Closing Comments from the January 24, 2023 BOC Meeting
Good afternoon, everyone:
I will begin my comments today by sending a congratulations shout out to a young man named Jaxson Jester who has recently received an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point. This is a wonderful accomplishment, and a service academy education is outstanding. I would like to commend and thank Jaxson for choosing to serve his county and I wish him nothing but success at West Point. It won’t be easy. But it will be worth it.
Also, Jaxson happens to be the son of our friend and former colleague Commissioner Nancy Jester. And I would like to extend my congratulations to the entire Jester family.
I would like to highlight two upcoming events. Starting tomorrow evening I will be hosting a series of Community Information Meetings on DeKalb County’s proposed 2023 Annual Budget. The public hearing process will take place as usual. However, everyone does not have the opportunity to attend a Board of Commissioners regular business meeting on Tuesday morning at 9am, or a Finance, Audit and Budget Committee meeting at 3:30pm on a Tuesday afternoon. Therefore, as Budget Committee Chair for this year it struck me as appropriate to “take this process to the people” so-to-speak by holding several evening meetings throughout DeKalb County. Hopefully, this will be well received. Details on these meetings will be available across our regular communications platforms.
Also, this Saturday, January 28 we will be holding our first Quarterly in the Fourth Community Breakfast meeting of 2023. This will start the fifth year of these meetings. These sessions provide me with a great opportunity to share important information directly with citizens. More importantly, it provides our citizens with the opportunity to share their thoughts and concerns directly with me. Again, details for this meeting will be available across our regular communications platforms. And of course all my BOC colleagues have a standing invitation to attend these meetings.
On January 6 it was great to join Coach Stan Maddox for a tour of Rehab and Beyond in Tucker. The mission of Rehab and Beyond is to provide free therapy to low-income, uninsured or underinsured stroke and brain injury survivors in the State of Georgia, regardless of circumstances. This organization is doing wonderful work in our community. And I was very pleased to visit with them.
On January 7 it was an honor to join my friend State Representative Karen Lupton for her ceremonial swearing-in ceremony in Chamblee. She is a wonderful person and I know that she will do an excellent job representing our interests in the Georgia General Assembly.
That evening it was a tremendous pleasure to join our CEO Michael Thurmond and his wonderful wife Zola as they celebrated their respective birthdays at a lovely event in Stone Mountain Park. They both look great. And I wish them both many happy returns.
On January 9 it was a great privilege to join my friend and BOC colleague Commissioner Larry Johnson for a celebration to kick off the beginning of his sixth term in office at the Porter Sanford Center in South DeKalb. This is an amazing accomplishment and over the course of my time in office I have learned a lot by watching Commissioner Larry Johnson well and faithfully discharge the duties of his office. I wish him another successful term.
On January 11 it was an honor to once again welcome US Senator Jon Ossoff to District 4 for a meeting with leaders at the Ethiopian Community Center on Memorial Drive. Sen. Ossoff has recently made an $842,000 contribution from the omnibus budget package to the center, for which we are all very appreciative. During the application process, it was my honor to write a letter of support for this project to Sen. Ossoff, which according to him was a contributing factor in his decision-making process. This center is a vibrant part of our community and a significant part of my overall strategy to revitalize Memorial Drive. I am personally grateful to Sen. Ossoff for his accessibility and his consistent support for our communities. Also, it is an honor for me to represent our Ethiopian Community.
On January 12 it was a great pleasure to be the keynote speaker for the Tucker Rotary Club meeting. Rotarians are awesome people and it is always a pleasure for me to stand before them. I would like to thank Club President DeNorris Heard and Joe Williams for the kind invitation. I look forward to returning in the future.
On January 14 it was a true honor to join my dear friend, Mrs. Rozella Pringle for the celebration of her 80th birthday. This was a wonderful event. Mrs. Pringle is a wonderful person and a force in the Safari Woods Community. I lovingly refer to her as my “girlfriend” as long as her husband Thomas does not get mad. 😊
It was so great to be in attendance as so many people spoke about the positive impact that Mrs. Pringle has had on their lives. During the celebration I had the great joy of presenting Mrs. Pringle with a proclamation on behalf of the citizens of District 4 and DeKalb County. I would like to thank her wonderful daughter Somanica for the kind invitation. And I wish Mrs. Pringle many happy returns.
As we all know, January 16 was Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and I was able to participate in several events marking this great occasion. The day started at St. Paul AME Church for a service with the theme “Moving The Dream Forward: Love, Hope, Unity and Justice.” I was delighted to bring greetings on behalf of District 4. And it was a true pleasure to hear Bishop Reginald T. Jackson bring the keynote address. I would like to thank Pastor Orea Parker and Stone Mountain Mayor Beverly Jones for hosting this wonderful event and for the kind invitation.
From there we moved to downtown Stone Mountain for a ceremony to mark the unveiling of a street sign in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This was an historic event and I commend Mayor Jones for her persistence in making this happen.
That evening I was happy to join my friends in Brookhaven at the Lynwood Park Recreation Center for the MLK Day Dinner. The food was great and the music was excellent. The band members really seemed to be having a good time. I would like to commend Brookhaven City Council Member and Mayor Pro Tem Linley Jones for leading a wonderful program.
On the previous Friday, January 13, DeKalb County held its annual MLK celebration led by CEO Michael Thurmond. During that event two good friends of mine were honored with the Nathaniel Mosby Humanitarian Award: Dr. Thomas Coleman, and Santiago Marquez, CEO of the Latin American Association. Both men are well deserving of this recognition and I was honored to be there to bear witness.
Circling back to January 16, I was able to join my 100 Black Men of DeKalb Brother John Hollins as he celebrated his 60th birthday. It was a fun event in South DeKalb and John still looks good!!
On January 18 it was great to join The Friends of Hairston Park for a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the Serenity Garden. This was funded through a grant from Park Pride. Hairston Park is indeed a jewel in District 4 and DeKalb County, and was the recipient of one of my first park bond allocations upon taking office. I am so proud of Gwen Stegall, Jan Costello and the entire Friends of Hairston Park group for successfully leveraging the resources that I allocated and for their leadership and commitment to this wonderful space. I also commend our Parks and Recreation Department led by Director Chuck Ellis for their ongoing support of this project.
That evening I was able to join my newest colleague, Commissioner Michelle Long Spears for her ceremonial swearing-in ceremony in Decatur. I am confident that Commissioner Spears will do an excellent job, and I am looking forward to serving with her.
On January 19 it was an honor to join Judge Kimberly Anderson and Judge Ana Maria Martinez for the DUI Court graduation ceremony. This is one of the Accountability Courts that was born out of the Criminal Justice Reform Movement. It has been my honor to financially support this program for the past several years.
These programs serve as an alternative to jail, and they are not easy. Those who make it through inspire me. As I said in my keynote remarks that day, “We all mess up, and we all need help in getting back on track. There is no shame in that.” I commend our judges for their excellent administration of this program. And I wish the graduates nothing but success in their future endeavors.
Finally, on January 22, it was honor to join my friend and 100 Black Men of DeKalb brother Gregory B. Levett, Jr. for his inauguration as our newest President. I know that Bernard will do an outstanding job during his tenure as President, and I look forward to his leadership and to my continued service in this great organization.
If you have and questions or concerns, you may call my office at 404-371-4749 or visit my website at commissionerbradshaw.com. 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.