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Closing Comments from the 4/27/21 BOC Meeting

Good Afternoon Everyone: Today I will begin by exercising a point of personal privilege. Today would have been my mother’s 84th birthday. Since her passing almost 10 years ago, her memory has been the strongest on her birthday. Not on Mother’s Day, or the date of her passing which is May 24. But on her birthday. She always enjoyed her birthday. So, to Mary Elizabeth Robinson Bradshaw I just want you to know that I love you. I miss you. Don’t worry about me. Your second son is doing ok. And I thank you all for your indulgence. On April 15th, we broke ground on our District 4 Senior and Community Center. It turned out to be a beautiful day. I stand by the comments that I made at the ceremony. I am sure that they can be found on DCTV, so there is no rehash those comments now. Except to say that I look forward to hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony in about 18 months. On April 16th, it was a pleasure to host our regular Mayor’s Roundtable meeting. This was a practice that I started early in my second year in office for the purpose of building stronger relationships with our municipal leaders. As usual we engaged in a robust discussion on a number of issues. I would thank Clarkston Mayor Beverly Burks, Decatur Mayor Patti Garrett, Tucker Mayor Frank Auman, Stonecrest Mayor Jason Lary, Avondale Estates Mayor Jonathan Elmore, Chamblee Mayor Pro Tempore Brain Mock, Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst, and Dunwoody Mayor Lynn Deutsch for participating. I will continue to host these meetings for as long as the mayors see value in doing so. On April 17th, we held our second Quarterly in the Fourth community breakfast meeting for 2021. Once again, I lament that fact that we are not able to hold these meetings in person. But the mission continues. As usual, my constituents had several questions over a range of issues. Therefore, I want to thank the DeKalb County Department heads for their support in participating including, Community Development Director Allen Mitchell, our Interim Health Director Dr. Sandra Valenciano, our Police Chief Murtha Ramos along with her precinct commanders, our Code Enforcement Director Tim Hardy, and Sanitation Director Tracy Hutchinson. Your hard work and continued support is greatly appreciated. I also want to thank my friend Nicole Horn for dropping in as well. Nicole is running to be our next state Labor Commissioner, and she took time out of her very busy schedule to share her thoughts with the citizens of District 4. I wish her the best of luck in this endeavor. Later that day, I was pleased to meet with my friends in the Belle Glade Settlement community regarding an issue of community concern. I want to thank Phyllis Rooney for setting up the meeting and Steve and Angie Ritz for hosting at their lovely home. That evening, it was a great honor to attend a fundraising event to support the Women’s Resource Center to end Domestic Violence. Unfortunately, incidents of domestic violence have increased since the start of this pandemic. Therefore, I was happy to lend my support to this worthwhile cause. I want to thank my good friends Virginia and Will Rece for hosting at their beautiful home. On April 19th, I met with my friends in the Northern Avenue and Dial Heights communities regarding an issue of community concern. I want to thank my good friend Heidi Pollyea for setting up the meeting. I want to commend and thank Georgia State University Professor Fred Brooks and his graduate students in the field of social work for conducting a program evaluation of the RISE UP program. This is a program that my office has been funding for the past few years which offers mentorship to middle school aged boys of color. As a reminder, RISE UP is a derivative of President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper program and is something that is very close to my heart. The program is ably administered by the Youth Services Division of our Department of Human Services. Yesterday, these amazing students presented their preliminary findings to us. I know that their observations and recommendations will serve to make the program even better as we move forward. Finally, it was bittersweet to bid a fond farewell to Dr. Sandra Elizabeth Ford at her farewell party on April 23rd. Once again, I would like to publicly thank her for her many years of dedicated service to DeKalb County. I know she will do an outstanding job at the White House. We can all take pride in the fact the she is one of DeKalb County’s own. l close today by once again thanking the citizens of District 4 for affording me this opportunity to serve. It is indeed an honor.

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