“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” John Quincy Adams
Young, smart, articulate, confident, engaging, well-educated, each with personal inspiring stores to tell, Kevin Jones and Tarrick Pittman were big winners on Tuesday. When you add to that mix the hearts they have to raise people up, especially our youth, you recognize how fortunate Rocky Mount is to have their commitment to the future.
They both have to be exhausted and disappointed. They worked tirelessly to meet and greet, shake hands, smile, tap dance, and hopefully, find laughter along the way. I know they don’t regret a moment of this effort. They emerged clear winners! What was impressive to me was the plans they clearly put forth to make Ward 1 a better place and all of Rocky Mount. At the ECC Forum, they stood, they spoke, they were prepared, they had at it, and walked away with the respect and admiration of the audience. We can build a future on the likes of these two gentlemen. Integrity intact, having conducted themselves admirably, we congratulate them both on inspiring others to believe that they too can make a difference. I click my heels and salute you.
“Success is not how high you have climbed, but how you make a positive difference to the world.”
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” ~ John Quincy Adams.
Do you remember the Hallmark card advertising line, They cared enough to send their very best? I hijacked the idea years ago when I came to believe, that in my life, God has always sent his very best. It has happened again. Tarrick Pittman and I had lunch at Chew and Chat, our first face to face meeting. I’m proud to write that he reads the blog and I have already written about him in the ‘Change Candidates’ piece. I discovered quickly that I was keeping company with an authentic, honest, self-contained man that feels deeply, believes deeply, and has discovered that his call is to live so others may live better. It was a privilege discovering these things about Tarrick. I thought you might enjoy being included (after the fact) listening to some of the things he talked about. You will see why I think Rocky Mount has hit the Jack Pot with new leadership for Ward One and continuing his work for the entire community. This is a special man, Main Street readers. There is more to write about him and I will.
I am not running for City Council to dethrone my opponent. I’m running because I believe in my City and Ward 1. I have been contemplating running for years and one day I awakened frustrated at the current political environment in our community. I proceeded to pray and God let me know that it was time. I’d like to be an example for other young people in the community; to fight for what they believe is right, to stand tall with no fear in their effort to bring forward change.
I’m not much of a talker, I’m a person of action. The idea that I’m running for the City Council out of anger over a court battle is not true. I have been entangled in this dispute while serving as the President of the Downtown Merchants Association. I have always been a champion for Downtown. I have continued to meet and work to bring progress to the city with the same people I have been battling in court. My personal business has never come before the citizens in my community. God has always allowed me to separate the two and focus on the greater good of our City. It hasn’t been easy but through the help and support of friends and family and my faith, I have always been able to overcome.
I believe in ONE ROCKY MOUNT. Working together in a transparent and collaborative effort in order to redevelop our neighborhoods, grow small businesses, combat crime, and to develop a comprehensive plan around job readiness skills and training for our youth. Creating creative spaces for our youth to collaborate and develop. Relationship building has always been a strong suit of mine. In my 25+ years of managing people I have learned that when you have a lot of unilateral power in a government system or any system for that matter that doesn’t lend itself to collaboration, it tends to lend itself to corruption or the appearance of it. I have always been known as someone who listens to everyone from all walks of life. This has allowed me to build a solid foundation for my business. I’ve become known as someone who listens to everyone and guides the community toward collaborative solutions. I’m very proud of that track record.
We all know that some still view the world through Jim Crow glasses, both blacks and whites in our community. It isn’t easy to navigate through this perception of things in order to build a solid community. In order for us to bring development to some of our predominantly African American communities, we must do better for ourselves. As African Americans, we must take ownership of the communities we live in and not point the fingers at others but look within ourselves.
Now is the time to usher in new leadership who will think outside of the box for creative solutions to some of the problems that plague us. I have no fear or worry what some may think when it comes to working on our problems. The goal is to find new and better solutions, not more of the same old same old. I’m talking JOBS, Collaboration, Caring for out neighborhoods and one another. I am willing to sacrifice things in my personal and business life in order to give back to others because I accept God’s intention for my life, which is to serve others.