Jewell Walker-Harps, president of the local National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said the participants who have committed to participate include Spalding County Sheriff Wendell Beam, Griffin Police Chief Frank Strickland, Griffin City Manager Kenny Smith, Spalding County Manager William Wilson, Spalding County Parks and Recreation Director Louis Greene, Spalding County Tax Commissioner Sylvia Hollums and Robert Dull, CEO of the Griffin Housing Authority.
Walker-Harps said the purpose of the public meeting is to give citizens an opportunity to interact with elected officials and department heads. She explained, “citizens' comments are so restricted at board meetings that residents receive no public response and limited time allowed to issues presented.”
Walker-Harps said the meeting “is a time of accountability or a report card for public servants and a reminder that the power belongs to the people.”
Some of the issues to be addressed, she said, include the policies and procedures for the new senior citizens facility, demolition and restoration of public housing, discrimination in law enforcement, hiring and promotion inequities, new tax laws and many other concerns.
Another issue for Saturday’s meeting is the Educational Prosperity Initiative, Walker-Harps said, “so the community understands what that is about.”
Walker-Harps said the initiative is “the impetus for bringing positive change to the Fairmont Community and people are failing to understand that. We believe that through the collaboration with major partners who are committed to help to work with residents, grassroots organizations and community leaders it will be possible to change the attitudes, thought and values of the people in the area.”
She said “it is the belief of the Spalding County Collaborative that ownership or an investment by the people living in the area will help change the culture of deprived neighborhoods throughout the community,” which she said, “has not happened before.”
Walker-Harps said “the community will be bringing to the table a spirit of cooperation with the establishment to bring improvements to the community.”
All questions for law enforcement must be submitted prior to March 2, said Walker-Harps.
The meeting begins at 9 a.m., and will be held at the Eighth Street Baptist Church, 408 Palace St., Griffin. Refreshments will be provided by the ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
She asked that citizens please call in their concerns to the NAACP at 770-228-3990 prior to the meeting “so that research and the proper documentation will be available to answer their concerns.”