Closing Comments from the June 13, 2023 BOC Meeting
Good afternoon, everyone,
Today I would like to begin my comments by marking the passing of DeKalb County’s oldest citizen, Ms. Relda Mackins, who would have been 110 years old on August 7 of this year. Last year I had the great honor of attending her 109th birthday celebration and presenting her with a proclamation on behalf of the citizens of District 4 and it was a great pleasure. She lived a long and fruitful life, and her presence will be greatly missed. Her service was today at Antioch AME Church. May Ms. Relda Mackins rest in peace.
On May 27th, I was invited to join my friends with Heavenly Culture Peace Restoration of Light (HWPL) for a Peace Walk in downtown Atlanta. This organization is devoted to promoting the cause of peace everywhere and I was honored to be invited to join them. In my remarks prior to the march that day, I indicated that that no one hates war more than someone who has been in one. And no one craves peace more than someone who has been in war. I meant what I said. Based on the feedback that I have received, I think that my remarks resonated with many of the attendees that day. I would like to thank HWPL General Director, Demi Ongolo and the entire team for making me feel welcome and for the invitation to participate.
On May 28th, it was a great pleasure to join my amazing Chief of Staff, Alesia Brooks, and some of her best friends for the celebration of a milestone birthday. It was a wonderful event at a beautiful location. And the good news is, Alesia will always be older than me, if only by a few weeks.
On May 29th, it was an honor to join my friends in Dunwoody for their annual Memorial Day Ceremony. In 2021, I had the great privilege to be the keynote speaker for this event. As usual, the event was executed with somber precision. The keynote speaker this year was Major General William B. Dyer who is currently serving as the Commanding General of the 108th Training Command. MG Dyer also recently provided inspirational remarks to begin one of our County Commission meetings. His remarks on Memorial Day struck the right chord as well. I would like to thank Dunwoody Mayor Lynn Deutsch and the entire city leadership team for the invitation to attend. I suspect this will now be an annual spot on my calendar.
That afternoon, I joined my friends on Farrar Court for some holiday fellowship. I would like to thank my dear friend Emily Halevy for the invitation to join. And I would like to thank her husband Matt Leatherman who was the principal chef. I can report that the food was outstanding.
On June 2nd, I joined my friends with the Sons of Allen of Antioch AME Church for their annual golf tournament which is a fundraising event for their scholarship fund. I must confess that my game was a little off that day. But my playing partners and I managed to have a great time for a great cause. I would like to thank my friend and brother Howard Odell, for organizing the event and for the invitation to attend.
On June 3rd, I had the great privilege of attending the Kickoff Celebration of our R.I.S.E. UP Young Men’s Leadership Development Program on the campus of Morehouse College. This program is a derivative of President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Program. And I have been the primary funder of this program for the past five years. This year 53 boys are enrolled. And at the event, I learned that there are 50 boys on the waiting list to participate. This means that the word is getting out about the value of this program. I believe it is imperative that we reach our children while they are young so that they have the best possible chance at future success. Needless to say, this program is very close to my heart. I would like to thank Dr. Kinnis Gosha and his entire team at Morehouse College for embracing this program and providing the expertise and faculty support. And I would like to commend and thank our Human Services Department, led by Damon Scott, and the Youth Services Division, led by Jashawn Williams, for their excellent administration of this program. I will continue to fund this program for as long as I am in office.
On June 8th, it was wonderful to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony for Electric Owl Studios. This was an awesome event celebrating this amazing investment in South DeKalb. The studio is just on the edge of being in District 4, but it is in District 5. However, I celebrate economic growth and development anywhere in DeKalb County, particularly in South DeKalb. Now with all of this studio capacity in DeKalb County, I am hoping that someone with be willing to give me at least a shot at a cameo appearance in a movie or television show.
Speaking of South DeKalb, that afternoon I had the great honor of visiting with a successful business in the heart of South DeKalb. HEH Paving has been in business for nearly 35 years and employs 50 people. This represents an amazing minority business success story of which we should celebrate. HEH President Hobson Milner could not have been more welcoming and gracious as he proudly showed me around his property. It was a totally wonderful experience and I thank my good friend Beverly Dabney for making it happen.
That evening we held our Memorial Drive Rebranding Community Meeting. This is just one element of our continuing drive to revitalize this critical commercial corridor. The meeting was well-attended which is an indication of community interest and engagement. And our consultants at Houser Walker did an excellent job in bringing our citizens up to speed on the process. I want to commend and thank our Planning Department and our Community Development Department for managing this process in a professional manner. We look forward to great things ahead. If you missed the meeting, you can watch it here.
On June 10th, it was nice to get all dressed up and join my friends at the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Annual Black-Tie Awards Gala. This event celebrates Hispanic Business and Entrepreneurship, and it was indeed a glorious celebration. GHCC President and CEO Veronica Maldonado-Torres is a good friend of mine, and my fellow Leadership DeKalb Class of 2016 classmate. Irrespective of my admitted bias, she did an amazing job in managing the activities that evening, and she does an amazing job in managing the day-to-day operations of GHCC, which is an outstanding organization. I am already looking forward to next year’s event.
If you have any questions or concerns, you may call my office at 404-371-4749, or visit my website at commissionerbradshaw.com. I'm on all the major social media platforms as well. Feel free to follow me there 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.