I say, You Either Wait For Things to Happen or You Go Out and Make Things Happen
In thirteen weeks, May 17th, the primary will be held to elect four candidates for city council in Rocky Mount, NC. The voters hold all the cards and in one accord can take back the city from scandal, malfeasance, and an agenda that calculates personal gain before constituent needs.
The outcome of the election will effect everyone regardless of where you live in the Rocky Mount area. There is no viable excuse for turning up your nose and saying, “I can’t let my life be disturbed by politics.” Once it was, “I can’t get involved because of my business, or fear of being called a racist” We aren’t afraid anymore because the worst thing has happened to the few who have their own agenda; they have been named. We no longer care to care about their brovado and accusations of racism when questioned or criticized. We’re done with the same councilmen holding the city hostage with their bullying tactics. The price the taxpayers are paying is visible in at-risk and unsafe neighborhoods, deteriorating housing, gangs, drug dealers who must be paying someone because they return to the neighborhoods as if through a swinging door. (I think of the little black woman I talked to in the street, “Honey, nothin’ gonna change until you get the crime out of here.”)
We have Mr. Blackwell, serving over 20 years in #2, not without accomplishment, but everything that didn’t happen and should have happened in his twenty-plus years is someone else’s fault. “White leadership has limited progress” and he is off and running with the same old language trying to deflect any responsibility for the state of things.
We have Mr.Joyner who hasn’t held the #3 council seat for long but has been a disappointed by going along to get along. The straw that determined ‘that’s enough’ was the latest mistake of tearing down a savable home so the city can build a new one that he promiced to a lady and her child. We already know that Mr. Williams is more of the same. Crystal Wimes-Anderson who is a candidate for #3, is a breath of fresh air with her interest in housing, education, and safety. She is raising children, volunteering, all while pursuing her professional career in the health field. She is for real and can win this seat with support that believes it is time for change.
Mrs. Miller and Mr. Bullock are not running for reelection. A well known citizen, Pete Armstrong, who knows the city and has worked in the Recreation and Park area will be a strong councilman with his own moral compass and common sense. He is running in #7, and is hardly a man to be intimidated. Tom Harris is running in #6. I have been listening to him speak at the Council Meetings. A business man, a numbers man, a thoughtful man who will help bring a new culture to the Council meetings.
Make a contribution, use your social media, invite a few people in to meet the candidate, work at the polls or ??? The change we desire is in our hands. The attitude of waiting to see what happens has only empowered those who have learned to rig the system. Go out and do something, which will directly effect Rocky Mount. Four new members on the Council will bring strong change. We don’t care if the Council is black or white or poke a dot, but we care about honor, trust, and a moral compass that will help reshape the culture on the Council. Don’t underestimate how determination can direct Rocky Mount’s feet to the sunny side of the street. For me, Willie Nelson’s rendition is the theme song for the revitalization of Rocky Mount. We can leave our worries on the doorstep if these four seats are held by people with a vision and committed to the community first and foremost. Click: https://youtu.be/m6DJdiPQmGc
Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin grew up in Evanston, IL. and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She is an author of two novels: The Greening of a Heart and Facing East. She lives, writes and gardens in NC. Visit her: Stephenyhoughtlin.com
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