Will Blacks Vote On November 5th?

This is not the time for Blacks to sit at home. It is time for us to go out in large numbers and vote. We must VOTE YES on both of the issues related to the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST). A copy of the Sample Ballot is on page nine of this newspaper.

Approving the continuation of SPLOST will provide funding for a new civic center; improving drainage, roads and sidewalks; helping create an environment that will attract more jobs; building more affordable housing; as well as funding for the Civil Rights Museum, neighborhood centers and several other important improvements in Savannah and Chatham County.

Chatham County Commission Chairman Al Scott and Savannah Mayor Edna Jackson have repeatedly said that continuing the SPLOST is the best method to generate the funds to keep our area of Georgia moving forward. We know that they are correct. This is one way to help avoid major property tax increases. Our elected officials have held numerous community meetings to help citizens understand the process and allow them to participate in the selection of projects to be funded. The leaders of our neighborhood associations and community organizations, including our ministers, support SPLOST, especially since it is not a new tax. Additionally, thirty-eight percent (38%) of the funds will come from tourists who do not live in our area.

The Savannah Tea Party believes that Blacks will not bother to go to the polls to vote in the November 5 Special Election. In fact, they are counting on us not understanding the importance of voting for SPLOST. Many political observers are predicting that we will not vote. They believe that Black voters do not understand the importance of SPLOST or the improvements to our neighborhoods if we vote YES and SPLOST passes. They also say that we will not vote on November 5 because Black community leaders, ministers and elected officials are not doing enough to encourage us to vote. Of course, there is the old adage that many individuals do not believe that they should bother to go to the polls because one vote is just not that important, even though there are numerous examples of very close elections where every vote was crucial.

The reason given for predicting that Blacks will not vote in the November 5 Special Election that gives us at The Savannah Tribune the most concern is the idea that Blacks in Savannah have become complacent and are satisfied with our situation, even though far too many of our neighborhoods flood each time there is a heavy rain and the unemployment rate for Blacks in Savannah is about twice the rate for the general population. We have too many problems to be content. We cannot afford voter apathy!

We hope that you will VOTE YES FOR SPLOST by participating in Early Voting through November 1, casting an Absentee Ballot, or by going to the polls on Tuesday, November 5, and making sure that your family members, friends and associates VOTE YES TO HELP KEEP SAVANNAH AND CHATHAM COUNTY MOVING FORWARD.

By going to the polls, you can help us say “YES” to the question, “Will Blacks in Savannah vote on November 5?”

We should vote YES to continue SPLOST. Here are five of the many reasons.

• The Tea Party is against SPLOST. We should vote YES. • Since 1985, SPLOST has helped keep property taxes down. Using sales tax dollars for capital projects is great for property owners. SPLOST is not a new tax. • Thirty-eight percent of the SPLOST revenue comes from visitors. Savannah is a tourist heaven and our visitors are helping pay for the projects that residents enjoy year-round. • Mayor Edna Jackson, Chairman Al Scott and our other elected leaders need the SPLOST revenue to keep the City and County moving forward. They have done an outstanding job and we trust them. • We need the projects that will be paid for by

SPLOST. They are well conceived and citizens were offered an opportunity to have input.

Vote YES on November 5

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