Good afternoon, everyone:
Today I would like to begin my comments by extending my condolences to the family of Pastor Vandy Simmons and Dr. Bonita Simmons of Antioch AME Church on the passing of their daughter VanKeila Simmons who was taken away too young at the age of 38 years old. Pastor Simmons has been a friend and counselor to me since we met in November of 2016. And I cannot imagine what he and his family are going through right now. The loss of a child at any age is devastating. I just want the Simmons family to know that they are in my thoughts and prayers as they navigate this difficult time.
Back in 2020 we were in the midst of the pandemic and there was a great degree of fear and uncertainty in the air. This circumstance induced my team and I to produce a program called An Evening of Healing and Inspiration, which brought together faith leaders and musical talent to offer the citizens of DeKalb County a brief respite from COVID-19 through words and music. This program was brilliantly produced by Diamond Lewis and her amazing team from DCTV.
As our planning process moved forward, we realized that we were in need of a Mistress of Ceremonies. I am not precisely sure why it occurred to me to think about Lori Wilson from Channel 2 Action News, but she always struck me as a very genuine person. So, under the heading of “if you don’t ask, you don’t get” I reached out to her and shared with her what we were attempting and asked if she would consider helping us out. Much to my delight she graciously accepted and did an outstanding job for which myself and the citizens of DeKalb County are very grateful.
Up until that point Lori and I had never met, and that remained the case until very recently. But on May 12, 2022 Lori Wilson and I met in person for the first time. My objective was simply to thank her in person for what she did for us during that very challenging time. It was a great pleasure to get to know her a little better. And I can report that she is as nice in person as she comes across on TV. I will always be grateful to her for her kindness and generosity.
On May 14 it was great to join my fellow veterans and AMVETS Post 44 members as we held our first in-person general meeting in two years, and the first meeting in our new permanent meeting location at the American Legion Post 66 building in Avondale Estates. This is a great development and I would like to thank our Post Commander Al Wright and all of our post’s leadership team for their diligence in making this happen.
Later that day it was a great privilege to join Commissioner Larry Johnson for the ribbon cutting ceremony at the amphitheater adjacent to the Porter Sanford Performing Arts Center in South DeKalb. This is a wonderful achievement and a testament to Commissioner Larry Johnson’s vision and persistence. And we could not have had a more beautiful day for the celebration.
I also want commend Commissioner Lorraine Cochran-Johnson for lending her financial support to this project. We all know that having a vision is good and pretty pictures of possible plans can be nice. But, without follow through and the resources to make it happen it does not amount to very much.
Overall, it was a wonderful celebration and a great coming together of the community. My wife and I were both honored to be in attendance.
On May 15 it was a great privilege to join the congregation of Greater Piney Grove Baptist Church as they celebrated the 70th Birthday of Senior Pastor Dr. William E. Flippin, Sr. Some might think that one would take a break on one’s birthday and allow someone else to preach the sermon. But not Pastor Flippin. He delivered a powerful and inspirational sermon that morning, proving to all that he’s still got it. It was an honor for me to be there to help celebrate this wonderful occasion and I wish him many more years of success and prosperity.
On May 17 it was great join to join Tucker Precinct Commander Major Craig Medlin and members of his team for Major’s Night Out in Hairston Park. This is a great initiative designed to demonstrate law enforcement’s engagement in the community. I want to commend our law enforcement personnel for the job that they do and for the continued community engagement.
It was also very gratifying to see so many people enjoying Hairston Park. This wonderful space was one of my first park bond fund allocations upon taking office. And this affords me the opportunity to once again thank the friends of Hairston Park led by Gwen Stegall and Jan Costello for their dedication to this park and their partnership with my office. I look forward to returning to Hairston Park sometime soon.
On May 20 it was great to attend the GALEO Power Breakfast. GALEO works hard to uplift our Latino Communities in Georgia and prepare leaders within the community to get people ready to vote. It was a wonderful celebration of Latino achievement and I was honored to be there to underscore my support for this important community. I want to thank my friend and GALEO Board Member Adela Yelton for the invitation to attend, and thank my new friend Maria Peck for being such a wonderful host. And it was a pleasure as always to see Martha Revelo from Senator Warnock’s office who does a great job on behalf of all of us. I look forward to next year’s event.
If you need any assistance, you may call my office at 404-371-4749 or visit my website at commissionerbradshaw.com. I will close today by once again thanking the citizens of District 4 and DeKalb County for affording me this opportunity to serve. It is indeed an honor.