for education funds, the school system has received over 20, and the county has received over 15. What we need to do is come together and collectively ensure that each student has a tablet and access to the internet. Not just because the pandemic raised that issue but because virtual learning and learning on a tablet is the way of the future. We have already worked with local leaders to ensure milion-dollar funding that at our technical school we raise new workers to go into jobs at Gulfstream earning $30/hour. One thing I want our citizens to know about our campaign is that we hve put in the hard work to get to this moment. We are prepared to lead this city. Unfortunately, in a public forum, Mr. Williams just gave away our negotiating platform, saying 'if we go 35%, we'll take 30%' and I'm sure the commissioners are listening right now. Having prepared leadership that can step into these moments and know how to handle them, and know not just how to give you a plan, not just sell you on some dream, but sit down with you and together, crack that plan. I don't know if 35% is enough, because I haven't talked to the people about it yet. When we talk about the SPLOST, and the list that got out to the people late, we're going to have a more responsive government to you. So things happen together, with us, not just to us. That's the kind of preparation this campaign has gone into, that's the type of work this campaign has done to ensure that when we talk about safety, we can work with Chief Jones to figure out new and intriate ways to pay our officers more, so we can keep them here. So they know Chief Jones and others are doing an amazing job, that crime is down over 20%. We can't just throw words out there and not give people the honesty and realness of a plan. That's what we've worked to prepare, and I'm hoping on Novemebr 2nd you step into the voting booth and give us the chance to work with you.I have a great relationship with Buddy Carter, and while it's great to have a relationship with our congressmen, we also have to do the work to have relationships in all arenas. I can happily say I'm close friends with Senator Warnock and his chief of staff, Laurence Bell, and I was happy to work alongside them to get AARPA funds, and there was a lot of pushback to that bill. We were happy to get those AARPA funds, that $9 million, that $27 million to the school board, $17 million to the county, is a direct result of what I and this community did with Senator Warnock. I am thankful to have that friendship and that ability to advocate for us on that level. While we can advocate for those national dollars, we also want to have deep relationships on the state level. I am close with leaders on both sides of the aisle and have worked intricately with them to bring funding to our community, not only in eduaction but in tourism. I have those elationships and have already put them to work. LOST is the Local Options Sales Tax (not SPLOST) and only comes around every 10 years, with the census. It's imperative that we send the right leader in there to ensure we come out with a larger split of the LOST dollars. Brunswick is producing more, driving more, more economic development, but we need that split for long term development and thinking how we bring recreation back to it's highest point. Back to when I was playing for the Brunswick Royals or football against the Boys and Girls Club. To get it back to that level, we need to give people like Ms. Booker and TJ Andrews the correct backing they need to rebuld it. In that LOST discussion, we need to come to that negotting table strong and we have a stronger percentage that will last 10 years as opposed to the 2 year flip-flop we see in SPLOST discussions. With that, we can rebuild recreation but we also have to rebuild infrastructure, focus on the roads, on strengthening the communities that have been crying for real development and real change for so long. For LOST discussions we have to send in a leader who is strong, knows what he's doing, and is prepared for this moment. I come to you today from Howard Coffin Park, a place that raised me, a place I learned to swim and play baseball. Brunswick grew me into the man I am today. When you have a place that has poured into you so much, the important thing is to learn skills away and to come back and pour into that same community. That is why I'm running for mayor. I see unique potential in the areas around us and in the people. When that potential comes together, I believe we will see the growth we rightfully deserve. I don't know a lot about the other candidates but whether I'm on stage or knocking doors, I'm not running against anyone else on this stage. I'm running for the people of Brunswick. I can run down my resume and tell you all the amazing things I've done. I can tell you about how I ws advocating in Atlanta for citiens arrest and hate crimes to be done. What's most important is the vision people have for their own community and who has the ability to move those promises into proven results. I think I have a track record that I go to bat for people. The problem we have is that despite growth, we have growing pains. How do we bridge a digital divide exacerbated by covid-19? How do we put a tablet into the hands of every student? And ensure they have a hotspot when they go home. How are we training for the jobs of tomorrow and creating economic development to pull those jobs to Brunswick? All of these are big problems and no one single group has the answer to all of those. We need to come together with one voice to nswer the problems we face. I have spent my entire career building consensus and communities around tough issues.Our team has been working with the community to find out how to be accessibly and accuntable. 1. a reworked website that allows us to communicate with our constituents in a streamlined way. 2. having open communication as the mayor, transparent office hours, not hiding behind a desk. Accessibly should be the baseline. It's a shame that we are asking for the baseline. I will reach for being a responsive government. As a city, we will build a government that is accessible, accountable, but also responosive. We can all mention goals but I want to talk about having a government tht is able to shift and hange. It's about moving with our community and growing together. We have a 3-tier platform we have built over years of conversations with people, being born and bred in this community. By asking people directly what's important to them. 1. Eduation: we have to bridge that digital divide. covid-19 showed us the investment we have to make to step into the future of education. Children should not have lax eduation due to not having access to internet at home. We have to take part in providing it. We have to have clear and transparent workforce development pipelines that build the jobs of tomorrow. For exampe, Gulfstream is opening up more jobs in Brunswick. They are having trouble filling those jobs because we do not have people with the proper training. So we're working with the leaders at the technical college to get funding for training for those jobs. 2. Economic development: we have a blight problem. We need to make it hard and expensive to own bad properties. You do that with good code enforcement and a tighter code. Move out the people who are just using our community and bring in people who want to build our community. 3. Accountable government: the city does not have a citizens review board. Every major municipality who has a strong relationship with their public servants has a way be held accountable to the taxpayers. A citizens review board can rebuild trust with taxpayers. We want to be nimble to change and work as we grow together. From the people I know, Brunswick has one of the omst excitign labor forces throughout the state. Driven and with the most potential. A lot of the jobs we have here are in the service industry, which is great but can stagnate and does not rise with the price of living. We need to push to raise that wage but also bring new jobs in for this wonderful workforce we have. We need to address those who hold blighted homes and make it difficult for them. Once we get those properties back on the rolls we focus on home ownership. Get people out of renting and into owning. We can look at grats for local first time homeowners. Brunswick is about 33-34% homeownership and the national average is 64%. A gap of nearly double rates is not the foundation we want. We need to have comversations with new developers and ask what it mean to provide affordable housing. Push for affordable housing. We will build in grants and jobs of tomorrow to get people out of renting and into owning in our community.The community spoke and that's what our democracy is about. What bothered me most about the SPLOST was the split of the funds between county and city. It's about 80/20 split right now, with the infrastructure the city holds, we need a stronger split. The vote wasn't necessarily against SPLOST as a whole, but against this particular SPLOST. We have a high tourism rate so those are smart dollars. How was the SPLOST list and how was it communicated? When we build a SPLOST list, it will not be built by politicians in back rooms, it will be built by the people. We have to communicate and make sure people trust us and we have to make them a part of building that list.
Vincent WilliamsI decided to run for mayor several years ago when I was elected as commissoner. There are a lot of projects Mr. Johnson just spoke about that have been completed. Our plans are to move forard to other parts of the city that have drainage issues. I am the only candidate in this race that knows what is going on in city hall and what's going on with downtown. We want to continue moving things forward in the direction the city is going.1984 graduate of Brunswick High School, went to college on football scholarship. Received a doctorate in religious studies. I currently serve in the funeral service at Martins Funeral Home. I have my own produce business where my wife and I sell fruits and vegetables to the community. I am a pastor and was on the Planning and Zoning Board of Brunswick before becoming a city commissioner. Currently I serve as city commissioner for the City of Brunswick. I have been involved with city government for several years, on the Board of Zoning and Appeals, and on other boards in the city. I serve on the finance committee, which did not exist before I was elected. We now have a financial surplus in the City of Brunswick. I also ran for state senate in the past against Mr. Chapman, our current tax commissioner. I ran against Al Williams for state representative as well.The loss negotiations. Right now, the City of Brunswick receives 27% from the county. At one point, we received 30%. My goal is to go in and negotiate 35% and if we get 30% we'll be good. Without that loss negotiation, we will never be able to fund recreation. We also need to look at housing. The city of Brunswick is full of vacant and abandoned properties. Through the Housing Authority and Land Bank we need to go forward and build and reconstruct affordable housing in the city. When the pandemic hit, people stopped working. We have jobs, we need to prepare people for those jobs. We need to get recreation back. For the last 8 years, we have been working hard. We will have an open door policy so any citizen can come in and talk and we can find a solution to their problem. I am a servant. I want to continue to serve the citizens of Brunswick, to make sure we have a quaity way of life. Even if I'm not mayor, I'll still be part of government, working to better this city. In the past 8 years, this is what we'e done. We've built relationships at the local, state, and federal levels. Every time I am in a meeting with a federal official, I am crying that Brunswick needs your help and dollars. We are on the coast. Our port is the quickest to the Atlantic Ocean. A lot of goods could be brought into this area if we make sure our federal officials don't forget we have a port. We have to make sure they know and we voice it clearly. We need those federal dollars here.10 years ago, when the LOST was negotiated, we were sitting at 65/35. The city was getting 35%, that was before we gave recreation, animal control, and traffic to the county. I know the county commissioners and I know where they're sitting. If we take recreation back, they know we need more funding. The finance committee has been looking at this. We are looking into bringing recreation back properly. If we don't, our citizens won't get what they deserve. With the LOST negotiations, we need to address flooding. There's a lot on te table we need to make sure we get done properly. Mr. Williams did not respond to ABG's invitation to the forum.
Ann SeniorI decided to run for mayor mainly because of our infrastructure and our children. We have flooding in our city, we have roads that need to be reapired, but our children are the most important. Our kids needs jobs in the city, our kids need outlets in the city, to go and to be somebody and to have some selfworth. I see kids every day working in the school system that just don't feel like they're a part of this city. We need to clean up our city and give them jobs. We need small businesses in the city where they can learn a skill. Other than repairs and cleanups, our police dept needs help, our fire dept needs new equipment, our streets are in terrible disrray and I really worry about our children. I went to Hardaway High School and graduated in 1973, in Columbus Georgia. I moved to Brunswick and my husband and I opened a business here that we ran for 20 years. I went to Coastal College for a short time but was more involved in Girl Scouts, 4H, and the school system since 1984, in the guidance department. I am a licensed pilot for single and multi-engine airplanes. I have never run for political office, I have always been that person in the background who has done the work. I think that being a politician is not a title I want, I want to work hard for everyone who live in the city and to show them that I'm not afraid to show up for them. The major issues I see are infrastructure. We have roads and infrastructure that are horrible. When we evacuate for hurricanes we can't get back into the city or get info to get back into homes. The second thing is programs in our govt (police, fire,,etc) to incorporate jobs for our children so they can get experience under their belt. If they choose to go to college or don't go to college, they have experience. Another thing is we have so many condemned houses. I want to see a plan to get rid of those houses and make our city look beautful again. We have two sections where nice things have come to Brunswick and the streets have trash and there's dilapidated buildings. This all needs to change. The last 10 years I've been in the city, none of that has changed. The city manager and commissioners try their best but we need to come together and make Brunswick beautiful. I want people to know I'm a mother and grandmother. I have worked behind the scenes in many organizations in town. I am that person you can come to and talk to and I won't sweep it under the rug, I won't roll my eyes, I won't say "oh yes yes, we'll take care of that" and you won't hear fro me again. You will hear from me again, even if I can't fix the problem. I am here to stand up for the people, to fight for them. To make sure what our city needs, gets done.As mayor, going to the city manager and commissioners, working together to have those monies come to us. Relationships are great but it's a business. They should be able to give us what we need, we should have grant writers and have those people find this money. There is money out there we could use for infrastructure, for drainage, we haven't yet found that money and gotten it into our city. Grant writers need to write grants to get these monies, that's the best plan.Years ago, animal control with the city and county was a big fight. The city had 2 animal control officers and worked out of Glynn County. When they county decided they didn't want any more animals, no more animals could be picked up. That's been an on-going battle. My children grew up in the rec department at Howard Coffin Park, they loved it. Now, it's like a desert, there's no children playing there and it's horrible. When it comes to traffic, with the county taking over, I'm not really sure why we would do that. That makes no sense to me, we need to take care of our police department and let them handle our city. Animal control is a major thing, we talked about building our own animal contol in the city and it's something else.
Ivan FigueroaI have served as a city council member in another part of Georgia for several years. I wanted to offer my service to the community. I'm retired and have the time necessary to be in the community and do the job as mayor. I am focused on the City of Brunswick.I have a B.S. in Transportation Management from Elmhurst College. My work experience includes: I ran a distribution center for Best Buy, set up a supply chain network for Coca-Cola when I worked for UPS logistics, the last 10 years I worked for a company that did auditing and admin services for GA cities and counties, and I retired last year. In 2006 I helped establish one of the new cities in Georgia. There, I was elected and served on city council from 2006-2014 in the Atlanta area. I have served as Chairman of the Johns Creek Public Safety Foundation, Board of Directors for the Isaacson Family YMCA, I was appointed by Governor Deal to the Georgia Workforce Development State Board of Directors (where I served from 2011 to 2018). In our community, I have participated in the Brunswick Job Corp for the past several years where the work to empower our local economy. 1) fully-staffed police dept. 25 open officer positions today. Find, hire, and train officers. Safety of citizens is paramount. 2) abandoned homes. 20% of homes are abandoned and this issue needs to be addressed. Roads. Homelessness. Economic development. I believe government should be completely transparent. As a resident, taxpayer, you should know the city's priorities and goals. You should have a voice and the government should be accountable to the people. You need someone who is fighting for transparency, who you can talk to. Transparency is incredibly important to me and i think it's important to the taxpayers. I am familiar with our current representive, Buddy Carter. I have not met our 2 senators. We see federal dollars coming to Georgia and the coast, but we don't see them coming to Georgia. I will be knocking those doors and asking for federal funding for our infrastcuture, for flooding, for a variety of different things. Local Options Sales Tax. People are mostly confused with different terms. The LOST is a 1% sales tax negotiated every 10 years. 10 years ago the city negotiated and took a smaller percentage to turn over traffic, recreation, and animal control. All of those are expensive propositions so the city took a smaller percentage and gave the expenses to the county. The mayor will help negotiate that, the city manager will play a part, and so will the commissioners. Once those negotiations are finalized, after we negotiate for the largest number we can get, beyond that, it's the details. What does it mean if the city continues to give them recreation. What are the conditions? The accountability? If we don't hold our county to the terms and conditions. If I'm elected mayor, I'm all about accountability, if they aren't living up to the terms of the agreement. Mr. Figueroa declined ABG's invitation to participate in a mayoral forum.
Helen LadsonI decided to run because I live in a community that is spoken of in a negative light but has been neglected for many years. I drink the same water and breathe the same air as everyone else in this city and those things need to be cleaned up and eradicated. I live in the city where we have had 6 SPLOSTS and not many of the funded projects have been taken care of. 80% of our SPLOST goes to the county, I think it needs to be evenly districbuted among the people. Our children cannot pay attention in school because their needs are not met. Our city celebrates children but provides little opportunity for them or their parents to dvance. I run because I demand and desire change. I am the city. I am you.I graduated from GA in 2004. I attended the same school at Fanny Lou Hamer, Maya Angelou, Geneva Lyde, and Isadora Hunter attended: the school of life. It taught them to put their feet to the ground and work in their communities. We speak of E.C. Tillman but we would not have him without Geneva Lyde. I am certified by the American Housing and Lodging Institute in customer service.I served as school council chair for Burroughs Molette from 2014 to 2018. I have also served on the board at Historic Harrington School, the St. Simons African American Heritage Coalition, for 4 years. I have helped to develop programs that establish economics for our students, fine arts, and love of literacy in our community. This is my first time running for political office. I have applied to be appointed to the Tree Board and the Brunswick Housing Authority Commission, and been denied, so that is why I am running for mayor.I think the top 3 chlenged e face in the city is 1) the city is bel0w sea level and affected by climate change, air and water quality 2) develop transportation so people can get to and from their jobs or anywhere, sidewalks to walk and bike on 3) economic equity: SPLOST, bad conditions in inner city, far cry from our downtown area where money has been poured into. The downtown is our heart but the streets are our veins. I am you. I have tutored the children in my community for free. I have volunteered my services and time to develop programs to make our city better. I have given tours of the city, learned the history on my own because I love this city. I am you. I am affected most by the things we are speaking of today. I am a direct product of the Glynn County education system. I have been directly affected by the economic disparities in our community. I am here to be held accountable, to represent the city I am here to serve. I am a single mother, I am a worker, i am the employed. I am you. Building a relationship with our city manager and being educated on the grants provided for our local and state government would be the best way to make sure we procure all the money due us. We also need to make sure our money does not get tied up in administration fees, because there have been many federal dollars for covid-19 and climate change that have not been properly distributed. Working with the city manager, people, and community outreach located in downtown, knowing we can reach out to people like Roxanne George at the Community Outreach office and Travis Steagle (economic development), by forming relationships in those places, where they know when money is coming in, and ensuring we have a grant writer that ensures we get the money due us, we an start locally before branching out into the state. Those people can reach out to the federal government and make sure allocations are given equally. Since the city brings in most of the revenue in the community, the distribution is uneven given out to the city. We should renegotiate, but we do need to speak to our constituents to see how we should negotiate. Recreation needs to be in the city. I am a product of city recreation, Itook ballet and tap at Howard Coffin Park. I played baseball with the Brunswick PIrates as well, Those activities gave me experience, that if I wanted to be a Black ballet dancer or Black tap dancer, I could. We need that back in our city, not only for basketball and baseball but for fine arts and beauty. Transporation should always have been in the city and so should animal control. We are the most affected by those issues.
Travis RiddleIn these times that we are living in we don't need a poltician, we need a proven leader. I grew up in Brunswick and opened businesses in Brunswick as well as in other places in Georgia. I see so many small businesses struggling without receiving help. We used to have over 300 recreation kids and now we have 18. My focus is building up Brunswick from the ground up, to make sure every area and community have equal opportunities. A lot of the areas I grew up in have been overlooked; around election time everyone talks about it. after they're elected, no one goes back and checks on it. I want to make sure Brunswick is strengthened from the ground up. I graduated from Glynn Academy in 1997, went to Middle Georgia in Cochrin on a football scholarship, and I finished up here at Coastal. I have had my own business since I was 18 years old. I have been renting houses since I was 20. I took many eyesore properties and made them eye candy in the urban areas and put them up for rent for Section 8 and independent renters. I opened up Country Boy Cooking over a year ago, employed over 50 people, and fed over 1000 people, giving a lot of money back to the community. This is my first time running for politiical office. Brunswick does not need a poltiician, but a strong leader. I have 30 years of leadership in my community.My biggest concern is the safety of the citizens and property of Brunswick. I want to focus on kids and bring recreation back to Brunswick. We need to clean up blight properties. As mayor, my vote will never be bought or sold. It will be fair. I will never ask for nothing extra or under the table. I will be on your side. If i ever tell you no, I will tell you how to make that no a yes.I don't know too many people in the federal office. I am a citizen that has been grinding in Brunswick forever, If there is something owed to us, I'm going to get it and bring it back to us. I think I heard Mr. Williams say 'we gave away the rec.' Why did we give up the rec in the first place? That bothers me. It bothers me that someone can switch and swap in a position. They don't stand for anything. I agree with Mr. Cosby when he says we can't go to the LOST table with a particular number, we need to go in and get as much as we can get. Also we need to reach out to the city manager to see where we are slacking like in code enforcement, cleaning up an area or fining them to get funding we need. When we go to the LOST table we need to negotiate for as much as we can get because the kids are the most important.I am from Brunswick, left 18 years ago and went to Atlanta. I came back home and am running for mayor. We need to move forward and become a better city together.This is home for me. I left to better myself and came home. There's not too many peple in the city that don't know me. When the city needed leadership, I came home to lead my city. Brunswick is one of the best cities in Georgia but we've been divided for so long. With unity, we can push forward and become stronger. Sine I've been home, I've demonstrated how to bring people together. I make sure everyone eats, equal opportunities for everybody. I cam from here and I know the struggles here. I made it out of here. Not too many come back to help others. One city, one race, one justice. When the situation with Ahmaud happened, I was on the frontline. When the situation with Kendra (Bacon) happened, which was Black on Black crime, I was on the frontline. All lives matter. When a life is gone, it's gone. We all have family we want to go home to. I don't hide from the issue, I address it. I've done various community events for all races and creeds. We need to support our city, community, and neighborhoods. Once I decided to run for mayor, I made moves to make myself more available. I am a small business owner and I make my own schedule. I am staffed up so I can be flexible and there when someone needs me. I think we need to bring recreation back to the city. The inner-city kids need somewhere local close by to make it to. I also want to make a stronger community for local and smll businesses. I want to go through and remove some of the abandoned and run down houses. Work over welfare. We need to bring more jobs and small businesses into Brunswick. The labor pool in Brunswick isn't one of the best labor pools. We need to take rundown houses and help people become first time homeowners. We are overlooking those who really need help and giving it to those who don't. Help those who are actually trying. Local business owners are more likely to give people a shot.I voted no on SPLOST. They are not sending improvements to neighborhoods that need it. People saw no improvement so did not want their taxes to go up.
John Perry III have been a resident of Brunswick for 14 years. I am a pastor of Missionary Baptist Church, and President of NAACP for 2 terms. Now I am a andidate for mayor. We are in an exciting and critical time. This is an opportunity to elect leadership that understands what it means to fight on behalf of people. If elected, I look forward to working with you to fight for changes needed in our community. What makes me the needed candidate? Right now, we are in desperate need of proven leadership, someone who has proven they a heart for the people, that they will fight for our people. I have an uncompromising heart for our people. Over the last decade, I have shown that over and over again. In a decade of service, I have proven my heart for this community. I have shown I'm willing to have the hard conversations so we can move forward in a way that benefits us as a community. Over a decade, I have proven that I am someone who has a heart for the people and who is willing to fight for the people, towards equality and justice for all people. I have a 10 year track record that my heart is for equality and to fight injustice. For the last decade, I have been accessible to my community. Our current administration has put together NPAs, and as mayor you need to be willing to show up to NPA meetings so citizens have opportunity to share with you. 1. We need to address housing. Address and improve the housing stock in the city. There is not enough available housing for working families and for middle class families. We need to aggressively address housing. 2. Social support structures: we have a large amount of single parent homes. If we are going to survive and thrive, we need to return to community with a social support structure in place providing structured leanring. Parks and recreation as a social hub for youth and educational opportunities. Churches with programs Monday-Saturday because it gives easy access to communities. 3. economic development: small businesses within our community that are a byproduct of residents within our community, not without our community. To build up financail stabiliy, we need to empower the residents to start small businesses and make sure they get city contracts.We have the resources of our community to strategize and come up with a plan. I have noticed we have a housing problem in terms of available housing. We need to address the poor housing stock in the city. I voted yes for SPLOST because I have a noncompromising comitment to the citizens in our community. Monies are dispersed based on population. The city represents less than 20% of the populaiton of the county. Some people are inviting an emotional fight that since we are one county, this district has more need than others in the county. That's not how SPLOST is broken down. We had the ability to leverage $13.5 million dollars for our community. We have citizens in the city that do not have flood insurance if a hurricane comes through. The city did a great job creating a list so funds would go to areas of legitimate need. To balance the struggling financial state of our city. There should have been a 2-sided approach to this to leverage money for things we desparately need and discuss how to approach creating another system to disperse those funds.