The Savannah Tribune has a proud and glorious heritage. Our history dates back to 1875, when three African-American civic and business leaders recognized the need for a newspaper dedicated to serving the African American community. We have always been in the forefront of positive efforts to move our people in a direction that benefits us, as well as the overall community. Therefore, this edition of The Savannah Tribune is a crucial part of our efforts to fulfill our mission. We want to encourage our readers to participate in EARLY VOTING through May 17, 2014, or to go to the polls and VOTE on May 20th.
There are several key decisions that voters must make on May 20th. For example, we must decide who will be the Democratic and Republican Nominees to compete on November for the opportunity to replace retiring U.S Senator Saxby Chambliss. We must select the candidates to compete for the 1st Congressional District Seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. And, there are several other candidates and issues to consider, including the vote to remove the Inventory Tax that is making it difficult to attract manufacturing jobs to Chatham County.
However, the race that has captured most of our attention is the battle for President of the Savannah-Chatham County School Board. This race has become far more contentious than we originally expected because of one candidate’s views about the leaders of African American and women-owned businesses. Candidate David Simons wrote a letter to the white school board members calling these business leaders “unscrupulous” because they have been aggressive in their efforts to participate in the construction of our schools. We note that he was bold enough to put his attitude about African American and women-owned businesses in writing and that he felt comfortable in sending his letter to the white members of the School Board only. Just think what could happen to race relations in our community if this individual becomes an elected official, and particularly the President of a school system where most of the students are African Americans. This will happen if we do not vote!
We strongly urge our readers to exercise their rights and fulfill their civic responsibility. By voting, we honor the sacrifices and struggles encountered by our ancestors, and the many soldiers of the Civil Rights Movement who made it possible for all of us to cast a ballot and let our voices be heard. Additionally, this is the only way to make sure that those who want to stop our progress will not be able to hold positions of influence over us or our children.