On November 3, 2015, we have the opportunity to reelect Mayor Edna Jackson, the first African American female to serve as Mayor of Savannah. Also, we can reelect most of the other members of the City Council. Since Alderman Tom Bordeaux is the only member of Council who is not seeking re-election, we hope that the voters in Savannah will elect retired banker Brian Foster to replace Bordeaux. Additionally, we support the re-election of all of the other members of the Savannah City Council. Thus, a complete list of the candidates we believe are best for all of the people of Savannah are: Mayor Edna Jackson; Alderman At-Large Post 1 Carol Bell; Alderman At- Large Post 2 Brian Foster; District 1 Alderman Van R. Johnson; District 2 Alderman Mary Osborne; District 3 Alderman John Hall; District 4 Alderman Mary Ellen Sprague; District 5 Alderman Estella Edwards Shabazz; and District 6 Alderman Tony Thomas. We are supporting Mayor Jackson, and all of the Council Members who are seeking re-election because, as a group, they have done an outstanding job. A few of the accomplishment of Mayor Jackson and the Council that voters should consider are listed below.
1. Removed corruption from the police department, hired an experienced new chief, and adopted a plan to reduce crime in our neighborhoods. 2. Prudently managed the City’s finances and achieved an upgrade of the City’s bond rating to AA+, the strongest rating for Savannah in three decades. 3. Helped maintain a visitor friendly environment that brought more that 13 million visitors to Savannah last year, the most ever. 4. Endorsed a strategy to help make Savannah a production center for movies and other forms of entertainment. 5. Helped move Savannah from 145th to 78th on the list of the best places for business and careers. 6. Supported SPLOST and ESPLOST that helped to pay for many community improvement projects as well as new and improved schools.
Additionally, Mayor Jackson and Mayor Pro Tem Van Johnson have proven that they are “problem solvers.” Just think what could have happened immediately after the police shooting of Charles Smith in West Savannah on September 19, 2014 if it were not for Mayor Jackson and Mayor Pro Tem Van Johnson and the relationships of mutual trust they had developed with the residents and leaders in that community.
This year, those who want to roll back the gains that African Americans have made in Savannah are willing to support candidates who they know are not prepared to represent all of the people in our community. In fact, Mayor Jackson is the only candidate for Mayor who is reaching out to the entire community.
Two of the candidates for Mayor have made no efforts to attract support in the African-American community. They have dismissed African Americans totally and aggressively support policies that are detrimental to us and our community. They believe that African-Americans in Savannah do not understand the importance of this election. They have analyzed our history of not voting and concluded that we will not vote, even in this important election.
Obviously, this poor voting record is a source of grave concern and frustration to us at The Savannah Tribune. Voting is a responsibility of citizenship. It is our duty to help select our leaders and let our voices be heard on issues facing our community and nation.
Every vote is important. Please vote on November 3rd and also make sure that your family members, friends, and associates vote. We owe it to our forefathers, ourselves, and those who will follow after us.