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Closing Comments from the February 14, 2024 BOC Meeting

Updated: Feb 27

Good afternoon, everyone:

 

As a proud alumnus of the Leadership DeKalb Class of 2016 it is always a pleasure for me to support the work of this great organization. Therefore, I was honored to participate in the Government Day activities for the class of 2024 on January 25. During the breakout sessions I engaged in a very robust dialogue with several participants on a range of issues. Based upon what I encountered I think that eventually DeKalb’s future will be secure in their hands. I commend Executive Director Shara Sanders and all the board members who work so hard to keep this vital leadership pipeline running well.

Commissioner Bradshaw engages in lively conversation during a breakout session with fellow Leadership DeKalb Government Day participants
Commissioner Bradshaw engages in lively conversation during a breakout session with fellow Leadership DeKalb Government Day participants

On January 27 we held our first Quarterly in The Fourth Community Breakfast Meeting for 2024. I have been holding these meetings since 2018. They serve as a means for disseminating information to my constituents, and more importantly, hearing from citizens and addressing their concerns directly. This underscores my accessibility.

 

At our most recent meeting we were honored to hear from our School Superintendent Dr. Devon Horton. Dr. Horton did a great job in sharing his strategy and vision for our school system. And he was very responsive to the myriad of questions that he received.

Highlights from our first Quarterly in the Fourth Community Breakfast Meeting
Highlights from our first Quarterly in the Fourth Community Breakfast Meeting

I believe that it is imperative that the DeKalb County Government Leadership and the DeKalb School System Leadership have a very close working relationship. Not only for the purpose of economic development. But also to present a unified front to the constituents that we are all accountable to. And I believe that Dr. Horton shares my thoughts on this front. I am so appreciative of him for taking the time out of his busy schedule to join us.

 

That afternoon I was able to briefly join my friends in the Southland Community for their Quarterly Board Meeting at the Sue Kellogg Library in Stone Mountain. On a side note, my office's allocation of $1.5 million funded the rehabilitation of this wonderful facility. 

 

The Southland is one of the great communities in District 4 and DeKalb County. And I was happy to share a few words with them. I would like to thank HOA President Carl Manson and his entire board for the work that they do in caring for this wonderful community and for affording me the opportunity to address the residents.

 

On January 30 I was able to join our excellent Community Development personnel and many wonderful volunteers who participated in the 2024 Homeless Count.

Preparing for the homeless count with my friend Dunwoody Mayor Lynn Deutsch
Preparing for the homeless count with my friend Dunwoody Mayor Lynn Deutsch

Identifying homeless people sleeping on the streets in DeKalb County is a significant challenge, and it was an eye opening experience for me.

 

There are multiple factors that are contributors to the homelessness challenge. These factors range from the lack of income to the scarcity of affordable housing to mental health issues. This issue is a significant challenge, but it is not intractable. A comprehensive, sustained effort is what will be required to mitigate this issue.

 

My big takeaway from that experience is simply that the people that I encountered are just that, people. People who for whatever set of circumstances have fallen on hard times. They are not imbued with inherently sinister intent. And our collective approach to these fellow human beings should come from a place of compassion.

 

On January 31 it was an honor to attend the retirement celebration for our Public Defender Claudia Saari. She has rendered faithful and dedicated service to DeKalb County for over 30 years. The Public Defender’s Office serves a critical function in the criminal justice process by providing legal services to those who are otherwise unable to afford it. I know that discharging those duties is not easy. But, Ms. Saari always discharged her responsibilities in a highly competent, highly caring and professional manner. I wish her nothing but success in all her future endeavors. She will be greatly missed.

 

On February 4 it was a privilege to attend a Legislative Town Hall Meeting conducted by my colleagues in public service, State Representatives Becky Evans and Mary Margaret Oliver, and State Senator Elena Parent. It was held at the Glenn Memorial Church in the Emory area and it was very well attended. I commend our General Assembly Delegation Members for their tremendous service to our state and DeKalb County as they manage through a myriad of issues under challenging circumstances under the gold dome.

 

On February 8 it was a pleasure to attend a luncheon event hosted by the Brookhaven Chamber of Commerce in recognition of Black History Month. The guest speaker was Ambassador Andrew Young. Simply stated, he did an amazing job. It was so wonderful to hear him recount many of his experiences as a Civil Rights Leader, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and Mayor of Atlanta. He was candid and funny. And at nearly 92 years old he was totally on point. I did not think that my admiration for Andrew Young could be enhanced, but indeed it was. It was just an honor to bear witness.

At the Brookhaven Chamber Luncheon with City Council Member Madeleine Simmons
At the Brookhaven Chamber Luncheon with City Council Member Madeleine Simmons

I want to commend Chamber President and CEO, Alan Goodman and Board Chair Dennis Williams for hosting such a wonderful event. I would also like to commend Brookhaven City Council Member John Funny for moderating the event in a professional manner.

 

On February 10 I was able to drop in on the DeKalb Voter Registration & Elections Board Retreat. As we know 2024 is an election year, and this agency has a critical role in ensuring that our elections are conducted in a safe, accurate and professional manner. I would like to commend and thank Executive Director Keisha Smith and Board Chair Karli Swift along with the other board members for their service to DeKalb County.

 

Later that morning it was a pleasure to attend a Black History Month Program hosted by the DeKalb NAACP at Rainbow Park Baptist Church in South DeKalb. This was an excellent event that highlighted the struggles and significant contributions of African Americans to this great country. I would like to commend and thank DeKalb NAACP President Edwina Clanton for her leadership and for hosting such a wonderful program.

With Friends and fellow DeKalb NAACP members at the Black History Month Program
With Friends and fellow DeKalb NAACP members at the Black History Month Program

If you have any questions or concerns, please call my office at 404-371-4749, or visit my website at commissionerbradshaw.com. Follow me on all the major social media platforms for updates between the meetings, too.

 

As always, I will conclude my remarks by thanking the citizens of District 4 and DeKalb County for affording me this opportunity to serve. It is indeed an honor.


 

Click the image above to download and print your copy of the 2024 Elections schedule




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